Amazed at security for the Praxis test

Discussion in 'General Education' started by tchr4vr, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2017

    I went to take my Social Studies content test yesterday, and I was amazed at the security involved. I was not allowed to bring anything into the room with me except my id. Everything, including my hair tie, had to be locked in a locker outside the testing room. I was wanded, had to roll up my pants legs and shirt sleeves to show I wasn't hiding anything, and had my glasses inspected for cameras or listening devices.

    When I last took a test, back in 2004, I had to have id, and my purse was in the room, just not with me. I was also allowed a drink on my desk.

    I assume this is because either people are cheating, or test companies are being accused of people cheating. If people are cheating, that is so sad to me. This company does tests for teaching, civil service, etc, so these are tests that you need to be able to pass to show that know how to do your job. Why would you cheat on a test that says you know how to do something, but you actually don't, and then go try to figure out that job. What if it's a life and death job, like an EMT exam or a nursing exam? It scares me that there are people out there who are willing to cheat to get a job they can't do.

    I do wish we could do this sort of security for SOL tests. It would make the kids realize how important they are.
     
    futuremathsprof and novaguy1968 like this.
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    Aug 5, 2017

    The tests are important, tons of money goes into the creation of these tests, and cheating has become very sophisticated. I think that ETS is showing due diligence to protect their products. That's why we don't discuss actual questions on the forum, and also why the practice tests are seldom as stringent as the "real deal". Those practice tests will help you find out content weakness areas, but if prospective test takers think there is a 100% correlation in the difficulty level, they are usually sad to find that is not true.
     
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  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 5, 2017

    I just took the GRE yesterday and was similarly amazed. I couldn't even run out to my car to grab a dollar for the vending machine during my ten minute mid-test break.
     
  5. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    I had to go through it for School Leadership Series. I wonder if they have it that strict for the big testing events. I went through the tough screening at a small private testing center. I took my elementary praxis in a university lecture hall. No lockers for storage available. Do they not use those locations anymore?
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    I think that since most tests are now computer based, those days of mass testing in unsecure rooms are or will soon be ancient history. This switch has happened so fast that my son had to advocate to have a content test that was only given paper based 6 years ago allowed in Virginia. Since it is now only given via computer, they were initially not inclined to accept the way past passing score. I had him ask if they were inclined to pay for him to take the same test again, and suddenly they considered it. All they had to do was stop and think for a couple of seconds to realize what they were asking.
     
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Companion

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    Aug 6, 2017

    I agree with you 100%. Truer words were never said.
     
  8. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2017

    I agree completely. I took my last content area Praxis 9 years before taking my Praxis on Ed Leadership. I was amazed at the difference.
     
  9. TXSPEDteacher

    TXSPEDteacher Rookie

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    Really depends on the testing center. The one I went to in Texas didn't even check my pockets. I was able to take in a jacket and I had my ID, car keys, etc. on my desk. There were cameras in the room but I remember thinking how easy it would be to cheat at that center.
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Aug 7, 2017

    I think high security is a good thing but people need to be aware of the restrictions ahead of time. I'd much rather know what I could/couldn't bring before I got there so I could leave things in my car instead of having to worry about a locker that may or may not be secure.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 7, 2017

    You took your Praxis on paper, like pretty much everyone before about 2003, back when test takers could reliably smuggle a snack under the tampons in their purse.

    Most teacher tests are now computer-based; Praxis and Pearson do contract with some universities' testing labs, but most test takers go to a Prometric (Praxis) or PearsonVUE center to test. As was noted upthread, these centers administer lots and lots of tests, some of them in fields that conduce to much more creativity in testing than merely having crib notes scribbled on the back of the label of one's water bottle or slipped into the barrel of one's mechanical pencil.

    The up sides of computer-based testing include much faster results (even with constructed responses), much quicker turnaround on retaking, much more access to other states' tests without having to travel, and much less paper used for exam booklets and answer sheets. There are indisputable down sides, of course, and I'm not sure that all of them are outweighed by the up sides.
     
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  12. novaguy1968

    novaguy1968 MS English Educator

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    Aug 7, 2017

    When I took the Praxis back in 2012, it was because I was just applying to my CS program, and a passing score on the Praxis was a prerequisite. I had made the decision to do so quite late, so I took the last available testing date in order to maximize study time (a whole 3 weeks or so). It was on paper at my local community college. NO CELL PHONES was in the instructions. Of course, one person had it out in the lobby while waiting for the test to start. When we got into the classroom, the proctor told us that if anyone's cell phone rang during the test, ALL scores would be invalidated and we would have to retake, sans refund. I was freaking out at just the idea. Of course, one person at least had the chutzpah to speak up and demand that the one person's cell phone be examined or removed, although the proctor refused. Thankfully it didn't.
     

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