Spring 2017 eNewsletter
The staff and I hope everyone has embraced 2017 with high expectations and we hope that you are gearing up to wrap things up for the spring semester.
In our first issue, we told you that our application for national certification had been accepted by the National College Testing Association (NCTA). It is with great pride and joy that I share that on December 5, 2016 our Center received its national accreditation and certification with the National College Testing Association. This achievement will be our motivation to continue to provide secure and professional testing services for you in the future. See our article in K-State Today!
In this feature, we’d like to tell you why certain security procedures are in place at our Test Center. In doing so, we would like you to know that we understand that you may feel inundated by the security measures, however they are in place to ensure the integrity of both your test and the Test Center’s environment.
If you’ve used our facility recently you were asked to remove items like bracelets, necklaces, and sometimes even your earrings. Maybe you were even asked to remove your glasses so we could inspect them. Some candidates often ask, “do people really go to such lengths to cheat on an exam?” The answer is yes, unfortunately, they do. The more we embrace technological advances in our day to day lives, the more opportunities there are for individuals to find ways to use technology to gain an unfair advantage in testing. Today exam developers and exam delivery agents continue to dedicate time and millions of dollars to protect their exams and the media and personnel they employ to deliver these exams, to prevent the exams from being compromised. Our staff receive training on a regular basis to help us identify cheating devices, cheating methods, and test taker behaviors that can lead to cheating misconduct, exam breaches or other issues that can compromise the integrity of the exam. In some cases these violations occur because an item may have been brought into the Center and/or the testing room that was prohibited by the exam sponsor or the test center. We'd like to share a little of what we've learned about spy devices and hopefully you'll have a better understanding of our check-in and test administration procedures. We've divided the devices into five categories with illustrations to give you an idea of what we look for. The images may cause your page to take a moment to load after clicking on "Read more".
Here's what you should know about eyewear and why we must inspect them before test takers enter the testing room.
Spy glasses - These are typically thick or heavy-framed glasses. The glasses may have a small lens over the bridge over the nose or on the front-facing sides of the glasses. The arms of the glasses can have compartments containing the battery in one and power components in the other, and there may be a small button or several buttons on the arms, and small USB ports or power cable ports as well.
At our Center we take precautions by following required security measures of the clients who provide the exams you sit for in our facility. Such measures may require the use of a metal detector scanner, procedural steps to identify and remove prohibited items that may be worn as clothing or jewelry, or items carried in hidden compartments of the test taker’s clothing. Each exam sponsor or delivery agent provides handling procedures for informing, locating and removing items not allowed in the test center and/or testing room. The following are items that must be examined prior to check-in and admission for all tests. Test takers are often asked to empty and pull out their pockets to show that there are no prohibited items on their person. Even facial tissue normally kept in the individual's pocket must be removed and stored in a locker or disposed of. The test center will provide facial tissue if the test taker desires it.
Camera hidden in ties or tie clips - Spy devices can be hidden in clothing accessories like ties, handkerchiefs, belts, tie pins, and buttons just to name a few.
Test takers can use large necklace pendants, bracelets, hair clips, and large buttons to conceal cameras and recording devices. For this reason exam sponsors and exam delivery companies require the test center to visually or manually inspect these items and in many cases the staff has to inform the test taker that the item must be removed before he/she is admitted to test. Our staff are trained to check large jewelry items for lenses and cable ports as pictured below. Test takers wearing large jewelry items, such as pendants or bracelets, and other hanging objects that are not permitted for testing are asked to store these items in their assigned lockers.
Cameras are concealed in unbelievable places in unsuspecting items of jewelry and hair accessories. A candidate can transport a micro USB drive in an item of jewelry and insert it into a testing computer without alerting a test proctor. Our testing workstation are not equipped with front-loading USB slots so as to prevent this type of exam breach. Bluetooth devices can be hidden in earrings, hair combs or decorative hair pins.
Note: While engagement and wedding rings are permitted to be worn inside the testing room and in some cases may be removed and left on the desk for comfort, test takers are closely monitored to ensure that they are not holding ANY objects in front of the monitor or talking into any devices while testing.
Because it has become so difficult and time consuming to identify the difference between items that are worn for their intended use – watches to tell time - and those intended to cheat and provide an advantage in an otherwise fair environment, all of our exam sponsors and exam delivery companies prohibit test takers from wearing any type of watch, even analog watches, in the testing room. We often encounter watches that do more than tell time and these wearable technologies are also prohibited in the testing room
Wearable technology prohibited because of their ability to access the Internet, copy and store information on USB devices and in some cases transmit that information outside of the testing room to third parties in another location outside of the center.
The test center provides all writing utensils and materials including scratch paper and highlighters when allowed by instructors/clients. We take the position that no test taker can be accused of using utensils to commit cheating if the items are provided by the Center. Here is why pens and pencils are not allowed to be brought into the testing room.
With these items the lens is typically in the top part of the pen opposite the writing end. The lens is often over the clip and can be slid down to reveal the lens. When the pen is opened or separated, a battery and USB port will typically be visible.
A USB device or camera seems capable of fitting in anything these days. So when we ask you to remove your watch or your beautiful necklace, we’re not doing it to upset you; instead we’re doing it to protect you and your test results. See the items below.
