ASSESSMENT AND RESEARCH
Under the supervision of Assistant Secretary of Quality and Effectiveness, the Assessment and Research Specialist provides technical assistance to teachers and assessment specialists in the State Departments of Education regarding policy and procedures for administration of state, national, and regional assessments systems.
This position also promotes different forms of assessment such as EGLA, PILNA and Assessment for Learning. It also analyzes and reports on test results by state and nation; it coordinates the implementation of National Minimum Competency Tests. It conducts research to evaluate the effectiveness of various aspects of the national education system.
FSM NMCT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
NMCT ADMINISTRATION MANUAL
This National Minimum Competency Test (NMCT) Administration Manual has been designed to help Education personnel, especially test administrators and proctors to administer the FSM NMCT accurately and efficiently.
This manual should be read by all Test Coordinators, Test Administrators, and Proctors who will participate in the school year testing activities; and are strongly urged to become thoroughly familiar with the National Minimum Competency Test (NMCT) Administration Manual before the first day of testing. Completing the steps in administering the FSM NMCT assessment is essential to the success of the FSM NMCT program under the NDOE Quality and Effectiveness Division.
However, test items in the test booklets and answer sheets are secure and may not be read by anyone before, during (except for the student testing), or after the test administration.
Test Coordinators, Proctors, Test Administrators, or other testing personnel may not read test items aloud, silently, to themselves, or to another individual, unless it is specifically required to provide a documented accommodation to an individual or student group. Only authorized personnel should have access to test materials.
OFFICIAL TESTING DATES
The FSM NMCT is to be administered in April–June, annually. Pre-test administration is to be given in October, annually, based on sample schools to represent a state, but has to have approval from the FSM Education Secretary.
SCHEDULING THE FSM NMCT
The NMCT Team needs to get together for their annual NMCT Work Plan in every December. The purpose of the meeting to is share new ideas if there’s any, and to finalize and combine each state workplan for that particular school year NMCT administration.
As defined by OSEP, the term accommodation is commonly used to define changes in format, response, setting, timing, or scheduling that do not alter in any significant way what the test measures or comparability of scores. The accommodation should not change the scores of non-IEP students if given to them. There are four basic types of accommodations:
A. Presentation accommodations:
• Verbatim repetitions of directions
• Written copies of orally presented material
• Sign language interpreter, amplification of visual display
• Verbatim audiotape of directions
• Verbatim audiotape of presentation of total test (not for reading section)
• Verbatim reading of selected sections of the test or vocabulary by examiner or trained assistant
• Verbatim reading of entire test to student by examiner or trained assistant
• Other, as determined by the IEP team
B. Response accommodations:
• For machine scored tests, student marks answers in test booklet
• For selected response items, student indicates answers by pointing or other method
• For constructed response items, student uses a word processor
• For constructed items, student tapes response for later verbatim transcription by school personnel
• School personnel may check student’s transferred responses for alignment and completeness of hand-filled bubbles
• For constructed response, student dictates responses to examiner for verbatim
• transcription by school personnel
• For constructed response items or oral presentations, student signs responses to interpreter of the deaf/hearing impaired
• Other, as determined by the IEP committee
C. Setting Accommodations:
• General education classroom with special seating
• General education classroom with adjusted grouping
• General education classroom with additional school support person (not to help student read or respond to items)
• General education classroom with special education staff support
• Small group setting with professionally certified teacher or school staff as examiner
• Small group setting with special education teacher as examiner
• Individual administration within the school building
• Individual administration outside the school (home, hospital, etc.)
• Other, as determined by IEP
• Periodic breaks
• Administer test over multiple days without exceeding total time allowance
• Extra response and processing time
• Other, as determined by IEP
DIRECTIONS FOR TEST ADMINISTRATOR
This test is designed to measure FSM National Standards and Benchmarks. Each content area of the NMCT will take about an hour to complete. An additional time of 30 minutes must be given if 90% of the whole class is not finished within an hour. Students should record their answers on the separate answer sheet. Students who finish early collect their test, check their answer sheets, and they may read or sit quietly until the end of the test session. Under no circumstances should a test be started unless there is enough time to complete it. Students may be given additional time if needed, but additional time must be given as an extension of the same testing period, not at a different time.
