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Student FAQ

Please explore the frequently asked questions listed below for answers to your questions.  This information will constantly be updated in response to your queries.  If your question is not covered below or in the other areas of this site, please contact AskOtago.

Q.01 If I am still studying remotely, how can I get help with that?

Q.02 What should I do if I am stressed, having mental health difficulties or would like other pastoral support?

Q.03 Are we having digital exams and assessments in Semester Two and what are they?

Q.04 What papers had ExamSoft-Examplify digital exams in Semester One?

Q.05 Who creates the content for ExamSoft-Examplify assessments and exams?

Q.06 What software is being used for the exams and why?

Q.07 What laptop/desktop computer and Internet connectivity do I need and where can I get help with those?

Q.08 What could my digital exams ‘look’ like – what can digital exams include?

Q.09 When and how do I download ExamSoft’s app Examplify?

Q.10 How do I check/set the permissions on my camera and microphone before granting access to them to verify my identity and for invigilation (supervision) ?

Q.11 Can I practise using the software before my exam, and how? (This is mandatory)

Q.12 How will my privacy be protected after I download the software?

Q.13 How secure will my assessment/exam be?

Q.14 How will my ExamSoft-Examplify assessment/exam be invigilated (supervised) and my identity verified?

Q.15 What happens if invigilation (supervision) detects a potential issue?

Q.16 Where will I sit my digital exams and what does that space need to be like?

Q.17 What will I do immediately before my assessment/exam and on the day?

Q.18 What if I cannot sit my assessment/exam at the scheduled time or have other unexpected problems?

Q.19 What if I have a disability and need alternative arrangements?

Q.20 What if I am in a different time zone to New Zealand?

Q.21 When can I see my assessment/exam results?

Q.22 Where will I find my assessment/exam results?

Q.23  How will the Examplify app know my name and what assessment/exams I am sitting?

Q.24  What should I do to prepare for my assessment/exam as the date gets closer?

Q.25  How do I download a real assessment/exam with the app Examplify?

Q.26 How do I prepare just before a real assessment/exam with Examplify and then sit the exam?

Q.27 How do I uninstall Examplify after my assessment/exam if I want to? (You do not have to. This is only if you want to).


Question. 01. How can I get help with studying remotely?

Answer. We have gathered up some tips and put them all in one place for you. They are here.


Q.02. What should I do if I am stressed, having mental difficulties or would like other pastoral support?

A. Our University provides a range of help, including:

Also, free counselling is available for all New Zealanders by calling or texting 1737.


Q.03. Are we having digital exams and assessments in Semester Two and what are they?

A. The answer varies.

Our preparations for your Semester 2 Final Examinations must include the possibility that we could move to be in higher Covid-19 alert levels.

If we do have to operate under higher pandemic alert levels, on-campus students enrolled in the following papers will use ExamSoft’s application Examplify to sit their Semester 2 Final Examinations. If we stay at are in Covid-19 Alert Level 1, your Semester 2 Examinations will be held on-campus as normal.

If you are enrolled in one of the following papers and have had formal approval from the University to study online in Semester 2, you will be using ExamSoft to sit your terms assessments (if applicable) and your final examinations:

BIOC192, HUBS192, POPH192, ACCT222, ACCT306, ACCT307, ACCT310, ACCT406, ACTP312, ACTP412, BLAW212, LAWS101, TOUR102, TOUR218, TOUR301, TOUR303, COMP111, ANTH322 and MICR332.

Whether other papers will use Examplify for assessments/exams will depend on whether pandemic alert levels increase, and you have to social distance from each other. You will be informed well ahead of time.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic closed our campuses in Semester One 2020 our University introduced alternative ways to sit the final exams, which would usually have been sat on campus. Those alternatives included digital exams, which are:

  • Typed on a laptop or desktop computer rather than written by hand
  • Sat remotely (off campus)
  • Invigilated (supervised) remotely.

Making this change helped fulfill our commitment to teaching – which includes assessing learning. Now, our preparations for your Semester Two final examinations must include the possibility we could move to higher Covid-19 alert levels, so you would suffer as little disruption as possible, and both you and future students can flow seamlessly through your years of study.

You will receive finalised information about the exact dates and times of your assessments in the same way as usual, and exams in the timetable section of your eVision portal, as usual. The exams will take the normal length of time, unless otherwise specified, i.e. a three-hour exam will still be a three-hour exam.


Q.04 What papers had ExamSoft-Examplify digital exams in Semester One?

A. The papers and test chosen for ExamSoft-Examplify digital exams were all linked to competitive entry or accreditation because ExamSoft offers remote invigilation (supervision of every student during an exam).
The ExamSoft-Examplify digital exams in Semester One 2020 were: ACCT211, ACCT222, ACCT233, ACCT302, ACCT315, ACTP311, ACTP411, BLAW211, CELS 191, CHEM191, HUBS191, PHSI191 and the English Diagnostic Test.


