Things you’ll only understand if you’ve used ProctorU
It can get weird
ProctorU is a good idea, at least, in theory. Not having to leave your dorm/apartment to take an exam? Golden. But, when you think about the reality of someone watching you through your computer, the idea is actually kind of cringe-worthy. Wallowing in awkward past experiences with ProctorU post-exam can be pretty tempting, but at least we’re in this struggle together. Like,
Rushing to clean your room before your session
During finals/midterm week, it almost seems like your room reaches the epitome of messiness. You slowly realize that the clock is ticking down towards your session and you have your underwear lying on the floor, along with a dozen empty Starbucks cups. There’s no time for a proper cleanup — instead you run around like a chicken with its head cut off throwing piles of trash in obscure places.
Awkwardly giving a 360 view of your room
They ask for a 360 view of your room and suddenly it feels like you’re on MTV Cribs. You feel sort of ridiculous spinning in a circle with a laptop in your hands, but there’s a part of you that cares what they think about your room. Your string lights and mandala tapestry have finally paid off.
Hunting for a mirror to show the reflection of your screen
This may take you aback if it’s your first time using ProctorU. Your required course materials didn’t mention a mirror! The proctor waits patiently for you as you ransack your room, only to come back with something extremely bizarre like a magnifying mirror or one of those full-size mirrors that hang on your door.
The whole taking over your mouse thing
They’re basically hackers and eerily get inside your computer somehow. Before they even ask permission the mouse jerks around a little bit, and then they send their formal message requesting to take over. You wonder if you can sue — maybe it’ll pay your tuition?
Getting that proctor that is a little too creepy/personal
They begin to ask questions that seem unrelated to the exam such as, “How long have you been at UF?” You question whether the proctor is crushing on you considering you’re wearing sweats. Or perhaps they’ll say something like, “Wow, I really like the paint on your walls, I have the same color at my house!” The formulas that you are trying to memorize in your head are slowly slipping away.
Or, getting a proctor that is too strict
You cough and they tell you to be quiet. Is it possible to communicate Morse code through coughing? They’ll do something like tell you to take off the blanket on your lap and you feel exposed. If you were really looking at your crotch the entire test, wouldn’t they notice? You wonder who did them wrong to make them so cold (like your legs are now without your blanket).
That moment when you don’t know a question and have to skip it — a feeling of embarrassment sweeps over you because you don’t want them to think you’re dumb. You catch yourself making a weird face when figuring out a question, and you wonder if you’ve been doing that the entire time. On their lunch breaks they probably tell stories about you.
Getting that post-test paranoia
You close out of the site, and you’re finally finished. Somehow, you still feel as though you’re being watched — I mean, they just had total control of your computer, are you sure they’re not still there?