A place for students to take exams in an accommodated environment

Testing Manual

  1. Introduction
  2. Responsibilities of the Testing Center
  3. Responsibilities of the Faculty
  4. Responsibilities of the Students
    1. All Students
    2. Disabled Students
  5. Responsibilities of the Student Disabilities Resource Center
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Appendicies
    1. Test Protocol
    2. Request for Proctoring Services*
    3. Extended Time Memorandum*
    4. Test Center Statement of Principles
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I. INTRODUCTION

Over the past several years the use of the Testing Center facilities for classroom testing has become an increasingly attractive option for faculty and students. To demonstrate how widely this service is used, during a typical academic year 3,401 classroom tests were administered to students. In addition to classroom tests, the Testing Center also administers a wide range of national and state standardized exams (including Computer-Based Testing), and electronically scores exams for faculty. In addition to the standardized testing and classroom testing for students and faculty, the Testing Center is responsible for the assessment and diagnosis of learning disabilities for students at HSU. In our ongoing effort to better serve the students and faculty of Humboldt State University, we have prepared this users' manual.

The purpose of this manual is to communicate to all, the procedures for scheduling, administering, and taking classroom tests and to make certain that all parties know and understand the expectations of others. These guidelines are intended to assure all users of the Testing Center that the highest level of test standards are observed. We further pledge that uniform administration, fairness, minimal distraction, and exam security shall prevail.

II. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE TESTING CENTER

The Testing Center shall furnish a facility and personnel for administering tests during its regular hours of operation, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. It is important to note at the outset that the Testing Center is NOT authorized to interpret examinations or to authorize additional time or aids not specified in the instructor's directions. Our guidelines are the directions provided by the faculty when they request us to proctor their exams; and for SDRC clients those guidelines follow accommodations recommended by the SDRC (see Appendix C), in consultation w/faculty.

The Testing Center shall provide a secure environment for testing, monitoring of all testing, and secure storage of tests. The Testing room has a one-way glass window through which proctors observe the examinees while they are taking their exams. In addition, there is a microphone in the room with a speaker in the proctor's observation station. Our three private rooms are equipped with closed-circuit surveillance cameras and a monitor in the proctor's station for observation. (It is important to note that private rooms are limited in availability.) All examinations are stored in a locked facility, access to which is granted to authorized Testing Center personnel only.

The Testing Center personnel shall report to the faculty any irregularities in the administration of their tests. Such irregularities include, but are not limited to: suspicion of dishonesty, use of unauthorized aids, or inappropriate behavior. The Testing Center reserves the rights to exclude persons from its facilities for repeated instances of inappropriate behavior or failing to observe proper test protocol (See Appendix A).

The Testing Center shall return examinations to faculty in the manner selected on the Request for Proctoring Services form (See Appendix B).

The Testing Center shall publish annually a schedule of its major tests. Every effort will be made to post in the reception area of House 71 at least two weeks prior to the test dates, the dates and times of other large examinations, such as special administration of the Graduation Writing Proficiency Exam (GWPE) and the ACT, which might necessitate closing the group testing room to individual student use. Again, private testing rooms are in high demand, early scheduling by those authorized for their use is strongly recommended.

III. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FACULTY

In order to provide the most efficient and consistent testing services to the students, the faculty needs to be specific as to the instructions and conditions under which examinations are to be administered. For this purpose, the Testing Center has designed a form, the "Request for Proctoring Services." This form (see Appendix B) is available at the Testing Center. We would be very happy to send copies to the faculty or departments by campus mail; just call the Center. It is important that all applicable items be completed and that a separate request be filed for each exam (but note that one such form will suffice for several students taking the same test).

Since testing is by appointment, students are expected to contact us prior to the date on which they are to test, to set up an appointment for a specific date and time. Faculty may schedule this appointment for a student if they wish, but should be explicit about the fact that they are doing so. We would like to emphasize that testing space is limited, and so making appointments early is necessary.

Prior to the appointment date/time, faculty must bring test(s) to the Center. Faculty may opt to mail the exam, but in this case they should be certain that a Request for Proctoring Services is enclosed which is completely annotated with instructions.Faculty should also anticipate the lag time for campus mail. We receive campus mail delivery only once a day.

Faculty are encouraged to consider other testing sites for unmonitored, open-book, open-notes exams, or other tests where security is not an issue. Students allowed multiple aids (such as books, notes, calculators, spell checkers, etc.) are sometimes disturbing to other students; further, space in the testing room is sometimes at a premium. The Testing Center is not available for entire classroom testing: we simply do not have the space. Please accommodate such needs through your department.

Please note that the services provided to disabled students are done so under the mandates of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. According to the Faculty and Student Handbook (published by HSU Student Disability Resource Center), "There nondiscrimination statutes guarantee equal access to our nation's universities and colleges, as well as participation in those programs as a whole." Faculty who do not already have a copy of that very useful handbook, may call the Student Disability Resource Center at extension 4678.

IV. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STUDENTS


A. ALL STUDENTS

Students, too, have certain responsibilities in conjunction with their continued use of Humboldt State University's testing facilities. Adherence to those responsibilities assures uniform test administration, which is in everyone's best interest.

