Turn your Phone into an Exam Calculator

Turn every phone or tablet into a locked down exam calculator! Try the new Exam Mode in our GeoGebra Graphing Calculator apps:

The exam mode has been developed to create an easy-to-use solution for paper based exams where phones or tablets with the GeoGebra Graphing Calculator app replace a traditional calculator. During exam mode, students are offline and can only use the GeoGebra app – nothing else. All this without third-party software or complicated setup for teachers. It is already approved and in use in several countries in Europe, both in low-stakes and high-stakes paper based tests.

The idea is simple: the exam mode constantly monitors that the device is offline and that only the GeoGebra app is running. An easily visible colored bar (green = all good, red = cheating alert) shows at any time whether the student has left the GeoGebra app or not. In addition, a timer is running in the background which records all events into an exam log. Thus a student cannot leave and restart the exam mode without the teacher noticing: their log would show a shorter exam time than the other students. The exam log can be checked by the teacher at any time.

In short:

  • Students start and end the exam mode themselves, no additional work needed for teachers
  • Teachers can check a green/red cheating alert bar at the top of the app and an exam log with detailed timer informatoin at any time during the exam

GeoGebra Exam Mode Workflow

  1. Students prepare the exam mode:
    • They open the menu (top left button) in the GeoGebra Graphing Calculator mobile app and choose “Exam Mode“:
    • The “Prepare Exam Mode” dialog appears and asks them to switch to Airplane mode. After doing that, the students are ready to press “Start.”
  2. Teacher gives command to press “Start”
    • The teacher reminds students that they must not leave the GeoGebra app during the exam: otherwise a red cheating alert bar will show up.
    • Now, the teacher makes sure that all students start the exam mode at the same time by doing a count-down: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Start!
    • All students press the “Start” button on their devices and thus the exam timer is running
    • During the exam the teacher can easily check the green bar at the top to see that students haven’t left the GeoGebra app at any time
  3. Teacher gives command to exit exam mode
    • At the end of the exam, the teacher tells the students to all go to the menu, choose “Exit Exam” and keep the “Exam Log” dialog open
    • This way, the teacher can check at the end of the exam that all students have
      • a green status bar and
      • the same exam times.

If a student’s exam time is shorter than it should be, this indicates that the student must have left the GeoGebra app and restarted the exam mode at a later time – which they weren’t allowed to do … Bottom line: our exam mode is an easy way to lock down student devices during a certain time: they’re offline and can only use the GeoGebra app. This can be used fortests and exams – or during regular lessons when a teacher just doesn’t want their students to use any other apps (like messengers) during math class.

Give it a try on your phone and let us know what you think: support@geogebra.org. Thanks!

P.S. the exam mode is also part of the Windows and Mac versions of GeoGebra Classic and we’ll add it to the Graphing Calculator versions for desktop soon as well: www.geogebra.org/download

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