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Friday, August 1, 2014

Testing Center Reduces Stress

There is no way around it—tests and stress go hand in hand. But what if you could take the test at a time of your choosing over a two-day period? And what if once you started it, you had as long as you needed to complete it instead of an hour or two during class? Would these things help? You bet.

Tests and exams given in the WCC Testing Center are usually available to students for two days. And most of them are untimed. That means students can arrive at 9:00am and take up to 11 hours to finish if they need to during weekday hours. Weekend hours are also available.

“We want students to come in when they feel they’re at the peak of their attentiveness,” said Joseph Fenty, Testing Center director. “Some students are morning people; others are more alert in the afternoon. Students can come in when they are relaxed, well rested, and prepared.

“In the Testing Center students can write a draft first, organize their thoughts, and then write an essay that is substantial and well thought out,” Fenty added. “Instructors can also authorize us to provide test aids such as dictionaries, reference materials, periodic tables—whatever is needed.”

Academic and Certification Exams are Given

The Testing Center administers about 80,000 academic tests per year. On its busiest day it served 750 students. But academic testing is just one of its services. “The family of tests that we provide is growing,” Fenty said. “The number of disciplinary fields that require testing to acquire academic credentials is on the rise. And the need for pre-employment exams is increasing. So we must continue to expand our services.”

The center, located on the third floor of the Student Center building, has become a busy hub for anxious test takers year round. The list of examinations it proctors includes:

  • ACT
  • GED (General Equivalency Diploma)
  • COMPASS (Computer-Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System Test) for academic placement
  • DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Activity) and CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) credit examinations
  • LSAT (Law School Admission Test)
  • MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam) for lawyers
  • ASA (Automotive Service Association) certification exams
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery) English proficiency
  • Phlebotomy certification

Fenty is very pleased to provide GED testing at the Center. “We’ve tested thousands of students since 2005. The opportunity to open doors for employment, higher education, and self-respect is a great honor for us,” said Fenty. “We also provide GED testing at the county jail and Maxey Boys Training School. Some people go 30 or 40 years without a high school diploma. It affects their self-esteem and economic opportunities.”

Fenty is also proud that the WCC Testing Center is the third site in the country to receive certification from the National Testing Center Association. The criteria for certification are rigorous, and are based on the NCTA Professional Standards and Guidelines.

“We (the Testing Center) add value to the institution by freeing up instructional time and giving students an opportunity to do their best work,” said Fenty. “We want to make sure that the playing field is level so that people of all abilities can perform at their highest level.”

Here’s What to Expect

When taking a test at the Testing Center, you should:

  • Bring your WCC ID, school ID, or any government ID
  • Know your instructor’s name, course code, and test number
  • Turn off all electronic equipment before entering—cell phones, pagers, and computers
  • Store your books and materials on the shelves provided
  • Remain patient during peak testing times, such as midterms and finals

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