Students agree to:

  1. Make arrangements with the faculty to take the test at the Testing Center.
  2. Make an examination appointment at the Testing Center at least two days in advance. (See section IV B for special accommodations.)
  3. Contact the Testing Center as early as possible to cancel their appointment if circumstances prevent their keeping the appointment. Repeated failure to do so may jeopardize future use of the Testing Center facilities.
  4. Clear any changes in appointment time, date, or conditions with their instructor if such changes are needed. This should be done prior to rescheduling with the Testing Center.
  5. Remind their instructor of your test appointment within a reasonable amount of time prior to the test date.
  6. Arrive on time! Failure to arrive when scheduled frequently impacts students who are scheduled for later times and sometimes limits the time available to complete the examination. Because of limited seating, after 15 minutes it will be assumed that you are a "no show" and your seat may be given away.
  7. Take their bathroom breaks before entering the test room, whenever possible. Bathroom breaks taken during a timed exam are part of the total test time; therefore, one will have less actual time for the exam.
  8. Take only those items to your desk which are authorized by the instructor. A cabinet is provided for backpacks, briefcases, etc.
  9. Make appropriate arrangements for child care, etc. prior to entering the Testing facility. Babies, children of any age, parents, spouses, friends, and helpers are not allowed in the Test room. The only exceptions to this rule are those persons approved by the Student Disability Resource Center to provide appropriate accommodations.

B. DISABLED STUDENTS

(Clients of SDRC)

Students have the responsibility to provide Humboldt State University with documentation of any disability. The university has designated Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) as the repository of such documentation and that office will determine what constitutes reasonable accommodation based upon the documentation submitted. Therefore, the following guidelines apply to those students designated to receive appropriate accommodations:

  1. Advise Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) of your course load at the beginning each semester, well in advance of any anticipated exams. (NOTE: the Testing Center will receive copies of these authorizations.)
  2. When making an appointment for an exam at the 'Testing Center, additional lead time (at least 7 days in advance, 14 days for finals) will be needed for these special accommodations: private room, scribe, reader, enlarged type, use of computer, typewriter, tape player). NOTE: The Testing Center has only three private testing rooms which become booked early during peak times. Make your appointment well in advance of anticipated tests.
  3. It is especially important to notify the Testing Center early for cancellations or changes if any of the above special accommodations have been requested.
  4. Students are only allowed the use of a calculator, notes, textbooks, or other aids that have been specifically authorized by instructors and Students Disability Resource Center.
  5. Students with disabilities using the Testing Center are held to the same testing protocol as other students (see Responsibilities of the Students).

V. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STUDENT DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTER

The Student Disability Resource Center "has been delegated the authority and the responsibility to prescribe academic adjustments and reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities." In regard to testing, SDRC has the responsibility to send Extended Time Authorizations to faculty (with copies to Testing) in a timely manner. These Authorizations (see Appendix B) outline the accommodations to which the students are entitled, including extended time, readers, scribes, interpreters, enlarged type, and other aids. All client students will be informed by SDRC of their rights and responsibilities.

Please note that SDRC has published Faculty and Student Handbook, which is "intended as a reference tool for both students and faculty of HSU, detailing services available to, as well as campus responsibility to, students with disabilities." In addition to outlining rights and responsibilities, the Handbook defines terms and cites other available resources. Copies of this document may be obtained through Testing Center, Learning Commons, Library Basement (Room 24), 826-4678.

1Humboldt State University, Disabled Student Services, Faculty and Student Handbook; 1995, p. 13.
2Ibid, p. 5.

VI. QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED

  1. Is it really important that I have an appointment? Can't I just walk in?
  2. In most cases you can be served if you walk in, hut there are two very important reasons why we like to have appointments. One, we need to know when we will he having busy times so that we can bring in extra help. Two, there are times when the Center is full with students having test appointments or the Test Room is being used to administer a standardized exam. If you come in during those times we will not be able to serve you. Therefore, it would he to your advantage to make an appointment as soon as you know you will have an exam.

  3. Why are you putting me in the large Testing Room? I have a disability and I need a private room?
  4. It is especially important for persons with disabilities to have an appointment well in advance of the exam date. We only have access to three private rooms and during midterm and finals times those are frequently booked. An appointment would guarantee your space. For those who need a scribe, it is doubly important to schedule an exam well in advance. It takes time to make arrangements with the people who have contracted to do scribing, therefore, we need at lest forty-eight hours to make the appropriate contact.

  5. Can I take my exam now if my professor said he already made the arrangements?
  6. Your professor is only responsible for providing us with the exam and outlining the conditions for administering the test and returning it. It is the student's responsibility to make all other arrangements with us as to date, time, and special accommodations needed, such as private room, with instructor approval.

  7. I am authorized for a private room and you have this information on file. Why do I have ask for one each time I make an appointment?
  8. The person making the appointment may assume that you are scheduling an exam in the large, multi-use testing room. For your sake, please help us by mentioning the exact accommodations you need with each appointment you make.

