Online exams FAQs

My test/exam PIN-code field does not become available at exam start time and the exam shows as ‘submitted’. What should I do?

This is a current issue with the application and has been reported to Inspera. If you are experiencing this issue, please try the below:

  • Click on another test/exam and the click back on the test/exam you are trying to access. This may refresh the assessment settings.
  • Close down Inspera Exam Portal (IEP). Re-open IEP and try to access the test/exam.

If neither of these options work, please call the Student Support Centre on 0800 61 62 63 (within New Zealand) or +64 9 373 7513 (from outside New Zealand) and/or email Please note that if you email, it may take some time for the support team to respond to your message.

Can I type my answer in another programme and then copy and paste my answer into Inspera?

The University does not encourage the use of copy and paste functionality when completing your online exams as there is a risk of data loss and technical issues. However, we are aware that for some courses copy and paste functionality may be useful in certain and allowed circumstances.

If you feel you need to use copy and paste functionality during an exam and you have experienced technical difficulties, particularly if you are a Mac user, there is an updated version of Inspera Exam Portal that you can download.

To download the latest version of the software, please visit the following links:

Remember, you do not need to install this latest version of Inspera Exam Portal to be able to sit your invigilated exam on Smarter Proctoring and if you have not experienced any issues with copy and paste functionality it is recommended you remain on the current Inspera Exam Portal version 1.13.38.

I want to write my Inspera essay answer in Te Reo. Can I add Te Reo as a language so the spell check works?

Yes, you can add Te Reo as a language for the spell checker by selecting ‘Maori’. This will allow Inspera to accept the Te Reo words that have been added to the spell checker. To select Maori as the spell checker language please follow the instructions below.

Please note that the spell checker functionality is currently only available for essay type questions. You can change the language for the spell checker as many times as you like. If you have mixed language answers you can review your essay answer in each language.

To add Te Reo as a language for the spell checker in Inspera:

  • Click on the ‘settings’ icon at the bottom of the essay question box
  • From the ‘Language’ drop down menu, select ‘Maori’

You can find out more about the spell checker for essay questions in Inspera.

How do I check if I have submitted my Inspera online test/exam?

Log into the standard Inspera dashboard. Locate the exam you want to check to view the submission status.

View an example submission status: 

Can I contact my lecturer about problems with my exam?

Teaching staff are not permitted to have any exam-related contact with students during or after their examination. You need to contact the Examinations Office directly by emailing if you have experienced a problem with an exam you have just taken.

For help during your exam, you can phone the Student Support team on 0800 61 62 63 (within New Zealand) or +64 9 373 7513 (from outside New Zealand).

What happens if I was unable to upload a file before my exam closed?

If you sat your exam on Inspera and your file started uploading before the exam closed, it will continue after the exam end time until the upload is complete.

If you experienced technical or other issues that prevented you from beginning to upload one or more files during your exam, email the Examinations Office at immediately and attach the document. You must not modify your document in any way after the exam deadline, including clicking on the document and saving again after the exam ends.

What devices can I use for my online exam?

You should use a desktop or laptop computer for your online exam. Using a Chromebook is not recommended as users may experience some variability with the Inspera interface. Mobile devices and tablets are not suitable, because the content has not been designed for use with smaller screens. This makes the user experience extremely varied, with the presentation of features being dependant on the device, its browser settings and version of the operating system. 

Where can I sit my online exam?

You can sit your online exam on campus, at home, or at a location that is most convenient to you. 

Spaces in the Kate Edger building, and Tai Tonga campus are available at alert Level 3, and more spaces will be available on more campuses at Level 2. Students are welcome to come onto campus to complete an exam if they wish. 

If you are sitting your exam at home, or elsewhere off campus, make sure you have considered the suitability of your space well ahead of time and that it enables you to be comfortable and free from distractions.

I don't have a suitable space at home to take my exams. What can I do?

Limited non-bookable spaces throughout the University will be available, on a first come, first -served basis, depending on library and campus opening hours. Remember, you are not required to come to campus if you can take your exam elsewhere. For more information, please see study spaces on campus.

What should I do if I cannot log in to the University computer or
wi-fi to sit my exam?

Refer to this Student Support guide for wi-fi and other technical issues.

Refer to these instructions if you need to reset your University log on.

I have an impairment and am concerned that this impacts on my ability to take an online exam. What should I do?

In the first instance, you should contact the Examinations Office. If you have any disability or condition (temporary or permanent) that affects your ability to sit exams or tests under the prescribed conditions, you may apply to sit under special conditions, which take account of the particular impairment.

For more information, see Special exam conditions

How will readers and writers work in online exams?

We understand the importance of readers and writers for students when sitting on-campus examinations. The University remains committed to providing reader/writer support for online examinations, either in person (under Covid Alert Levels 1 and 2) or via Zoom, but students may wish to explore alternative solutions where appropriate.

Under Covid Alert Levels 1 and 2, you are able to come onto campus for in-person reader/writer support during your online examination, if you wish.

All students with approved special conditions will be contacted by email or phone to discuss their preferred support options.

All arrangements for online examinations must be agreed in advance with the Examinations Office.

What should I do if I do not have access to a suitable device for sitting an online exam?

