Prepare for a PDF Exam With ProctorU Live - Students


Note: These requirements only apply to PDF exams taken with ProctorU Live. Please check the Blackboard course site and/or syllabus to determine the specific proctoring method used for your course.

A PDF Exam is a type of exam that is used when responses are required to be hand-written. The questions are completed on a computer using a digital tablet/stylus. The PDF format is primarily used for Engineering assessments, but other departments may use the format when warranted (e.g., for some written math equations).

Looking for information on other proctoring methods? Visit the semester exam page, or the self-paced enroll anytime exam page.

Students need to have the following equipment in order to take an online exam in written PDF format through Proctor U Live. Students must have this equipment ready and tested prior to taking the exam.


A touch-screen laptop, compatible with an active stylus, running Windows 10/11.  Window S-Mode is not supported.  An active stylus is required for writing directly on the laptop screen. It may be possible to use an external drawing pad that connects via USB (not Bluetooth), this must be approved by the department offering the course.  Systems not compatible with ProctorU are Chromebooks, iPads, and other tablets of this sort.

See more detailed computer and technology requirements for ProctorU testing



An external web camera mounted on a tripod or gooseneck set up is required for proper range and zoom.  The live proctor must be able to see your face and workspace while you are testing.


PDF Annotation Software

To write on the downloaded exam PDF, software capable of supporting screen-written annotations is required.  Below is a list of recommended programs that may work for you.

  1. Drawboard PDF (free download)
  2. PDF Annotator
  3. Adobe Acrobat Reader - See detailed instructions for Adobe Acrobat Reader
  4. One Note
  5. PDF Touch
  6. Xodo

When taking a PDF style exam, make sure you save the file to your computer and then open it with your chosen PDF software (not in the browser).

We do not recommend using the built in PDF editing tools within web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.


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Article ID: 58880
Wed 8/1/18 12:11 PM
Mon 8/28/23 3:56 PM

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