  9. How do I schedule an appointment?
  10. Appointments are made by calling (826-3611) or stopping by (House 71) the Testing Center. We need to know your name, the course for which you are taking the exam, your instructor's name, and your phone number. Please note that the Center closes at 5:00 p.m.; therefore, it is not appropriate to schedule a two-hour exam to begin at 4:00 p.m. Also, faculty are encouraged to make appointments to have their exams scored.

  11. What if I have a question about the exam?
  12. The Testing Center staff will be most happy to answer any questions you might have about the structure or conditions of the exam, but are unable to respond to questions about the content of the exam.

  13. Do I have to be registered as a student to take an exam at the Testing Center?
  14. Access to the Testing Center is not restricted to HSU students. However, there are two conditions of which you should be aware: (1) where time and/or space is a factor, HSU students have priority; (2) in those cases in which a fee is charged, non-students are frequently charged a higher fee.

Appendix A

TEST PROTOCOL

Test protocol is a set of rules concerning etiquette and behavior involving tests. These rules have been adopted from many years working with tests and test takers. They are mostly common sense articles to enable people to complete their exams with a minimum of confusion and stress. Rut they are also about fairness: If you expect to take your exams without distractions from others, isn't it also your responsibility to help provide a distraction-free environment?

  1. Know where & when the test will be administered and how to get there and where to park that will not necessitate your leaving the test facility to "feed the meter"! -- Parking without permit is allowed on weekends only.
  2. Allow sufficient time to arrive.
  3. Arrive early. Try to seat yourself away from potential sources of distraction.
  4. Know what--and what not--to bring.
    1. Pencils (soft lead [HB or #2] if the test is to be machine scored).
    2. Pen(s) (if it is to be an essay test).
    3. Appropriate identification. Many tests, especially the national standardized tests, require at least one government-issued, picture identification.
    4. Appropriate admission tickets or other documents.
  5. Go to restroom and sharpen pencils before the test begins. If you do so during the test it will cost valuable testing time besides being disruptive to others.
  6. Read (or listen to) directions carefully; then follow them.
  7. Do not sit near friends. Talking is not permitted.
  8. Plan your time.
  9. When using a Scantron form, be sure to blacken the space fully, erase completely, and avoid stray marks.
  10. Be considerate of others; avoid behavior which could be distracting to others:
    1. Do not chew gum.
    2. Avoid sniffing, coughing.
    3. Turn off Beeper on watch or pager.
    4. Do not drum fingers or tap feet.
    5. Please be quiet when entering or exiting the Testing Room.
    6. Do not bring food or drink into the Testing Room unless you have special permission.
    7. Do not bring children to test appointments.
    8. Unusual or suspicious behavior will be questioned and may be reported to your instructor. See Appendix B for the University policy regarding cheating.
    9. You will be monitored by a security camera, audio monitor and proctor for a test security and fairness.
Appendix B

Request for Proctoring Services

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Appendix C

Extended Time Memorandum

This form is no longer available on the web but can be picked up at the SDRC for making requests.

Appendix D

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES THE TESTING CENTER


FAIRNESS AND NONDISCRIMINATION

The Testing Center will administer all tests in a fair, impartial, and uniform manner. No examinees will be given an advantage over any others. All examinations will be monitored to preclude the possibility of dishonesty. Each exam shall be administered in a uniform manner with the instructions of the test maker communicated to the test taker.The Testing Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, physical handicap, or sexual orientation in the administration of any tests.

SECURITY

The Testing Center will maintain security of all tests entrusted to its care. All tests shall be held in a secure, locked facility. No unauthorized person(s) shall have access to the tests. Completed examinations shall be returned to the test maker according to the directions he/she specifies, assuring continued security of all test materials.

CONFIDENTIALITY

The Testing Center recognizes and subscribes to the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. Results of examinations will only be released to the examinee upon presentation of proper identification. information to other university personnel about examinees is restricted to a "need to know" basis.

RULES OF THE TEST TAKER

The Testing Center is not responsible for creating tests, but for administering tests. These shall be administered according to the rules of the test maker as communicated to the Testing Center. These rules include (but are not limited to): persons authorized to take a given test, the time frame in which the test may be given, tire time limit of the test, any aids authorized the examinee, and the disposition of the test. The Testing Center is not authorized to alter the conditions of any examination.

DISABLED TEST TAKERS

At Humboldt State University, Disabled Student Services is the only office authorized to determine the extent of a disability and to prescribe academic adjustments and reasonable accommodations. The Testing Center makes every effort to comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other relevant statutes.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

All personnel of the Testing Center will avoid all activities which are, or appear to be, improper including (but not limited to): discussing the specifics of any examinations, taking an examination we are entrusted to administer, or coaching or assisting examinees on responding to the questions on any examination. Test Center personnel have the responsibility for disqualifying themselves from a specific activity when a potential conflict exists.

APPEAL/GRIEVANCE

The personnel of the Testing Center encourage anyone who has a complaint with these policies or the services to discuss it with them. Conflicts which cannot be resolved internally shall be referred to the Vice President of Student Affairs.