By Christian Thornton, iNARTE North American Certification Manager, Business Manager – iNARTE
“Education is the passport to the future—for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” [Malcolm X]
As technology evolves, so too must the methods or knowledge validation of that technology. Gone are the days where it was necessary to fill in the bubbles of a “scantron” form or write out the extensive algorithms to justify ones’ answer. The same can be said for the exams developed by iNARTE. We have gone to great lengths to ensure that our exams are of the highest caliber in content and structure—but also in manner of delivery.
Beginning with the FCC exams, iNARTE has made a constant move to electronically-delivered examinations. These methods allow for almost instantaneous grading, continuous validation of questions, and ensures fairness of all examinations. As an added benefit, the exams are also more secure than ever before. Exams are password protected, use programs to prevent copying, and can be completely randomized to prevent sharing of answers. As an added benefit, preliminary scores are delivered almost instantly so applicants don’t need to wait weeks to find out if they passed.
Formats of iNARTE Online Exams
Online exams are offered in two formats:
• Test center, and
• Remotely proctored
Both versions utilize preventative measures to ensure that the exams aren’t copied, printed, or compromised in any other way. Both are available on any computer—PC or Mac. Both versions use a human proctor to make an ultimate determination on the exam experience and ensure that the examination follows iNARTE’s policies and standards.
Test Center Exams
If an exam is scheduled at a test center, the examinee would arrive on the day of testing and check in with the proctor. They would present their documentation to verify their identity and the proctor would assist them to log into their exam using codes that were sent to the proctor. The applicant takes the examination as usual and upon completing the exam is free to leave. The results are then scored quickly by iNARTE and an official result is sent to the applicant.
Remotely Proctored Exams
For examinees registered for the remotely proctored version of the exam, the codes are sent to the individual. This is different from the test center option and the codes arrive in a similar, but slightly different manner. The email that arrives for this option includes information for verifying that the system being used meets the criteria for the testing software as well as the link and access code for the exam.
With this option, the applicant sets his/her own date and time for the exam. The exam is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week—completely around the applicant’s schedule.
After a quick system test to verify all component are in order, a unique code is entered and the exam begins. With this option, the entire test session is recorded from the perspective of the examinee as well as the screen that the examinee is working off. The recording is then reviewed by iNARTE in the same way an in-person proctor would monitor a test session. If any questionable actions are noted during the exam a further review is completed and a determination is reached as to if a violation has occurred. Customer service is available from the testing company 24 hours a day for any issues that arise and can be reached either by phone or email so the examinees always have support before, during, and after their examinations.
The flexibility of this testing method has allowed iNARTE to provide testing for our licenses and certification on a global scale as we have never seen before. Whether helping military personnel attain certification while they are stationed away from home or providing opportunities to those in remote areas to demonstrate their knowledge and competence remote proctoring allows iNARTE to impact the industry in ways not imagined 30 years ago by simply utilizing components available as part of a standard laptop system.
Regardless of the method selected, online exams provide a higher level of security, availability, and traceability, which ensures that any exam put out by iNARTE is fair, balanced, and in keeping with standard testing or psychometric standards. Security of the exams is always a concern and the exam software provider we work with—Assessment Systems—has a dedicated staff focused on continually updated and identifying potential threats to their product FastTest Web. The web-based exam software actively prevents the user from taking screenshots, printing the exam, accessing any programs including all email options, and even prevents the examinee from opening additional browser tabs.
In this modern age of technology those who don’t keep pace fall to the wayside. We at iNARTE are dedicated to ensure that as the technology advances we are at the forefront and by adapting new technology for testing we help to ensure that competency and safety are never forgotten.
Click here for more information on iNARTE and its EMC certification programs.