Q.05 Who creates the content for ExamSoft-Examplify assessments and exams?

A. Our usual University academics who teach you create the content for all assessments and final semester exams, based on work you have done during that semester.


Q.06 What are ExamSoft and its app Examplify?

A. Staff use the ExamSoft cloud-based application for creating and delivering assessments and exams. Students sit assessments and exams using the app Examplify – Otago students do not have to pay for the app. ExamSoft has been in business for more than 22 years and has over 1400 clients worldwide, including all the Ivy League medical schools – e.g. those at Harvard and Yale universities.

Our University used ExamSoft and Examplify for competitive entry and accreditation final exams in Semester One 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic closed our campuses.

We had already trialed ExamSoft and Examplify in Semester One and Two in 2018 so had experience with the software, which was chosen in 2018 for reasons that still apply now, including:

  • More than 90 per cent of ExamSoft’s clients use it to complement their Learning Management Systems – mostly Blackboard – because ExamSoft is specifically designed for mid-to-high stakes assessments
  • Assessments and exams are sat off-line – downloaded, completed offline, then uploaded – which eliminates the major risks of:
    • Internet connection problems during a an assessment/exam
    • Hacking
    • You accidentally exiting the assessment/exam.
  • A photo is taken of you before you do your assessment/exam – during a mandatory no-stakes Preparation Exam that lets you practise using the software – and during your assessment/real exam to verify your identity. You can be remotely invigilated (supervised) while doing your assessment/exam – via your web camera and microphone
  • Your access to the Internet along with your access to files and apps on your computer, is blocked while you are doing your assessment/exam.

Note: ExamSoft and Examplify often call invigilation (supervision) proctoring or refer to ‘the proctor’ rather than the invigilator.


Q.07 What laptop/desktop computer and Internet connectivity do I need and where can I get help with those

A. Examplify can be used on virtually any modern computer – bought in the last three to four years.  You can use Mac and Windows (including Surface Pro). You cannot use Chromebook, Android, or Linux operating systems. Your device must also meet minimum specification requirements (if you do not know how to find your device’s specifications, go to Q.07(b).

The minimum specifications Examplify requires for Windows and Mac:

PC Windows:

  • Operating System: 32-bit and 64-bit Versions of Windows 10.
  • Alternate versions of Windows 10, such as Windows RT and Windows 10 S, are NOT supported at this time.
  • Only genuine, United States-English versions of Windows Operating Systems are supported.
  • ExamSoft does not support Tablet devices other than Surface Pro.
  • Examplify cannot be run within virtualised environments or environments that require persistent network (local or otherwise) connections during secure exams. This includes, but is not limited to, VMWare, Parallels, Citrix workspace, Virtual Disks, Streamed images, etc.
  • Screen Resolution should be at least 1024×768 or higher.
  • CPU Processor: at least 2.0+ ghz Intel i3 processor or equivalent.
  • RAM: 4GB or higher, 8GB recommended.
  • Hard Drive: highest recommended for the operating system or 2GB of available space.
  • For technical troubleshooting, account passwords, including BitLocker keys, may be required.
  • Internet connection speed of 2 Megabytes per second through your Internet Service Provider, for downloading Examplify, registration, and exam downloading and uploading.
  • Administrator level account permissions (Instructions): https://examsoft.force.com/emcommunity/s/article/Add-Administrator-rights-to-your-user-account).
  • Camera
  • Microphone – no headphones/earbuds/headsets etc.

Mac OS X:

  • Supported Operating Systems: macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), macOS 10.14 (Mojave), macOS 10.15 (Catalina). Only genuine versions of Mac Operating Systems are supported.
  • Server version of Mac OS X is not supported.
  • This software cannot be used on virtual operating systems such as Microsoft’s Virtual Machine, Parallels, VMware, VMware Fusion or any other virtual environments.
  • Examplify cannot be run within virtualised environments or environments that require persistent network (local or otherwise) connections during secure exams. This includes, but is not limited to, VMWare, Parallels, Citrix workspace, Virtual Disks, Streamed images, etc
  • CPU: Intel processor
  • RAM: 4GB or higher
  • Hard Drive: 2GB or higher available space.
  • For technical troubleshooting, account passwords, including device passwords, may be required.
  • Internet connection speed of 2 Megabytes per second through your Internet Service Provider, for downloading Examplify, registration, and exam downloading and uploading.
  • Administrator level account permissions (Instructions) – if this link does not work, the address is: https://examsoft.force.com/emcommunity/s/article/Add-Administrator-rights-to-your-user-account).
  • Camera
  • Microphone – no headphones/earbuds/headsets etc.

