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Welcome to the Testing Center

The Testing Center at the University Park campus includes the eTesting Lab and Scanning Operations. The eTesting Lab administers online course exams through Canvas. Scanning Operations processes and scores paper bubble sheets from course exams.

The Testing Center does not administer paper exams or commercial exams such as the SAT, GRE, or LSAT.

More Information about the eTesting Lab

The eTesting Lab administers secure, computer-based testing for Penn State undergraduate courses. The eTesting Lab has 155 exam workstations per testing time slot. Students may request seating in a quiet room at check-in.

Please view the eTesting video before requesting or scheduling an exam.

Instructors request space in the Testing Center on particular dates. Students enrolled in the course select a timeslot convenient for their schedules on the dates designated by the instructor. After checking in for the exam, students have access to their course exam.

Faculty Instructional Consultants at the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence are available to discuss test design strategies.

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Schedule an Exam Schedule an Exam

Please use our scheduling form to submit your request. Exam schedule requests are accepted one month prior to the beginning of classes each semester (or the closest business day if the date falls on a weekend). Exam scheduling requests will open at 9:00 a.m. on the following dates:

Note: If you allow scratch paper for your exams, please provide enough paper for every student in your course multiplied by the number of scheduled exams for the semester. For example, if you have scheduled four exams with scratch paper, and you have 100 students, you should provide 400 sheets. We will print bar-codes on the scratch sheets, which students must return before leaving the Testing Center.

Semester First Day of Classes eTesting Exam Requests Opens
Spring 2023 January 9 December 9
Summer 2023 May 15 April 14
Fall 2023 August 21 July 21

After you've scheduled your exam, your students will receive an email from us at least one week prior to the start of your exam. This email contains a link to the scheduling webpage where students select their testing time slot. We will also send automated reminder messages to students who do not register for your exam.

Canvas Exam Settings Canvas Exams

Preface: Testing Center staff do not have access to Canvas exams. While the LMS Support staff may intervene for some technical issues, they cannot make any changes to content. It is critical that you follow these guidelines so your exam will function without issue. If an exam is setup incorrectly, it may prevent students from seeing all of the content or cause delays in their ability to access the exam until you are able to make corrections, which may result in cancelling your exam.

Our testing schedule fills quickly, especially for "popular" testing times—getting back into the schedule may be difficult.

Instructions for preparing your Canvas Exam for the Pollock Testing Center are available in this Canvas Knowledgebase article.

Exam Start Time & Lockdown: Please remember to set the exam start time to 7:45 a.m. on the day of your exam to allow students time to check in. Exams cannot be changed on the day of the exam; any change causes data corruption and loss of student answers.

Exam Naming: The first part of the exam name should be identical to the name you used in your scheduling request (Exam 2_SOC101_SP23). This will ensure we link to the correct exam. To ensure we do not link to an old or similarly named exam, please name them in a way that is clear they are not to be used (e.g., Test 1 - not for use in Pollock TC, Test 1 - instructor use only).

Pre-Exam Linking Deadline: Five (5) business days before your exam start date, Testing Center staff must manually link your exam to our testing systems. No changes in exam name or settings can be made during this time or the correct exam will not be available to your students. You are welcome to upload an early version of your exam and continue to make content changes in that exam until the day before your exam.

If you find yourself in a rare critical situation after the 5-day pre-exam deadline and find that you must upload an entirely new exam (with the same name), please immediately notify the Testing Center staff of the change. Failure to notify Testing Center staff will cause your students to receive the wrong version of your exam.

Remember to:

  • Include all parts of the exam for multiple part exams
  • Remove any restrictions from accessing image files pulled from other sources
  • Upload and publish any image or PDF you use in your exam to the Files/Images section of your Canvas course. Images linked to outside websites will be blocked by the Safe Exam Browser and students will not be able to see or access them.
  • Publish all sources of your exam—including modules
  • Save your exam changes and modifications when finished—unsaved changes will result in your students taking an older version of your exam

Handouts: Step-by-step instructions and recommended settings for embedding documents into your Canvas exam for use in the Pollock Testing Center are now available in this Canvas Knowledgebase article. Distribution of paper handouts by Testing Center staff cannot be accommodated.

Calculators: Instructions for Adding a Calculator to your Canvas Exam are now available. You may also elect to allow your students to bring their own calculator or to provide a supply of calculators for your students to 'borrow' before entering into the eTesting Lab—we do not have a supply available in the Testing Center or the staffing to distribute, collect, or check them.

