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FAQ Digital exams

AP wants to ensure safe and smooth exams for everyone. Therefore we will organize the exams from a distance, wherever possible. But how will these digital exams work? Discover the answers to frequently asked questions below.

We have moved nearly all our activities online, stayed home and looked for alternative solutions for classes, assignments, social activities ... In order to uphold the rules for social distancing and hygiene, we will organize the exams digitally and from a distance, wherever possible. For instance: you'll take an oral exam via your webcam, work on assignments at home and submit these digitally, or take a written exam on your home computer. 

All AP-students have filled in an online survey on digital exams. We have collected the answers to frequently asked questions on this webpage. Can't find the answer you're looking for? This means your study programme still has to provide the answer. You'll receive more details as soon as possible. 

Do you have additional questions about specific exams from your study programme? Contact your teacher or Head of Teaching. General questions and measures about our corona measures can be found on our general corona FAQ.

Please note: the information below applies to students who are enrolled in our 'general' bachelor programmes and associate programmes. Are you enrolled in our Schools of Arts (i.e. Royal Conservatoire Antwerpen or Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp)? Then you'll receive more details on our AP Arts website as soon as possible.

1. GENERAL 

Why do you organize digital exams?

We have decided to organize the exams from a distance as much as possible. This helps prevent further spread of the coronavirus and shealth and well-being of our AP-community and those with whom we interact. Thus, we commit to our social responsibility. 

We will provide some exam spaces on campus. However, due to the corona guidelines on hygiene and social distancing, these are limited. Therefore, spaces on campus are reserved for students who do not have the necessary means to take their exams from home (i.e. no quiet work space or lack of proper provisions). If you have indicated this in our online survey, you will be contacted in person by your department or School of Arts.

 

I’ve been granted a special study status. Is this still valid?

Have you been granted a special study status for the current academic year? Then you’ll be notified personally by your student counsellor.  

We want to make sure you can keep relying on the necessary support during these extraordinary circumstances. This requires proper preparation. More details will follow soon.  

At this point, we can already inform you that the right to additional exam time remains valid for all written exams, both on campus and from home. The maximum duration for most exams is set at 90 minutes. If you are entitled to a special study status, you will receive 120 minutes to complete your exam.

 

How will you prevent exam fraud (from a distance)?

As always, we will provide several visible and invisible features and measures to prevent exam fraud.  

  • We have special (proctoring) software for written exams from a distance, which temporarily limits your ability to use other programs, search for answers, chat with others …  
  • As always, be smart and be fair! Don’t be seduced to commit fraud, such as cheating or plagiarizing, on campus or from home.
  • Be aware that getting caught involves a big risk and severe consequences. If we detect an irregularity during your assessment(s) (be it: a written exam, a digital exam, an oral exam, an assignment, a paper …), we will follow the disciplinary proceedings described in the education & examination regulations under article 21.1 - 21.5.

My situation has changed since I filled out the online survey. Can I change my answer(s)?

If your situation has changed, for the worse or the better, contact your respective student secretariat:

I have lost my student ID card?

  • You must present your student ID card during every single exam. So make sure you have it on hand at all times.  
  • Don’t have your student ID card at your disposal? Then you may use a print-out from your iBaMaFlex file. Visit iBaMaFlex (My File > Personalia), click ‘print’. All set!
     

What if I become sick and can’t take my exams?

Are you unable to take your exam(s) due to medical reasons? Report your absence to your student secretariat as soon as possible (no later than the day of your exam). You can consult the specific procedure and guidelines in the education & examination regulations (art. 15.6). 
 

What if I belong to a risk group? 

If you or someone you live with, belong(s) to a risk group, you may invoke force majeure.

  • Ask your doctor / GP for a letter or certificate. This is mandatory!
  • Report this to your Head of Teaching (student) or supervisor (staff).
  • We will look for a suitable solution together. 

2. Exams from home

Which room is best suited to take my exams from home? 

  • Choose a closed-off space, where you won’t be disturbed by roommates or pets. Make proper arrangements with your roommates, so they know when and how long you’ll be taking exams and mustn’t be disturbed. Used to working at the kitchen or dining table? Maybe you can set-up a temporary office in another room. 
  • Don’t place your computer / laptop on your lap, bed or the floor. But use a desk or a table. Make sure you have a comfortable chair to sit in.  
  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection.  
  • Choose a bright room, but avoid backlight (i.e. window in the background). This will reflect on your screen and make you look like a shadow. Cover up the window, or find another spot.
  • If there’s a bookcase in your room, you may not be able to access it from your chair.  
  • Try to eliminate background noises as much as possible. Trouble concentrating? Headphones and earbuds are not allowed during written exams, only earplugs.
  • Turns out the room you chose isn’t up-to-scratch? Then simply try another one, though not during your exam. Make sure it meets the requirements above.
     

