How Exams Work


Online courses include exams that must be monitored by a proctor from a certified testing center. The proctor’s job is to watch as students take exams to make sure all requirements are met. When you request an exam through your course exam page, you will select a proctor to oversee your exam. While a few courses require that exams be completed in writing on paper, most BYU Independent Study courses now offer online proctoring.

Online Exams

When you request an exam with online proctoring (if available), you can take the exam at home and as your schedule allows. Make sure you have a clean testing space, as the online proctor will require you to use your computer camera to show your space to ensure that no cheating can take place. Be sure to schedule your exam time at least 24 hours in advance. Follow these steps to request an online exam:

  1. Sign into your course.
  2. Go to the exam folder or page in your course and request the exam. If you are requesting a final exam, make sure you have completed all previous course requirements.
  3. Select the option to take the exam online in your own home.
  4. Create a profile and make an appointment.

Paper Exams

Some courses have exams that require students to show their work or write answers on paper. These typically include math courses and certain world language courses but may include other types of courses. Check your course syllabus to see if your exams are only available on paper.

If you need or want paper exams, please plan for shipping time to receive the exam and mail it back to BYU Independent Study. When you request a paper exam in your course, it will be shipped to your local proctor, who will then administer the exam at the certified testing center where they work. If you are enrolled in a class that requires paper exams and you cannot find a local proctor location, please call us at (800) 914-8931 for assistance.


Online exams that do not include any instructor-graded sections are graded upon submission. For mailed paper exams, submission occurs on the day we receive the completed exam in our office. Receiving the grade on the day of submission is dependent on all proctor and exam policies and procedures being completed correctly. Exams with instructor-graded sections are given to instructors on the day of submission. From that date, instructors are given two weeks to grade your exam.


Most courses will allow one exam retake for a $15 fee. Because not all courses offer an exam retake option, please refer to your course syllabus to make sure your course allows exam retakes. All coursework including assignments, exams, and retakes must be completed before course expiration. If requesting paper exams, please account time for round-trip shipping and reprint fees on exams requested more than once.

All coursework must be completed prior to requesting the final exam, including all other exams. No assignment resubmissions are allowed after the final exam has been requested. Final exams and available retakes must be requested and taken prior to the course expiration date. You must pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

Please plan to take your final by at least three weeks before any deadlines (e.g., end of a semester) to ensure your final exam is graded well before your deadline.

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