would you complain? or ask questions?

Discussion in 'Other Tests' started by lwfaust, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. lwfaust

    lwfaust Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2009

    I just finished taking the PLT at a local university, and was surprised at their conflicting standards of administering the exam. As the proctor was coming by checking admit tickets, I had settled in my seat with my pencils and foam earplugs out on the desk. She said, "sorry, you'll have to put those away." I didn't ask questions, but I had them at another university in the same state...at another test. The proctor proceeded to read the script stating procedures, etc. all the while, her assistant cracked her gum and actually blew bubbles! I felt a little taken aback. I kind of wanted them. Also, later in the test, a student raised hand w/ a question, the proctor loudly whispered for what seemed a 2 minute answer... What would you do? How do earplugs --not an ipod or anything--constitute an unfair advantage?:(
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 14, 2009

    Complain, please. That's ridiculous.
     
  4. lwfaust

    lwfaust Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2009

    I think I'll put in a call to ETS on Monday, after reflecting on this...I now think I should have questioned the proctor. It wasn't an MP3 player..really.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 15, 2009

    I don't now recall whether ETS charges extra for special accommodation/alternative test arrangements - but if, like Pearson Evaluation Systems, it doesn't, then the foam earplugs are actually in ETS's interest.

    Were these earplugs connected by a cord, by any chance?
     
  6. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    My test was administered by ETS and they let us use our own ear plugs or wear their headphone sort of ear muffs.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    There is, one finds, not always a good correlation between what the test Web site says is permitted and what individual proctors will allow.
     
  8. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 16, 2009

    That's just stupid, not allowing regular ear plugs. Wouldn't it be common sense to recommend legal ear plugs to test takers?
     
  9. lwfaust

    lwfaust Rookie

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    Mar 16, 2009

    OMG. I just got off the phone w/ ETS and the operator said it's their policy, no ear plugs allowed. The operator couldn't really explain why, just it is what it is. My next step is a letter.

    I would think it would be for their benefit too!! --like if someone had a seizure...started coughing from a cold...a student w/ a question, etc. WE pay $90 a crack for these darn tests, the least they could do is provide us w/ a decent test environment. I demand foam earplugs and a decent room!!! Sorry I have to vent.
     
  10. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 16, 2009

    I totally agree. I did see somewhere on their site or on a state testing site that they may make accomodations for people with disabilities if there was a doctor letter. It went on to list the accomodations and one was ear plugs, another was a stool to rest feet on, and another was a water bottle with a closed top. Mre frequent breaks was also on there.
     
  11. lwfaust

    lwfaust Rookie

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    Mar 16, 2009

    Well, I guess I could go through the 10 step process of getting approval for accommodations which will probably take at least 3-6 months---for my silly earplugs. Bureaucracy at its finest. I just hope I passed this thing.
     
  12. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 16, 2009

    I hope you did too and I bet you did. They don't understand how the distraction is not just the 5 minutes of the distraction occurring. It's what goes through you head after it happens and then your sensitivity to every noise after that.

    At one of my tests, I was sitting criss cross apple sauce in my chair and the lady reminded us all to sit properly in our chairs.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 16, 2009

    Better that people should apply for the accommodation and not need it than need it and not have it - though I agree that requiring special accommodation for foam earplugs and water is (pardon me while I search for a word that won't get filtered) execrably stupid.

    Not all the test companies make that mistake, at least as regards the water.
     
  14. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Yes, they did that to me also. I just had back surgery--the tiny, hard plastic chairs were very painful. Sitting cross-legged takes all the pressure off. I have no idea why they care how anyone sits in their chair, in their own space. I was fully contained within the chair as much as anyone else.

    But, mostly, I want to know why they specifically mention highlighters as a cheating device. They list other forbidden items in a different section (ie no mechanical pencils, although the proctors allowed them), but highlighters are singled out as cause for an ethical dismissal. Why? Inquiring minds NEED to know. Since Saturday, I have been trying to come up with a cheating method involving a highlighter pen and have yet to succeed. My best idea so far is to make an answer stand out for someone looking over your shoulder. But you could accomplish this as easily with a pencil and an inattentive proctor.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I've never understood why highlighters are forbidden.
     
  16. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Do you think THEY know? The mechanical pencil one gets me too. They had us split up into rooms of 15, with two proctors staring us down.

    Sorry to hijack. But, I suppose griping about ETS absurdities beats fretting over test results?
     
  17. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Well they do have those highlighters with the post it notes built in. Maybe they think you could write on those.
     
  18. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mechanical pencils can be opened and notes put inside.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    O bananas, I hadn't thought of that.
     
  20. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I had thought of that, but they have two proctors staring down 15 people. Using a message-in-a-bottle approach to cheating would seem difficult to pull off. They either have confidence in the people they hire, or they don't. I am guessing that they don't.
     
  21. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Mar 19, 2009

    Well, our proctors sat in a room so I am sure the proctor situation is different in each setting as is the use of ear plugs.

    The thing is, at least with the tests I took, I don't know how writing just a tiny bit down could help a person anyway. Maybe if it was a math formula I guess but I can't think of what else you could write on a tiny piece of paper that would be helpful.
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    People will nevertheless try, I'm afraid...
     
  23. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I am OK with people trying and getting caught. We don't want or need people who would cheat on the Praxis teaching our kids.
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    There's that, though one hates to see the various restrictions in testing that arise because some idiot cheated that way.
     
  25. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Mar 19, 2009

    I don't think there is anything else for them to restrict. Unless they design a Dr. No style decontamination system and then provide bathrobes.
     

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