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Faculty Information Regarding Exams in the Testing Center

Availability and Capacity

  • The Testing Center is available during the normal semester days for undergraduate courses at the University Park campus.
  • Exams are offered through Canvas, on computers that are restricted to Canvas content. Other websites are not available to the computers in the Testing Center.
  • Exams are placed in 60- or 90- minute time slots.
  • Exams are scheduled to begin on the hour (e.g. 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 p.m.) for 60-minute exams and every 90 minutes for exams fitting into 90-minute slots.
  • Exams for multiple courses are administered on the same day. See How Seats are Allocated.
  • Normal operating hours are 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
    • The first two weeks of the semester have limited hours.
    • The Testing Center is closed on certain days. These days are blocked off before requests can be made at the beginning of the semester.
    • Summer hours are limited.
  • Closed when University Park campus is closed (e.g., weather).
    • When the campus is closed for part of a day, the Testing Center is closed for testing for the remainder of the day. This is to avoid confusing students and testing students under different conditions which may result in grade disputes.
    • Our staff will contact you to discuss potential options for rescheduling the exams.

How Seats are Allocated

Each day there are 2250 (i.e. 150 computers * 15 time slots) seats available. Seats are allocated to courses evenly across the day(s). That is, if you have 30 students in your class, there will be 2 slots each hour (2 students * 15 slots). If you offer an exam on multiple days, the time slots will be evenly distributed across all days.

In order to provide flexibility for all instructors, large courses need to offer exams over multiple days.

Exam Features and Options

Canvas Quiz Features:

At the discretion of the instructor, students may bring and use certain items for their exam:

  • Calculator. We do not differentiate between basic, scientific, accounting or programmable calculators.
  • Ruler, compass and other drawing or drafting tools.
  • Hand-written or typed notes. (Staff will collect post-exam).
  • Wired headphones (Bluetooth or other wireless headphones do not work).
  • Textbook

Scratch Paper for calculation- or note-intensive exams:

  • Please allow scratch paper only if your students need it. Distributing scratch paper that goes unused wastes paper and slows the check-in and check-out process because each sheet is barcoded and linked to the student.
  • Staff will distribute and collect scratch paper. Students must return the scratch paper before checking out of the Testing Center.
  • If you choose to allow scratch paper, you will need to provide to the Testing Center enough paper for all students and all exams. For example, 4 exams X 100 students is 400 sheets of paper.

Requesting an Exam

Exam requests are accepted beginning one month prior to the beginning of classes each semester and are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Our testing schedule fills quickly, especially for “popular” testing times. Please submit your request form beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the following dates:

Opening Days to Request eTesting Exams


First Day of Classes

Opening Day
to Request
eTesting Exams

Spring 2024

January 8

December 8

Summer 2024

May 13

April 12

Fall 2024

August 26

July 26

Setting up Your Exam in Canvas

Instructions for preparing your Canvas Exam for the Pollock Testing Center are available in this Canvas Knowledgebase article. If you do not follow these instructions, your exam will not function properly on the day(s) of your exam. Problems with exams may result in cancellation of the exam for all students.

The Testing Center staff cannot make changes to your Canvas exams. Canvas Support staff may be able to intervene for some technical issues, but they cannot change content.

Exam Naming

Exams should be named in the following format:





To ensure we do not link an old or similarly named exam, please re-name those by adding “Instructor-Only” to the beginning of the filename.

Exam and Resource Publishing

  • Upload and publish any image or document you use in your exam to the Files/Images section of your Canvas course. Students cannot access any external images or documents during the exam.
  • Distribution of paper handouts by Testing Center staff cannot be accommodated.
  • Publish all sources of your exam – including modules, images and files.
  • Save your exam changes and modifications when finished – unsaved changes will result in your students taking an older version of your exam.
  • Verify that your exam is not published – the system will publish your exam for you.

Pre-Exam Linking Deadline

Five (5) business days before your exam start date, Testing Center staff will manually link your exam to our testing systems. After this date, no changes can be made in the exam name or settings 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 one day before your exam.

During the 5-day window, if you find yourself in s rare emergency situation that requires you to upload an entirely new exam with the same name, please immediately notify the Testing Center staff of the change. Failure to notify the Testing Center staff will cause your students to receive the wrong exam.

Exam Start Time and Lockdown

Please set the final exam start time to 7:30 a.m. on the day of your exam to allow students time to check-in for the 8:00 a.m. exam. Exams cannot be changed on the day of the exam; any changes cause data corruption and loss of student answers.

Student Notifications

By default, your students will receive an email from us one week prior to the start of your exam. This email contains a link to the scheduling webpage where students select their testing time slot. We will send automated reminder messages to students who do not register for your exam. Instructors may change the date the email is sent.

Students Needing Accommodations

Students requiring accommodations should first contact the Student Disability Resources (SDR) office because the Testing Center has limited capacity to accommodate students with disabilities:

We have 5 seats for mobility impaired students in the main room.

We have 5 normal seats and one seat for mobility impaired in a quiet-room.

We can accommodate a limited number of students needing extra time. See this Canvas article about how to schedule exams for students who need extra time.

Makeup Exams

During the semester, instructors is the Testing Center may request makeup exams for individual students. Please visit the Faculty Makeup Exam page. Makeup exams are not available during finals week.

Final Exams

Courses that use the Testing Center during the semester are eligible to request “etest” finals through the standard final exam request process. Your exam will either be scheduled in the Testing Center or an STEC computer lab that has been equipped with the same software used in the Testing Center.

Please read the University’s Final Exam Policy for more information, including the timeline for requesting final exams.

Final exams in the eTesting lab are scheduled to occur over the course of the entire day, 8:00 am - 11:00 pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8:00 am to Noon on Friday. If your exam is scheduled in the Testing Center, 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 Testing Center that do not conflict with their other final exams.

How to Request a Final Exam in the Pollock Testing Center or STEC Room

Final exams are requested through the normal procedure with the Registrar and must be completed within the window allowed by the Registrar. The Registrar has many finals to schedule and cannot delay the scheduling process.

  • Select the 'eTesting' option in LionPATH even if you expect to be scheduled in an overflow, secure STEC 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.

How we Prioritize the eTest Final Exam Schedule

Final exams are scheduled in the Testing Center and STEC labs are according to the following:

  • ETest Final exams are not available for courses with more than 2250 students because they exceed the available capacity.
  • Final exams must be scheduled on a single day.
  • The maximum number of students that can be tested in one day in the Testing Center is 2250 in one day..
  • The maximum number of students that can be tested in STEC labs is 600.
  • Scheduling in Testing Center prioritizes the largest classes for finals Monday to Thursday of finals week.
  • If two courses, combined, total 2000-2250 students, they may get priority over one with less than 2000 students.
  • Scheduling in the STEC labs prioritizes the largest courses under 600 students.
  • Smaller classes may be scheduled in the Testing Center and STEC labs if there is additional space available.
  • Please use the following format for the exam title: Final_SOC101_SP23This helps students scheduled in an STEC find and log into the correct exam.


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

Summer - May 6-Aug 9, 2024

eTesting is closed for summer 2024

Scanning Operations will be open:

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

and 6/24, 8/9 and 8/12 for Finals

Closed on University holidays

Closed during UP campus closures

Contact Us

eTesting Lab

104 Pollock Building
Phone: (814) 865-9784
Email: eTest@psu.edu

Scanning Services

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

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