If you are not sure if your device meets the requirements, you should contact AskOtago. It is available seven days a week between 7am and 11pm New Zealand time:


Q.07(b) How do I find my device’s specifications on Windows or Mac?

A. Windows 10 

  1. On the bottom left of your screen, next to the Windows button, in the Search window, type System
  2. Device specifications/System Information will be listed

Windows OS screenshot

Mac

  1. In the top left corner of the screen, click on the Apple logo.
  2. In the dropdown menu that appears, click About This Mac.
  3. A new window will appear. It should open to the Overview tab by default, but if it does not, click Overview at the top of the window. On this page, you will see what macOS version your computer is running, right down to the build number (something like 10.14.6).

If you are not sure if your device meets the specification requirements of ExamSoft’s app Examplify, you should contact AskOtago. AskOtago is available seven days a week between 7am and 11pm New Zealand time:

Phone: 0800 80 80 98

Email: university@otago.ac.nz

Online chat: http://otago.custhelp.com/app/chat/chat_launch.


Q.08 What could my digital exams ‘look’ like – what can digital exams include?

A. They can include:

  • Essays (a limit will be set on the number of characters/letters you can use, but not in a way that will restrict your ability to answer the question)
  • Short-answer questions (a limit will be set on the number of characters/letters you can use, but not in a way that would restrict your ability to answer the question)
  • Multi-choice questions
  • True/false questions
  • Fill-in-the-blank questions
  • Hotspots (visual true/false question, where you get credit for dropping a ‘pin’ on the correct part of an image).

You will be able to:

  • Write notes in a digital ‘space’ on your laptop/desktop computer
  • Increase the size of text on your screen
  • Highlight words in questions, except for longer questions that may be in a pdf e.g. business case studies
  • Go both forwards and backwards through your exam
  • Use a scientific calculator. Note: a new Examplify version is being released in Semester 2, 2020 that will include new calculator features. Follow these links to get a feel for those new features:
  • Check the character count of your answers – questions can set limits on characters only (not words)
  • Set the clock on the top right of your screen to show a visual – no sound – alarm during your assessment/exam
  • Use spell-check (for essay-type questions, not fill-in-the blank-type questions)
  • Copy and paste
  • Flag questions to return to them later in the assessment/exam.

You will also automatically receive a:

  • Visual alarm – no sound – five minutes before the end of your assessment/exam
  • Reminder about any questions you have not answered at the end of your assessment/exam
  • Time-limit on your assessment/exam – but if you have a disability that allows you extra time to sit assessments/exams, you will have that time.


Q.09 When and how do I download ExamSoft’s app Examplify?

A. You should download the latest version of the Examplify app as soon as possible – there is no charge for downloading the app.

  1. To prepare:
    • Make sure you are downloading the app to the laptop/desktop computer you will be using for your final exam/s
    • Check your laptop/desktop computer has all operating system updates applied
  2. Here is a step-by-step guide to downloading the Examplify application

Note: if you can’t find the email from exambot@examsoft.com inviting you to ExamSoft, please follow this link to download Examplify: https://ui.examsoft.io/login?institutioncode=otago

After installing Examplify, you can do your first preparation exam. The Computer Compatibility Preparation Exam should be available to download in your Examplify Dashboard. See Q.11.


Q.10 How do i check/set the permissions on my camera and microphone before granting access to them to verify my identify and for invigilation (supervision)?

A. If you do not have these permissions enabled correctly, you could be unable to start your preparation exams or real exams. Please use the links below for permissions for Windows (camera and microphone), Mac (camera, microphone, and full disk) and Catalina OS (10.15) of Mac (screen recording access).

Note: The software works best with internal cameras and microphones. And, multiple audio and video devices cannot be used at the same time, so please remember:

  • Your integrated camera will probably also have an integrated microphone, so ensure any external microphones are disconnected (noheadphones/ ear buds/headsets etc are allowed)
  • Your external camera may have a built-in microphone – if it does, you will need to disconnect any external audio microphones (noheadphones/ ear buds/headsets etc are allowed).

