Exams & Homework FAQs

What is an exam monitor?

An exam monitor is an individual whom you designate to administer and collect exams for applicable graduate courses.

Is an exam monitor the same thing as a proctor?

No. Exam monitors are not proctors. Monitors should not watch you take the exam. They are there only to administer and collect the exam. (See “How does the exam monitor process work?” for more information.)

Does every course require an exam monitor?

No. If your course has no exams or the exams are take-home or administered entirely online, then you do not need to nominate an exam monitor. If there is an on campus/in person exam for your course then you need to nominate an exam monitor. In general, it’s always best to have an exam monitor ready. Please check with your teaching team or email us at scpd-exams@stanford.edu if you have any questions.

Does my exam monitor need to be there in-person at my exam location?

Yes. Similar to the on campus student experience, your exam monitor must monitor you in person. Exam monitors cannot be remote or online. Monitors should be there at the start and end of the exam to administer and collect the exam. Exam monitors should not be present during the exam time.

Who can be my exam monitor?

In general, an exam monitor is someone who has a professional relationship with you, such as a supervisor at your job, librarian, or exam-center employee. 

Exam monitors may be:

  • Company or immediate supervisors
  • Company HR representatives
  • Company education coordinators
  • Local College/School representatives
  • Local librarians
  • Tutor club representative
  • Testing and examination centers

Exam monitors may not be:

  • Peers
  • Direct reports
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Former coworkers/supervisors
  • Fellow students

Is there a list and/or resource of exam centers in locations that can provide services?

Yes, we do have a list by state and city you can reference to help find an exam center close to you.

How will I receive communications about exams?

It is important to check both your Stanford email and your personal email for information.

The exams team will email you at the mail address on file in your mystanfordconnection account. This email is likely your personal email. Your course’s teaching team will likely send you information about the course to your Stanford email account though we also provide them with the email in mystanfordconnection.

How do I nominate an exam monitor?

You can nominate a new monitor in your mystanfordconnection account. On the left side of your account home page, you should see the Exam Monitors tab. Click on that tab and you will be redirected to a page with a red NOMINATE A NEW MONITOR button. Click on the button.

You will be taken to a form where you fill out the exam monitor’s information. When you’re finished, click SUBMIT.

The form asks for the exam monitor’s contact information, employer information, and the monitor’s relationship to you (e.g., supervisor, exam center, librarian, etc.).

After you have submitted the monitor information our exam team will approve or reject your nomination within two business days of the submission.

How will I know if my monitor has been approved?

Once you have nominated your exam monitor, our exams team will review your nomination to make sure they fit our criteria, if they do, they will approve the monitor in our system.

In your mystanfordconnection account, the monitor’s status will change from “submitted” to “active.” You will also receive an email confirming that your monitor has been approved.

If your monitor is not approved, you will receive an email telling you that your nomination has not been approved and asking you to nominate a new monitor. Rejected monitors will not appear under “exam monitors” in your account.

I am a returning student. Do I need to nominate a new exam monitor?

No. If you are not changing your exam monitor, there is nothing you need to do. But please confirm that they can continue to serve as your monitor this quarter.

If you have a new monitor, please nominate them and then assign them as your default monitor. You must complete both steps. (See information below on making them your default monitor.)

When is the deadline to nominate an exam monitor for the course?

You need to submit your nominations for exam monitors by the end of the second week of each quarter. Our office will approve exam monitors after we verify your information in our system.

Can I nominate another exam monitor during the quarter?

Yes. Please follow the same process as above.

If you have a last minute exam monitor change, please contact our office at scpd-exams@stanford.edu. We will ask you to nominate the monitor in our system, and we will expedite the process to verify them.

We also recommend that you nominate at least two exam monitors, if possible, in case your primary monitor can no longer serve as your exam monitor.

I have multiple approved monitors in my account. How do I make sure you send the exam to the correct monitor?

The SCPD exams office will send the exam to the monitor on file who is designated as the “default” monitor in your myStanfordconnection account. Our office does not get notified if you change your default monitor so please let us know via email if you change it. 

Under the Exam Monitors tab in mystanfordconnection, you will see your “submitted and approved monitors.” Next to each monitor is the option to designate that monitor as your default monitor. We will send the exam to your default exam monitor. Please make sure you are updating your default monitor as you need to.

Can I remove an exam monitor?

Yes. If you would like to remove a monitor from your account, please email scpd-exams@stanford.edu and ask us to delete the entry for the monitor.

What does the expiry date mean?

Each exam monitor has an expiry date. This date is meant to be a reminder to you and our team to confirm that a monitor you previously used is still available and that their information is up-to-date.

We can extend the expiry date if you will still be using that monitor and their information has not changed. Simply ask our exams team to extend the date as you are coordinating with them.

My exam monitor’s contact information has changed. What should I do?

You have two options. One, nominate the same person again with the new contact information, then email scpd-exams@stanford.edu and ask us to remove the old entry for the monitor. Two, email scpd-exams@stanford.edu with the updated information, and we will update the monitor’s contact information.

If you have the same monitor entered twice, please make sure you designate as your default the correct entry.

