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Homepage Home > Testing > PSAT/NMSQT® > Coordinating the Program > Before Test Day > Select & Train Assistants

Select & Train Assistants

Working with your PSAT/NMSQT testing team

Selecting and training capable assistants is a key to successfully administering the PSAT/NMSQT.

Selecting assistants

Schools that test many students will need assistants in addition to a supervisor. The ratio of students to staff in each room should not be more than 34 to 1.

  • Select one associate supervisor for each test room. Associates should be current or retired teachers, counselors, administrators, or other educators who are familiar with test administration. Each associate is expected to:
    • Read the Supervisor's Manual ahead of time to be thoroughly familiar with test procedure
    • Assume responsibility for test materials in an assigned room
    • Administer the test according to the manual's directions
    • Return all test materials to you as soon as students have been dismissed
  • For rooms with more than 34 students, assign proctors to help associates. Proctors may be members of the school's staff or other persons who have been trained to help you and associate supervisors. Proctors do not administer the test but may:
    • Seat students
    • Distribute and collect test materials
    • Monitor adjacent areas during rest breaks
    • Perform other assigned duties

Neither you nor any associate supervisor or proctor may be a member of the household or immediate family of a student taking the test on the same date, even if the student is testing at a different school.

Training assistants

At a training session for associates and proctors, please stress the need to prevent any student from having unfair advantage over other students. Review the regulations in the Supervisor's Manual and communicate any local arrangements and procedures for test day.

Highlight the following:

  • Security of test materials:
    • Safeguard test books at all times—before, during, and after the test and during the breaks.
    • At the end of the test, collect a test book and an answer sheet from each student.
    • Account for all test materials before dismissing students.
  • School code number—post your school's six-digit code prominently in the testing room so that all students can copy it correctly on their answer sheets.
  • During the test, students may have nothing on their desks but:
    • A test book
    • An answer sheet
    • No. 2 pencils with erasers
    • For math sections only, a calculator
  • Use of the following is prohibited:
    • Watch alarms
    • Handheld electronic devices (including cell phones, MP3 players and pagers); power must be turned off pagers, cell phones, and handheld computers
    • Any device that can access the Internet
    • Protractors; compasses; rulers
    • Dictionaries or other books (there are no exceptions, even if English is not a student's first language)
    • Pamphlets or papers of any kind
    • Highlighters and colored pens or pencils
    • Listening, recording, copying, or photographic devices (including watches and cell phones that contain cameras)
    • Food and beverages, including bottled water, unless approved for medical reasons
  • Directions for administering the test:
    • Be familiar with directions to be read to students (see the Supervisor's Manual), as well as instructions for monitoring the breaks.
    • Staff must monitor students at all times during the administration and breaks.
  • Supervision responsibilities:
    • Let students know you are there to help by greeting them and responding patiently to questions.
    • Allow some "nervous noise" before the test begins.
    • Walk around the room while students enter identifying information on their answer sheets and during the test to make sure each student is working alone and on the proper test section.
    • No one involved in the test administration should read, grade papers, or engage in any activity unrelated to the test administration.
  • Test day problems:
    • Know procedures for unusual situations (see the Supervisor's Manual) and notify the supervisor of any that occur as soon as possible.
    • Submit a Supervisor's Irregularity Report, if necessary.

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