GACE Faculty Workshop Video Transcript

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Narrator: Hello. My name is Rick Cullors and I am the Client Relations Director at ETS for the Georgia GACE program. Part of my responsibilities is to communicate directly with program providers and assist them in any way possible with regard to their test taker candidates, their examinees, and providing any support that I can. With this short session I’m going to cover some of the slide presentations that have been done throughout the state as a workshop for a number of attendees, but it gives an overall view, an overview of the assessment, the new GACE assessment program. GACE is an acronym that we’ll hear quite a bit, and actually it’s for the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators.

So what is this GACE, this Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Educators? Well it’s the state’s own approved educator certification assessment program. And the purpose, it’s an assessment designed to assure that the knowledge and the skills acquired by the prospective Georgia educators are aligned with the state and national standards for educator preparation and with the state standards for the P–12 student curriculum, the common core Georgia performance standards. The who, what, and why and how of GACE? Well, what do they measure? Well, of course, the competency, and the knowledge and skills needed in order to teach in Georgia’s classrooms. And who takes these assessments? Well, individuals seeking admission into the preparation program, those seeking educator certification by the state, and/or those seeking to become highly qualified in a core academic subject.

What types of assessments? This program has over 40 assessment areas in the following areas: basic skills, content, educational leadership and paraprofessional. Now even though there are 40 assessment areas covering these particular topics, there are well over 100 different assessments, because some areas have more than one particular assessment. How are they delivered? Well, one of the new things that we’re bringing to the program is that all assessments are computer-delivered, with, of course, the exception of the Test Two of American Sign Language, which is a performance-based test, so that’s something that needs to be done live.

It’s good to understand that when it comes to the assessments in Georgia that it’s a huge collaborative effort in order to put this assessment program together and to make it successful. There are a number of independent processes that have to take place. One is a Test Development Committee needs to be pulled together, a Bias Review Committee. Standard-setting studies are done as well. We’re going to come back to these in just a minute. But who is it that’s involved in this collaboration? Well, it’s a collaboration among the Georgia educators as well as ETS. So we have experienced ETS assessment developers that are participating, as well as a diverse representation of Georgia educators. And we say a diverse representation because these are individuals from school systems, the local schools and our other key stakeholders. It also includes educator preparation faculty members and individuals from public and private educator preparation programs.

Now we said we were going to come back to the process just a little bit. The first one that we mentioned, the top bullet, was Test Development Committees. These are actually educators from across the state that are pulled together that actually look at the test, some of the test questions, in order to make sure that the material is relevant for educators and that it’s also relevant for the new teacher, the candidate walking into the classroom on the first day. The Bias Review Committees are critically important, and, again, this involves educators from across the state that are involved because we have to look at each question, each item, each assessment as a whole to make sure that it’s free of bias. And when we say bias, there are a multiple number of different biases that are out there that we need to make sure and work very hard to make sure are not existent in the exams themselves. And there can be gender bias, there can be religious bias, there can be political bias, there can be economical bias, there can be any number, and we look at all of those things to make sure that any student taking a test, it’s free from bias.

Standard-setting studies are, again, educators brought from around the state that are pulled together into committees, and they work very hard to establish what the passing score should be for this just-qualified candidate, who is just qualified to walk into the classroom. Shouldn’t be too difficult, shouldn’t be too easy. We have to find that exact spot, and it’s the educators from across the state of Georgia that are involved in helping us to make that decision. We have some with a few years of teaching that are still considered new teachers, and we have those that are multiyear teachers with much experience that are involved so that there’s a nice balance in determining what the passing score needs to be.

So those are just three of the primary processes that not only the Commission, but ETS and the educators across the state are involved in. And it’s good for preparation programs, for program providers to understand that, because oftentimes the myth is that it’s a test designed by a provider or a company like ETS or someone else that really doesn’t know anything about education, and they just make a test and send it out here for us to take. Well, that’s really not the case. It’s a grassroots process from educators across the state. So it’s a customized assessment for your state and that’s a nice thing.

The new GACE test and transitions? Well, for tests taken prior to August 2013, the candidate’s credit is retained for any complete assessment that they’ve already passed. All parts of an assessment must be passed though in order to retain credit. So any passing scores on tests within an assessment cannot be split between two suppliers. So ETS is the new supplier launching in the fall of 2013, and so a portion of any test prior to that cannot be merged with a portion of a new assessment. That doesn’t work, and we’ll talk about that a little bit on a following slide. Of course the Educational Leadership Assessment and the Professional Pedagogy Assessment will remain with ES until the spring of 2014, and then ETS, Educational Testing Service, will also take that on.

So when is the last time to test with Evaluation Systems, the current provider? Again, that’s August 2013 is the final opportunity to pass this assessment with Evaluation Systems if it’s going to count for certification. And they’re going to continue to offer the paraprofessional through September 2013, and then it will move on to the new contractor.

On-screen: [The GaPSC will accept passing scores on the GACE Paraprofessional assessment that are dated on or before September 30, 2013.]

Narrator: They’ll continue to offer the Educational Leadership Assessment and the Professional Pedagogy Assessment, which will remain with them, with ES, until the spring of 2014.

