Respondus FAQs for Students


What do I have to do before an online exam?

Prior to the actual exam you should have tested the Respondus Lockdown Browser software on a practice exam (information provided to you by your Lecturer) in LearnJCU using the same computer, internet connection and in the same location you will be using for the actual exam.

If there are any technical issues with your practice exam you will need to communicate with IT Helpdesk to address these before undertaking your actual exam.

For any software/ downloading issues or queries about computer compatibility please contact the IT Helpdesk:

Do I need a password to access the exam?

No, a password is not required. When accessing the assessment in your subject the Lockdown Browser should automatically launch and direct you to complete your test. If you attempt the exam in your regular web browser and you are prompted with a password screen you should quit and install Respondus LockDown Browser before attempting to access the exam. If you have a slower network connection or computer, you may briefly see a password prompt that can be safely ignored.

Can I access the exam via links in LearnJCU notifications or reminders?

No. You should undertake the exam by navigating to your LearnJCU subject site and access the assessment directly. You may get an error message if you try to start the exam via other links.

I can't download the LockDown Browser from the supplied link. Is there another way to access the software?

Yes. You can access the JCU version of Lockdown Browser directly.

When I attempt to install Respondus on my Mac, I receive an invalid institution id configured error message?

This error message can occur during installation if you are running the High Sierra (10.13 to 10.13.6) version of OSX on your computer. The solution is to check for updates on your Mac and run any available updates to bring your operating system up-to-date.

What are the system requirements to install and run the Respondus Lockdown Browser?

View the system requirements for Respondus Lockdown Browser.

Can I use bluetooth devices (i.e. keyboard, mouse) in the Respondus Lockdown Browser?

Bluetooth peripheral devices that are paired with your computer will still continue to function while you are running the Respondus Lockdown Browser.

Please note, that once you are running Respondus you will not be able to access your system settings to add, configure or remove any Bluetooth devices.  If you intend to use a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse it is highly recommended that you complete a Respondus practice test first to ensure the devices will remain connected.

During the exam

What will happen if the computer crashes half-way through the exam?

Will the completed questions be saved or will I have to start from the beginning again?

All LearnJCU tests, including those run in Lockdown Browser, save at regular intervals while you are undertaking the exam. A timer located near the Submit button indicates the last time the test was saved. If you unexpectedly experience a network or power outage and cannot get back into the exam contact the IT Helpdesk immediately.

When beginning an exam I receive a message 'Connecting to media server'  and no further action occurs?

This message indicates that your computer cannot establish the necessary connection to the Respondus media servers in order to record video for your test. There are several possible factors that can cause this connectivity problem. Visit this link for a detailed list and solution addressing the problem.

What checks can I do myself if I’m experiencing problems during an exam?

Depending on the type of problem you are experiencing, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take. If the issue is related to:

Network speed or connectivity:

  • Ensure that your computer is using a wired network connection or is positioned as close as possible to your wireless router to provide the best connectivity strength and speed.
  • Make sure there are no other running applications streaming data on your computer when running the Lockdown Browser (e.g. YouTube videos).
  • If using a home network connection, switch off any other computing devices that are actively using your home internet connection.
  • Tips - Network and connectivity checks (PDF)

Error messages, functionality issues or non-responsiveness of the Lockdown Browser:

  • Check that you are running the latest version of the Lockdown Browser. Follow the link for instructions on how to perform this check and run any necessary updates.
  • Temporarily disable any anti-virus applications running on your computer and reactivate once the Lockdown Browser isn’t in use.
  • Close any other communication or cloud storage programs running in the background (e.g. Spotify, Facebook, Skype, Dropbox).
  • Uninstall and reinstall the Lockdown Browser on your computer.

If you have tried any or all of the actions above and you cannot resolve the problem please contact the IT Helpdesk:

What happens if I do not complete a time-limited exam within the time frame?

As with a paper-based exam, online exams have a time limit and when that time limit has been reached the exam will automatically be submitted and the Lockdown Browser will close itself. If the exam is not fully completed, all responses submitted before the time expired will be saved and graded. A timer indicating the remaining amount of time on a test can be viewed in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, while the time located in the bottom right-hand corner indicates the last time the test responses were saved.

Respondus requires me to use a webcam and it fails to detect it?

When you run the Lockdown Browser you may be prompted to perform a webcam check if your subject coordinator has activated this option. If the browser check fails to detect your webcam you can try the following options:

  • If you are using an external webcam, ensure that it is plugged in properly and working (for Windows users you can run the Camera application to see if your webcam is operating).
  • For Mac users: Check that permission has been granted for the browser to access your microphone and webcam. Follow this link for instructions to do this.
  • Check and follow the other steps outlined in the official Respondus website.

If you have tried any or all of the steps above and the problem persists, please contact the IT Helpdesk and advise them of the error and the steps taken to attempt to fix it:

The Respondus fails to run properly as it states there are applications still running?

When the Lockdown Browser runs it should automatically detect any applications that are “blacklisted” and notify you to close the process (Windows) or kill the application (Mac). This process may need to be repeated several times for multiple blacklisted applications until the browser will proceed to the test.

If for any reason the identified application is still active and prevents the Lockdown Browser from running you will need to exit the Lockdown Browser, manually close the application and then try to access the test again in LearnJCU using your regular web browser. (eg. Chrome).

I access my exam and receive an error 'There is a problem with the Lockdown Browser settings for this exam' ?

Students that receive this error message should first consult with their teaching staff to rectify this error, as the Lockdown Browser feature may still require activation on the test. Instructions for staff to follow can be found in the link below. Should the problem persist after staff have performed their checks, students can follow this link for further instructions.

When I attempt to open my test I receive an error message 'Unable to open exam'?