testing center design

All this recent talk on the web about creative spaces has put the topic in the back of my mind over the last few weeks. I just ran across this article on how testing center environments can hinder test scores on standardized tests like the LSAT and MCAT. I took my grad entrance exam in a place that looks like this:

...and I did feel a little cramped, both physically and mentally, by the stale environment. The Kaplan study the article refers to takes into account more rational things like "...amount of desk space, quiet and comfort of site, usefulness of proctors, and overall site experience."

I hope that eventually students will have the option to take a standardized test that adds in some more things to make the testing environment more emotionally comfortable as well. Not exactly sure how this would be done, but each city could have a few different options for environments that students thrive in - test centers designed like coffee shops, libraries, parks, etc. When students sign up for the test, they just pick the environment they want to be in.

The big problem here is that these test centers are just milking the money - they have virtually no incentive to change. It's like an old ragged apartment in a coveted part of a city that the landlord probably should fix, but he doesn't have to fix anything in order to keep the rent checks coming.


At 12:38 AM , Blogger David Wen said...

They should also throw away those CRT monitors; they hurt your eyeballs!

Bring in LCDs!

At 3:44 PM , Anonymous josh said...

I would pay an extra $15 to take a computer exam with an LCD monitor, no problem


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