Exam Proctors: Who Are They Anyway?

For three long, nerve-racking hours, these folks are in charge of our lives. They decide everything from where we sit in the classroom to when we can use the bathroom.

At the end of each term, 120 exam proctors hired by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences arrive on campus to bring order and tranquility to the test-taking process.

The only question many students have is... who are they?

Carol A. Clarke, an Arlington resident who has proctored for two semesters, said there are no specific requirements for the job.

"You need some wits about you and some common sense," Clarke said.


Many proctors return year after year to administer undergraduate exams.

Joseph A. Danieli, who has served as both a head and assistant proctor, said that he plans to continue proctoring "as long as they need me".

"[Our job] is to make sure nothing holds up students in making maximum use of their exam time," he said.

Rita T. Ghany, who has been proctoring exams for FAS for six semesters, said that she finds the job rewarding.

"The students sometimes need help--I can answer their questions," Ghany said, as fellow team members stacked blue books behind her.

According to Danieli, there are many highlights to being an exam proctor.

"I see two aspects," he said. "One is having a chance to assist students who are going through exams--hopefully smoothly--and then there's the camaraderie."

Several proctors spoke of friendships that develop between proctors, who work together diligently to administer exams across campus each term.

Many students do not realize what goes on behind the scenes, after test-takers have left the room. Proctors stick around after the exam ends, meticulously counting and recounting tests, ensuring that no exams are misplaced, and sorting the blue books to make life easier for the professors.

They take the job very seriously.