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Welcome to the Testing Center

The Testing Center at the University Park campus includes an eTesting Lab and Scanning Operations. The eTesting Lab is used to administer computer-based exams for specific courses using Canvas (the university Learning Management System). All eTesting is conducted using a secure system in which a student can only access the exam for a particular course in which they are officially enrolled. Faculty request that their exams be scheduled in the Testing Center on particular dates and students self-schedule a time-slot convenient for their schedules on the designated dates. For more information select the tabs above.

The Testing Center is not a proctoring center for students to take paper-based exams or commercial exams such as the SAT, GRE, or LSAT.

eTesting Lab Spring 2021

The Pollock Testing Center will be open this semester with changes to the following policies. Additional changes may be added as needed. These policies were made in consultation with our faculty advisory group.

Scheduling/Instructor impact:
  1. The maximum number of students testing simultaneously is 50.
  2. The maximum exam duration is 60 minutes with 12 timeslots per day to allow for cleaning between exams.
  3. The only item provided to students by staff is scratch paper.
  4. Instructor provided proctors will not be allowed to monitor the video feed from cameras.
Scheduling/Student impact:
  1. Students must follow Penn State masking & physical distancing policies.
  2. Student access to the testing center lobby is limited and students may need to wait outside when lines are long.
  3. Temporary storage bags (blue and green) will not be provided; students should bring only required items or a personal bag or pack.

Please direct any questions to Lance Galloway (lmg21@psu.edu).

More Information about the eTesting Lab

The eTesting Lab is designed to provide secure, computer-based testing for Penn State undergraduate courses. Under normal circumstances, the eTesting Lab accommodates up to 155 students per testing time slot. For a virtual tour of the eTesting Lab, please view the video.

Faculty Instructional Consultants at the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence are available to discuss test design strategies.

Expand all options / Collapse all options

Schedule an Exam Schedule an Exam

Please use our scheduling form to submit your request. Exam schedule requests are accepted one month prior to the beginning of classes each semester (or the closest business day if the date falls on a weekend). Exam scheduling requests will open at 9:00 a.m. on the following dates:

Note: If you allow scratch paper for your exams, it is your responsibility to provide enough paper for all of your students in all of your scheduled exams for the semester. For example, if you have scheduled four exams with scratch paper, and you have 100 students, you should provide 400 sheets. We will print bar-codes on the scratch sheets, which students must return before leaving the Testing Center.

Semester First Day of Classes eTesting Exam Requests Opens
Spring 2021 January 19 December 11
Summer/Maymester 2021 May 10 April 9
Fall 2021 August 23 July 23

Please see the announcement regarding changes for Spring 2021.

After you've scheduled your exam, your students will receive an email from us at least one week prior to the start of your exam. This e-mail contains a link to the scheduling webpage where students select their testing time slot. We will also send automated reminder messages to students who do not register for your exam.

Canvas Exam Settings Canvas Exams

Preface: Testing Center staff do not have access to Canvas exams. While the LMS Support staff can intervene for some technical issues, they cannot make any changes to content. It is critical that you follow these guidelines so your exam will function without issue. If an exam is setup incorrectly, it may prevent students from seeing all of the content or cause delays in their ability to access the exam until you are able to make corrections, which may result in cancelling your exam. Our testing schedule fills quickly, especially for "popular" testing times—getting back into the schedule may be difficult.

Instructions for preparing your Canvas Exam for the Pollock Testing Center are available in this Canvas Knowledgebase article.

Exam Start Time & Lockdown: Please remember to set your exam's start time to 7:45 a.m. on the day of your exam to allow students time to check in. Exams cannot be changed on the day of the exam; any change causes data corruption and loss of student answers.

Exam Naming: The first part of the exam name should be identical to the name you used in your scheduling request (Exam 2_SCM301_Sp19). This will ensure we link to the correct exam. To ensure we do not link to an old or similarly named exam, please name them in a way that is clear they are not to be used (e.g., Test 1 - not for use in Pollock TC, Test 1 - instructor use only).

Pre-Exam Linking Deadline: Five (5) business days before your exam start date, Testing Center staff must manually link your exam to our testing systems. No changes in exam name or settings can be made during this time or the correct exam will not be available to your students. You are welcome to upload an early version of your exam and continue to make content changes in that exam until the day before your exam.

If you find yourself in a rare critical situation after the 5-day pre-exam deadline and find that you must upload an entirely new exam (with the same name), please immediately notify the Testing Center staff of the change. Failure to notify Testing Center staff will cause your students to receive the wrong version of your exam.

Remember to:

  • Include all parts of the exam for multiple part exams
  • Remove any restrictions from accessing image files pulled from other sources
  • Upload and publish any image or PDF you use in your exam to the Files/Images section of your Canvas course. Images linked to outside websites will be blocked by the Safe Exam Browser and students will not be able to see or access them.
  • Publish all sources of your exam—including modules
  • Save your exam changes and modifications when finished—unsaved changes will result in your students taking an older version of your exam

Handouts: Step-by-step instructions and recommended settings for embedding documents into your Canvas exam for use in the Pollock Testing Center are now available in this Canvas Knowledgebase article. Distribution of paper handouts by Testing Center staff cannot be accommodated.

