The University Testing Center (UTC) at SMU is focused on open, transparent, and proactive information-sharing related to our procedures and practices.

We have a range of departmental procedures that guide how we work.

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Table of contents


The University Testing Center (UTC) at SMU is dedicated to providing every visitor of our center a comfortable, confidential, and efficient testing experience with professionalism and respect.  Please familiarize yourself with our policies and practices below prior to visiting the center. 

Testing Services & Programs

The University Testing Center (UTC) offers testing services for current and prospective students as well as select community members. The center opened in Fall 2022 and will phase in select services for SMU students and fee-based proctoring services for the local community.

Accommodated Testing

SMU students with testing accommodations should make every effort to have tests proctored by their professor.  This gives the student an experience similar to those of students who take tests in the classroom.  The UTC serves as a backup in cases when an instructor is unable to provide required testing accommodations.  Students and instructors are expected to follow testing policies and deadlines for exams proctored at the UTC.

  • Students are requires to provide a letter of approved testing to their professor(s) each semester.
  • Extra testing time cannot be granted due to late arrival at UTC
  • Reduced distraction does not mean testing alone
  • Calculators and other authorized items for use during testing are not provided by UTC
  • Breaks are not allowed for the first 2 hours of testing without prior approval and/or supporting documentations
  • Test date changes or cancellations must be made with UTC 24 hours prior to the scheduled appointment

Student-Athlete Testing

Due to student-athletes' travel required during their competition, early or make-up testing may be necessary. The center offers services for student-athletes at the request of their professor and Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) counselor 

Credit-By-Exam (CLEP)


Current and prospective SMU students can earn academic credit through CLEP (College Level Examination Program).  Students should review the Credit-By-Examination, Audition and Portfolio section of their matriculation year catalog regarding course credit granted and passing scores required before registering, as not all CLEP tests are accepted.  A list of CLEP tests currently accepted by SMU are listed on the UTC website.


All exams taken at the University Testing Center are proctored by the Testing Manager and/or their designated proctors (called UTC staff), in order to:

  1. Maintain integrity and security during the test process
  2. Ensure test outcomes are fair and scores are valid for their intended use
  3. Maintain a distraction-reduced testing environment

Placement Testing

Some academic courses at SMU require placement tests for student enrollment, including Chemistry, Math and Second Languages.  Placement tests are administered through Canvas LMS and are used to determine a student’s current level of skills and knowledge to encourage academic success.  Information about placement tests can be found on the UTC website.


Make-Up Testing

Proctoring for make-up tests can be provided to students who are unable to complete a test during regularly scheduled classroom time.  UTC grants this service in the case of excused absences, with supporting documentation, due to genuine medical or family emergencies.  This service is not for students who miss tests by choice or error, including job interviews, leaving early for university holidays or breaks, multiple exams at the same time, or for any other reason. 


Test Room Booking & Scheduling Policies

The University Testing Center offers proctoring services which vary based on the time of the academic year aside from University closures, holidays, and academic breaks. Hours of operation are posted on the UTC website.

Testing is done by appointment only using the UTC PortalTests must be scheduled at least 3 business days in advance (72 business hours) of a classroom testing date.  Weekends and University holidays/closures are not included.  For example, if a testing appointment is needed for Monday at 10:00 a.m., registration must be done no later than 10:00 a.m. on the Wednesday prior. Registration instructions are posted in the Academic Testing section of the UTC website.

SMU professors must complete an exam submission in the UTC Portal at least 5 days prior to the classroom testing date.  Students cannot register for testing at the UTC until submissions have been received and approved.  Professors must upload test materials to the exam submission no later than 2 business days (48 business hours) prior to the classroom testing date. Exam submission instructions are posted in the Resources section of the UTC website.


Identification Requirements

Identification Requirements for SMU Student Examinees:

An SMU ID Card serves as the official student ID. It will be the only form of ID accepted by the University Testing Center. SMU students are required to present a physical SMU student ID. Electronic and other forms of ID will not be accepted. Access to the UTC will be denied access without a physical SMU ID Card. 


Identification Requirements for Non-Student Examinees:

Non-SMU students will be required to present one or more forms of current, government-issued photo ID as required by the test entity/issuer. These include:

  1. Driver’s License (any state)
  2. Federal-Issued ID
  3. State-Issued ID
  4. Passport
  5. Passport card
  6. Military ID
  7. Green card/alien registration/permanent resident card

Age Restriction

Visitors to the University Testing Center must be 14 years or older.  Visitors aged 14-17 (except currently enrolled SMU students) must have a parent or guardian on-site at all times in a designated waiting area during testing.


Computer & Camera Surveillance

Testing compliance is achieved by walkthroughs of testing labs and monitoring of examinees using overhead cameras and computer surveillance equipment. Cheating attempts and other irregularities are documented and reported according to test-specific proctoring guidelines.

Irregularities caused by technical issues, examinee cheating, or an emergency requiring the temporary or permanent suspension of testing and/or dismissal are documented and reported according to test-specific protocols and guidelines.

While at the University Testing Center, visitors consent to electronic surveillance. 

Storage of Personal Belongings

Testers have the option to store their personal belongings and prohibited items in a UTC locker or leave them at another location, such as their vehicle. The lockers can fit some small or medium-sized backpacks and are located outside of the testing office.

The University Testing Center is not equipped to store firearms, nor are weapons permitted on the SMU campus.

The University Testing Center is not responsible for personal property brought to the University Testing Center and/or stored in a locker.

If the key provided to a test taker is lost or stolen, a lock change fee will be assessed in the amount of $150. SMU students will be charged via their student account while non-students will be provided a link to remit payment. 