For Windows camera access: Please go to: https://examsoft.force.com/emcommunity/s/article/ExamID-and-ExamMonitor-Permission-Setup-for-Windows-users

For Mac camera and microphone access: Please go to: https://examsoft.force.com/emcommunity/s/article/ExamID-and-ExamMonitor-Permission-Setup-for-MAC-users


Q.11 Can I practise using the software before my exam, and how? (This is mandatory)

A. Yes. This answer includes written instructions on how to start and finish the two mandatory preparation exams:

    •  The first mandatory preparation exam – the Computer Compatibility Preparation Exam – is to make sure your camera and microphone are set up in the correct way to sit your Semester One final exam/s with remote invigilation (supervision) – via your camera, microphone and screen capture. This preparation exam will take less than 10 minutes and you can do it up to 99 times (including the first time) if you want to ensure everything is correct. Your real exams will start this way too.
    • The second mandatory preparation exam – the Content and Features Preparation Exam – is for you to practise using the features in the app Examplify that you will use to sit your exams, such as flagging questions to return to them and setting your own visual alarm. This exam does not relate to the course you are studying, and your responses will not be saved, marked, or assessed in any way. This exam is available until the end of the Semester One examination period and you can do this exam up to 99 times (including the first time) if you want.
    • NOTE: Some training materials call the Preparation Exams Mock Exams.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to sit the preparation exams.


Q.12 How will my privacy be protected after I download the software?

A. The University’s Privacy Officer, Deputy Privacy Officer and IT Assurance and Cybersecurity Office have worked with ExamSoft and completed evaluations to ensure privacy and data security provisions are appropriate. ExamSoft’s Privacy Policy can be accessed here.

Can Examplify access my personal files and information when I install it on my computer?

No – Examplify does not access your personal data stored on your computer, including your files, social media information and browser history.

Some system files do need to be accessed to allow Examplify to lock down access to other applications while you take an assessment/examination, but these are reverted to previous settings upon completion of the assessment/examination.

Some identifying information is also collected as part of assessment/examination administration and to ensure assessment/examination integrity. Such information typically includes; makes and models of computers used by exam takers, device identification numbers, types and versions of software used by exam takers, and security and software performance related information, such as keystroke data collected during examinations.

Can Examplify monitor me when I am not taking assessments/examinations?

No – Examplify does not access your computer camera, microphone, keystroke data or files, or otherwise interact with your computer to lockdown other applications, except during assessments/examinations. 

How do I know when I am being recorded?

A notification will continuously display on screen during the assessment/examination to advise when recording is taking place.

What will be recorded?

Your immediate environment through the camera on your computer will be recorded. You will not be required to record outside the immediate environment (i.e. the room) in which you are sitting the assessment/examination or to record anything which is not necessary to ensuring academic integrity.

Why is keystroke data collected?

This is used to record student responses, as a backup to allow recovery of completed responses in the event that a technical issue affects the assessment/examination session.

Can I fully delete Examplify off my computer once it is no longer needed?

Yes (you do not have to do this, it is only if you want to). When Examplify is uninstalled, it will remove all parts of the Examplify application, including the tools employed by the application to lock down your device during the examination. Instructions for deletion are here:

Uninstall on Windows

Uninstall on Mac

Will ExamSoft sell or share my data?

ExamSoft shares your data with the University of Otago and with an invigilation service (ProctorU) under strict controls. ExamSoft may also potentially share your data in a number of other limited, legitimate and controlled circumstances as laid out in the ExamSoft Privacy Policy. ExamSoft will not sell your personal data to, or otherwise share your personal data with, any third party.

How does ExamSoft share data with invigilation services?

Examination invigilation is carried out by a third party (ProctorU) who are provided with an encrypted copy of the recording of your examination. Files are tagged with a random ID which does not identify the student or institution. ProctorU are contractually obliged to maintain confidentiality.

ProctorExam is not provided with any ExamID material used for checking that you are the person sitting your examination.

How does invigilation occur?

ProctorExam initally uses computer-based techniques to check for activities which may require further investigation. Any such activities are tagged and then a person checks these and provides a written report back to the University (via ExamSoft). Neither ProctorExam nor ExamSoft can make an assessment that a student has broken examination rules, and the University will not necessarily consider a report from ProctorExam requires an academic misconduct investigation.

Where the University determines that an academic misconduct investigation is warranted, the process in the Student Academic Misconduct Procedures will be followed, with the student involved given a chance to view any footage, report or other evidence which has led to an academic misconduct investigation, and to respond, before any determination is reached. Any academic misconduct finding by the University against a student may be appealed by the student concerned.

Does the University have internal processes for ensuring appropriate use of my data?

Yes – use of student data is governed by the University’s Policy on Access to, and use of, Personal Information. Staff involved with your course have access to your examination answers for the purposes of marking.  Academic integrity reports and associated materials (e.g. recordings) are further controlled. Your lecturers do not have access to this material for exams. Instead, where a concern is identified, this will be provided to Examinations staff in the first instance, and further referred to the appropriate Associate Dean (Academic) for investigation under the Student Academic Misconduct Procedures if required. This parallels the process for investigation of academic misconduct for paper-based examinations. Staff involved in handling this information will be provided specialised privacy training before the examination period, to ensure appropriate handling of data.

Is my data secure?