State Test Coordinators (STC’s), School Principals, and Test Administrators share the responsibility for ensuring that all test materials and student responses are handled securely and confidentially in accordance with security procedures. The FSM NMCT is to be administered by certified test administrators and proctors who have been oriented in the proper test administration procedures for the FSM NMCT used at the school level in the FSM.
• Nondisclosure of Test Content – The test content is not to be viewed by anyone
• prior to the test administration. Only students being tested are allowed to access the test at the time of testing. Once a test is started during test administration, only the student taking the test is allowed to view that student’s test booklet and answer sheet.
• Secure Testing Materials – Test Administrators are expected to ensure that the National Minimum Competency Test booklets are not left in the open or in unattended areas.
• No testing materials are to be reproduced. No test materials are to be accessed outside the school building except under approved conditions; contact the FSM National Department of Education Office.
The following materials must be provided to students during the test administration:
• Scratch paper
• #2 pencil
• Math reference sheet (included in the test booklet)
• Test booklets
• Answer sheets
PREPARATION FOR ADMINISTRATION
Invalidating a Test
The administration must adhere to the FSM NMCT Policy and Procedure. If the Test Administrator or Proctor believes the integrity of the NMCT has been compromised, the test booklet and answer sheet should be collected and the student removed from the testing location. The state test administrator will determine and report on the possibilities for the student test to be invalidated. Possible reasons to consider invalidating a test are:
• The student receiving help from another student;
• The student randomly marking answers without reading the presented material;
• The student refusing to take or continue the test;
• Test Administrators, Proctors, or other adults in the room explaining test items to students;
• Test Administrators, Proctors, or other adults in the room reading words or passages to students;
• Test Administrators, Proctors, or other adults in the room pointing to or suggesting the correct response;
• The student using a calculator on the test; and/or
• Copying, highlighting, or any other modification of the test booklet.
If the state test administrator decides to invalidate the test, it is the State Testing Coordinator’s responsibility to invalidate the test in concurrence with this National Minimum Competency Manual.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Test Administrator
Test Administrators are responsible for the following:
• distributing test booklets and answer sheets to students
• administering the NMCT
• returning all test materials to the State Test Coordinator when testing is complete.
• arrange the testing room
• restrict electronic devices of any type: palm pilots, cell phones, PDAs, wristwatches with electronic displays, calculators, iPods, MP3 players, etc.
• fill in or check student information
• make sure students are working in the correct place and are filling in only one circle for each multiple-choice item
• prohibit talking or sharing of responses
• collect or secure materials at the end of the session (closing the test booklets is sufficient during breaks).
Prior to Administration Date
All Test Administrators will need:
• a copy of the NMCT Administration Manual
• test booklets and answer sheets for each student (your State Testing Coordinator will provide these prior to testing)
• Classroom profile
• School ID
• School Roster
• School Test Schedule
• Extra Answer sheets
• Extra Booklets
• Blank Paper
NMCT TEST ADMINISTRATION DIRECTIONS
Prepare Testing Location
• Provide a testing location that has comfortable seating, sufficient workspace, and good lighting. Arrangements for rooms and seating should be announced in advance in order
• to eliminate confusion when testing begins. The room where students take the test should be as free from outside disturbance as possible. Students should be seated so they
• have enough room and will not be tempted to copy other students’ answers.
• Visual aids and clues should be removed or covered and remain hidden throughout the administration of all tests.
In order to ensure accurate results, it is essential that all Test Administrators follow the same procedure when administering the test.
• There is a Mathematics Reference Sheet included in the back of each test booklets. You must inform the students about it during the testing sessions.
• Be sure students understand the directions and how to mark responses.
• There are several places in the National Minimum Competency Test (NMCT) Administration Manual that direct you to ask students if they have any questions. Be sure that you answer all questions students have regarding the text that you have read aloud (preceded by the word “SAY”) and any questions they have about test-taking mechanics.
• Be careful not to inadvertently give hints or clues that indicate an answer or help eliminate answer choices.
Typically, students may raise their hands and tell you that they do not understand a
question after they have begun working on the test. You may NOT provide additional information to a student on test items or clarify test items. You may not read test items, passages, or prompts to the students.
• Students should mark only one response for a multiple-choice item and should completely erase any response they do not want.
