American Chemical Society

Division of Chemical Education Examinations Institute

Electronic Delivery of Exams

The Institute is actively working with development partners on the construction of electronic testing platforms for ACS Exams. Our key partner in this development is the Center for Educational Software Development of the University of Massachusetts. This organization is responsible for the software side of the OWL electronic homework system.

The electronic delivery of exams will be carried out within security expectations that are similar to those currently employed for paper-and-pencil exams. Proctored computer laboratories will be expected for all users, for example. In order to facilitate this methodology, several tools are included in the software engines being developed.

Instructor Tools

Instructors will be able to (anticipated capacities):

Proctor Tools

While in many cases the instructor will serve as the proctor for the exam, the toolset for the electronic exams divides these tasks. In this way, places where teaching assistants or testing centers take on proctor duties will have the tools they need to carry out the exam process.

Proctors will be able to (anticipated capacities):

Student Tools and Experience

The student experience of the exam is designed to be as flexible as possible. In this way, the basic test taking activities are as similar as possible. For example, with a paper and pencil exam, students can readily skip or revisit items, so the student experience with electronic delivery will also allow this.

Test taking experience

Exam Security

All these developments are being carried out with close attention being paid to building proper security protocols. Software development continues apace, so both threats to security and responses to such threats are in constant development. Our security considerations include at least the following.

Student Client Machine:

User Verification:

Server Access Control:


As noted at the outset, the electronic delivery development process is active. We have carried out initial tests and are interested in speaking with people who have an interest in participating in the next step of beta testing. If you are interested in serving as a beta site, you can email us at and we'll be happy to contact you.