All files are encrypted, including the exam file you download and the completed exam you upload, including recordings used for invigilation purposes.  Additional security measures are used by ExamSoft to protect information they store, including decoupling of files from stored identifying information. The security of data has been assessed by the University’s IT Assurance and Cybersecurity Office against industry standards.

How long will my data be retained by ExamSoft?

At a maximum, your personal data will be retained by ExamSoft until the University ceases to be in contract with them (the current contract is for two years). At that time all data will be deleted on the University’s request. Some information may continue to be held in ExamSoft backup systems for a period after this but will be held for no longer than 13 months (the maximum time until backup data are overwritten). These provisions will also apply to any information held by ProctorExam or any other ExamSoft proctoring partner. 

Who can I contact if I have further privacy questions?

The University Registrar and Secretary to the Council is the University’s Privacy Officer (email registrar@otago.ac.nz).


Q.13 How secure will my assessment/exam be?

A. According to the software supplier all files are encrypted to the proprietary 256 encryption rating, including the assessment/exam file you download and the completed assessment/exam you upload. The app locks down your laptop/desktop computer while you are doing the assessment/exam, which blocks:

  • Your access to the Internet and anyone else’s access to your laptop/desktop computer via the Internet
  • Your access to all the files and apps on your laptop/desktop computer.

You will ONLY use the Internet to download your assessment/exam and upload your completed assessment/exam. You will sit your assessment/exam off-line – with remote invigilation (supervision) via your microphone and web camera; that recording will be uploaded when you upload your exam. Because you will not need continuous Wi-Fi during your assessment/exam, losing your Internet connection will not be a problem during your assessment/exam.


Q.14 How will my ExamSoft-Examplify assessment/exam be invigilated (supervised) and my identity verified?

A. We know you have worked hard to get where you are and want a level playing field, so several tools are in place to help ensure the integrity of your assessment/exam:

  • ExamSoft’s app Examplify – which you use to do your assessment/exam – blocks your access to the Internet and your access to files and apps on your computer. It also blocks anyone else’s access to your laptop/desktop computer via the Internet.
  • ExamID – Takes your photo. The first one taken for your first mandatory preparation exam – the Computer Compatibility Preparation exam – will be used to verify your identity in your real assessment/exam. Please noteYou do needto be in good light (the light on your face should be brighter than the light behind you) and your face needs to be clearly visible – do not wear hats of any type and ensure head scarfs or hijabs leave your face clearly visible. If you wear a veil or burqa, you will need to show your face for the photoYou do not need to wear the same clothes, remove your glasses, or have the same hairstyle or facial hair for both photos because the two photos will be compared biometrically, which includes bone structure. Note that while the standard ExamSoft consent in relation to this also mentions iris and retina scans, and fingerprints and voiceprints, these are not used or required in Otago processes.
  • ExamMonitor – you grant this app access to the camera and microphone on your laptop/desktop computer so you can be recorded on video, microphone, and screen capture throughout your assessment/exam. If you deny access, you will be denied access to your assessment/exam. During the real assessment/exam, you will see the wording Monitoring at the top of your screen while you are being recorded. The camera must be pointed towards your face throughout every assessment/exam, and you need adequate lighting in the room (the light on your face should be brighter than the light behind you). If you wear burqa or anything else that covers your face for cultural reasons, it can remain on during the assessment/exam. If you want to check how you appear to the remote invigilator (supervisor), go to the top of your screen, click on the word Monitoring, and you will see the video feed. Clicking anywhere in Examplify will exit the video feed and return you to Examplify. All recording stops after you have completed your assessment/exam. Note: Just looking away from the screen will not be taken to be cheating.  What goes on in the assessment/exam will be monitored, in the same way that a physical assessment/examination is monitored.  ExamSoft will supply the University with reports on unusual behaviour, but there will be a very careful and controlled process to assess whether these need further investigation. We don’t want you to feel that you are more restricted than in a normal physical assessment/exam environment.  Those environments do, by necessity, have some restrictions, but as long as you act like you would in a normal exam, you do not need to worry that you are going to be unfairly accused of cheating.


Q.15 What happens if invigilation (supervision) detects a potential issue?

Breaches of examination rules will be dealt with under the Student Academic Misconduct Procedures – (https://www.otago.ac.nz/administration/policies/otago116850.html)

Any students dealt with under those procedures could face a range of penalties under Otago’s Academic Statute 2011 – (https://www.otago.ac.nz/administration/policies/otago029944.html)

Penalties may include a zero mark for the assessment, disqualification from the paper, cancellation of other passes achieved in the semester, or exclusion from the University.


Q.16 Where will I sit my digital exams and what does that space need?