So what happens if an examinee does not pass the full assessment by the final testing date with Evaluation Systems? Well, the Commission has determined that if that’s the case the examinee must take all tests within an assessment with the new supplier, ETS, even if a portion of the assessment was previously passed. A candidate will retain credit for any GACE assessment if they have already passed all parts of the assessment by the last testing date with Evaluation Systems.

Why can’t the Commission accept scores from different suppliers?

On-screen: [Because scores from tests offered by different test suppliers are not comparable, passing scores on tests within an assessment cannot be split between the two suppliers. Examinees must pass all parts of an assessment with the same testing supplier for that assessment to count toward certification. For example, an examinee cannot pass Early Childhood Education Test I with ES and Early Childhood Education Test II with ETS to get credit for completing the Early Childhood GACE assessment.]

Narrator: Well, there are a number of reasons, but primarily it’s because both testing suppliers agree that comparing scores between two different suppliers is not psychometrically possible. So we have to make sure that the tests are valid, that they are reliable and that they’re legally defensible, and it’s almost impossible to do that using portions of tests from two different suppliers. Another reason is that assessment pass rates are required by federal law, Title II, and inform accreditation program approval decisions, so that’s another reason that an entire test must come from a single provider. So there’s really no way to combine this data in a proper way, so that’s why the complete test must be fulfilled under one supplier or the other.

Let’s talk a little bit about some of the new things that you can expect with the new GACE program. Computer-delivered testing. There are more testing days — these are all good things — 26 percent increase in the number of testing days a year. There are more testing sessions, 19 percent increase in testing opportunities. So that means for your large-volume test that we have a lot of test takers for, there are between 100 and 200 times, more times per year for them to test, and these assessments are available nationally as well as internationally. The test will be more rigorous. In line with the common-core Georgia Performance Standards, they will include innovative item types that will measure critical thinking skills, and will also measure candidates’ ability to meet the standards before receiving their educator certification.

The test design. The current multiple test per assessment area will be maintained, so there will be no change there. But all tests will be offered by computer only, except for the Sign Language Test, which is a performance-based test. We mentioned that there will be innovative item types such as video stimuli requiring higher levels of thinking. All this will be incorporated into the new test, and most tests will contain selected response questions only, most commonly referred to as multiple choice.

Tests that have constructed-response or written-response questions. Constructed-response questions will be retained for those tests, requiring them in order to adequately measure the constructs being assessed, and there is a list of some of those that will have some of the constructed-response questions, including the Spanish and the Latin.

On-screen: [American Sign Language, Program Admission – Writing, Early Childhood Education, English, French, German, Middle Grades Language Arts, Spanish, Latin]

Narrator: Registration, it is going to be very important that we understand this. When it comes to the MY PSC registration, all examinees must have an account on the Georgia PSC website in order to register for a GACE assessment. The name in the examinee’s My PSC account must exactly match the name on the photo ID that will be used when seeking admission into the test center to take an assessment. If not the examinee will not be admitted. And so we’ll talk about that just a little bit more, but that’s a critical point to keep in mind.

This new eligibility process will go into place. Candidates enrolled in an approved educator preparation program within a college or a university must be approved now to test by their program provider. They cannot just test any time they choose. They must be approved by the providers. Those not involved, or those not enrolled rather in a Georgia state-approved program or who are from out of state, must request approval to test from the Commission through their My PSC account, so they will have to establish an account as well.

Why is the Georgia Professional Standards Commission implementing this eligibility and approval to test system? Well, there are a number of reasons. One is that program providers have control over when examinees test and what test they take. Reports show that many examinees are testing before they receive adequate preparation, and this is really unfair to them because they’re not prepared, and it’s also an added expense. If they are not thoroughly prepared, they continue to test, hoping to do better, each time there’s a fee involved, and so it’s good that the program provider is confident that they are ready to test before approving them to do so. And sometimes individuals are also testing in subject areas for which they are not being prepared, and so this would avoid that as well.

Do the LEAs or educators need to do anything about this new eligibility system? Well, certified educators who are seeking to add a field or to convert to a clear renewable certificate will be granted automatic eligibility to take certain tests. Non-certified individuals testing to meet the Georgia requirements, and those testing to meet admission requirements for post-bacc or certification only, or they’re testing to meet the MAT or the Georgia TAP admission requirements will also be granted automatic eligibility to take certain tests, so that’s a nice provision that the Commission has made.

We mentioned creating the My PSC and the GACE account? We’ll talk about that a little bit now and what’s necessary in order for that to happen. When it comes to registrations, candidates must complete the following prior to registering for a test. So if they go in to register for a test and number one and number two here have not been completed, the system is not going to allow them to register. They must first create a My PSC account on the Georgia website. They receive their certification ID number, or Georgia cert ID, and it’s important to know that this ID will be used throughout the certification and registration process. Everything is always going to default back and ask them for their certification ID number so that there can be a nice alignment in what they’re attempting to do. Number two is that they will have to create an ETS GACE testing account. Here approved tests for candidates will be listed and this is where test takers will register to test. Any of the paraprofessional candidates do not have to pre-register, and they do not need a My PSC account and they do not need approval to test for this particular assessment.