Prohibited Items

Before testing, examinees are required to store all personal belongings and prohibited items in keyed lockers provided at no charge. Only personal items specified as permissible will be allowed in the testing labs, and prohibited items cannot be accessed during breaks or during testing time, except for medical reasons with supporting documentation.

Items prohibited inside UTC testing labs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Backpacks, bags, purses, wallets, badge holders
  • Bracelets/bangles, wristbands
  • Calculator covers, pencil cases, or pouches
  • Candy, chewing gum, lip balm, food, or beverages of any kind
  • Electronic devices: any phones, pagers, iPads, timers, smart watches, laptops, headphones, ear pods, cameras, recording/listening/scanning/photographic devices
  • Firearms and weapons of any kind
  • Hats, beanies, wave caps, head scarves
  • Handkerchiefs, Kleenex/tissues (Testing Center will provide if requested)
  • Keys, any watches (including digital, analog, smartwatches, and Fitbits)
  • Large outerwear (jackets, coats etc.), hoodies/hooded shirts
  • Scarves, gloves, sunglasses
  • Scratch paper (Testing Center will provide)
  • Tobacco products, Vapor, or E-Cigarettes

Wearable items for cultural or religious purposes (such as a hijab, turban, Kara, etc.) or items permitted due to a testing accommodation must be approved at check-in by UTC Staff.

SMU is a weapons-free campus and prohibits open and concealed possession of weapons of any kind.


Disruptive, Behavioral, & Academic Misconduct


Every test administration is conducted to ensure academic integrity in accordance with the SMU Honor Code, SMU Student Code of Conduct, applicable SMU University Policies as well as the National College Association’s (NCTA) professional standards and guidelines to ensure fair and equitable outcomes for all. 

Misconduct and disruptive behavior are prohibited in the University Testing Center. The following is a general list of misconduct and disruptive behaviors; however, it is not exhaustive. The University Testing Center reserves the right to dismiss a tester for misconduct and/or disruptive behavior, as well as to refuse to administer an exam for the same reasons.

  • Causing a disturbance of any kind
  • Failure to follow instructions
  • Giving or receiving assistance of any kind
  • Attempting to take an exam for someone else
  • Taking or attempting to take the same exam more than once during a testing session
  • Using any prohibited aids (this includes Internet sites)
  • Removing or attempting to remove test questions, responses, or notes
  • Attempting to remove scratch paper
  • Tampering with the computer
  • Attempting to use the computer for any reason other than testing
  • Speaking with other testers

In the event of encountering misconduct and/or disruptive behavior, the University Testing Center staff may take one or more of the following actions:

  • Confiscate unauthorized materials
  • Notify professor
  • Notify the University Conduct Officer, Honor Council, and/or the Dean of Students Office
  • File an incident report
  • Contact the SMU Police Department
  • Dismiss the tester from the University Testing Center
  • Ban the tester from future use of the University Testing Center facilities

Professors who suspect a student has violated the SMU Honor Code or receive a UTC Incident Report documenting test irregularities should follow one of the following:

  • Resolve the case informally with the student without filing any paperwork.
  • Resolve the case formally, in writing, with the student by selecting "Faculty Disposition" on the Academic Misconduct Reporting Form.
  • Refer the case to the Honor Council for a hearing by selecting "Disciplinary Referral" on the Academic Misconduct Reporting Form.

Regardless of the action taken by the individual professor, the University Testing Center will file an incident report for behavioral misconduct for failure to comply with university policies and practices.



The University Testing Center staff adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and where applicable, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Some testing agencies have additional confidentiality guidelines based on the test administration.

Information is processed in a manner that ensures confidentiality. Confidential information is not provided over the phone

Testing Lab Rules

  • Testers are expected to follow instructions given by University Testing Center staff.
  • Testers may not leave the testing lab during testing for any reason (including bathroom breaks unless approved), nor may testers return to the testing lab to finish an exam.
  • If assistance is needed during a test administration, testers may exit the testing lab and come to the UTC testing office. UTC staff cannot assist with the content of an exam.
  • Testers must use the scratch paper provided by the UTC staff as approved by the professor. Scratch paper must be submitted to the proctor with the exam before departing the testing center.
  • Due to liability issues and out of respect for those testing, the University Testing Center cannot allow guests, visitors, or family members in testing labs at any time unless the student has a documented disability that requires pre-approved assistance.
  • In order to avoid distracting others, testers must keep their voice level low and only communicate with University Testing Center staff.

Computer-Based Testing and Student Devices

The University Testing Center uses in-house electronic surveillance and human proctoring for test monitoring. Exam assignments in Canvas can be configured with or without Respondus lockdown browser but must be administered on UTC desktop computers.  Student laptops and other electronic devices are not allowed in UTC testing labs.  Tests that require software downloads, USBs or other peripherals cannot be administered at the UTC.

Closing Time

Examinees will not be allowed to check in for testing if the allotted exam duration (per the professor’s instructions) exceeds the UTC’s scheduled closing times.

Closing times are strictly enforced. Examinees are encouraged to schedule appointments accordingly and arrive promptly to use the approved allotment of time for their exam. Tests that are not turned in at the scheduled closing time will be submitted to the professor and considered complete. The UTC does not remain open past the scheduled closing time.


Emergency Closures & Testing Limitations

Should the University Testing Center be unable to proctor due to an unforeseen event, testing capacity limitation, technical issues or other emergency, tests will be rescheduled within guidelines specified by SMU professors or the community test entity/issuer.

Emergencies or technical issues that prevent testing and/or cause closure of the center will be immediately documented and communicated by UTC staff.

SMU students in need of a pre-approved reader, scribe or adaptive equipment will test at the office of Disability Services & Success Strategies (DASS) after scheduling testing appointments in the UTC Portal.