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HESI Exam Security Policy

The HESI exams must be administered in a proctored environment and all individuals who have access to the exams and related materials must comply with copyright and confidentiality restrictions. Maintaining security helps ensure that the exam results reflect each student’s knowledge, skill, and understanding of the exam content, rather than reflecting unauthorized access to content or information.

Proctoring is the active oversight by a trained, authorized, and neutral person to protect the integrity of the testing experience by

  1. creating and maintaining an environment that is conducive for secure testing

    1. ensure technology is working

    2. provide materials when required (e.g., headphones)

    3. ensure prohibited materials are not brought into the testing session (e.g., smart devices)

  2. verifying the test taker’s identity and eligibility to test,

  3. ensuring no forbidden study or collusion materials are allowed during testing,

  4. monitoring the proctoring dashboard and/or patrolling the room watching individual test taking behaviors

  5. ensuring that no protected test content is removed from the test session

Recommended types of proctoring include either in-person live proctoring by a trained proctor or remote proctoring using an Elsevier-approved remote proctoring vendor.  Use of trained proctors for remote proctoring via a group meeting platform (like Zoom) is allowed but not recommended.

1. Legal Obligations for Test Security

  1. All HESI exams and accompanying materials including rationales and other remediation content (collectively the “HESI Materials”) are protected by the federal Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, et seq. Further, all HESI Materials are confidential and proprietary and are the exclusive property of Elsevier. Access to all such HESI Materials, as further detailed below, is strictly conditioned upon agreement to abide by Elsevier's rights under the law, including the federal copyright laws.

  2. In addition to being protected by federal copyright laws, HESI Materials are confidential under contractual obligations.  As such, access to all HESI Materials is strictly conditioned upon agreement by all Authorized Users (including but not limited to faculty, students, administrators, and proctors) that they

    1. will not copy, reproduce, adapt, disclose, or distribute examinations, in whole or in part, before, during, or after taking an exam, by any means now known or hereafter invented and

    2. will not reconstruct exam content from memory, by dictation, or by any other means or otherwise discuss exam content with others.

Authorized Users further acknowledge that disclosure or any other use of HESI exam content constitutes professional misconduct and may expose them to criminal as well as civil liability and may also result in Elsevier's imposition of penalties against them, including but not limited to, invalidation of examination results, exclusion from future examinations, suspension, and other sanctions.

3. With respect to assessment practice products, rationales, and remediation content within the HESI Materials, all Authorized Users agree access to such content components is strictly conditioned upon agreement that they

  1. will not copy, reproduce, distribute, or make any adaptations of such materials in any manner

  2. will not assist someone else in the infringement or misuse of these or any other Elsevier copyrighted works.

2. Institution responsibilities to maintain HESI Exam Security

Apart from the legal obligations for ensuring security, Elsevier further requires all institutional customers accessing HESI Materials to:

  1. Establish academic honesty policies that are

    1. Detailed -- specifically outline for students both what is expected of them and what is considered inappropriate behavior

    2. Actionable -- specify the corrective procedures corresponding to inappropriate behaviors

    3. Enforced -- retain documentation of inappropriate behaviors and corrective actions taken with the ability to produce such documentation upon written request

  2. Ensure that access codes for the HESI exams are kept secure and delivered to the trained proctor and/or students in a secure manner.

  3. Ensure that faculty members do not take HESI secure exams for any reason.

  4. Ensure that every potential test taker is eligible, has their identity confirmed, and is scheduled to take the current exam. (Do not allow unconfirmed students to test.)

  5. Require proctoring of all HESI exams by trained proctors

    1. To ensure the highest possible validity for each exam score

    2. To protect Elsevier’s intellectual property.

For example, for in-person test takers, direct them to seats and do not allow them to choose where to sit.

6. Ensure that no electronic or photographic devices (phone, watch, smart glasses, other wearables, etc.) are visible or accessible to any test taker while testing (answering items and rationale viewing) is active.

7. Refrain from sharing exam-specific details (like version) with test takers before, during, or after exam administration. (To discourage illicit behavior, it is recommended that the selection of test versions be varied across cohorts and semesters.)

8. (For Legacy customers) Establish a process to close exams as soon as the last test taker has finished testing to ensure that

  1. no one else can use the access code for this session

  2. remediation content is viewable in a timely manner.

If others still need to take the exam, Institution should administer a separate exam (ideally a different version) with a new access code.

9. Analyze test taker performance after the exam administration to determine the validity of the testing session.

  1. Look for uncharacteristic scores that might indicate a test taker’s score is not reflective of their true knowledge. This includes scores that are very high, very low, and/or very different from previous performance by that test taker in prior HESI exams. For example, a student scores in the 600s throughout the program and then earns a score in the 900s.

  2. Pay particular attention to the scores of test takers who complete an exam very quickly or very slowly and check their scores against past performance to identify if their score was indicative of their knowled