Test takers with disabilities or health-related needs. ETS provides services and accommodations that are reasonable and appropriate given the purpose of the GACE test. And there are a number of critical points here, key points that we have to keep in mind when it comes to requests for accommodations. One is that test takers must register by mail through the ETS Disabilities Services System. Accommodations for testing must be approved before registering to test. So let me just highlight that a little bit. If an individual wants to register to take a test, realizes that they are going to need or would like accommodations to support them in the testing, that’s fine, but they should not register for a test before having their accommodations approved, so it’s important that that’s done first. There is a special bulletin, a supplement for test takers with disabilities or health-related needs that they need to go to and look at, and it’s online, on the webpage. It contains the contact information and the very specific procedures for requesting these accommodations as well as the registration forms. So there are certain forms. And, again, why it’s important that there should be no attempt to register before having the accommodations approved, and then you’ll be able to use the specific forms for registrations that will be needed. This supplement can be downloaded from the website, and also large-print bulletins and supplements are available upon request. There are also tips for test takers with disabilities available online at the website listed here,

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Sign-in to a GACE account]

Narrator: Here’s a few points on what’s necessary and things to look for when signing onto the GACE account. You can see the opening page says to sign into your account, and you can identify yourself as a returning user, in which case you will have your user name and password or a new user. And this is also an important page because if you will notice on the right there, this is where any new information or any new important updates or alerts will be posted. So this is a page that you want to take notice of, even if you just go in as a returning user and enter your user name and password. Always check for important updates that will be right here on this facing page.

On-screen: [Screen shot GACE Create Your Account Part 1 of 2 To create an ETS GACE account, test taker needs information found on their MyPSC account]

Narrator: A test taker will need information here that is found on their My PSC account. So from your My PSC account you will have your Georgia certification ID number that will be necessary to go on this particular page, and then, of course, your first name, your last name, your date of birth and your Social Security number. And if notice on the right there in the blue circle, there is the critical point that we mentioned previously. It’s critical that the information on the primary ID document and the admission ticket matches. So whatever name you will be using, or whatever name is identified on your identification that you’re going to be showing must match exactly as to what’s found in your account, because from your account is going to be the registration roster that will be held at the test site once you go there to register as well as when you print your admission ticket, and all three names, in each area all three times the name must be exactly the same. And it needs to be your legal name, and this is, again, critical for a problem-free registration. It must be a legal name. It must match exactly with your approved ID. Two-part last names or hyphenated names must match exactly. No nicknames or no initials as a first name, and this also applies to any registrations that may be done by phone. So the My PSC account and the ETS GACE testing account must match exactly. OK? This is very important.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Create Your Account Part 2 of 2]

Narrator: Now we can go in and create your account using your personal user name, your password and a security question. If you notice down at the bottom of this particular page it gives you an option to select some security questions that you will be able to answer to get you into your account should you forget your password. Some examples are, “What is your father’s middle name, what was your first pet’s name, what is your mother’s maiden name?” and so forth. So that’s useful in the event that your password hasn’t been recorded someplace and you forget it.

On-screen: [Screen shot of My GACE home.]

Narrator: Once the account is created, now you have full access to your personal ETS GACE portal, and this is critical because this is where you get access to check your eligibility, to see if you’ve been approved to take a test, to register for a particular test. Any test that you’ve previously taken, any scores that have been recorded can be viewed there. You’re able to go in and manage your profile, as well as view some of the quick links to the test preparation material as well as the test center dates, if you’re looking to test in the future and are concerned about test date availability. We’ll talk a little bit about that on a couple of slides forthcoming that will talk about ways of selecting available test dates.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Eligibility]

Narrator: You’re able to learn which tests you’re eligible to take via this particular webpage. The program provider, this is where you go in and you would approve individuals to take specific tests. So in this example here, we’ll see that this particular test taker has been approved to take a number of different tests, Early Childhood Education, Spanish I and II, American Sign Language, as well as the Mathematics test. And it gives all the information, it gives the test code, and you’re also able to see who the program provider is that provided the testing approval. So the test name, test code and approving entity is all found on this particular page.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Background Information]

Narrator: Test takers can answer your background questions that will assist program providers with key data. What is your best language of communication? Which language did you learn as a child? All that is important information and you have the opportunity to go in and to enter that.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Select a Test]

Narrator: Test takers may select only from those titles for which they’ve been granted approval to test. So if they want to take a particular test, they thought they had been approved to take a particular test, but as a program provider you have not given that authorization, when you go to this page you will clearly be able to see which tests and which tests only the examinee will be able to take. And, again, all of the information here so as to have no surprises – the code, the duration, how long the particular test is, as well as the particular testing fee or the price for a particular test.

In some cases test takers may choose to take a combined test that includes all the tests in a particular assessment. And if you look at this particular page, the circled in red is the candidate has been approved to take Spanish Test I and Spanish Test II combined, and he may check the box there, select, in order to take this test. It’s code 641, it’s a five-hour test and it shows a price of $193.00, though in this case they have the time and the opportunity to take both assessments.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Tests to be Scheduled]

Narrator: On this slide we see that they may choose to take only a single portion of that test. They’re taking the Spanish Test number one, which is the reading and writing. You’ll notice it has a different code. This is 141. The duration is different, it’s two hours, as well as the test fee being different.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Tests to be Scheduled]

Narrator: Once they select their test, test takers view the duration and the fee. So here they decided they want to take the tests separately. They can see the different codes. They can look at the different hours, the time, depending on how much time they have to test, as well as the particular fee. So all the information is provided for them in advance to help them to make a better decision on what’s going to work best for them in taking a particular assessment.