When sitting your exam/s remotely, off campus, you should:

  • Set up a desk in a well-lit room with no other people (including children) present and ensure no pets will be present. Arrange for them to be cared for before you start your exam. If you could have difficulty meeting this requirement, please contact AskOtago, which is available seven days a week between 7am and 11pm New Zealand time:
  • Let your family and friends know when you are sitting your exam/s and that you need a quiet place for the length of the exam/s. To remind them, it might be helpful to have a sign on your door during an exam asking people to come back later.
  • If you want to ensure your internet connection is not interrupted or slowed while your completed exam is being uploaded – this will include the relatively large invigilation (supervision) file – let other people, for instance in your flat, know not to watch Netflix or download large files during your exam
  • Make sure your laptop/desktop computer can be charged from your desk (relying on battery power during your exam is not recommended).
  • For the photo taken for each of your final exams: Ensure there is enough light in the room (the light on your face should be brighter than the light behind you), and you are in a good position for a photo and to be recorded with your laptop/desktop computer’s camera and microphone. Your face needs to be clearly visible – do not wear hats of any type and ensure head your scarf or hijab leaves your face clearly visibleIf you wear a veil or burqa, you will need to show your face for the photo. You do not need to wear the same clothes, remove your glasses, or have the same hairstyle or facial hair for both photos because the two photos will be compared biometrically, which includes bone structure.
  • For invigilation (supervision) during your exam via your web camera and microphone on your laptop/desktop computer: The camera must be pointed towards your face throughout every exam, and you need adequate lighting in the room (the light on your face should be brighter than the light behind you). If you wear burqa or anything else that covers your face for cultural reasons, it can remain on during the assessment/exam. 
    • Note: Just looking away from the screen will not be taken to be cheating.  What goes on in the assessment/exam will be monitored, in the same way that a physical assessment/examination is monitored.  ExamSoft will supply the University with reports on unusual behaviour, but there will be a very careful and controlled process to assess whether these need further investigation. We don’t want you to feel that you are more restricted than in a normal physical assessment/exam environment.  Those environments do, by necessity, have some restrictions, but as long as you act like you would in a normal assessment/exam, you don’t need to worry that you are going to be unfairly accused of cheating.
  • If you want to check how you appear to the remote invigilator (supervisor), go to the top of your screen, click on the word Monitoring and you will see the video feed. Clicking anywhere in Examplify will exit the video feed and return you to Examplify. All recording stops after you have completed your assessment/exam.
  • Given you should face the web camera throughout the assessment/exam, if you are doing it off-campus and are worried your typical behaviour might be regarded as suspicious – e.g. staring out the window/staring at the ceiling/talking to yourself while thinking – you could prop a mirror behind you for the duration of the assessment/exam to make it obvious you are not looking at notes/anything on the walls/talking to someone that could help you answer questions. Alternatively, at the start of your assessment/exam, you could use your camera, or a hand mirror and your camera, to show the remote invigilator (supervisor) the room.
  • Unless your course coordinator has authorised you to use resources (such as your own calculator or rough-work-only paper. See note 2 below), your exam-sitting space should be free of papers, books, and sticky notes
  • Your walls should be clear of any documents or materials that may be relevant to the exam
  • Your desk should be clear of anything exam-related, other than your laptop/desktop computer – you are not allowed headphones/earbuds/headsets etc in the room.

Note 1: Exams and assessments with resources. Your Course Coordinator will provide the list of any authorised resources you are permitted for each paper’s assessment or exam. Any other materials and devices are NOT permitted.

Note 2: The artificial intelligence that checks recordings of you doing your exams will not regard using your resources as cheating, or just looking away from your screen.  What goes on in the assessment/exam will be monitored, in the same way that a physical assessment/exam is monitored. Those environments do, by necessity, have some restrictions, but as long as you act like you would in a normal assessment/exam, you do not need to worry that you are going to be unfairly accused of cheating.


Q.17 What will I do immediately before my assessment/exam and on the day?

A. Please see Q.24, Q.25 and Q.26.


Q.18 What if I cannot sit my exam at the scheduled time or have other unexpected problems?

A. Please see the Special Considerations section of the University of Otago website https://www.otago.ac.nz/study/exams/otago062916.html and our University’s COVID-19 web pages https://www.otago.ac.nz/coronavirus/information-for-students/#special-consideration


Q.19 What if I have a disability and need alternative arrangements?

A. Alternative arrangements in assessments/final examinations are for students who have difficulty sitting them under conventional circumstances. You can apply for Alternative Arrangements:

    • For assessments, by contacting Disability Information and Support:
    • For exams, using the normal channels in eVision: Once the examination timetable is available, applications for alternative arrangements should be made via your eVision portal in the Examinations and Results section – Log in to eVision

If you have not contacted Disability Information and Support since you started at our University but need its help, you can contact the service Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5pm:

Tel:      64 3 479 8235
Fax:     64 3 479 5873
Email:  disabilities@otago.ac.nz.


