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Synap Success: Finalist in the British Data Awards 2024!

Explore how our Synoptic proctoring has been nominated for two awards, for its pioneering approach to exam delivery in low-internet environments. British Data Awards 2024 finalists

Synap shortlisted as a Finalist for the British Data Awards

We’re delighted to announce that Synap has been selected as a Finalist in the esteemed British Data Awards 2024!

Our groundbreaking proctoring tool, Synoptic, has earned its place among the contenders for two prestigious awards, 'Innovation of the Year' and 'Education Initiative of the Year'! Standing shoulder to shoulder with industry giants such as British Airways, Lloyds Banking Group, and Admiral Insurance UK, we are honoured to be recognised for our innovation and dedication to advancing education.

In addressing the challenges faced by test-takers in developing countries and rural regions with limited internet access, we identified a crucial need for a more accessible proctoring solution. Thus, Synoptic was born - a revolutionary, low-bandwidth alternative that ensures secure exam monitoring while consuming only a fraction of the bandwidth typically required by traditional proctoring methods.

With over 300 applicant submissions, we are thrilled to have shortlisted as a finalist in such a prestigious award. This is a testament to our unwavering commitment to inclusivity, accessibility, and pushing the boundaries of technological innovation here at Synap.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 8th May 2024 at an eagerly anticipated awards ceremony in London.

British Data Awards 2024 finalists

Synoptic proctoring innovation

Synap has pioneered  a unique proctoring tool, Synoptic, to monitor high-stakes examinations. In response to the challenges posed by the global shift to online examinations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Synoptic emerged as an innovative proctoring tool designed to address the unique needs of people in low-bandwidth environments, especially in the developing world and rural areas.

The problem: proctoring in low internet bandwidth areas

The rapid transition from traditional in-person exams to online assessments highlighted the pressing need for a proactive strategy to secure high-stakes examinations.

Conventional proctoring methods, which heavily rely on continuous video monitoring, often falter in areas with poor internet connectivity. This not only results in the exclusion of a significant population from high-stakes examinations, but also exacerbates digital inequality on a global scale1, considering approximately 1.1 billion people live in internet poverty2.

This disadvantage disproportionately affects candidates in remote regions and in the developing world, hindering their ability to obtain high-value qualifications and limiting their access to educational and career opportunities.

The problem: experiencing internet disruptions firsthand

We encountered firsthand the challenges associated with delivering exams in regions facing internet connectivity issues. In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, our client, the University of Free State (UFS) in South Africa, sought our assistance in transitioning to online exams for the first time.

Henda, the Program Director at UFS’s Faculty of Law, shared more information on the country's vulnerability to frequent internet outages caused by 'load shedding' - a controlled measure aimed at protecting the electricity power system from a complete blackout3:

“During our examinations we had stage 4 loadshedding (this means that our national electricity provider cuts the electricity grids across the country for 3 hours at a time 4 times a day). The impact this had on a normal examination and the stress levels of our students were immense. But, (the Synap) team got every single student through the exam with a professional attitude, support and kindness.”

The solution: how Synoptic works

Synoptic overcomes the hurdle of internet constraints with a unique approach that records changes in the exam platform’s HTML code, which is then used to produce a digital re-creation of the candidate’s exam session, showing a video of what they were doing.

Compared to traditional ‘video proctoring’ this approach requires significantly less bandwidth, reducing the need for a broadband internet connection and making secure exams possible, even in extremely low-bandwidth environments.

Additionally, Synoptic leverages intermittent webcam and laptop screenshots instead of continuous video monitoring. Synoptic captures snapshots at regular intervals, allowing identification of potential cheating attempts, such as opening browser tabs or having someone in the room.

Synoptic breaches

This approach enables individuals in remote or underserved regions with limited internet access to participate in high-stakes online exams, without the hindrance of connectivity issues.

This democratisation of access ensures that education and career advancement opportunities are extended to a broader spectrum of candidates, breaking down geographical barriers and fostering inclusivity in the examination process.

By functioning in low-bandwidth environments, Synoptic prioritises the well-being of test-takers by mitigating stress associated with exam disruptions caused by continuous video proctoring methods. This reduction in stress not only contributes to a more positive and conducive exam environment, but also supports fair and equitable assessment by allowing candidates to perform at their best.

Synoptic enables  educational institutions to uphold the integrity and validity of high-stakes examinations. This comprehensive monitoring process allows organisations to identify and deter potential cheating attempts, reinforcing the credibility of their examination processes.

By embracing Synoptic, organisations can strengthen the trust placed in their assessment, safeguarding the value and reliability of certification, and qualifications,  which is paramount for the credibility of educational and professional certifications.

Synoptic breach detected

The results: thousands of exams proctored worldwide

In its first year since inception, Synoptic has facilitated over 8,000 exams spanning across 33 countries!

From Haiti to Ghana, South Africa to India, Mongolia to the Philippines, and beyond, our reach extends far and wide. Not only have we supported individuals in remote regions, but we've also partnered with clients in the UK, USA, and Australia.

Dr. James Gupta, Synap’s Co-Founder and CEO, said:

“We are immensely proud of the widespread adoption of Synoptic in its first year, and the significant number of test-takers we've been able to support in their examinations.”

This widespread implementation underscores the global impact of Synoptic in empowering test takers in their educational and professional pursuits. James shared:

“Exams, whether for educational or professional development, can often induce stress, particularly when compounded by internet dropouts and connectivity challenges. We take pride at Synap in empowering our test-takers to navigate their exams seamlessly, offering a dependable and hassle-free proctoring experience.”

Synoptic has demonstrated its success among our clients. Rachel, representing a Provincial Department in Canada, shared her insights of using Synoptic to conduct online recruitment exams for the first time:

“The whole onboarding, getting everything out, and advising the individuals who would be taking the test, and providing support to our proctor, was absolutely excellent.”

About the British Data Awards

The British Data Awards is an annual quest to discover and celebrate the UK’s data success stories. Organisations taking part this year range from FTSE 100 heavyweights, public sector pioneers, technology unicorns, fast-growing scale-ups, essential Not-For-Profits, and everything in between.

A record 321 entries were received for the fourth edition of the British Data Awards which means that competition to be named a Finalist proved to be particularly tough, so we’re especially pleased to be announced as a Finalist.

Jason Johnson, Co-Founder of Predatech and British Data Awards judge said:

“With so many excellent entries received this year, being named a Finalist in the British Data Awards 2024 really is a great achievement. Our Finalist also remind us of the rich vein of innovation that runs throughout the United Kingdom, and I can’t wait to celebrate all our Finalists in May.”

Dr. James Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO of Synap, expressed his thoughts on the team's prestigious award nomination:

“Being shortlisted for this award is a testament to the dedication of our team, reflecting the efforts put into every stage of Synoptic's journey - from research and design to development and testing. This accolade not only honours our collective commitment but also serves as a testament to our mission of advancing education and reducing digital inequality.”

Experience secure exam delivery with Synap

Arrange a tailored demo and start a 14-day free trial to explore the full potential of Synoptic and other dynamic exam features, elevating your online exam delivery to new heights! Book a demo today.


  1. IMF. "Low Internet Access Driving Inequality." IMF Blog, June 29, 2020.
  2. Brookings Institution. "Measuring Internet Poverty." Brookings Institution, July 26, 2021.
  3. Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. "Shedding the Load: Power Shortages Widen Divides in South Africa." Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, July 28, 2023.

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