On-screen: [Fees $25 registration fee and $28 test center fee are included in total fee Test and Total Fee*:, Program Admission (combined test) = $128, Program Admission (any two tests) = $103, Program Admission (single test) = $78, Content (combined test) = $193, Content (single test) = $123, Paraprofessional (no registration or test center fees) = $35. Additional Services: Test center, date, or time change = $15, Canceled test registration = $30. *GACE assessments administered at international test sites are subject to a $50 test site fee in addition to any test fees paid]

Narrator: This page shows some of the fees. A $25 registration fee and a $28 test fee are included in the total fees. So as you look at the total fees, there are no additions to that. So the program administration, admissions, the combined test, you see the fee for each of these tests.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Select a Test Center]

Narrator: Another nice option that’s been included in the registration page is that for each test, test takers are able to search for a test center based on a ZIP code, or country or state, so a number of options they have here. If you look at the areas that are circled in red, find test centers to this US ZIP code, they may be able to go in and enter a ZIP code and find all the test centers, the closest test centers in that area as well as by state. It highlights the United States there — you see other options are Canada, Germany, Guam, France and so forth — and then from there you’d be able to pick a particular state, and then a city or a particular ZIP code.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Select a Test Center]

Narrator: Test center options are presented for selection as well. Once you go in and you find that you want to test in a certain area, certain city, under a certain ZIP code, there may be multiple testing centers. Well, as you see here under step two, select a test center, you see a number of different test center locations that you can select to go in and test, depending on locale, what may be most convenient for the examinee.

When it comes to test centers, one of the things that we’ve worked hard to do was to make sure that the information is readily available to the examinees. So the most current information regarding websites, regarding test centers can be found at the website. And we say the most current information because things change. We’re constantly seeking to open new test centers, if there’s a need. If there are test centers that are getting no traffic at all and there’s not a need, they may be closed, so the most current and up-to-date information will always be found on the website. We work very hard to cover the entire state, as we mention here from Albany to Waycross, to make sure that test centers are convenient. An interesting point here to keep in mind is that these test centers are listed by general area in some cases, and not necessarily in the actual city limit, so it may be in a general area. So on the website though you will see that each location has the exact address, that will allow you to search by name or ZIP code. Out-of-state test takers, the registration bulletin also indicates some of the locations, as well as the international test centers. Helping test takers find their test center, admission tickets will have the complete name and address, including the ZIP code of the test center once an admissions ticket is printed out. And this is important because in the event that the test taker is unfamiliar with the area, most vehicles and individuals now have GPS, and so having that information readily available, they’re able to type it into the GPS in their vehicle, or perhaps on their smartphone, take them directly to the testing center.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Select Date and Time]

Narrator: Test takers can view available test date using the calendar. A little earlier we mentioned that we would talk a little bit about this. The nice thing about this particular page is that it allows an examinee, a test taker, to go in and look at a particular calendar and look at optional dates that they may like to test. It gives them the opportunity to click on a date and view the available testing times that are available this particular date. So in this sample, on May 2013, it shows the 16th is highlighted. The examinee has clicked on that, and to the box to the right of June 2013, you’ll see it gives the date, Thursday, May the 16th, 2013, and lets them know that there is available time at 7:00 a.m. So this gives them not only the date, location, but the times that are available as well.

On-screen: [Each test is offered during specific testing windows throughout the year. Paraprofessional assessment is administered by appointment only. Check ETS GACE registration system for availability or the GACE Registration Bulletin at Test takers can easily check availability during the registration process. Availability also provided when registering by telephone. Registration must be completed at least two full days before the test date, not including the day of registration and the day of the test.]

Narrator: Test dates. Each test is offered during specific testing windows throughout the year. And so the examinee needs to check the registration system for availability or the registration bulletin online at under bulletin. This way they can easily check the availability during the registration process. Once they go in, they’re starting to register, they can look and see what’s available in advance, before selecting a date and time. This is also available when registering by telephone. And an important point here is that registration must be completed at least two full days before the test date, and this does not include the day of registration and the day of the test. So let me explain. So two full days, not including the day you register and not including the day of the test. So that would mean that if I, as an examinee, registered on Monday to test, I would have to wait one full day Tuesday, a second full day Wednesday, and then Thursday I would be able to test. I cannot register Monday and think Wednesday is two days away and could test. It would not give me two full days. So two full days between the dates of registration and actual testing. And you notice our little star there to the right. It says, “Register early.” It’s important that we register early, as soon as possible, because anything can happen and it makes it less stressful, less anxiety on test takers when they know they are registered early, things are in place and they’re ready to go. So something to keep in mind, two full days in advance.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Confirm Your Testing Information]