Learn more about using Canvas at Penn State!

Makeup Exams Makeup Exams

If you need to schedule a makeup exam, please visit the Faculty Makeup page. Please note, we cannot accommodate makeup exams during finals week.

Final Exams Final Exams

To request a secure eTest for your final exam, your department should use the standard process for requesting finals. Select the 'eTesting' option in LionPATH even if you expect to be scheduled in an overflow, secure STEC lab (while space is limited in the eTesting Lab, the only way to schedule a secure final exam is to select 'eTesting'). Do not select STEC in your final exam request or the Registrar's office will schedule your exam in an STEC that does not have the secure browser installed.

Please use a format for the exam title that includes final, the semester and year (e.g., SP 23, Spring 2023), and the course (e.g., MATH 110, MGMT 301). This helps students log into the correct exam when it is scheduled in an overflow, secure STEC lab.

Please visit the University's Final Exam policy for more information.

As it is also noted under Makeup Exams, we cannot accommodate makeup exams during finals week.

eTesting Lab Finals

Final exam requests are prioritized for scheduling in the eTesting Lab based on:

  1. courses that had previous exams held in the eTesting lab that semester
  2. course enrollment size (normally above 600)—to maximize the space, smaller enrollment courses are used to fill gaps around larger classes

After the eTesting Lab is filled, all other courses are referred to the Registar's Office for assignment to overflow, secure STEC labs (labs that have the secure, lock-down browser installed).

Final exams in the eTesting lab are scheduled to occur over the course of the entire day, 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. In order to accommodate as many exams as possible, exam times are limited to 90 minutes or less (60-75 minute exams are preferred). If your exam is scheduled in the eTesting Lab, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions. Notifications are also sent to the students to let them know to register for a time slot. Students are responsible for selecting time slots in the eTesting Lab that do not conflict with their other final exams.

Overflow, Secure STEC Lab Finals

During finals week the University reserves a set number of additional computer labs to accommodate overflow, secure testing for courses that have used the eTesting Lab during that semester. Secure STEC labs include computer workstations for each student and each computer has the secure, lock-down browser installed. Unlike the finals in the Pollock eTesting Lab, there is no onsite staff, no check-in process, and exams are scheduled for specified times according to the normal final exam schedule.

Although these labs use the same secure browser as the eTesting Lab, students may see more than one secure exam listed when they login, including their scheduled exam. Students may sit at any computer, but only students in your course will be able to access your final exam. Once the student selects the correct exam, s/he will have access only to the secure exam.

STEC rooms are scheduled for the standard 110 minute exams. You are responsible for making alternate arrangements for students who require additional time to complete your exam.

Exams with Special Accommodations Exams with Special Accommodations

Students requiring special accommodations should contact the Student Disability Resources (SDR) office, who will assist them with their specific needs. If you have students who need extra time for their exams, follow the instructions available in this Canvas article. Opens in new window

Scanning Services

We offer scanning services for paper exams using Scantron answer sheets. To learn more about this service, please visit the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence's Scanning page. Faculty clients of Scanning Services can access their exam results at Instructor Tools.

Need help with your exam? Schedule an appointment with a SITE Instructional Consultant for assistance writing multiple choice questions, interpreting exam analysis, and more!


New information about Canvas Available!

Updated information about setting exam start time, pre-exam linking deadline, exam naming and more. Click + Canvas Exams on the homepage for more details.

Hiding Individual Question Responses

If you don't want students to see what they answered (and the correct answer) for each question after they submit their exam, uncheck the "Let students see their quiz responses" check box. Please refer to the instructions at: Canvas: Preparing an Exam for the Pollock Testing Center.

Embedding a Document or a Calculator in a Canvas Exam

Step-by-step instructions are now available at: Canvas: Add a PDF or Calculator to an Exam for the Pollock Testing Center.

Merging Canvas Course Sections

Guidance for Merging Canvas Course Sections

Canvas Status

Stay up-to-date on Canvas's current status at http://status.instructure.com/

Hours of Operation

Fall and Spring

8:00A - 11:00P, Monday through Friday

Summer - May 16-Aug 12

9:00A - 3:00P, Tuesday through Thursday
9:00A - 3:00P, 6/27 & 8/12 for Finals

Closed on University holidays

Contact Us

eTesting Lab

104 Pollock Building
Phone: (814) 865-9784
Email: eTest@psu.edu

Scanning Services

105 Pollock Building
Phone: (814) 863-2802
Email: scan@psu.edu

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