ISE Exam Instructions

After you register for the ISE Exam, please review the instructions below to prepare for your exam. The written portion of the ISE Exam will be given in-person, and the oral portion of the exam will be given online.

Written Exam Instructions:

The written exam will be given in-person at a designated location on the University of Southern California (USC) campus.

You must bring a fully charged, personal laptop to complete the written exam using Brightspace and Respondus LockDown Browser. You will need to have the most current operating system — Windows 10+ (not 10S) for a PC, or macOS 10.15 to 14.0+ for a Mac to run LockDown Browser and complete your exam.

Before the Exam:

  1. Before the day of the exam make sure you complete the following steps:
  2. You will be enrolled in the “ALI Technology Check” course within 48 business hours before your exam. To complete the Technology Check:
    • Sign into your Brightspace account with your USC NetID and password:
    • Find the ALI Technology Check course; click on the “ISE Technology Check.”
    • Once the LockDown browser is launched, click “Begin”, and complete the technology check questions.
    • Once you have completed the questions, click submit and then close the browser. 
Please note that the Technology Check is a mandatory step that needs to be completed to ensure that you have the technological capability required to access the exam. You are strongly advised to complete the Technology Check as soon as you have access to the course.

If you have any difficulty downloading Respondus Lockdown Browser or signing into Brightspace, please email

On the day of the Exam:

  1. On the day of the exam, check-in will begin 30-minutes before the exam start time. Please report to the testing location no later than 15-minutes before the exam. Be sure to bring the following:
    • Your fully charged laptop on which you successfully completed the Technology Check.
    • Your USC ID or passport for identification, ready to show
  2. Once you check in and are seated, you should do the following:
    • Make sure your device is connected to the USC Secure Wireless Wifi.
    • Login to Brightspace with your USC NetID and password. 
  3. After everyone is check in, the Testing Proctor will provide further instructions to take the Written Exam. You will have 50 minutes to complete your exam.

IMPORTANT: You will be monitored for the entire duration of the exam and instructed to turn off all other devices you may have in your possessions (e.g., earbuds or earphones, tablets, and electronic watches) and place them outside of your reach. You will also be asked to remove all items from your pockets and place your belongings under your desk. Also note, your written exam will be submitted to Turnitin, an anti-plagiarism software.  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.  

Oral Exam Instructions:

  1. After you complete the Written Exam, you will receive a Zoom link to your USC Email with your Oral Exam appointment time:
    • Please sign into your USC Zoom account 15 minutes before your exam time. Make sure you sign into your USC Zoom account by going to
    • Make sure that you have your USC ID or passport, ready to show at the beginning of your Oral Exam
    • Please make sure that you are in a quiet space by yourself with stable internet connection to ensure the validity and security of your exam.

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.

Please note: If you are an International Teaching Assistant (ITA), you will not take the oral portion of the ISE Exam. You will need to take the ITA Exam instead. You can request an appointment for the ITA Exam at

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.