Remember that these devices capture images, whether through photographs or video, while the user wears or uses them in the testing room and these behaviors present a risk to test security. When test material is recorded and shared it compromises the integrity of the test. What does this mean? Potentially, scores can be put on hold, canceled or invalidated. Our security procedures attempt to insure that your efforts do not go for naught because one or more dishonest test taker chooses to seek an unfair advantage to their success. The items we have listed here are all barriers to test security and confidentiality and more importantly a threat to your success. Help us to help you, on test day leave these items at home, or be cooperative when we ask you to store them away in your locker until testing is complete and you are prepared to check out.
…Credit for Prior Learning
Kansas State offers credit for prior learning through successful completion of either the CLEP® (College Level Examination Program) or DSST® (DANTES Subject Standardized Test). The American Council on Education’s® College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT®) provides passing score recommendations for the CLEP and the DSST. Click on the link to view recommended passing scores. Students are encouraged to confer with their advisors about the applicability of credit for prior learning to their major curriculum before registering and sitting for an exam. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the exam can be applied for their desired purpose. To view the list of available CLEP exams visit the CollegeBoard, and to view the list of DSST exams available visit DSST Get College Credit.
Students can schedule an appointment to test at our Center by completing the Testing Services Request Form which can be found on our website at www.k-state.edu/testing click on “Start Here”.
To learn more about credit for prior learning visit K-State’s Credit for Prior Learning page and following the steps below.
- Under “Year Taken” select the year in which you took your exam
- In the “Select Exam” box select the exam program. In our example we chose College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
- Next select your subject area. In our example we chose Principles of Management.
- Your results will provide you with information about Kansas State’s credit award policy for credit for prior learning, and you will see how credit is awarded for the exam you selected.
- To see a complete list of subjects, minimum passing score, related K-State course and how credit is applied, select “All Test” for the subject area.
- You can follow the same procedure about for the DSST® program which is listed as Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education, in the Select Exam criterion.
If you wish to know more about the CLEP® or DSST® exams and/or their costs, visit our Credit for Prior Learning page. You can also contact us by email email@example.com or call 785-532-2957 if you have questions or need further assistance.
The Test Center’s standard policy concerning cell phones and other electronic devices is that they are not allowed in the center. Many test takers show up for their appointment knowing that we have lockers to store personal belongings, but don’t understand why cell phones aren’t even allowed to be stored in the test center. Here’s why. Cell phones are a distraction in the test center. Even before test takers arrive for their appointment the cell phone is used as a convenience or so it may seem, but the test taker actually uses the phone to violate the rules and procedures set forth by their test provider. Here are a few examples of how this occurs:
- No valid identification – Can I use this picture (selfie) of me on my phone?
- No admission document – I can show it to you on my phone
- Violation of test day rules – Bring the phone to the Center
- Possessing prohibited items and not following test providers instruction – Since the admission/confirmation document can be viewed on the phone, test takers do not take the time to thoroughly read these documents to know what their responsibilities are prior to, and on test day.
The outcome of the situations mentioned above is test day anxiety, not being admitted for testing, appointment rescheduling, and in some cases loss of employment opportunity and exam fees.
When test takers were given the opportunity to store their phones the Center had to intervene when the following occurred:
- Phones left on – vibrating loudly in the locker; offensive ringtones; persistent callers
- Test takers accessing phones during break – dismissible offense – exam terminated/loss of exam fees
- Test takers interrupted during testing to turn off phones – dismissible offense/exam time lost
- Test takers using phone to cheat/record or transmit exam content - dismissible offense – exam terminated/loss of exam fees/subject to prosecution
We all know what cell phones, especially smartphones, are capable of. These small computers can record, take photographs, or search the Internet. Our asking you to not bring in your cell phone doesn’t mean we suspect you may cheat, but it prevents any misunderstandings. In addition, some test companies explicitly forbid cell phones on the premises while their tests are being administered.
Miranda Mack - Student Assistant
Miranda joined the team in 2015. As one of our Student Assistants, Miranda greets and checks in students, verifies identification and admission criteria, and follows appropriate security procedures. Student Assistants are the first faces a test taker encounters when testing, so exceptional customer service is vital for providing the best possible experience to achieve success.
Miranda began her internship with CASA this spring and we know she will do great. We will certainly miss her around the Center and so we wish her the best of luck Miranda!
Below is a list of exams and future test dates with registrations and testing windows for your convenience.
Fundamentals of Engineering - Registration – Open year round
GRE Subject Test - Registration – Open year round
Upcoming Testing Dates
- September 16, 2017
- October 28, 2017
- July 18 – 19, 2017
- September 7 – 8, 2017
Educational Testing Services (ETS®)
PRAXIS - Registration – Open year round
Testing window – 8 – 20 May
May 1, 11, 13, 16, 26, and May 31
Testing window – 12 - 24 June
June 3, 6, 12, 21, 29
Testing window – 10 – 22 July
July 6, 11, 14, 17, 22, 26
July 7 - Audio World Language Testing
Testing window – 14 - 26 August
August 3, 11, 15, 21, 23
TOEFL - Registration – Open year round
K-State Testing schedule
Our testing center will be open for services during the summer break. Proctoring and test administration services will be managed as they are normally done during the school year. Visit our homepage for exam schedules and appointment scheduling information.
For more information about the Test Center or this e-newsletter, please contact Valentina Burton by phone at 785-532-2957, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.