Proctored Exams


Proctored Exams are designed to test a student's overall knowledge of your program's learning objectives and are administered at pre-determined points during a student's program. The number of Proctored Exams and their location in the curriculum is determined on a program level.

Exams are graded as either “Successful” or “Unsuccessful” and will not impact the student's cumulative GPA. Students who are awarded an “Unsuccessful” grade for a Proctored Exam may retake the exam one additional time. Students may appeal for additional attempts at their exams if necessary.

Students will be prompted to register for their Proctored Exam on their Student Portal. Additionally, the Aspen University Testing Office (a branch of the Office of the Registrar) will notify students when they are eligible to take their Proctored Exam. Once a student is eligible for their Proctored Exam, they may register for the exam through their Student Portal. Within one business day of registering, students will be provided with comprehensive instructions on how to setup and complete their Proctored Exam. This email will come from the Aspen University Testing Office. If you have registered for your exam and did not receive this email within one business day, please contact the Testing Office at testing@aspen.edu.

Taking a Proctored Exam

Students must go to a pre-approved proctoring site and present valid photo and secondary identification. Students are responsible for paying any administrative costs of the examination, which are solely determined by the student's chosen proctoring site. All Proctored Exams are given open-book; no other internet resources or notes may be used during the exam. Students are strongly encouraged to type their exam answers using word processing software, though handwritten exams may be accepted if they are done legibly and with a dark colored ink.

Each exam is graded by a designated faculty member on four elements:

  • Content/Application of Theory & Concepts
  • Critical Thinking and Analysis
  • Organization and Style
  • Support

A passing grade for the Proctored Exam is a 70% for undergraduate degree programs and an 80% for graduate and doctoral degree programs. The format and time restraints of the Proctored Exam may differ depending upon the student's program or school. General details about each exam may be found at the bottom of this page. Please direct all questions regarding Proctored Exams to the Aspen University Testing Office at testing@aspen.edu.

Proctored Exams at Aspen University are timed exams that must be taken outside the home at a pre-approved proctoring site. Aspen University is committed to our mission of providing all college students the opportunity to achieve their educational goals. If you feel that you could benefit from testing accommodations, please contact Aspen University's Disability Services by emailing disabilityservices@aspen.edu. Students with approved accommodations will be given a Student Accommodations form that must be provided to the Aspen University Testing Office before the student's Proctor Identification Form is received. It is the responsibility of the student, not the Disability Services Office, to provide this form to the Testing Office. Failure to comply with this rule will not hold the Testing Office to the accommodations. Please note that a student cannot retroactively request accommodations for any past courses/proctored exams.

Frequently Asked Questions

I just registered for my exam. What is my next step? After registering for your exam, you will be prompted to pay the Proctored Exam fee through your student portal. Your registration will not be complete until the Proctored Exam fee is paid. Within one business day of registering for your exam, you will receive instructions regarding choosing your proctor/proctoring site. That same email will also include a Proctor Identification Form that your chosen proctor will need to submit to testing@aspen.edu before you schedule your exam.

Who is an acceptable proctor? Your proctor may not be a friend, relative, neighbor, manager, or direct supervisor (exceptions are made for police or military students using a higher ranking police/military member as your proctor). Some suggestions for exam proctors include: National College Testing Association testing centers (Consortium of College Testing Centers), local libraries, local universities/community colleges, religious officials, local school principals/instructors/guidance counselors, local government officials, etc. You may use someone at your job if necessary, but that person cannot be your direct manager or supervisor or any other coworker with a vested interest in helping you passing your exam (exceptions are made for police or military students using a higher ranking police/military member as your proctor).

How long does it take to process my Proctor Identification Form and have my test sent? Once the Proctor Identification Form is received from the proctor and processed by the Testing Office, your exam will be sent to your proctor along with instructions on how to administer the exam. This process may take up to 3-5 business days from the time the form is received.

Will I be notified once my test has been sent to my proctor? Yes. You will receive a confirmation email from the Testing Office once your test has been sent to your proctor. You will have 30 days from that date to complete your exam.

Who is responsible for scheduling my exam? It is the student's responsibility to schedule their exam within the 30 day time frame. It is also the responsibility of the student to pay any administrative costs required by their chosen proctoring site.

Are the exams open-book? Yes. All of Aspen University's Proctored Exams are open-book. If your textbooks are not available to you, it is highly suggested that you rent or borrow them for your exam. eBook textbooks are permitted during the exam. You may access the internet if necessary to retrieve your eBook textbooks, but you are not to access the internet for any other reason during the exam. You may not use any notes or other internet resources during your exam.

How long is my exam? You will receive a copy of the exam instructions, including the time frame for your exam, when your exam is sent to your proctor. If you have further questions regarding the specifics of your exam, please see below or contact testing@aspen.edu.

What classes will my exam cover? The number of exams a student must take and the courses covered during the exam vary based on program and the individual student. Please contact testing@aspen.edu for more detailed information regarding your individual test.