Narrator: Once test takers have gone in, the examinees have registered for a test, they’ve selected their location, they understand their time, they are able to go in and confirm everything that’s been done. They can confirm their testing information. The test date and the center in the example here, Wednesday, the 28th, Atlanta English Institute, Atlanta, Georgia. The ZIP code is there, the specific test they are taking. In this instance they are taking a combined test, the Spanish I and II. They understand their reporting time, its delivery mode is computer, the test code, the fee, as well as the duration. They’re able to look and make sure that everything is accurate well in advance.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Your Score Recipients]

Narrator: Another nice provision that we’ve included in this assessment program is to allow test takers to select their score recipients. And if you’ll notice in the center of this page it shows the test date of August the 28th, 2013, and then it shows some automatic score recipients. Automatic score recipients, of course, will always be the Commission, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission — they will always get a candidate score — as well as the institution, the program provider that authorized them to take the test or made them eligible, gave them approval to take the test. So those two individuals automatically get that score. But you’ll also notice in our blue circle to the right that test takers have the additional option to select up to three additional score recipients. They may want their scores to go to another university, to an HR department in some area, and so they have that option of selecting up to three additional score recipients. However, the Georgia Commission and the program provider that provided eligibility will automatically receive the examinee scores.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Add a Score Recipient]

Narrator: One of the ways that test takers can select additional recipients is by looking through or searching via the ZIP code, the country or the state where they would like to send their scores. So the same provision that they have in state in order to select a testing center, that same functionality has been provided for them to select other recipients for their score reports.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Your Score Recipients]

Narrator: Once they select the other recipients, they can view a complete list of who will receive their scores, a complete list of score recipients. This will include the automatic score recipients, which is of course the Commission and the program provider that authorized them to test, as well as any additional. So in our example here you can see the automatic score recipient, the program provider, as well as the additional score recipient that this particular examinee wanted his score to go to, and in this case it was Albany State University.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Review Your Order]

Narrator: Before completing the final order, test takers are able to review before they continue, and this sheet, or this particular page on this slide, shows an example of the complete history of this registration, test, where their scores will go, everything on one sheet so the test taker can confirm his personal information, the test date for each test, the test center, the score recipients and the total fees. So, again, no surprises, everything upfront, in advance, before actual test date and scores are received so that the examinee knows exactly what will be taking place around his assessment.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Select Payment Method]

Narrator: There are a number of payment options that are included — credit, debit card or PayPal — and this particular slide shows how they’re able to select the payment, the payment method as well. And there on the right you’ll some of the means of payment – American Express, Discover, the Chase Bank card, MasterCard, Visa, as well as PayPal. PayPal, very common today, so that’s another provision in order to pay for the assessment.

The confirmation sheet, again, the nice thing about it is that they receive confirmation about their order onscreen, and they will also receive an email to their account on file. So whatever their email account is on the file, they will receive an email in that respect confirming their complete order. Confirmation email includes the test center address and the date for the test, the time they are to report, what to bring to the test center, as well as nice reminders about test preparation information for the particular test that they will be taking, as well as the admission ticket. When it comes to the admission ticket, this is something the examinee must do prior to going to take the test — print the admission ticket for each test through the ETS GACE testing account.

Well, what about the actual test day, being prepared? What’s necessary?

On-screen: [Important Things to Do Prior to Arrival at Test Center: Verify location and reporting time, Print admission ticket via your ETS GACE account, Assemble identification documents, Review the guidelines on what to bring, For tests that require a calculator, practice by using the Online Calculator Tutorial well in advance, For language tests, practice on the Alternate Character Toolbar tutorial well in advance, Dress in layers to ensure you are ready for any room temperature]

Narrator: Some important things to do prior to arrival at the test center, and this is a nice reminder not only for the examinees, but for program providers as well as they’re preparing their cohorts to test. We need to verify the location and the reporting time. And it’s important that they verify the location. Oftentimes if you’ve never been to a location, but we think we know where it is, we can be surprised sometimes – we thought it was one place and it’s someplace else – so we strongly encourage examinees to confirm or verify the location and the reporting time before they go. Print their admission ticket in advance because they’ll need to take it with them, get all their records, their identification documents together in advance because they’re going to need it, and, again, it’s going to need to match exactly with their admissions ticket. Review the guidelines on what to bring. For tests that require a calculator, it’s nice that examinees have the option of practicing on the online calculator tutorial well in advance. That’s a nice provision on the website for specific tests that require a calculator. Well, before test day, they can go into the website, pull up a simile of the test with a calculator, and go through the tutorial and familiarize themselves with it, so that when they take the actual test on test day, it’s not new to them, they’re experienced with it, and, again, it reduces any anxiety that they may have. For a language test, they need to practice on the alternative character toolbar tutorial well in advance. Many languages have different characters that go over letters or under letters in writing. They’re called alternate characters. There’s a toolbar tutorial that they can use, again, in advance of the test day, so that when they actually take the test they’re thoroughly familiar with it and are able to go in with less anxiety. My suggestion is also to dress in layers to ensure you’re ready for any room temperature. Some people tend to be colder than others, some tend to be warmer than others. Sometimes the proctor has little control over the temperature in a particular testing room. So if test takers are dressed in a way to add on or remove some layers of clothing, that will generally help, so just a nice reminder there.

