Some Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology exams for external courses will be invigilated via Zoom.

Zoom-invigilation is when an exam is supervised or proctored by a real person in real-time via your webcam and the Zoom program. In these circumstances, all invigilators (exam supervisors) are UQ invigilators.

If your exams are Zoom-invigilated, ensure you prepare for them well in advance of the exam date.

Good luck with your exams!

How does Zoom invigilation work?

Just as you would for an on-campus exam, you will:

  • need to have your student ID
  • only be allowed to have access to permitted materials
  • be advised by your invigilator when you can commence the exam
  • be asked to remove any non-permissible materials (e.g. a mobile phone or smartwatch) from reach before commencing the exam.

You will be assisted through this process by your online invigilator, who will communicate with you using your computer’s webcam, microphone and speakers. There is also a chat function to allow you to communicate with your invigilator should you have any technical issues or problems with the exam.

Once you start your exam, your invigilator will continue to monitor you and any use of the applications on your computer. Their presence will not be intrusive so that you may focus fully on your exam. They will continue to monitor you during the full exam, and just like in an on-campus paper-based exam, flag unusual activity and intervene if necessary.

Leaving the view of the webcam during the exam (unless for allowed breaks), and reading the questions aloud is not permitted.

The invigilator may request that you show them the room you are taking your exam in with your webcam to confirm that you are not seeking assistance with the exam (for instance with unpermitted notes).

The whole exam-taking process is recorded and can be reviewed by your school’s Academic Integrity Officer(s) in the event unusual activity is reported. Incidents would be investigated under usual UQ procedures, in the same way that an incident report from a pen/paper exam is investigated.

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Essential equipment

In advance of the exam, you must ensure you have:

  • A PC or laptop with a single (one) screen. Multiple screens are not permitted; additional screens should be removed from your workspace so it is clear they are not being used.
  • Stable internet connection.
  • A standalone webcam. Note that the camera built into laptops does not always allow for a full display of your work area and you may not be able to see the examination paper well. Also note that a combination of using a smartphone camera in combination with other devices causes disruption to other students; this will not be permitted.
  • Microphone and speakers. Headsets and earbuds, etc are not permitted.
  • A device capable of scanning and converting documents to a .pdf. The printer or other device should be near your work area (i.e. in the same room).
  • If you do not meet the equipment requirements, you may not be granted a deferred exam.
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Before the examination date

To make the examination process go smoothly for all students, the following steps must be taken before the examination date/time. If not actioned, delays at the start of the examination may occur for all students and/or you may be advised to not proceed with the examination.

1. Start preparing your work area. You can view a video of the required work area set-up here. Ensure you have arranged access to a private, quiet room for the duration of your examination. There should be no other people in the room. It is important that you won’t be disrupted by anyone and that you can have your speakers on without disrupting others. Ensure you have sufficient paper and writing tools such as pens and pencils.

2. Ensure you have the required technology and it is working:

  • You will need a PC or laptop with a single screen. If you have a second screen on your computer, you need to disconnect it before the examination. If you merely turn it off, it may disrupt your Zoom settings. For the exam, your computer settings must be set to English. If you have a single language setting only, email before the examination.
  • standalone webcam is required because if you rely on one inbuilt in your laptop, you may have difficulty viewing the examination due to the angle required to enable the invigilator to see your work area.
  • The webcam should be placed on the left-hand side or right-hand side of your work area.
  • An iPad, mobile phone or any other electronic device is NOT SUITABLE to use as a webcam.
  • Microphone and speakers. Headsets and earbuds, etc are not permitted.
  • device capable of scanning and converting documents to a .pdf. The printer or other device should be near your work area (i.e. in the same room).

3. Practice setting up for the examination, particularly checking Zoom settings:

  • Ensure you have Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) set up. For further information, refer to the MFA website.
  • Ensure you have activated your UQ Zoom account before the day of the exam. For UQ Zoom exams, all students must log in to Zoom via the ‘Sign In with SSO’ option. Enter uqz in “company domain” and select ‘Continue’. (If the 'Continue' button is not active, click 'Manually enter domain', enter uqz as the company domain, then select 'Continue.) Then enter your UQ student username with and password, then select “Login”.
  • You are required to apply “show Zoom windows in screen share”. Refer to the screenshots of the required settings below. Settings should be configured before the exam time.
  • Go to Settings in Zoom and under the ‘Share Screen’ menu item, tick the ‘Show Zoom windows during screen share’ option. Depending on the version of Zoom you have, this option might have slightly different text or be in a different place on the list.

Zoom exams

Read all communications carefully and re-read all information available on the course Blackboard site.