• Encourage students to attempt all items. Tell them to read each item carefully and make their best attempt at responding. Be careful not to imply that they should guess randomly.
• Transcribers must be a test proctor or designated scribe who has signed the Test Security Agreement.
• Transcribe onto an answer sheet any responses that cannot be recorded by a student into a standard answer sheet.
• Responses that must be transcribed include those answered using a Braille or large print version of the test, as well as signed or oral responses.
• All responses must be transcribed onto an answer sheet.
• Transcriber signatures and the date must be on the inside front cover of the document in which they transcribed the responses.
• Return any used Braille or large print test book to your State Testing Coordinator after an accurate transcription has been made into a standard answer document.
Return Test Materials
• Test Administrators should return all test materials to the State Test Coordinator as soon as possible after completing the test session.
• All test booklets, answer sheets, and scratch papers, both used and unused, will be inventoried by STC upon collection for scanning and scoring. Results of the inventory will be provided with package before forwarding to the NDOE.
• To prevent any problems with the return of materials, Test Administrators should inventory materials immediately after every test session and store test materials securely before and after their use. Every test booklet and answer sheets, both used and unused, must be accounted for at all times.
• All test booklets and answer sheets, both used and unused, will be inventoried by Assessment Personnel upon receipt for scoring.
ADMINISTER THE NMCT
Administration of the NMCT is an important professional responsibility. The usefulness of the test results depends on the accuracy of each student’s performance. Experience shows that student performance is highly dependent upon the student’s motivation and attitude toward the test, the preparedness of the Test Administrator, the physical arrangements for testing, and adherence to
instructions. To ensure accurate and reliable results, the Test Administrator must become thoroughly familiar with the procedures described in this manual before administering the test.
• Distribute the test booklets and answer documents. Check to see that each student has a test booklet, his or her own answer sheet, and a No. 2 pencil.
• Students may use scratch paper while taking the NMCT — have scratch paper available for students to use.
• In order to ensure accurate achievement results, it is essential that all Test Administrators follow the same procedure when administering the test. Follow the script provided below for administering the NMCT.
• Read aloud word for word the material that is printed in bold type and preceded by the word “Say.”
• Read the directions to the students exactly as they are written, using a clear and appropriate tone and manner. If you make a mistake in reading a direction, stop and say, “No, that is wrong. Listen again.” Then read the direction again. Be sure students
understand the directions and how to respond.
• Be careful not to inadvertently give hints or clues that indicate an answer. Begin the test when all students are present.
Today you will take the FSM National Minimum Competency Test. Give each test your best effort. You will have enough time to read and answer all the questions. Some questions will be easy; others will be more difficult.
• Be sure to read the entire question and ALL of the answer choices carefully. If you really do not know the answer to a question, use your best test taking skills to eliminate some answer choices. Then choose the best answer from the ones that remain. Remember there is no penalty for guessing. You CAN skip questions and come back to them if you need more time.
• The test will take about 1 hour to complete and you will be given time to finish.
• If you have any concerns once the test has started, raise your hand and the Test Administrator (Proctor) will come to you. The Test Administrator (Proctor) is not allowed to provide you with any additional information during the test. The Test Administrator (Proctor) cannot help you with any words.
• Are there any questions?
• We are about to begin the reading test. Please check your answer sheet and make sure that your name is spelled correctly.
• Raise your hand if you do not have the correct answer sheet or if you need help filling in the student information on the answer sheet.
Assist students as needed.
• You will mark all of your answers in your answer sheet.
• Do not make any stray marks on the answer sheet and the test booklet.
• Open your test booklet. You should now see the directions in your test booklet.
• Raise your hand if you need help finding the directions.
Make sure you have marked all of your answers clearly and that you have completely erased any marks you do not want.
• While students are working, walk around the room to see that they are following directions and that they are not looking at any other student’s test. Do not give help on specific test questions.
• After each testing session, collect the test booklets and answer sheets. Make sure all scratch paper and reference sheets are not placed in the test booklets.
• Inventory the test materials immediately after administering the test. Turn in all of your testing materials to your State Test Coordinator so they may be put into secure storage.
• If you have any additional questions not covered in the manuals, please review the additional support documentation available on the NMCT Document page of the FSM National Education Website at http://www.national.doe.fm/. If you would like to contact the National Education, you may call 1-691-320—2609/2647 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org