Arrival time is important because candidates select their time from various times during the day. That being the case, they are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes before the reporting time that’s listed on the admissions ticket. And this is to prevent anyone from being late, because if you’re late and you’re not there at the start time, examinees will be turned away, so they’re asked to arrive 30 minutes before the reporting time. And anything can happen. Weather could be bad, there could be an accident, could be a flat tire. Anything can happen. If we’ve given ourselves that type of buffer, then we are more likely to be on time. Candidates will not be admitted if arriving after their scheduled reporting times and their fees will be forfeited. So, again, it’s important that as program providers we make sure that our test taker examinees are well aware of these important reminders.

On-screen: [General Guideline: Relatives and friends will not be permitted to wait at the testing center, Visitors and/or observers are not permitted in the testing rooms, except for authorized ETS/GaPSC staff, Candidates must comply with all security measures; refusal may result in being unable to test and forfeit of fees No electronic devices allowed (cell/smart phones, tablets, recording, listening, photographic, scanning, etc.)]

Narrator: There are some general guidelines that must be adhered to at test centers. One is that relatives and friends will not be permitted to wait at the testing center. Visitors and/or observers are not permitted in the testing rooms except for authorized ETS or GaPSC staff. And let me highlight this second point because it’s important for the examinees to understand as well as program providers. Visitors and observers are not permitted and it says, “Except for authorized ETS or Commission staff.” So that means that even as the client relations director for this particular program working for ETS, I cannot just show up at a test center and say, “Well, I’m here to observe. I’m here to see how things are going and make sure there is no problems,” because I will not be allowed entry. I must be authorized. And just because I work for ETS, or just because a person is a member of the Commission, that doesn’t authorize them. What an ETS staff member would have to do, would have to contact Test Taker Services at ETS, let them know that they plan on being at a test center and why. In turn ETS would send a letter or an email to the particular test center and inform them that Mr. Rick Cullors, the Client Relations Director for the Georgia GACE program, will be an observer. He will be in attendance. He will show you his identification, his company identification upon arrival. Now I am an authorized ETS representative that can be there, and it’s the same way with the Georgia Commission staff. The Commission will not just show up without going through ETS and notifying the test center in advance. Bullet number three, candidates must comply with all security measures. Refusal may result in being unable to test and they will forfeit their fees. A little later we’ll talk about one of the videos that examinees are able to view prior to testing that helps them to understand what they should expect at a or at some test centers. And they may have everything from; it may involve fingerprinting. It may involve picture taking. In some cases it may involve being scanned with a wand, very similar to what may happen at an airport, and at some it may, some they may not. But in any case, candidates must comply with the security measures, and refusal to participate in any portion will result in them not being able to test and their fees being forfeited. Bullet four, no electronic devices are allowed. This includes cell phones, smartphones, tablets, recording devices, listening devices, scanning equipment, photographic equipment, anything out of the way. Security is a serious concern when it comes to assessment, when it comes to testing, and so if we just leave these things in our vehicles or at home and not have them with us in the testing center, we won’t have any problems. If individuals are found to have these things in their possession, they will immediately be dismissed from the testing center and their testing fees will be forfeited.

This is the video that I mentioned on the previous slide. Test takers can view a seven-minute video on what to expect at the test center, and this will show everything from signing in to in some cases particular test sites may have a locker for people to put their items in — some do not — how they will register, what to do if they have a question. Anything that may be involved that they should expect at a test center will be covered in this video. And, again, once they’ve signed in and established their website, their personal website, they will be able to go in on the GACE website and view this video.

So in addition to the examinees looking at the video What To Expect At a Test Center, as program providers what are some tips that we can offer to examinees? What are some smart tips for test takers? Well, one would be to remind them to find out in advance what the test covers. That information is available. Use the About the Assessment section in the study companion and identify areas that they don’t know well. Also remind them to assess how well they know the content, to be honest with themselves. Use the study plan document to create a clear and targeted study plan and areas to strengthen and stick to the plan. And give themselves enough time to prepare, and have a starting and an ending date. Remind them to collect materials to prepare in advance, so they’ve had a chance to do all of that before a test day. They can visit the ETS store for official test prep material as well. Review and practice, very important. Suggest that they practice answering test questions and give themselves the same amount of time that they will need when they are taking an actual test. These are really smart tips that they will appreciate.

On-screen: [Smart Tips for Test Takers: Don't worry about your score when taking the test. Use your energy on the test — don't get angry with it. Keep track of time. Read all possible answers before selecting one. Be aware of key words such as HOT, BEST, LEAST, EXCEPT ... Use the process of elimination. Scan the answer choices before you start reading the material and/or working the problem. In selected-response items, you need to choose the correct answer, but you do not need to prove it. Don't waste your time trying to prove the answer. Do not take too much time on any one question.]

Narrator: Encourage them not to worry about their score when taking the test, to use their energy on the test and not to get angry with it. Keep track of time, read all the possible answers before selecting one. And, again, these are common test-taking strategies that we’re all familiar with, but from time to time have a tendency to forget, so offering these smart tips to test takers will be invaluable. Remind them to scan their answer choices before they start reading the material or working on the problem, and also not to take too much time on any one test question.

On-screen: [Test Results and Score Reporting: A passing score as determined by the GaPSC will be a scaled score with the same numeric value for each test, Unofficial scores can be viewed at the end of each selected-response only test, Official scores are provided after the testing window for both selected-response and selected-response with constructed-response tests, Score reporting dates are listed on the website.]

