FAQ for online exams during COVID-19

For the remainder of the academic year 2019-2020, all exams at Maastricht University will be online assessments. This FAQ is intended for students who are taking an exam in TestVision, and provides the solutions to questions commonly asked before and during exams in TestVision. Information for staff about online assessment is provided on the UM Online Education pages.

Student Portal: Course Information
Your first point of contact is the Course Information page in the Student Portal, which has current information about the exam format for your course.

This FAQ is about exams in TestVision. For exams in any other testing software (such as uploading assignments in Blackboard) or questions about the exam format and procedures, please contact your faculty.


How do I access TestVision?

To access TestVision, open the login page in your browser and log in using your UM account.
You must have both an active UM student account, and be registered within TestVision to log in. These registrations will be added to TestVision a couple of weeks before the exam date by your faculty.

My UM account is not working (I cannot log in to the Student Portal)

Check your account status on My Account Homepage. You can use this page to reset your password, and if your account is locked, you can unlock it.
If this does not work, contact the ICTS Service Desk for help.

My UM account is working, but I cannot log in to TestVision

You are either using the wrong username (typo), or you typed the wrong password. Passwords are case-sensitive. At the fourth failed attempt your account is locked, meaning you need to unlock it again before you can use any UM services. To unlock your account, go to the My Account Homepage, or contact the ICTS Service Desk.

If you are positive that your account is not locked, contact your faculty Exams Coordinator for support.

When I try to open the login page, I get a blank page with a picture of three owls. What went wrong?

This happens if your computer has trouble connecting to the TestVision server. You can improve your internet connection by using an ethernet cable, and asking your housemates to use as little bandwidth as possible.

I can’t type the capital letters in my password?

The input in the password field is hidden, so you may be typing your password in the username field to test your typing. The username field does not accept capital letters, meaning that if you type a capital letter it will display it in lower case.
However, the password field is case sensitive and does accept capital letters, although this is not visible.

How can I tell that I am registered for my exam?

You are registered if your exam shows up in My Courses in the Student Portal.
Contact your faculty for further information and support

When I try to open TestVision, I get a message ‘SAML user is not a candidate’.

The login page uses a ‘single sign on’, which means it uses login credentials stored in the browser. Make sure that you are not logged on to another website with a different account. The best way is to close your browser completely, then open it again. If that does not work, try to access TestVision from another browser.

What software do I need to install to take an exam in TestVision?

You do NOT need to install any software to access TestVision.
TestVision is cloud-based which means that it runs from the internet. You access TestVision via your webbrowser, such as Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, by surfing to the TestVision login page.

What hardware do you recommend for an online exam?
To take the exam you will need a working internet connection, a laptop or PC and a quiet room to work.
Can I use TestVision on my mobile device?

Since TestVision is accessed via the browser you can also log in from your mobile phone or tablet, and you should be able to take the exam on your mobile device. However, we strongly recommend using a laptop or PC with a mouse and keyboard for taking exams.

I have a bad internet connection, what can I do?

Try connecting to your home network using a cable instead of WiFi. Avoid using virtual desktops such as Student Desktop Anywhere, as these use more bandwidth. If possible, ask your roommates not to use the same network during your exam.
If that does not work, see the FAQ about onsite exam (below).

FAQs Preparing for your exam

What should I do to prepare for my online exam in TestVision?

First of all, you should make sure that you have a working network connection and a quiet room to take the exam. Please avoid using Student Desktop Anywhere.
Then you should familiarise yourself with the login procedure in TestVision by taking the UM demo exam. Your teacher may also provide a practice exam that gives you an idea of the content of the exam.

What is the UM demo exam?
The UM demo exam contains an example of each question type in TestVision, except for open-ended questions. The demo exam is available 24/7 and you can take the demo exam as often as you like.

After the exam, you can also see a demo of the online exam inspection under the ‘show results’ button in the main menu.

How do I access the demo exam?

The demo exam is available to all students who are registered in TestVision. Once you log in to TestVision you should see it in the exams list under ‘take test’.

My UMcard is lost/stolen. What should I do?

You should apply for a new UMcard. The new UMcard will be ready the next working day.
A passport or other valid legal ID will also be accepted as identification at exams.

FAQs During the exam

I need help setting up the proctoring on my devices.

The information about proctoring procedures will be posted in the Course Information in the Student Portal at least two weeks before the exam.
Contact your faculty for further support.

Where do I find my exam in TestVision?

In the main menu, click on the button ‘Take test’.
In the list of exams, you should be able to see your course exam. Click on the blue arrow to start the exam.

There are two buttons on the login page, which one should I use?

Use “Login for UM students” if you are a student at Maastricht University, i.e. if you have an active UM student account. This button will take you to the familiar Maastricht University login page.

Use “Login for external candidates” if you are not currently a student at Maastricht University, for example if you are taking an entrance exam. This button will take you to a login page in TestVision, where you should log in with the credentials you were provided for the exam. If you don’t see the Login for external candidates button, try a force refresh of the webpage by pressing Control + F5.

I see more than one exam in the list, there is also a ‘demo exam’. Which is the correct exam?

The course exam is visible In TestVision before the official exam time starts, but you will not be able to open the exam until the official start time.
At 15 minutes before the start of your exam, you will only be able to see the course exam, and the demo exam will be hidden to prevent any confusion. Please make sure that you are not taking the demo exam instead of the course exam!