Q.20 What if I am in a different time zone to New Zealand?

A. Our University’s Examinations Office will be in contact to make arrangements for you to sit your assessment/exam at an appropriate time. If you have any queries, please contact AskOtago. It is available seven days a week between 7am and 11pm New Zealand time:


Q.21 When can I see my assessment/exam results?

A.Our University’s official date for the release of confirmed exam results is 23 November. . Departments will decide individually when to release the results of assessments.


Q.22 Where will I find my assessment/exam results?

A. All your assessment and exam results will be provided in the same way and at the same time as if you had sat paper-based assessments/exams. Exam results will be in your eVision portal, in the section called Examinations and Results, as usual.


Q.23 How will the Examplify app know my name and what assessments/exams I am sitting?

A. Blackboard is integrating with ExamSoft. We will ensure your information is in Blackboard and that it supplies ExamSoft with only the information it needs for you to sit your assessments/exams.


Q.24 What should I do to prepare for my assessment/exam as the date gets closer?

A. Here is a checklist of recommendations:

  • If you have not already, download ExamSoft’s app Examplify, do that now. See Q.09.
  • If you have not already, do the two mandatory no-stakes Preparation Exams – the Computer Compatibility Preparation Exam (to ensure your technology will work with the app) and the Content and Features Preparation exam (to practise using the app). You can do these exams up to 99 times each (including the first time) if you want more practise and it will be available until the end of the Semester One examination period. See Q.11.
  • Ensure your laptop/desktop computer’s camera will be pointed towards your face throughout the exam, remove any cover from the camera and ensure the room will have good lighting (the light on your face should be brighter than the light behind you).
  • Check the date and time on your computer are accurate so you get your password and start your exam at the correct time. All dates and times are New Zealand times so you must be aware of time zone differences if you are outside New Zealand. If you have not already notified the Examinations Office that you are overseas, please do this as soon as possible by emailing examination@otago.ac.nz
  • Watch for an email to your University student email address from exambot@examsoft.com saying your exam is ready to download.

Note: Download the exam as soon as possible to ensure you can get help if needed before the actual exam. You cannot reply to the exambot@examsoft.com email, so if you experience problems, please contact AskOtago. It is available seven days a week between 7am and 11pm New Zealand time:


Q.25 How do I download a real assessment/exam with the app Examplify?

Here is a guide for you:

  1. To ensure your internet connection is not interrupted or slowed, ask other people in your house not to watch Netflix or download large files while you are downloading your exam.
  2. Double-click the Examplify icon on your Windows Desktop or single-click the icon from the Applications folder or Dock on a Mac, then the Examplify home page should appear.
  3. Go to the left side of the home page, click on the exam you are doing, click the Download Exam button on your screen and watch it download.

Note: You will receive a password for your exam in an email to your University student email address from exambot@examsoft.com between 15 and 5 minutes before your exam is scheduled to start.

If you have any problems during this download, contact Ask Otago. It is available seven days a week between 7am and 11pm New Zealand time:

Phone: 0800 80 80 98.


Q.26 How do I prepare just before a real assessment/exam with Examplify and then sit the exam?

A. Here is a guide for you:

  1. Setup
    • Ensure all cables – e.g. power cord, external mouse and/or keyboard – are securely connected to your laptop/desktop computer.
    • Turn on your laptop/desktop computer.
    • Check the power indicator light shows your laptop/desktop computer is receiving power.
    • Pair Bluetooth keyboards before launching Examplify.
    • Verify your laptop/desktop computer has the correct date and time set (e.g. is set to New Zealand time), by:
      • Windows, double-clicking the clock in the lower-right corner of the desktop
      • Mac, single clicking the clock in the upper-right corner of the desktop.

    Note: All dates and times are New Zealand times so you must be aware of time zone differences if you are outside New Zealand.