Narrator: Scores are posted to candidate's MyPSC webpage Scoring and the test results. Test results and score reporting. A passing score as determined by the Commission will be a scale score with the same numeric value for each test. Now what does that mean? Well, what it means is that all tests, even though tests may be weighted differently, even though different forms of a particular test may be a little more difficult, or a little more easy, a little more rigorous, a little more robust than another, they will be scaled so that they will all have the same passing score. So it doesn’t matter if you’re taking a Spanish test, a Latin test, a Mathematics test, an English Language Arts test, the passing numeric value will be the same — a 200, a 220, a 240, whatever is determined by the Commission. Unofficial scores can be viewed at the end of each selected-response only test or multiple-choice test. At the end of the test it will tell them how many they got correct and how many were incorrect. These are not the official scores though. The official scores are provided after the testing window for both the selected response and the selected response with constructed-response test. So once that testing window is over then official scores are reported. The score-reporting dates are listed on the website, so, again, that information is available to the examinee well in advance and the scores are posted on the candidate’s My PSC webpage. So, again, we’re starting to see how important it is that from the very beginning that the candidate goes in and establishes both of these webpages well in advance because all of the information involving their assessment process will be located there.

Using the website to prepare. We mentioned some test preparation materials a little earlier, some tips. There are a number of different things that if using the ETS GACE webpage in the way that it’s designed can be very useful to test takers.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE For Test Takers]

Narrator: You’ll notice here that the website provides information and for program providers. And if you look at some of the things on the right it divulged the test taker information, easy one-click access for program providers and information on the paraprofessional assessment, and then there are a number of different links that they can easily go to. You’ll notice in the center of this slide circled in red it says “Some Quick Links,” and it takes them to everything about registration, test day, scores, accommodations, test centers. All that information is readily available at a quick click of the mouse.

On-screen: [Screen shot of About the GACE Assessments]

Narrator: Learn more about the GACE assessment. On this particular page it’s very informative around the assessment. It gives them an overview of the assessment, the program, admissions, the content. It talks about the educational leadership as well as the paraprofessional assessment, so really those that want to learn about the program in advance, or particular assessments, are able to go into this particular page and it will help them with that information.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE On the Day]

Narrator: Again, in addition to the video, in writing here in the bulletin, in the information, you will see information and details on what to expect on test day, information on the ID requirement, some nice tips for test-day success, the different videos that are available, the strategies for success on test day, a GACE computer-delivered test tour, as well as a computer-delivered testing demonstration. All of these things are available, and it’s quick links, as you’ll see circled there, that the candidate as well as the program provider are able to go to and familiarize themselves thoroughly.

This is the opening shot of the particular video on strategies for success to help prepare. It’s about a seven-minute video, and this particular video has a number of different test takers discussing some of the best strategies to use in order to be successful in taking a test. Some nice information on what to do, as well as things not to do.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Test Prep Materials]

Narrator: From our dropdown menus, test takers can select the informational websites about the particular test, information on test prep material. What do they want? And, again, you’ll see from a dropdown box in the center of this slide Select an Assessment. You can go to program admissions, reading, school counseling, all of those are there. The nice thing about this particular page is also, if you’ll notice to the right, one of our provisions for chat. You’ll see that if you have questions, you’re not sure, you need to chat with someone live, there is a provision that’s there, as well as any updates or alerts on test-prep webinars. Information will be listed there as well. So it’s a good page, very important page for the program provider as well as the examinee himself to be aware of.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Preparation Materials]

Narrator: Once they select their test, they can view all the test preparation materials that are available for that particular test. So it’s very nicely done, customized to really help. It does no good to look at test prep material about math, if you’re taking an English test, or vice versa. So this helps them, directs them to the particular preparation materials for a particular type of test in many cases. And it also includes the study companions that are free. It includes the three videos. It includes interactive practice tests as well as test prep webinars that they can go to on demand to review a webinar at any time that they would like.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Study Companion]

Narrator: One of the things that we mentioned on the previous page was the study companion. This is a very nice tool. Every assessment includes a free study companion. This example here is one of the school psychology assessment, and each study companion includes all of these things listed here on the right with the checkmarks. Important things to know, understanding the questions and the rationale for questions, understanding not only the right answer to a particular question, but understanding the rationale. Why is it the right answer? Or one of the distracters, one of the wrong answers, why is that answer not the best answer or why is it not correct? Information on test questions. It shows examinees how to develop a study plan. There’s a nice chart that’s included there — I think we show it coming up in a little bit here — a nice chart on how they can actually schedule out a study plan for a particular assessment in order for them to do their very best. And it also talks about score information, test-day tips and accommodations. So the study companion, a very valuable tool for examinees.

