Active monitoring of standardized tests is a vital component of test taking. Teachers, as well as students, must follow rules to the letter. Directions, instructions and warnings must be read, verbatim, from the instruction booklet. All students must be handled in the same manner with the exception of those requiring special accommodations. Monitoring students as they take an exam may sound like the easiest job in the world, but until you’ve done it, you have no idea how much work is involved. There are at least 10 different regulations an active monitor must enforce for test results to be considered valid:
- Educational Materials Have Been Removed From the Walls and White Board
This one can be easy to overlook, and it’s entirely the responsibility of the monitor to ensure that no educational materials relating to test matter remain on the walls or white board. This means making a thorough sweep of the room before testing begins to spot any posters, handouts or artwork that might have been missed.
- Backpacks and Purses Are Placed at the Front of the Room
Before test booklets and answer sheets are distributed, the monitor should require students to place any backpacks, purses or lunch kits in a designated area at the front of the room.
- Test Booklets Aren’t Being Accessed Ahead of Time
Test booklets must remain face down until the test officially begins. This can be a tricky feat to accomplish in a room filled with restless students. But, it’s the monitor’s responsibility to make sure everyone begins the testing process at the same time.
- No Electronic Devices Are Present
There’s a whole list of devices that are taboo during testing. These include cell phones, laptops, tablets, handhelds, headphones, ear buds, music players and portable game consoles. If students bring these devices into the room, it’s your responsibility as monitor to confiscate them before testing begins.
- Students are Working Independently
As a monitor, it’s your responsibility to move among test-takers to ensure no cheating takes place. As you walk from student to student, be aware of any whispering, note-passing or writing on anything other than the answer sheet and provided scrap paper. Look for lettering on student’s hands or arms that could be indicative of test answers.
- Time Limits are Being Observed by All Students
When it’s time for pencils to go down – both at the beginning of breaks and at the end of each testing section — ensure that all students comply. In order for the test to be fair and accurate, all participants must adhere to the same rules.
- Teacher’s Computer Is Off
Never allow your computer to remain on during testing. As a test monitor, engaging in any type of distraction such as lesson planning or reading is not permitted. Keep your computer off eliminates from the temptation to indulge.
- Testing Materials Do Not Leave the Room During Breaks
As monitor, it’s your responsibility to ensure that all testing materials are kept safe during breaks. This may include remaining inside the room with the materials or making sure the materials are stored away under lock and key.
- No Furtive Behavior is Observed
Suspicious behavior on the part of test takers should be investigated closely. If students are talking among themselves, looking off each other’s papers or attempting to retrieve answers off a contraband electronic device, the situation should be investigated immediately. As monitor, it may be your responsibility to have offenders removed from the test-taking area.
- Testing Materials Are Turned In at the End of the Testing Period
At the conclusion of testing, all students should lower their pencils when instructed. All testing materials should be turned in accordingly.
Your role as active monitor during classroom testing is important to ensure that test results are considered valid. It will also prevent you from being relieved of monitor duties in the future. It’s vital for both you and your students that you take this responsibility seriously.