If you have any questions prior to the exam, email the following addresses using the subject line “Zoom Invigilated Exam – [relevant course code]”:

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Accessing your exam

If prompted, complete the UQ Authentication process to access your exam. For further information refer to How do I MFA before an online invigilated exam? In a Zoom exam, you will complete authentication prior to connecting with your invigilator.

You will be provided with a Zoom link for the examination. This will be available in the Examination Blackboard site 20 minutes prior to the examination in your assigned group folder.

When you click on the link you will enter a waiting room. Be sure you are in the waiting room 20 minutes early. If you are late, you will disrupt other people and you will not be given additional time to complete the examination.  If you are late and miss the exam announcements and onboarding, you will receive a message while you are in the waiting room, advising you have missed the announcements. You will be left in the session after announcements have finished and proceed with onboarding via the Zoom chat function. Be sure to have attended to any comfort, or personal, needs (e.g., toilet breaks) prior to this time.

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During the exam

The invigilator will give a set of examination instructions and then some specific steps that need to be completed before the exam begins.

  • Students will turn on their camera and microphone. You are required to have these on throughout the exam. You are required to use a microphone and speaker, not a headset or earbuds. We need the microphone left on; however, please remain quiet as you would during an on-campus examination, so you do not disturb the other students in this session.
  • Students will hold their ID card and face the webcam.
  • Students will scan their workspace with their webcam. Anything that is not permitted will need to be removed from the workspace. Have your workspace set up neatly in advance.
  • If you wear a watch, you will need to take it off and set it next to your ID card. Place any mobile phones and smartwatches in Airplane Mode and turn off any notification settings.
  • Students will show their calculator
  • Students will share their full screen (not window). The invigilator may do some checks to ensure that it is the full screen being shared. Your computer should have a single screen and settings should be in English.
  • Students will position their camera so that their working space and their hands are clearly visible. The camera must be pointed at the student’s work during the examination and not moved unless instructed to do so by the invigilator. If during the examination your work area is not visible, you will need to reposition the camera so that it is. The invigilator might ask you at any time, via the chat function, to reposition the camera or to show any part of your room.
  • After checking by the invigilator, your webcam, microphone, and screen share will need to remain on for the duration of the exam.

Once ID cards, workspaces, and screen sharing are checked for all students, and the exam commencement time has been reached, the examination will commence. The invigilator will provide the password so that you can access the exam question paper on the Examination Blackboard site. Planning time commences upon access to the paper and during this time you are strongly recommended to plan how you complete the exam. You can also print the exam paper out during planning time.

When the planning time is finished, the examination start will be announced by the invigilator. The examination will last for the set duration. Once the duration has elapsed, you will be asked to cease working. You must stop work at this point. Students who do not comply with this direction will be considered in breach of exam conditions.

If you finish early, send the invigilator a private message using the chat function so the invigilator can advise you on how to proceed.

If, during the examination, you need to take a comfort break, you will need to notify the invigilator. You will need to leave your workings/mobile phone/smart watch on your desk space with the webcam pointed at your documents. You will not be given additional time to complete the examination.

If you experience issues with MFA during an online exam, contact AskUs exam support.

Remember this is an exam conducted under exam conditions. The Zoom sessions will be recorded and the recording will be retained for 12 months in accordance with UQ Policy on secure UQ systems.

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Information provided by the invigilator at the beginning of the Zoom exam

Once all ID cards, workspace, and screen-sharing checks are completed, the information below will be read out by the invigilator prior to the examination commencing.  Please be sure that you have read this and are prepared. 

  • This is the End-of-Semester/Deferred/Supplementary/Mid-semester examination in (course code, course title).  Invigilation of this examination will be done by Zoom.  
  • The Zoom session will be recorded and will be stored for 12 months in accordance with UQ policy.
  • It is assumed you have read all the relevant announcements about this examination that have been placed on Blackboard.  These include instructions on what equipment you need for this examination and settings you need to apply to your computer for the duration of the examination. 
  • If you need to take a comfort break during the examination, please raise your hand on Zoom and wait for permission to take the break. You must leave your webcam on with your working area in view while you step away.  You will not be given extra time to complete the examination.
  • Once you are given access to the examination paper via Blackboard, your paper will be marked regardless of whether you finish or leave early. If you are not feeling well, you need to decide now whether or not you sit the examination. This is your last chance to decide to sit the examination or seek advice on a deferred examination.  Note that if you do leave now, you will need to apply for a deferred examination which will only be granted if you meet the required conditions.
  • At any time, I may ask you to slowly rotate/move your camera to show your workspace so that it is clear that your workspace meets the requirement for the exam.  
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Permitted materials

Permitted materials must not be accessed via online/electronic sources. Access to electronic devices is only permissible for viewing the exam paper, use of the Blackboard test tool and upload of scanned hand-written work. If permitted in the examination, access to course notes, books, POD notes, etc. must be in hard copy.

