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What to look for in a proctor / test administrator?

The state of NC requires homeschool parents do annual academic testing on each student in their school. If you are hiring someone to administer Woodcock Johnson (or WRAT or ITBS, etc) to your child or student, chances are good that you want more than just to fulfill this requirement. As such, I encourage you to research area proctors and make sure you choose someone who abides by the following standards, which greatly impact whether the results of testing are valid or not.

Things to consider / Questions to ask when choosing your test administrator.

  1. Remote administration is convenient, but is it best? Best practice administration for Woodcock Johnson (and other professionally administered academic tests) is in person, one on one with a trained test administrator. Understandably, COVID has required us all to be flexible, and administration via zoom or google meets are offered by some proctors. Riverside (publisher of the Woodcock Johnson) has provided guidance on this matter, but they firmly acknowledge they cannot guarantee the accuracy and reliability of the test results” when administered remotely.

  2. What is the testing environment like? It should be quiet and distraction free, not too hot or too cold. Testing should occur at a table and the student should be seated in a chair absent of wheels or swivels. And sorry parents, but you should not be present.

  3. What can I expect during administration? Proctors should not dive into testing right away. Time spent building rapport with the student is just as, if not more, important than time spent building rapport with the parent. Proctors should not provide feedback to parents in front of their student without consent. Lastly, proctors should individualize the session as much as possible without straying from standardization.

Why are these things important? Any deviation from standardization brings into question the validity of the results. If the test is not given exactly how it was when the normative data was collected, then you are not comparing apples to apples. Why would you pay someone for something that might not mean anything? Perhaps the solution is as simple as knowing what questions to ask in the first place. Well, this should get you started. Best of luck my friends!

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