What is allowed on my desk during a digital exam from home? 

Whether you take your exam on campus or from home: the same rules apply.  

  • To avoid distractions and fraud, remove all unnecessary items out of sight or into another room.  
  • Before each exam you’ll receive instructions on which items are allowed on your desk. This will depend on the type of assessment. For instance: laptop / computer, scrap paper, books / courses (in case of an open book exam) ... 
  • Not sure? Ask your teacher before the exam starts.  
     

May I take a toilet break during a digital exam?

  • This depends on the type of assessment. Be sure to check the instructions for each exam beforehand.  
  • Play it safe and make sure you use the toilet before your exam starts. The average exam duration is 90 minutes.  
  • Toilet breaks are not allowed during exams which require the use of a webcam and microphone.
     

May I use scrap paper during a digital exam?

This depends on the exam. You will receive instructions from your teacher before each exam. 
 

I do not have the necessary hardware (computer / laptop, webcam, microphone) to take my exams from home?

  • Have you indicated this issue during our online survey? Then you’ll be notified in person by your study programme to work out a solution for each exam.  
  • You’ll may be invited to take your exam on campus under appropriate circumstances.  
  • Do you have questions about specific exams? Contact your teacher or Head of Teaching.
      

May I take my exams on campus? 

Exam spaces on campus are limited due to the corona guidelines on hygiene and social distancing. There are some exceptions in which students may take their exams on campus. For instance: when you don’t have the necessary means to take your exam at home (i.e. lack of a quiet work space and/or proper provisions). Contact your student counsellor as soon as possible to check whether this applies to your situation.

3. Technical

Which software programmes do I need to take my digital exams? 

This depends on the exam type. Your teacher will decide whether monitoring software is required. Before each exam your teacher will provide clear instructions, to make sure you know what to expect. The most frequent digital exam types are:  

  • A digital test with a proctoring tool 
    • You take your examen via toets.ap.be.  
    • Your teacher may use the monitoring tool Proctorio
  • A digital assignment 
    • You work on an assignment at home and hand this is via Digitap or toets.ap.be
    • Your teacher may use the monitoring tool Examon and/or Teams
  • Oral exam via Teams 
    • You take an oral exam via videochat with your teacher. 
    • You will need to install Teams

More information on these exam types and their download instructions is available via Digitap.

My wifi doesn’t work (properly)?

Unstable internet connection? Try the following steps:  

  • Are you working wireless? Use a network cable to connect your computer to your modem. This often improves your connection significantly.  
  • Move your laptop closer to your wifi transmitter.  
  • Switch off all other wifi connected appliances during your exam: your smartphone, tablet, laptop, computer, gaming console … Be sure you make proper arrangements with your roommates in advance.  
  • Stay clear of wifi jammers, such as microwaves.  
  • Turn your smartphone into a hotspot: your 4G-connection is often more stable.  
  • Contact your internet provider (Proximus, Telenet, …) and ask them to check your internet connection.  
  • Still no improvement? Contact our student services (STUVO). Together, we will look for a solution.  
     

There’s a technical malfunction during my exam?

Be sure to check our preparatory digital exam tips on Digitap

If Proctorio shuts down and you have to regain access to your exam 
Just call in Proctorio live chat support:

  • click on the shield icon
  • click on the button 'live chat' 
  • a helpdesk assistant will help you     

More info on Digitap.

If you encounter a(nother) technical malfunction (e.g. internet breakdown, power outage, system failure …).  

  • During start-up (30 minutes before your exam)
    • Contact our helpline via chat: exachatict.ap.be
    • Impossible (e.g. due to an internet breakdown)? Call our exam emergency number: +32 3 220 55 98. 
  • During your exam
    • Call our exam emergency number: +32 3 220 55 98.
  • For non-urgent issues: contact the ICT-Helpdesk for your campus. 

Our ICT-staff will try to solve your problem(s) as soon as possible.  

If the issue cannot be resolved and leaves you unable to complete your exam:

  • Notify your teacher and ombudsman (for your study programme) via mail asap.
  • Report your absence to your departments secretariat immediately (check procedure in the education & examination regulations under art. 15.6). 
  • If desired, request a catch-up exam asap (check procedure in the education & examination regulations, under art. 15.6) 
     

Other technical questions?  

