The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Face-off: Honorlock tests allow students to completely focus

Ethan Seaney

There is nothing more uncomfortable at school than sitting in a classroom for three hours in silence, tilting your head down at an awkward angle until your neck is sore and aching. Constantly filling in all the empty space in the answer bubble until the time has come to turn that piece of paper over to your teacher, who will probably throw it away after grading it.

If only we had a way to take exams in a way that was both eco-friendly and at our own personal pace and comfort zone. It is not like we have some sort of digital method of handling both class meetings and schoolwork that we used during a global pandemic.

Doing classwork online is not a new phenomenon. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, most classwork and assignments tend to be done online. The only homework that I have done in college that required turning in a physical copy was essay assignments, and even then, we still had to submit it online as well.

Online tests have also been a thing since the pandemic. Many teachers use Honorlock to prevent you from opening another tab or application while taking a test. Honorlock helps to proctor the test virtually for the benefit of the teachers. It also utilizes video software that lets the software record you through your computer’s camera while taking the test.

Now, I know that not everybody is going to share the same opinions I have when it comes to taking exams. Some people will say that their ideal test-taking environment is in the classroom or a somewhat professional environment.

However, for some people, being alone with their thoughts and being able to pace around or take a five-minute break when thinking of an answer to a question is part of their ideal testing conditions.

For me personally, I cannot stand having to take a test inside a classroom. I find it uncomfortable that I must stay seated at my desk, unable to tap my fingers or lay my head on the desk for a quick five-minute break without the annoyed, judgmental gazes of my peers or teachers staring at me.

What makes it worse for me is when most of the class finishes before me. While the amount of time it takes you to complete a test is not a standard of how good you are, it still bothers me when most of the class starts handing in the test when I have ten questions to go.

My paranoia gets the better of me in those situations. I start worrying that I am the only one who does not know the answers or have a good guess on what it is.

With an online test, I do not have to worry about how other people are doing or how long it is taking the rest of the class to finish.

With an exam online and outside of the classroom, I can truly be alone.

The test may have a time limit, but I feel no shame in using all of that time, nor do I feel the unintentional peer pressure to hurry up and get the test done sooner than I am comfortable taking it.

A student can grab a snack when hunger strikes, refill a water cup if you feel thirsty or use the restroom when you need to.

When we are being tested on our knowledge and understanding of a subject, we should be in an environment that allows us to reduce our stress levels, clear our minds and be able to get our work done in the comfort and familiarity that works for us. For me, that is in my room, isolated from the outside world and my peers, with nothing but a computer screen in front of me, some scratch paper and a pencil beside me to jot down ideas for the essay questions or class concepts that I remember, a glass of water and a sandwich and some peace.

For me, online tests are the ideal option.

About the Contributor
Michael Cassidy
Michael Cassidy, Staff Writer
Michael Cassidy is a senior communication major. Michael is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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