Before opening night of a play, actors conduct dress rehearsals to ensure a successful performance. It is similarly worthwhile to complete proctored SAT/ACT exams that simulate typical testing conditions.
Current and prospective A+ Test Prep students preparing to take the SAT or ACT can take advantage of the free proctored exams that A+ offers two Saturdays a month. Yet, if a student can’t make it in person to take a proctored exam, or if a student simply wants to practice at home, self-proctoring is a sensible substitute. The current concerns and cancellations related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) make self-proctoring an especially suitable and timely alternative.
Before the Self-Proctored Test
Just like a real exam, it’s important to be prepared and plan ahead for taking a self-proctored test. So, schedule a good time for your self-proctored exam and stick to it. Also, make sure you can create ideal testing conditions with the right supplies and no distractions.
- Print out a test and any answer sheets and essay answer sheets needed. A+ provides dozens of SAT and ACT practice tests for students to use.
- Set aside the prescribed time needed to complete the test. Click here for exact times for your exam. For student who don’t get extended time, it’ll be around 3 hours and 15 minutes without the essay, or about 4 hours with the essay.
- Gather supplies, such as pencils, a calculator, water, and snacks (for breaks only).
- Take the test around the time you would take the real test, meaning a weekend morning. Of course, during the coronavirus crisis it doesn’t have to be a weekend.
- As best you can, mimic test conditions by taking the test in a quiet place. Make a sign to warn others to keep quiet. Turn off any unnecessary devices and distractions.
- Select a virtual proctor method. Use an online video or app to act as proctor during your self-administered exam. There are many options to choose, such as SAT, SAT Extended Time, ACT, and ACT Extended Time from A List Education. There is also an iPhone app called Exam Proctor by
During the Self-Proctored Test
Without anyone directly monitoring you, it can be tempting to cut corners when it comes to the testing process. Resist. Be strict with yourself and follow the rules.
- Fill in the bubbles of your answer sheet completely, and only take breaks when they are scheduled.
- If you are using a phone, tablet, or computer to play a simulated proctoring program, then only keep that one device active with all other programs, apps, or notifications turned off.
- Never use less or more than the time you are allotted for each section, complete sections out of order, or go back to previously completed sections.
- Avoid snacks and bathroom breaks except during “scheduled” times.
- When you do take breaks, make sure to wait the entire allotted time and remember to snack, stretch, and use the bathroom as you would on test day.
After the Self-Proctored Test
Once you have completed your test, it’s time to have it scored. A+ is happy to score any test, including self-proctored exams. All you have to do is take a photo or scan your answer sheet and use the A+ website submission form (preferred) or email the photo to the office. Make sure to always have your name, contact information, and the test form code on your answer sheet.
Taking proctored tests, even ones you proctor yourself, is one of the best ways to get an accurate idea of your performance and progress. Anyone who is serious about succeeding on the SAT/ACT and achieving his or her goals should take practice, especially practice tests, seriously. Now more than ever, it’s important to explore new ways to practice, such as self-proctoring, which can help you prepare for test day.
If you would like more information, our Client Service Directors Anne Stanley and Susan Ware are available to answer questions and provide solutions. You may reach either of them by calling A+ Test Prep and Tutoring at 215-886-9188.