I do not see the course exam in my exams list, and the exam is about to start!

Contact your faculty, they will add you to the correct exam.

What happens if I refresh the browser during the exam?

Your answers are saved continuously in the background. After a refresh, you can continue working where you left off, as long as the exam was not submitted (‘Ready’).

What happens if my network connection is disrupted?

Your answers are saved continuously in the background. Once your connection is restored, you can log on to TestVision again and continue the exam where you left off.
The exam timer only runs while you are connected and working on the exam within TestVision, so if your delay is a matter of minutes you will be able to use full duration of the allowed exam time.

I get a message saying: “An error occurred while communicating with the server.” What does that mean?

It means that your computer temporarily lost the connection to TestVision. You can refresh the page and try again. If that does not work, check your internet connection. Avoid using Student Desktop Anywhere, this uses more data than necessary.

What happens if my computer breaks down?

Your answers are saved continuously in the background. Once the problems with your computer have been resolved (for example, you might log in from a different computer) you can continue where you left off.

Can I see an overview of the exam questions in one screen?

TestVision only shows one exam question at a time. You can, however, see an overview of the exam questions by number, with the ‘Overview’ button. A popup will appear that shows you what questions you answered and what questions you flagged to return to later. Just click on the question to jump to it.

Can I zoom in on the text?

You can use the CTRL + = and CTRL + – to zoom in and out (page zoom).

What does the ‘submit answer’ button mean?

The submit answer button is part of the text editor for open-ended questions. Your answers will also be saved as you type, and you can go back and change your answer after you submit it. You cannot go to the next question without submitting your answer.

The exam suddenly closed automatically while I was typing. Did I lose the text I was typing?

The exam will close automatically at the end of the allowed exam duration. Your typing up to the moment of closing will be saved as well, even if you did not submit your answer via the ‘Submit Answer’ button.

Was my exam submitted correctly?
The exam is submitted correctly if:

  • you clicked the ‘Ready’ button and then confirmed your submission by clicking ‘Yes’;
  • or if the exam time ended and the exam was closed automatically by TestVision.
What happens if I did not submit my exam correctly?

If you did not submit the exam using the ‘Ready’ button (but instead closed the browser window) the exam will remain ‘open’ in the system. The exam needs to be closed in order to be graded. All exams that remain open after the exam time has ended, will be closed manually by your faculty’s administrator.

I got an error message in TestVision during my exam. What should I do?

If this happens you will often be able to click on ‘OK’ and continue the exam. Your answers will not be affected and you can continue your exam. If you want, you can notify your faculty exams coordinator and include in your message a description of the circumstances in which the message appeared, the error code in the message and if possible, a screenshot.

If you are not able to continue your exam you should call your faculty. See the course information for the telephone number.

FAQs After your exam

When will the exam results be announced?

The exam results will be announced 15 working days after the exam date on the Student Portal.

How can I give feedback on the exam?

Contact your faculty for more information. Some faculties offer the option to give feedback during the exam. Other faculties will schedule an exam inspection (review) a few days after the exam. At most faculties, you will be able to give feedback in TestVision during the exam review.

How can I review my answers?

Log in to TestVision, and instead of take exam, choose ‘show results’.
In most cases you will not be able to review your answers except during the exam inspection/review as announced by your faculty.

When is the exam inspection?

Contact your faculty for the procedures and scheduling of the exam inspection/review.

FAQs Special arrangements

I have special arrangements for my exams, will these still apply?

If you are entitled to extra time this will also apply to your online exams. For other arrangements contact your faculty to see what needs to be or can be arranged.

I have a disability or condition for which I need special arrangements. How do I apply?

Please contact Disability Support for more information. Note that both the application process and organising the arrangement itself may take some time, so file your application as early as possible.

What is the onsite exam?

An exam room will be made available for students who do not have the facilities to sit their exams from home. If you are not able to take the exam you may apply for an onsite exam, provided that you are able to come to the university in Maastricht AND provided that neither you nor your housemates show any sign of illness.

Is the onsite exam for students with special arrangements?

The onsite exam facility is for students who could not otherwise sit their exams because of connection or hardware issues. All students who are unable to take the exam because of technical difficulties can apply for the onsite exams, including, but not limited to, students with special arrangements.

What precautions will be taken for the onsite exams?

The safety of the students and staff is paramount. The University is taking all necessary precautions to ensure a safe exam environment. This includes extra cleaning, spacing of exam seats and disinfectant wipes for the computer and keyboard.
A complete overview of the precautions and procedures will be sent to you with the confirmation mail from your faculty.

How do I apply for an onsite exam?

Apply by sending a message to your faculty’s Education Office, no later than 2 weeks before the exam date. Please note that places at the onsite exam location are severely limited (max 110) because of the COVID-19 precautions.

I forgot to apply, can I still go to the onsite exam?

Because of the safety precautions against COVID-19, students who do not have a confirmed reservation will NOT be admitted to the building. Contact your faculty first.


Library update


Helpdesk Online Exams

If you get stuck during your exam, you can call the Helpdesk Online Exams:
+31 43 388 2900

Opening hours January:

25 – 29 January 8:00 – 17:00
except Wed 27: 8:00 – 12:30

For non-urgent questions, please take a look at the

Access to Testvision:

Problems accessing online education?
Use the contact form to report your problems to the UM helpdesk.

UM COVID-19 FAQs for:

Last updated: 18/03/21
Author:  UM Library



This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.

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