Administering/Proctoring Standardized Tests: Four Useful Pointers

Basic Suggestions

During your teaching career, you may be called upon to proctor the PSAT or state standardized examinations. Although schools and school systems have different facilities for test administration, here are some general suggestions for preparing to proctor or administer a standardize test.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Some schools require proctors or test administrators to stand during the duration of the examination. This means that you may be required to stand for several hours straight. In assembly-style testing areas, you will need to pace among rows of testing students. It’s important that you wear your most comfortable shoes. On testing day, go for comfort over style.

Carry Extra Pencils and Erasers

The school is likely to supply you with sharpened pencils, but it pays to make sure that you have enough #2 sharpened pencils before the exam. Make sure that your pencils have good erasers. For some reason, pencil erasers smear when students try to erase their completed bubbles.

Speaking of erasers, the rubbery thick art erasers seem to work best. My school bought a several dozen erasers for students to use during testing. You’ll be surprised at the number of students who ask for erasers while testing. Because marks have to be completely erased so as not to confuse the scoring machine, it pays to give students proper erasers.

Tissue, please

It doesn’t matter if it is cold season or not, students are going to have runny noses or the sniffles during the test. It’s inevitable. Think ahead by buying a box of tissue for your students so that they do not have to leave the testing area to blow their noses. Schools often don’t provide boxed tissue during testing, or enough may not be available. Bring your own box. You won’t regret it.

Read the Manual

Read the manual before the test, even if you are simply serving as a proctor. Reading the manual will help eliminate any apprehension that you feel in the testing area. You will have a better idea of what to do in the most common situations, and you will have a handle on the testing rules. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep a copy of your testing manual nearby, just in case. Do not discard your manual. You may be required to turn it in after the test.