Imagine the situation in which you have to sit an exam on which your future depends, such as practising your profession or gaining admission to a subsequent course. In such a case you want to be able to concentrate fully on taking your exam without being distracted by any irregularities. Think for example of a participant arriving late and disturbing the peace or unclear ID checks, causing you to lose concentration. This kind of disturbance during the examinations can be quite easily prevented. The use of a protocol offers a solution.
The most important goal of this protocol is to promote a calm environment in which candidates can take their exams without disruption. A protocol also ensures optimal (as fair as possible) circumstances that are equal for everyone. This means that a candidate is not disadvantaged by the conditions during the exam, but does not benefit from them either. Examples of disadvantage include noise at the exam site from passers-by or examinees who are late. An example of disadvantage is a lack of supervision allowing candidates to copy from one another.
An examination protocol contains rules and regulations that apply during the exam, both for the candidates and the supervisor. A complete examination protocol sometimes also includes how the score is arrived at, how the results are provided, and how complaints and objections are lodged. However, we will not discuss these subjects here. We will limit ourselves here to the protocol during examinations.
The contents of an examination protocol can roughly be categorised as follows:
Below are some examples of a protocol that specifically focuses on the taking of examinations:
For a protocol to work, it is important that the rules are properly followed. This requires, among other things, that (new) supervisors be extensively trained and instructed. What is their role and responsibility in following the protocol? In order to be able to act in case of unforeseen circumstances, it is necessary that they know the rules well and can apply them immediately. Training with case study discussion can be useful here.
It is also advisable to periodically carry out random checks of a few examinations to see how the protocol is being applied. To make sure that the examinations are conducted according to protocol and applicable (tailor-made) agreements, the examination administration can also be outsourced to an external specialised organisation.
The use of an examination protocol has many advantages. You increase the chance that the examinations are taken place in a fair, orderly manner without disruptions. By setting rules and regulations well in advance, you also prevent discussions afterwards. Efficient and pleasant for all concerned.