Do I have to pay for my exam monitor?

If you choose to use a professional service, then you may have to pay an additional fee for the exam monitor. Most students nominate a supervisor at work to serve as their monitor. As more people have moved to remote work, more students are relying on professional services. As a result, more students (though still the minority) are paying a fee to take their exams. If you use a professional service, you may be required to pay an additional fee.

How does the exam monitor process work?

Typically we send the exam to your monitor a day prior to the exam date. We provide a link to the exam as well as any specific exam instructions. We will also email you to confirm the exam has been sent to your monitor.

On the day of the exam, your monitor will print a hard copy of the exam and bring it to you at the time and place you have arranged. Before you begin, the monitor will make sure you understand the exam instructions and have only approved materials in the exam room. They will then leave the room. When the exam time is over, the monitor will collect the exam from you and scan it.

The completed exam should be sent by the exam monitor and not you. Exam monitors should not include you in the email as you are not to have access to the exam file until it has been graded. We will confirm receipt with the exam monitor. We will then send the exam submission to the teaching team.

In some cases, rather than emailing the exam to us, the monitor will send the exam directly to the course teaching team, either through email or by uploading it to a site like gradescope.

Can I coordinate my exam time directly with my exam monitor?

Yes. You should coordinate a time and place for you to take your exam directly with your monitor. This is especially important if you are using a testing/examination center. We send the exam a day or so prior to the exam date. If this timeline does not align with the testing/examination center requirements you will need to find a backup monitor. Any exceptions to the designated time frame will be made by the course teaching team. If you need an exception please reach out to your course teaching team.

Typically, you will have a 24-hour window in which to take the exam. You can arrange with your monitor any time in that window to begin the exam.

For example, if the in-class exam began at 10:00 am (Pacific Time) on Wednesday, you would have until 10:00 am (Pacific Time) on Thursday to complete and return your exam.

You must observe the same time limit as on campus students. You cannot exceed the allotted time.

Am I under the same requirements for exams as on campus students are?

Yes, all students are under the same Honor Code requirements. Exam monitors are given the allowed materials for exams and make sure you are adhering to the guidelines and only using the allotted time.

Can I request an accommodation for my exam?

Yes. But you must formally request exam accommodations through the Office of Accessible Education. Please begin the process as early as possible.

Can I come on campus for exams?

Non-degree students may come to campus for exams. Please follow these steps:

1. Obtain instructor permission

2. Notify the exam team at scpd-exams@stanford.edu of the approval

3. Nominate “Stanford Campus” as your exam monitor using any mailing address, phone number, and the scpd-exams@stanford.edu email. Do not use your own email address.

When coming to campus, you must follow all Stanford policies for visitors:

  • Do not come to campus if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of being on campus, you are required to report it through the General COVID-19 Case Reporting Form.
  • If you plan to come to campus at least once a week for 3 weeks or more, you are required to be fully vaccinated.

Can the teaching team grant me an extension on any homework or exams?

The teaching team may grant any extension or alternate timeframe for exams as they see fit. If granting any alternate timeframe for an exam, please make sure to contact scpd-exams@stanford.edu so they are aware when sending any exam. Each class will have its own policy regarding late submission of assignments. The policy for each class is under the discretion of the instructor who holds final authority for all grading decisions. Late assignments may be assigned a grade reduced in proportion to the tardiness of the submission. Some instructors may have a strict policy of not accepting late assignments at all. If you experience any trouble submitting course materials, you should notify your course instructor and the teaching assistant. 

What if I need clarification on an exam question?

If you encounter a question that needs clarification, please write your assumptions in the margin of the exam for instructors to consider when grading. For example, “I wasn’t sure if this question was asking X or Y. I assumed X and answered the question accordingly.”

How should I track time?

We tell exam monitors to notify you when you are halfway through the exam period and fifteen minutes before the exam period ends. You are welcome to ask for more frequent updates. You may also bring an analog watch or clock into the exam to help you track time. But unless explicitly permitted by your teaching team, smartwatches or digital watches are not allowed. Please note that if you are using a testing center to take your exam, you are responsible for checking with that center on their policies and procedures.

I did not receive my exam. Whom should I contact?

If you did not receive the exam, please contact scpd-exams@stanford.edu, and we will resend the exam.

I still have questions regarding exams, whom should I contact?

Please contact scpd-exams@stanford.edu and we will work with you to get the answers you need.


Successful completion of graduate courses requires that you complete all assignments on time according to the course syllabus. Students will submit assignments through an online method or directly to the course teaching team. Please review your course’s syllabus or contact your course teaching team within the first week of class to ensure you understand the submission requirements for your course.

Course Readers and Textbooks

You may purchase course readers and textbooks directly from the Stanford Bookstore or call (650) 329-1217, extension 8356. Course readers and textbooks are not available through Stanford Center for Professional Development. The Bookstore will not accept vouchers from your company.

Course Materials Available Online

You can access your course videos through your mystanfordconnection account. Additionally students can access course materials through the course website (if the professor has developed a website for the course) which may require a SUNet ID and password. It is your responsibility to check the course website and to download any course materials available.