Calculators: Instructions for Adding a Calculator to your Canvas Exam are now available. You may also elect to allow your students to bring their own calculator or to provide a supply of calculators for your students to 'borrow' before entering into the eTesting Lab—we do not have a supply available in the Testing Center or the staffing to distribute, collect, or check them.

Learn more about using Canvas at Penn State!

Makeup Exams Makeup Exams

If you need to schedule a makeup exam, please visit the Faculty Makeup page. Please note, we cannot accommodate makeup exams during finals week.

Final Exams Final Exams

To request a secure eTest for your final exam, your department should use the standard process for requesting finals. Select the 'eTesting' option in LionPATH even if you expect to be scheduled in an overflow, secure STEC lab (while space is limited in the eTesting Lab, the only way to schedule a secure final exam is to select 'eTesting'). Do not select STEC in your final exam request or the Registrar's office will schedule your exam in an STEC that does not have the secure browser installed.

Please use a format for the exam title that includes final, the semester and year (e.g., SP 15, Fall 2015), and the course (e.g., STAT 200, MGMT 301). This helps students log into the correct exam when it is scheduled in an overflow, secure STEC lab.

Please visit the University's Final Exam policy for more information.

As it is also noted under Makeup Exams, we cannot accommodate makeup exams during finals week.

eTesting Lab Finals

Final exam requests are prioritized for scheduling in the eTesting Lab based on:

  1. courses that had previous exams held in the eTesting lab that semester
  2. course enrollment size (normally above 600)—to maximize the space, smaller enrollment courses are used to fill gaps around larger classes

After the eTesting Lab is filled, all other courses are referred to the Registar's Office for assignment to overflow, secure STEC labs (labs that have the secure, lock-down browser installed).

Final exams in the eTesting lab are scheduled to occur over the course of the entire day, 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. In order to accommodate as many exams as possible, exam times are limited to 90 minutes or less (60-75 minute exams are preferred). If your exam is scheduled in the eTesting Lab, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions. Notifications are also sent to the students to let them know to register for a time slot. Students are responsible for selecting time slots in the eTesting Lab that do not conflict with their other final exams.

Overflow, Secure STEC Lab Finals

During finals week the University reserves a set number of additional computer labs to accommodate overflow, secure testing for courses that have used the eTesting Lab during that semester. Secure STEC labs include computer workstations for each student and each computer has the secure, lock-down browser installed. Unlike the finals in the Pollock eTesting Lab, there is no onsite staff, no check-in process, and exams are scheduled for specified times according to the normal final exam schedule.

Although these labs use the same secure browser as the eTesting Lab, students may see more than one secure exam listed when they login, including their scheduled exam. Students may sit at any computer, but only students in your course will be able to access your final exam. Once the student selects the correct exam, s/he will have access only to the secure exam.

STEC rooms are scheduled for the standard 110 minute exams. You are responsible for making alternate arrangements for students who require additional time to complete your exam.

Exams with Special Accommodations Exams with Special Accommodations

Students requiring special accommodations should contact the Student Disability Resources (SDR) office, who will assist them with their specific needs. If you have students who need extra time for their exams, follow the instructions available in this Canvas article. Opens in new window

Scanning Services

We offer scanning services for paper exams using Scantron answer sheets. To learn more about this service, please visit the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence's Scanning page. Faculty clients of Scanning Services can access their exam results at Instructor Tools.

Need help with your exam? Schedule an appointment with a SITE Instructional Consultant for assistance writing multiple choice questions, interpreting exam analysis, and more!


Important for Fall 2020

Please see the annoucement on the Testing Center home page.

New information about Canvas Available!

Updated information about setting exam start time, pre-exam linking deadline, exam naming and more. Click + Canvas Exams on the homepage for more details.

Hiding Individual Question Responses

If you don't want students to see what they answered (and the correct answer) for each question after they submit their exam, uncheck the "Let students see their quiz responses" check box. Learn more in this Canvas Knowledgebase article.

Embedding a Document or a Calculator in a Canvas Exam

Step-by-step instructions are now available in this Canvas Knowledgebase article.

Guidance for Merging Canvas Course Sections

Canvas Status

Stay up-to-date on Canvas's current status at http://status.instructure.com/

Hours of Operation

Fall and Spring

8:00A - 11:00P, Monday through Friday

May 20-Aug 9 Schedule

9:00A - 3:00P, Tuesday through Thursday
9:00A - 3:00P, 6/24 & 8/9 for Finals

Closed on University holidays

Contact Us

eTesting Lab

104 Pollock Building
Phone: (814) 863-8116
Email: eTest@psu.edu

Scanning Services

105 Pollock Building
Phone: (814) 863-2802
Email: scan@psu.edu

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