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Online Proctoring vs. Traditional Proctoring Techniques Comparison

In the current digital era, testing and education have significantly shifted from conventional paper-based techniques to online platforms. Proctoring is becoming increasingly important to maintain the validity of online tests as online learning and testing become more and more popular. A test-taker is proctored during an exam to make sure they adhere to the rules and regulations. Both conventional in-person procedures and online approaches can be used for proctoring. The advantages and disadvantages of online proctoring over conventional proctoring techniques will be discussed in this article.

Traditional Proctoring Definition

Proctors who are present in person to observe test-takers’ behaviour are known as traditional proctors. The most popular type of proctoring in conventional educational institutions has been in use for generations.

Traditional Proctoring Methods

Traditional proctoring techniques come in a variety of forms, such as in-person proctoring, paper-based testing, and open-book testing.

  1. Proctoring in person: In conventional educational institutions, proctoring in person is most frequently used. It entails having a proctor physically present in the exam room to watch over the test-taker’s conduct. The proctor is in charge of making sure the test-taker adheres to the exam’s norms and regulations.
  2. Testing on Paper: Testing on paper entails using actual test papers that are filled out by the test-taker. For written examinations or tests that call for diagrams or drawings, this approach is frequently employed.
  3. Open- book Examinations : During an open- book test, the test- taker is permitted to consult a text or other accoutrements . For examinations that call for problem- working or critical thinking capacities, this approach is constantly utilised.

Advantages of conventional proctoring

  1. Personal Communication: Using a traditional proctoring technique enables direct communication between the test-taker and the proctor. This helps reassure test-takers who might have queries or worries throughout the exam.
  2. Security: Because the proctor can physically see the test-taker and the exam, in-person proctoring adds an extra degree of protection. This makes sure that the exam is being taken in a safe atmosphere and helps avoid cheating.
  3. Reduced Exam Cheating: It has been demonstrated that using a traditional proctoring strategy may cut down on exam cheating. Cheating may be discouraged by the presence of a proctor, who can also step in if they notice any suspect activity.

Cons of Traditional Proctoring 

  1. Limited Accessibility: Traditional proctoring procedures ask for the test-taker’s actual presence at a particular place at a certain time. For people who live far away or have other commitments that prohibit them from taking an in-person exam, this can be a substantial hurdle.
  2. Cost: Using traditional proctoring techniques can be expensive, especially if several proctors are needed to keep an eye on a lot of test-takers. The price of airfare, lodging, and other costs may mount up very rapidly.
  3. Time-consuming: Traditional proctoring techniques can take a lot of time, especially if there are many test-takers. The procedure can be drawn out and difficult due to the amount of time needed for setup, registration, and monitoring.

Online Proctoring explained

Using technology to keep an eye on test takers as they take an online exam is known as online proctoring. With more tests being taken online, this approach has grown in popularity.

Online Proctoring Methods

Live proctoring and automated proctoring are the two different sorts of online proctoring techniques.

  1. Live Proctoring: Using a video conference, a proctor keeps an eye on the test-taker in real-time. The proctor has the authority to watch how test-takers behave and to take action if they engage in any questionable behaviour.
  2. Automated Proctoring: Automated proctoring uses software to keep an eye on test-taker’s actions while they are taking the exam. Any suspicious behaviour, such glancing away from the screen or using another device, is detected by algorithms in the programme.

Advantages of Online Proctoring 

  1. Flexibility: Online proctoring solutions provide test-takers more freedom because they can take the exam from any location with an internet connection that’s why they are also known as remote proctoring. This may be especially useful for people who live far down or have other scores that help them from taking an in- person test.
  2. Availability: Compared to traditional proctoring ways, online proctoring results are more accessible because test- takers aren’t needed to travel to a specific position. Those who have disabilities or mobility issues could find this to be relatively salutary.
  3. Cost Effective: Online proctoring results may be less precious than conventional proctoring ways since they don’t need trip, casing, or other costs. This can be veritably useful for businesses that need to give examinations to lots of test- takers.

Disadvantages of Online Proctoring 

  1. Technical Problems: Methods for online proctoring rely largely on technology, which is sometimes prone to glitches. This may involve problems with internet access, bugs in software, and hardware difficulties.
  2. Privacy Issues: Since the test-taker’s behaviour is observed during the exam, online proctoring techniques may cause privacy issues. This might be very unsettling for people who don’t like being watched in this way.
  3. Lack of Personal connection: Compared to traditional proctoring techniques, online proctoring solutions do not offer as much personal connection. For test-takers who might have queries or worries throughout the exam, this could be a drawback.

Comparison of Traditional Proctoring vs. Online Proctoring

  1. Cost: Using traditional proctoring ways can be precious, especially if several proctors are demanded to keep an eye on a lot of test- takers. On the other hand, since they do not need trip, lodging, or other costs, online proctoring ways can be more provident.
  2. Security: To stop cheating, security precautions are in place for both the conventional and online proctoring techniques. The physical presence of traditional proctoring techniques, however, has the advantage of acting as a deterrent to cheating. Online proctoring techniques rely on technology, which can occasionally experience problems and may not be as good at spotting cheating.
  3. Privacy: Since the test-taker’s activity is observed during the exam, online proctoring techniques may cause privacy problems. On the other hand, because the test-taker is physically present in a supervised atmosphere, traditional proctoring methods offer a more private and secure environment.


There are advantages and disadvantages to both offline and online proctoring. Traditional proctoring ways offer a safe and private setting for tests, but they can be expensive and have availability restrictions. Online proctoring ways offer further inflexibility and availability, but they can also be more susceptible to technological problems and sequestration enterprises.

Mercer | Mettl is an online proctoring solution which provides a convenient and flexible way to conduct exams. Test-takers can take their exams from any location, at any time, without the need to travel to a physical testing centre. This makes the process more accessible and less stressful for candidates, while also reducing costs for organisations.

Ghumro Muhammad Azhar
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