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Technical difficulties during the exam

If, during the examination, your Zoom connection drops out, stop work, document (e.g. screenshot) what has happened, and attempt to reconnect. Once you have reconnected, you can resume work. You will not be given additional time to complete the examination.

However, if the disconnection is very disruptive, such that exam integrity cannot be assured and/or your ability to complete the exam is significantly hampered (i.e. if you experience a dropout of 10 minutes or more), you can apply for a deferred exam. Document (e.g. screenshot) what has happened to support your application for a deferred exam.

If you experience any technical difficulties when connected to an invigilator, talk to your online invigilator via the chat function. If your invigilator advises you to contact UQ or you experience difficulties that mean you cannot connect with the invigilator, contact the Library AskUs service for advice as soon as practicable:
Phone: +61 7 3335 7047

If the technical trouble cannot be resolved, you should ask for an email (or transcript of the chat) documenting any technical advice provided to support your request for a deferred exam.

If you find, due to technical issues, your online exam submission is late, you may apply for an exemption of the late penalty.  You must apply for an exemption no later than 24 hours after the exam due date and time via my.UQ.

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Questions during the exam

You can ask a question if something is unclear or you believe there is an error on the exam by sending your question via chat in Zoom.

The invigilator will do their best to answer the query but responding to student queries during the exam may not be feasible. If you are not able to clarify something, specify any assumptions you have made when completing the exam and which questions those assumptions relate to.

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Academic integrity

It is expected that all students will adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity during the examination. This means that – 

  • All work must be your own individual work. 
  • You will not communicate with any person, other than the invigilator via Zoom, during the examination. 
  • You will value the University’s academic integrity pledge.
  • Be aware that should there be any doubt that the work submitted was not entirely your own or there is a breach of exam conditions, the concerns will be forwarded to the School’s Integrity Officer for investigation. 
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Exam upload instructions

  • You will have 15 minutes after the end of the examination to upload your examination answers and any other required documents. This time is for uploading only and it is not extra writing time. If you submit your examination late, you will be given a late submission penalty. Refer to the Examinations Procedure policy.
  • Place your name and student number on the top of each page of your answers and rough paper. Clearly label the question numbers.
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Frequently asked questions

Q: When Zoom requires us to use an email address to log in to join a room, which email address do we use?

A: You must use your official UQ email address. You must activate your UQ Zoom account before the exam date. For UQ Zoom exams, all students must log in to Zoom via selecting the single sign-on option: ‘Sign In with SSO’. Enter uqz in “company domain” and select ‘Continue’. (If the 'Continue' button is not active, click 'Manually enter domain', enter uqz as the company domain, then select 'Continue'.) Then enter your UQ student username with and password, then select “Login”.

Q: Do external students need an extra professional scanner to transmit our handwritten answers to the computer?

A: No. You can find instructions on how to create a single PDF from photos in the Exam instruction sheet. This video also names some apps you can use on your phone to scan your answers.

Q: Do we need a student ID card or driver's license for the online exam?

A: Yes, and both documents are fine but the driver's licence should be in English.

Q: Can I use a passport as photo ID if I don’t yet have a student card?

A: Yes, a passport is fine.

Q: Given that we cannot use headphones, earbuds, etc., and should use a microphone and speaker, can we make use of the inbuilt speaker and microphone in our laptop?

A: Yes, the inbuilt microphone and speaker in your laptop are fine.

Q: What is the meaning of a standalone webcam?

A: A standalone webcam is one that is not inbuilt into your computer – you plug it into your computer via a cable. This is required because if you rely on one inbuilt into your computer, you may have difficulty viewing the examination due to the angle required to enable the invigilator to see your work area. You can see what a standalone webcam looks like in this video, as well as an example of your required desk setup.

Q: How do I swap between my laptop camera and webcam in Zoom?

A: Go to “Start Video” at the bottom of your Zoom screen and hover over the camera name

Q: What type of calculator can I use during the exam?

A: See the Approved Calculators page for more information. You don’t need to have a UQ label for online exams.

Q: Is the University providing financial support for students who are unable to buy required equipment e.g. a standalone camera or laptop?

A: Contact Student Services to apply for financial support: or the Library for more information on how to borrow a laptop:

Q: Can I use a mobile phone during the exam?

A: No. Mobile phones are only allowed for MFA and for uploading your exam to the Blackboard site once the exam working time has finished.

Q: Can I use a printer during the exam?

A: No. You are only allowed to use a printer during planning time, before you start answering the exam questions, and after the exam is finished if you need to use it as a scanner to upload your answers. The printer should be near your work area (i.e. in the same room).

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