How to Avoid Exam Crashes

Exam crashes may happen due to the exam software, your computer itself, or your Internet connection. The following tips can help you minimize the risk that an exam crash will slow you down. 

  • Take the exam on a computer that meets the recommended technical specifications. 
    • We do NOT recommend using a Chromebook. Exams taken on Chromebooks tend to crash more often.
  • Take the exam somewhere with a strong Internet connection. 
    • Use a wired connection, rather than Wi-Fi, if possible.
      • If you must use Wi-Fi, we recommend positioning your computer as close as possible to the Wi-Fi router. 
    • Ask your family/roommates to avoid heavy-bandwidth activities (downloads, streaming, etc.) during your exam.
  • Plan to take your exam with 1-2 business days to spare, before you need the course to be complete.
    • That way, if you do have an exam crash, you'll have time to retake the exam before your deadline.  

What Do I Do If My Exam Crashes?

First of all, don't panic, and don't worry. If you aren't able to finish your exam, we will be able to reset it so you can start over. 

Here's what we recommend. 

  1. If you try to log back into your exam right away, you might be able to pick up where you left off, with your prior answers still filled in, and complete the exam. 
    • Be Aware: The exam timer will keep ticking while you try to get back in. In most cases, if you cannot get back into your exam within ten minutes, we recommend that you stop trying and go to step 2. 
    • The SoftwareSecure support team might tell you that the timer will be paused. Unfortunately, this is not correct.
  2. If you cannot get back in within ten minutes, please email with the subject line Exam Crashed. In the email, provide the following information:
    • The email address associated with your account
      The name of the course whose exam you were taking.
      The eight-letter exam code (e.g. ABCD-EFGH).
      The date and time you began the exam, including your time zone.
      The next billing date for your account.
  3. Please be patient. Our team typically keeps Pacific Time business hours: Monday-to-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific. 
  4. We will review your exam to confirm the crash & incomplete exam status. 
  5. We will check to see if you answered enough questions (before the crash) to achieve a passing score on the exam.
    • If so, we will contact you to ask if you want to keep the exam as-is. 
    • If you didn't get far enough to pass, or if you choose to start over, we will reset the exam.
  6. The exam reset means that the crashed exam will not count against you financially or academically.
    • You'll get the exam attempt back, so you won't have any extra charge related to the retake. 
    • The crashed/reset exam will not count as one of your three all-time allowed attempts at the exam.
  7. Don't try to use the exam code from your crashed exam. You'll be given a new exam code. 

FAQ About Exam Crashes

Why can't I get back into my exam anytime and pick up where I left off?

We're sorry, but it's just not possible. The exam software isn't able to pause the timer that enforces the exam time limit. 

Why do you recommend I stop trying to get back into my exam after ten minutes?

Our ability to reset your exam is based on our ability to document that the exam did crash and was left incomplete: that you didn't finish all the questions, and you didn't click the "Submit Exam for Grading" button. 

If you spend an hour troubleshooting, get back into the exam with only fifteen minutes left, race through the remaining questions by clicking random answers, and click "Submit", then we won't be able to reset your exam. That exam will count as one of the exams you've paid for, and it will count as one of your three allowed attempts for that course's exam, all-time.