    • Remove from your room:
    • Your cell phone, and turn it to airplane mode or off to avoid distractions and breaching exam regulations
    • Headphones/ear buds/headsets etc
    • Your watch, smartwatch, or any other watch-like device
    • Audio players
    • Any Wi-Fi capable devices (such as iPads and tablets etc).
    • If you have not already, see Q.15 for information we provided earlier about the type of space you need for sitting your exam/s. 
  2. Getting ready to sit your assessment/exam
  • If you want to ensure your internet connection is not interrupted or slowed while you are uploading your completed assessment/exam, before you start the exam ask other people in your house not to watch Netflix or download large files during your exam. 
  • We encourage you to go to the toilet before the assessment/exam because any toilet break will be flagged, so the video of you in the period following your return will be carefully analysed. If you do need to use the bathroom, you should signal to your web camera before going by making a (capital) ‘T’ with your hands. (Note this is also the process we normally use when physical exams are held on-campus).
  • You are allowed clear water bottlesin your assessment/exam
  • Have any snacks before you start your assessment/exam, not during your assessment/exam. If you have a medical condition that requires you to eat, please contactour University’s Disability Information & Support service. It is available Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5pm:
  • Tel:     64 3 479 8235
    Fax:    64 3 479 5873
    Email:  disabilities@otago.ac.nz.
  • Watch out for an email to your University student email address from exambot@examsoft.combetween 15 and 5 minutes before your assessment/exam – it will contain a password for your assessment/exam. Every assessment/exam will have a different password and you will need the password to start your assessment/exam. 
  1. Troubleshooting: 
  • Invalid password error: If you get an invalid password error, make sure you have clicked on the correct assessment/exam on the left side before typing in the assessment/exam password, then continue as you did for the Preparation Exam. Note: The password is case-sensitive so must be entered exactly as shown.
    • If you are still experiencing problems, contact AskOtago, seven days a week between 7am and 11pm New Zealand time: Phone: 0800 80 80 98.
  • If your laptop/desktop computer freezes: If any of these three – Examplify, your keyboard and/or your mouse – stop responding, you can do the following:
    • Turn off your laptop/desktop computer – press and hold the power button
    • Turn your laptop/desktop computer back on
    • If your laptop/desktop computer restarts without problems, you will be given two options:
    • Continuing if you have not finished the assessment/exam
    • Exiting/submitting your assessment/exam if you have finished it
  • If you are still experiencing problems, contact AskOtago, seven days a week between 7am and 11pm New Zealand time: Phone: 0800 80 80 98.
    • If your laptop/desktop computer does not restart within seven minutes, the app will ask you for a resume code and you need to contact AskOtago immediately to get that code. AskOtago is available seven days a week between 7am and 11pm New Zealand time: Phone: 0800 80 80 98
    • If your laptop/desktop computer crashes, turn it back on and follow one of the steps immediately above.

    Note: Examplify backs-up and saves your assessment/exam to the hard drive every 60 seconds, so the assessment/exam will resume within 59 seconds of where you stopped reading or typing.

    4. Uploading your completed assessment/exam

  • When you submit your assessment/exam, your connection to the Internet will be automatically restored, and the completed assessment/exam and the invigilation (supervision) file will automatically upload to a secure server. You cannot reopen the assessment/exam. Do not disconnect from the Internet until both your assessment/exam file and the invigilation (supervision) file have uploaded – this could take about six to 15 minutes under normal circumstances. If your Internet speed is particularly slow, it could take up to three hours because so many people are using the Internet during COVID-19 lockdown. If your Internet connection is lost, once it is re-established, the assessment/exam will continue uploading from the point the upload was interrupted.
  • If the time set for the assessment/exam runs out before you have finished, the software automatically starts uploading your assessment/exam, but when you finish in your own time, either:
    • Click the Finish button that appears on the right of your screen at the final question, or go to the top tight corner of your screen to Exam Controls and click Submit Exam
    • Then a screen will offer two options:
      • Submit Exam by clicking a box to confirm that you have completed your assessment/exam, then click Submit Exam
      • Return to Exam by clicking Go Back.
    • You will see a screen advising you to Please Wait and three check boxes that will automatically be ticked in green when:
      • Your answer file is prepared
      • Your answer file is uploaded
      • Your monitoring file is prepared (this is the remote invigilation/supervision recording).
    • You can click Return to Dashboard (home page) and see which files are uploading – the ones that have uploaded will have a green tick beside them. When the files are all uploaded a completed box will appear on the left of your screen, below it will be the names of the uploaded files and the green ticks.
    • If you receive an error or alert message on your screen or are unable to successfully upload your completed assessment/exam, do not panic, just try again. A copy of your encrypted completed assessment/exam will have been saved. If problems persist and the assessment/exam is not uploaded, notify AskOtago immediately. It is available seven days a week between 7am and 11pm New Zealand time: Phone: 0800 80 80 98.

More things you need to know

  • Once you get to the first question on your assessment/exam, the timer for your assessment/exam starts and you can only work on the assessment/exam – Examplify blocks access to the Internet and blocks access to all your apps and files on your laptop/desktop computer.
  • You will only be able to download assessments/exams for classes you are officially enrolled in.
  • The completed assessment/exam and monitoring file is automatically deleted from your laptop/desktop computer when it is uploaded at the end of your assessment/exam.


Q.27 How do I uninstall Examplify after my assesment/exams if I want to? (You do not have to. This is only if you want to).

A: Please visit:

(https://examsoft.force.com/etcommunity/s/article/Examplify-Uninstall-on-Windows)

(https://examsoft.force.com/etcommunity/s/article/Examplify-How-to-Uninstall-on-a-Mac)