By Maha Ansari
If you’re a CUOL student who lives more than 100 km from campus, you’re eligible to write distance exams. We sat down with Renea Free, CUOL’s examination coordinator, and Jill Goodkey, the exam services assistant, to provide some insight on the process of applying for off-campus exams, what to know before applying, and more.
Navigating the website
The CUOL website provides a wealth of helpful information when it comes to distance exams. For instance, on the Examinations FAQ page, you’ll find answers to everything from where to write your exams to whom to contact if you have a conflict.
When you’re ready to begin the application process, you will need to fill out a distance exam application on the CUOL website. The distance exam application page features more valuable information, including a list of deadlines and information on who can apply to write distance exams.
Finding a proctor
Once you’ve entered and submitted your MyCarletonOne username and password at the bottom of the distance exam application page, you’ll be taken to the official application form. Here, you can enter your location and choose from a list of pre-approved proctors. If you are unable to find a pre-approved proctor in your area, you are welcome to contact a personal proctor.
Finding a qualified proctor to supervise your exam is a crucial part of the distance exam application process. According to Goodkey, a proctor can be any full time employee at a university, college or library. She points to qualified proctors at Seneca College, Barrie Public Library and the British Council (for international students) as examples.
Regardless of whether you choose a pre-approved exam supervisor or a personal proctor, you’ll have to submit their contact information as part of your distance exam application and ensure they are approved and confirmed by Goodkey and Free.
Free and Goodkey highlight the importance of submitting your application by the deadline. Late applications may be considered but must be received more than two weeks before the date of your exam.
“We have a lot of students that submit applications for distance exams late, or try to, but we are very strict on those deadlines,” says Free.
Students who miss application deadlines are expected to come to Ottawa to write their exams.
“What the students should understand is, we need time to confirm the proctor and ship the exam,” says Free.
Apart from meeting deadlines, Goodkey says effective communication is critical.
“Students should copy us as much as possible in their emails to their proctor,” she says.
Students will need to keep in touch with their proctors to book the exam (on the same calendar day it is written on campus) and to confirm their arrangements. But be sure all contact with your proctor is through your Carleton email account and the proctor’s business email account. Other email accounts that are not affiliated with official businesses, such as Gmail and Hotmail, are generally unacceptable forms of communication.
Lastly, Free clarifies an area of confusion among many students applying for distance exams: proctor fees. She says students are responsible for paying any fees a proctor charges when they book an appointment or arrive to write an exam.
“The fees that we charge are completely separate from proctor fees,” explains Free.
With these tips in mind, applying for distance exams is sure to be a smooth process. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.