online ise exam instructions

The essay portion of the ISE Exam will be given on Blackboard, and the oral portion of the exam will be given using Zoom.

After you register for the ISE Exam, please follow the instructions below:

Preparations for the essay portion of the ISE Exam before the time of the exam:

  1. Be sure to have your USC network ID set up to access Blackboard via myUSC and make sure you are able to sign in with the USC SSO for Zoom.
  2. Download and install LockDown Browser from this link:
  3. Be sure to have a working webcam (built-in or directly attached in front of you) for the exam.
  4. You will receive an email before the exam with a link to the Blackboard site. Login to the Blackboard site well ahead of the exam start time to make sure you don’t have any problems accessing it.
  5. There is a “Lockdown Browser Test Run” link on the Blackboard site. This is for you to take a short practice exam to make sure everything is working for you. You are strongly advised to try this ahead of time using the actual instructions below.

Instructions for the essay portion of the ISE Exam at the time of the exam:

  1. Open the LockDown Browser
  2. Login to the Blackboard ISE Exam 15 minutes before the start time.
  3. Read the instructions.
  4. You will have 50 minutes to complete the exam. It’s important that you begin on time.

IMPORTANT: The webcam will be recording you for the entire duration of the exam. Turn off all other devices (e.g. tablets, phones, second computers) and place them outside of your reach. Clear your desk or workspace as no outside material is allowed. Remain at your computer for the duration of the test and ensure that your face can be fully captured by the webcam. It is imperative that you follow instructions and not engage in any forms of academic dishonesty which can result in exam invalidation and other consequences permitted under University policy. 

Instructions for the oral portion of the ISE Exam:

The oral portion of your ISE Exam will be given on Zoom during the scheduled time.  You will receive an email prior to this date with your exam appointment time and the Zoom link.  Please be available for at least 90 minutes from your appointment time and make sure that you have your photo ID (e.g., USC ID, passport) ready to show. Be sure to sign into your USC Zoom account, and not a personal Zoom account. You can ensure that you are signing in correctly by using this URL ( Once on this page, click “Sign in” which will direct you to sign in using your USC Net ID.

When you enter the Zoom session, your testers might not be in the room. Don’t worry if you don’t see them right away or if, instead of entering the room, you receive a dialog box that says “Waiting for the host to start this meeting” or “The host has another meeting in progress”. This is normal and expected. Please DO NOT leave the room. Your testers will join you as soon as they become available. This may take up to 60 minutes. Please wait in the Zoom meeting room until they arrive. The interview will last approximately 12-15 minutes.