Is there a minimum word count/minimum amount of sources I must use during my exam? No. While there is no required word count for your essays, students who have successfully passed their exams tend to average at least 500-750 words per essay at the undergraduate level and 750-1,000 words per essay at the graduate/doctoral level. Please make sure that you are answering each question fully and to the best of your ability. The content of your exams should be based on the appropriate writing level for your program. In each essay you are required to use appropriate citations and references for the evidence you provide and to substantiate your scholarly comments. These references should be done in APA formatting.

Am I required to cite sources during my exam? Yes. You will be required to cite from your textbooks during your exam to support your arguments, just like you would a paper in one of your classes. You will not be asked to cite from any other additional materials that are not provided with your exam. These citations should be done in APA formatting.

Who submits my completed exam and how is it submitted? Your proctor must submit your completed exam and Identification Verification form. No exams will be accepted if submitted by the student or other party. Your proctor may submit your completed exam and verification form as an email attachment to testing@aspen.edu or as a fax to 303-200-7428.

Will I receive confirmation once my completed exam has been submitted? Yes. Once your completed exam has been processed and sent off for grading, you will receive an email confirmation from the Testing Office. It may take up to 3-5 business days to process your exam and send it to an instructor for grading.

How long will it take to grade my exam? It may take up to 7 business days from the date of your confirmation email for your exam grade to post. You will receive an email from the Testing Office once your grade has posted.

What happens if I don't pass my exam? If you do not pass your Proctored Exam, you will be given one additional chance to complete the exam successfully. You will be provided with grader feedback from your first exam to help you better prepare for your second attempt. You may appeal for additional attempts beyond your second attempt at the exam if necessary. Please note that each exam attempt will require you to pay an additional Proctored Exam fee.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Proctored Exam process, please direct them to the Aspen University Testing Office by email at testing@aspen.edu or by phone at 855-226-8240.

The Aspen University Testing Office is open from 7:30am-4:00pm (Mountain Time), Monday through Friday.

Proctored Exam Formats by Program

The format and time limit for each of Aspen University's Proctored Exams varies by program. Please view your program below for general exam information. Contact testing@aspen.edu if you have additional questions regarding your exam format.

School of Professional Studies

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Bachelor of Science in Medical Management
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Master of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

School of Nursing

Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Format: Choice of either open-book, essay exam or open-book, multiple choice exam
Time Limit: 8 hours for essay exam or 2 hours for multiple choice exam
Description: The essay exam is a standardized, comprehensive exam that covers the student's entire program; students will be given three essay questions to answer. The multiple choice exam is a standardized, comprehensive exam that covers the student's entire program; students will be given 60 multiple choice questions to answer.

RN-MSN Bridge Exam
Format: Choice of either open-book, essay exam or open-book, multiple choice exam
Time Limit: 8 hours for essay exam or 2 hours for multiple choice exam
Description: The essay exam is a standardized, comprehensive exam that covers the student's entire program thus far, regardless of transfer/portfolio credit; students will be given three essay questions to answer. The multiple choice exam is a standardized, comprehensive exam that covers the student's entire program thus far, regardless of transfer/portfolio credit; students will be given 60 multiple choice questions to answer.

Master of Science in Nursing
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 8 hours
Description: Students will be given three essay questions to answer (questions vary based on student's chosen specialization). This exam is a standardized, comprehensive exam that covers the student's entire program, regardless of transfer/portfolio credit.

School of Education

Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Master in Education
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions (questions vary based on student's chosen specialization) and must choose three to answer. This exam is a standardized, comprehensive exam that covers the student's entire program, regardless of transfer/portfolio credit.

Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions (questions vary based on student's chosen specialization) and must choose three to answer. This exam is a standardized, comprehensive exam that covers the student's entire program, regardless of transfer/portfolio credit.

School of Management

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Master in Business Administration
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions (questions vary based on student's chosen specialization) and must choose three to answer. This exam is a standardized, comprehensive exam that covers the student's entire program, regardless of transfer/portfolio credit.

School of Information Technology

Master of Science in Information Management
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Master of Science in Information Systems
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Master of Science in Information Technology
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Master of Science in Technology and Innovation
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Doctorate of Science in Computer Science
Format: Open-book, essay exam
Time Limit: 4 hours
Description: Students will be given a list of essay questions based on the courses they have completed thus far in their program (students will not be tested on transferred credits from other institutions). Students will choose three of those questions to answer.

Testing Resources

Exam Strategies and Tips:

Essay Exams: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Essay Tests: Butte College

Tips on Writing the Essay-type Examination: College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University

Top 10 Tips for Taking Essay Tests: US News & World Report

Testing Anxiety Resources:

5 Ways to Reduce Anxiety on Test Day: US News World Report

Stress Management Techniques for Reducing Test Anxiety: Utah State University, Academic Success Center

Five Finger Relation Technique: University of Chicago, Student Counseling Service