Contact the ICT-helpdesk for your campus.

4. Proctoring & privacy

What is proctoring software and why is this used?

The corona measures have a major impact on our education system. Due to strict guidelines on hygiene and social distancing, it is currently impossible to organize exams on our campuses on a large scale.  

In order to safeguard the health of our students and staff, we have spent the past few weeks exploring how and to which extent we can organize assessments and supervision from a distance. For several course units we have switched to alternative assessment methods. For a limited number of courses we must rely on digital exams from home with online supervision in the form of proctoring.  

Proctoring is a software program which monitors you, your computer and your environment during your digital exam. An AI-system registers potential suspicious activities. When exam fraud is suspected (and only then) proctoring enables your teacher to review these moments.  

If irregularities are indeed detected, they will be reported to the chairman of the exam committee. The proctoring software only highlights events, patterns and behaviours typically associated with cheating. So don’t worry: a simple glance, an unwanted visit from your cat, or a dog barking outside … will not be viewed as an irregularity.
 

Will digital exams affect my privacy?

To ensure a smooth organization of the exams, AP will rely on online proctoring and the use video, sound and screen recordings. This policy has been established: 

  •  after careful consideration, 
  •  with the concerns of our students in mind, and 
  •  within our legal obligation to ensure the reliability of the exams
     

Off course we understand that you may have questions and concerns about how this may affect your privacy. We highly value your privacy and do everything necessary to protect it. Therefore, the following measures are in force:   

  • Proctoring and the use of video, sound and screen recordings will only be used when there are no other alternatives available.  
  • We minimize the impact on your privacy, by only applying functionalities which are relevant and necessary to guarantee the legality of the exam.  
  • Student data which we receive in the context of online proctoring are only used to enable exam participation and evaluation. These recordings are essential in the context of digital exams and will never be used for other purposes.  
  • Camera supervision, as well as the use and recording of video, sound and screen are only applied after we have received your explicit permission. You may revoke this permission at any given moment, by sending an e-mail to gegevensbescherming@ap.be.  
  • The data are only accessible to a select group of authorized AP-personnel and will only be viewed in case of suspected fraud.  
  • The data are stored in a highly secured environment. 
  • The data will be deleted after a set period of time.  
     

This method provides a safe and reliable manner in which we can:  

  • guarantee the value of your diploma, and  
  • organize exams from a distance simultaneously for lager groups of students.  

Despite these precautionary measures individual students may object to the use of proctoring and video, sound and screen recordings. In such cases, AP will provide an alternative exam arrangement.

5. Exams on campus 

WHY DO SOME EXAMS TAKE PLACE ON CAMPUS? 

Written and oral exams are organised digitally and from a distance, wherever possible. In some exceptional cases, exams will take place on campus:

  • students who lack the proper provisions (environment and/or means)
  • in case of technical problems
  • from a legal point of view
     

HOW ARE ON CAMPUS EXAMS ORGANISED?

The following measures apply to exams on campus:

  • Keep your distance (min 1,5 m) at all times: during waiting, during exams, when entering or leaving a room ...

Before the exam

  • Exam copies are handed out in advance to designated seats. The examiner and possible chaperone(s) wear gloves during this task.
  • Students prepare in designated seats.
  • Students wait until they are invited into the room by a staff member.
  • Students only sit in designated spots. Don't wander around needlessly.

During the exam

  • There will be no exchange of materials, so students must provide their own (e.g. pen, calculator, headset ...).
  • The examiner and student are separated by a plexi screen during oral exams.
  • The examiner sits in a fixed spot during the exam. The student's seat is cleaned after each individual use with 70% ethanol or disinfecting wipes.
  • Students only use designated seats. For instance, in computer rooms these can be recognised:
    • The screen has been turned away.
    • The keyboard has been removed.
    • The power cable has been disconnected.
  • Keyboards are covered with cling film and swapped, whenever there's a new user. 
    • During written exams this is done by the cleaning crew.
    • During oral exams this is done by the student upon arrival.
  • Computer mouses and screens are cleaned upon entry in the room with alcohol wipes (70%).
    • During written exams this is done by the cleaning crew.
    • During oral exams this is done by the student upon arrival.

After the exam 

  • There will be a staggered departure.
  • Students deposit their exam in the provided plastic container upon departure from the room.
  • Students deposit the used cling film (keyboard) in the designated trash can upon departure from the room.
  • Examiners wait 48 hours before handling written exams.