If you do not have access to a computer or a laptop, we will have desktop computers set up on campus or laptops available for loan.

The desktop computers, configured with a standard set-up, will be available in the University's designated spaces on City, Epsom, Tai Tonga and Tai Tokerau campuses (under Covid alert levels 1 and 2).

Libraries and Learning Services operates a short-term (same day) loan service for laptop use on campus only. These devices can’t be used at home, or elsewhere off campus. For more information, please see the website.

Loan laptops for longer-term use, including off campus, can be requested by filling out the Student Technology Support form.

You can find out more about IT support for students here.

In addition, computing facilities are located on all campuses in faculty computer labs, libraries and information commons and will be available as usual, on a first come, first served basis.

When do I start my online exam? Does it have to be at the exact time it says on the timetable?

Your exam should be started at the time stated on your timetable. The exam closes automatically, at the same time for everyone who is taking it. So, if you start your exam late, you will have less time to complete your exam than other students and you may put yourself under undue pressure.

I’m allowed to use a computer as part of my special conditions. Can I still use one?

Yes, you can. All exams will be completed online. If you don’t have a computer at home or reliable internet access, please refer to the Student Technology Support guide.

What are the alternative options to a reader?

Inspera supports JAWS and Windows Narrator for Windows, VoiceOver on macOS and iOS, and ChromeVox Next on Chromebook. It also has built-in speech-to-text functionality as part of its range of accessibility features.

Will I receive extra time during my online exam to address technical issues and to collate, upload and submit all my exam answers and workings?

Yes, an additional 30 minutes has been added to all online exams to allow for technical issues you may encounter and so you have time to organise your exam answers and workings before the exam closes. Two-hour exams will now be extended to 150 minutes, and three-hour exams to 210 minutes.

For Inspera exams, the auto-submit functionality means your answers are saved and submitted at the time your exam closes, should you run out of time or forget to submit your answers manually.

However, please ensure you leave plenty of time to collate your answers, as well as your workings, if your exam also requires you to upload these.

Please note, if you are sitting an online exam that uses Inspera Smarter Proctoring, there is no auto-submit function. You must click submit when you have finished your exam.

Can I apply to sit an online exam at a different time to the published timetable?

Yes, under certain circumstances you can apply to sit an out-of-time exam. Your application must be received by the Examinations Office two weeks before exams commence. For more information, please see the website.

Will my online test or exam be invigilated?

In 2021, the University will not be using a remote (digital) invigilation system except for some high stakes courses. You will have been notified by your examiner if you are sitting an exam with digital invigilation. For most students, exams will not be invigilated. Examinations and tests will be designed to test higher-order thinking and your understanding of subject matter, rather than memorisation of content.

Inspera won’t let me access applications outside of my exam. How can I access my permitted materials without exiting my exam?

The browser may appear to be locked down and/or the browser window may cover your full screen however you will still be able to access applications and materials outside of your exam.

Windows: If you’re on a Windows device and cannot find your taskbar or open up a browser, on your keyboard select the Windows symbol key, which allows your taskbar to appear. From there you can access a browser and other applications on your device. You can also select the keyboard shortcut ‘ALT + Tab’, this gives you access to different tabs that are currently open on your device as you are taking the ISP exam.

Mac: If you are using a MacBook, follow the keyboard shortcut ‘Command +Tab’ which will give you the option to switch between applications on your MacBook. Also see the MacOS User Guide for information on opening windows and spaces.

What do I do if I have experienced issues with the Connectivity check for Inspera Smarter Proctoring?

A number of students reported that they could not progress past the ‘Connectivity Check’. Inspera has reported that this issue has now been fixed (21 Oct 2021). Please try to complete your practice exam. If you continue to have issues, please contact the Student Support Centre on 0800 61 62 63.

What do I do if I have experienced issues with the Clock Accuracy check for Inspera Smarter Proctoring?

A number of students reported that they could not progress past the ‘Clock Accuracy’ check. We ask that you try to complete your practice exam again. If you continue to have issues with the Clock Accuracy check please contact the Student Support Centre on 0800 61 62 63 and they will advise you of the work around.

Can I use two monitors or screens for an exam invigilated through Inspera Smarter Proctoring?

No, you cannot use two monitors when sitting an exam invigilated through Inspera Smarter Proctoring.

Can I refer to resources during my open book exam?

Yes, during open book exams on Smarter Proctoring you can refer to all allowable materials either in hard copy (paper) or digitally (on your screen or on another device). The technology may flag behaviour that it deems unusual, such as referring to another device during your exam, and such flags will be manually reviewed in person by the Assessment team. You must not utilise messaging services, contact another person including classmates during the exam, access third party websites to ask questions relating to the exam or discuss the content of the exam with any person, website, tool or app in any way shape or form. For more information around this, please see academic integrity in online assessments

Is the University using ‘lock down browser’ functionality or ‘Safe Exam Browser’ for Semester Two exams?

The University is not using any lock down browser functionality for Inspera online examinations in Semester Two. 

Inspera ‘Safe Exam Browser’ is the old name for ‘Inspera Exam Portal’.  While the lock down browser functionality is available through Inspera Exam Portal, the University is not using the lock down browser functionality at this stage.