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Testing Goes Global Laura Morrill Hammami, AMIDEAST Leisha Griffith-Mark, St. George’s University (Grenada) Sirine Sidani, Doha (Qatar)

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Presentation on theme: "Testing Goes Global Laura Morrill Hammami, AMIDEAST Leisha Griffith-Mark, St. George’s University (Grenada) Sirine Sidani, Doha (Qatar)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Testing Goes Global Laura Morrill Hammami, AMIDEAST Leisha Griffith-Mark, St. George’s University (Grenada) Sirine Sidani, Doha (Qatar)

2 Globalization and International Student Mobility 10% of grad students in the US are foreign ETS Global’s annual sales – $26.19M 2009 for the first time the majority of examinees sitting for the GMAT exam were non-US citizens.

3 Why is international testing important to the US economy? Availability of testing services is a key first step in the university admissions process Department of State (Education USA) devotes significant funds to advising each year to promote education in the US Networks of non-profits and for-profit testing centers ensure availability of tests abroad

4 Expansion of both CBT and PBT Globally Expansion of Computer-Based Testing – Companies such as Prometric offer global coverage – Mobile Testing has increased access, but is expensive Paper-Based Testing – Costs of CBT can be prohibitive – Large administrations on fixed dates still used PBT model (SAT)

5 How does international testing different from domestic testing? Administration is the same as it is in the US Physical distance: time zones, increased lead time, etc. Major regional and local variations: Infrastructure Business practices Even government regulation Ability to adapt to local conditions is limited

6 Burgers = Success in the USA

7 McDonald’s India = No Burgers

8 Challenges of testing outside the US Logistical challenges Cultural differences US business practices not universally known/accepted/possible – Different customer service level expectations – Payment issues – Registration issues


10 Qatar

11 Facts about Qatar Qatar is known for its natural gas reserves (about 15% of the total world reserve & the third largest in the world) It is in the process of reforming its k-12 & higher education systems & this includes change in language & creating a more student oriented approach to learning The idea of testing & assessment is another central part of this reform since it is a relatively new concept

12 Qatar Foundation Qatar Foundation is a private non-profit organization that is dedicated to build human capital & a sustainable society where the sharing & creating knowledge will enhance the quality of life for all Qatar Foundation’s Education City is a home for 6 state of the art branch campuses for 6 of the most renown reputable American universities: Texas A&M, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, Weil Cornell, Georgetown, Virginia Commonwealth All branch campuses have the same admission requirements as their home campuses Qatar Foundation is not only becoming an educational hub for the region but a testing hub as well

13 Challenges we face when administering standardized exams fall under three categories: Registration related issues, Cultural/ID issues, Testing space Registration related challenges: Increase fee registration due to the international testing fee Many don’t have a credit card nor internet access at home Missing out on deadline because registration stops a month before exam date

14 Cultural/ID challenges: Language is a huge limitation Bubble answer sheet / scantron is new concept Misconception that for SAT & ACT only Math sections are required and not the verbal English sections Many fail to bring the appropriate original ID due to age factor or not reading test requirements Test space challenges: Having to book halls in other buildings and facilities way ahead of time Conflicts with other events happening on campus

15 Looking forward to our move to our new Student Center which houses our new Testing Center to try to eliminate most of these challenges At the end of the day, the gratitude candidates express when we reach out and help them makes all the long working hours on weekends worthwhile.

16 Contact info Sirine Sidani


18 Leisha Griffith-Mark Coordinator of Examination Services

19 Grenada Pronounced “Gree-nay-dah” 344 sq kilometers i.e. 133 square miles Population: approx. 90,000

20 About Grenada Aka the “Isle of Spice” Tri-island state: Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique Located in the Eastern Caribbean (southern extremity of the Windward Islands) Warm climate ( degrees F year round) Became an independent nation on 7 th February, nd largest producer of nutmeg after Indonesia 8 th time goal medalist at international Chelsea Flower Show

21 National Flag Symbols represent:  Six stars - six parishes; center star - capital city, St. George’s  Red – courage and vitality of the people  Yellow – sun and the warmth of the people  Green – agriculture and lush vegetation - large nutmeg producer

22 About SGU Established in 1976 Offers degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, nursing, public health, arts & sciences and business Current enrollment is almost 5000 students

23 About SGU

24 We are here

25 Examination Services Office established around 2003 Staffed by 2 faculty members, one administrative staff and 18 proctors Proctored internal departmental Special Accommodation exams largely for SOM and some SVM courses Proctored only one external exam namely the NBVME Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE)

26 Examination Services Staffed by one coordinator, two assistant coordinators, one administrative staff and 60 proctors Provide proctoring assistance for all school within the university with special emphasis on Special Accommodation exams. External exams proctored: – NBVME Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE) – GRE (paper based exam) – NBME

27 Challenges with Administering External Examination Lack of a dedicated test center (competition for space). Shorter registration deadlines. Local examinees have limited access to US credit cards for registration purposes. Limitations with shipping services on the island (DHL, FedEx etc). Some local examinee unfamiliar with scantrons forms and how they should be completed.

28 Examination Services cont’d The unit is also responsible for: Grading of all university examinations (centralized grading) Facilitating of end of term course and faculty evaluations for the university.

29 Special Accommodation Exams Priority is always given to the administering of Special Accommodation exams. SA students must provide documentation to the Dean of Students’ office for review by the Disabilities Committee in order to receive SA. Students can receive: – Temporary accommodation i.e. for a single semester or exam pending additional documentation. – Permanent accommodation i.e. for the duration of their classes at the university.

30 Special Accommodation cont’d Special Accommodation exam allowances include: Extra quiet environment Extra time Use of highlighters Consuming of an energy drink/bar after 4 hours of testing. Consuming of a snack (exam time is suspended until student returns from break) Standing and stretching during exams Increased font size on exam booklet

31 Outside the Main Venue

32 Post a Seating Plan outside of venue

33 Inside the Venue




37 During the Exam

38 Examination Services Other Activities Training Sessions: Proctor Training – Implementing the university examination policies. Faculty – How to effectively/efficiently administer an examination. Students – University policies concerning examination and the examinee.

39 Examination Services Future Plans Dedicated test center which will facilitate Internet Based Testing Offering of other external exams (GMAT, CLEP, computer based GRE, other vocational exams) Hiring of additional staff Proctor uniforms and rewards program

40 Contact Info Leisha Griffith Mark University website: Phone:



43 – Based in Washington, DC – Advising & Testing unit – work closely with US State Department’s Education USA program

44 Testing Programs Prometric testing labs: USMLE, etc. TOEFL, GRE GMAT SAT CLEP, DSST, other academic exams Institutional testing, especially EL exams: TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication), ITP TOEFL

45 Special Testing Services High stakes exam in Egypt – Bulk registration service – Security measures: secure storage, observers – Score reporting – receive scores in bulk and distribute scores them locally Local Registration Service

46 Testing trends in the Middle East/North Africa Continued need for PBT services in our region Test results being used locally AMIDEAST will continue to work with testing clients and candidates to facilitate the expansion of testing programs in support of our mission

47 Contact Info Laura Morrill Hammami Website: Phone:

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