On-screen: [Screen shot of Review Smart Tips for Success]

Narrator: Smart tips for success, a number that are listed here. Examples on some of these are just strategies around guessing. The reality is in some cases if we’re just not sure, we do have to make a guess if we want to answer every question. But there are some strategies around guessing. So even if an examinee has to guess, there are certain things he needs to know to give himself the best chance of getting the correct answer. Keeping track of times, keeping the harder questions and coming back later, things that we know, but we have a tendency to forget, reading all the possible answers and then double checking your answers. So some nice tips for success.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE About the Assessment]

Narrator: The page on About the Assessment provides just a snapshot of the actual test. It gives them at a glance a lot of information on the test code, the time, the duration, the number of questions on the test, how it’s broken down, it’s delivered, and then at the bottom it gives them a nice summary of the test. And this is good to know because it helps them with pacing when it comes to taking the test. They know in advance how many, the number of questions that they’re going to have to deal with, and just the overall general information about the assessment as summarized at the bottom of the page there.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Test Subarea and Objectives]

Narrator: It also breaks down the subareas and the objectives of a particular test and it shows the percentage. In this particular example of subareas for test one, it shows the database decision making and accountability and how that accounts for 60 percent of the test, school and systems organization, policy and practice is 20, legal, ethical and professional practices 20 percent, and then the objectives up there as listed. So percentage of the test covered by subject area or subarea, as well as detailed information about what’s on the assessment. This is invaluable to the examinee preparing to take a particular test.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Sample Questions]

Narrator: Sample question types are available also for all of the assessments, so they get an example. They’re able to practice with, review and look at sample questions that will be very similar to what they will be taking on the actual test. Sample question types, correct answers, suggested approaches to the question, and then again the rational for the correct answer, why it’s the correct answer or the best answer.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Develop Your Study Plan]

Narrator: The chart that we mentioned earlier in the study companion, Develop a Study Plan, here’s a sample of that. It has instructions for developing a personalized study plan, a sample study plan and a template for them to actually fill out. And so this is valuable because it allows the test takers to actually see their strengths as well as your weaknesses, it directs them to the resources so that they can work on their weaknesses, and it gives them an actual schedule for getting the study done. Oftentimes if you don’t have a schedule in writing that you can adhere to, it makes it very difficult to find the time to study properly for an assessment. All this is provided to assist them in doing that.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE How to use the study plan]

Narrator: Here’s a sample that shows you how to use the study plan. Some of the things that are circled there in red — how well did I know this content? They’re able to kind of grade themselves there. What resources do I have? Where can I find the resources I need? It gives them that information. The date planned to study this content, the examinee can go in and enter a date when he’s going to start and it gives himself a completion date to work on it as well. So they can evaluate how well they do, identify resources to help them and determine study dates for actually getting it done.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Test Takers Demo]

Narrator: There’s a nice hands-on tutorial to navigating the computer-delivered test. It actually helps the test takers see. It’s a demonstration of how they can go in and practice using the tools on the computer-delivered test in that particular environment. Once they go in and navigate this, they will see that they’ll be able to go in and, as it’s shown there in the sample, mark a particular question to go back and forward. If they’ve never tested via computer before, it’s good to go in and practice and use this because you understand not only what to do, but the amount of time that’s involved in getting it done.

Another nice addition to the GACE assessment program is a simulated computer-delivered testing experience, and this is via the interactive practice test. Every test will have an interactive practice test. Now these are tests that are developed by ETS assessment developers, so there will be a nice alignment between the practice test and the actual assessments. They are timed to simulate a computer-delivered testing environment. It also includes the correct answers with rationales, not only the correct answer, but why it’s the correct or the best answer for a particular question. An interactive scorecard will be available to assist test takers in identifying their strengths and weaknesses. A little later in this slide presentation you will see an actual scorecard that helps them to do that.

There’s a $15 fee or charge for each interactive practice test, and they will available on a rolling basis. Now on a rolling basis, what does that mean? Well, it means that the interactive practice test will be available for select titles at the first administration, and that additional interactive practice tests will be added as they are completed over the coming months.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Example of a question on an interactive practice test]

Narrator: Here’s an example of a question on an interactive practice test and you’ll see it’s very similar to what they would see on an actual live test on computer. It has a timer there in the upper right-hand corner to simulate the actual testing experience. They will be able to use the cursor to select their answer, and then they will be able to click on review there at the bottom circled if they want to go in and review their previous selected answers.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Example of a correct question with rationale]

Narrator: Here’s an example. We’ve mentioned several times that we’re providing rationales around question answers. Here’s an example of a question with a rationale. This particular question the correct answer is C as in Charlie, and the correct answer rationale is found at the bottom, and it explains how and why that that is the correct answer.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Interactive Practice Test Score Summary]

Narrator: There is a score summary card, interactive practice test score summary card that’s available that shows the number of correct answers, in this sample 55, the number of incorrect answers, 30, and unanswered questions, a zero here. And then there is a breakdown of performance by subarea that the examinee can see. A, B, C, D, here are the different subareas, and it shows the number of questions and the number of questions they got correct in each of those subareas. So it gives the total correct and incorrect and the unanswered questions, as well as the number of questions correct by subarea. So a nice review, a nice informative scorecard for the examinee to determine his strengths and weaknesses on a particular assessment using the interactive practice test.

On-screen: [Screen shot of GACE Interactive Practice Test Score: Interactive Review]

Narrator: And this is the scorecard that allows them at a glance to see how well they did in certain subareas. In subarea one, you can see all the green checkmarks indicate answers that they got correct, and you will see that the few of the red circles with the Xs are the ones that they got wrong. So just at a glance, they’re able to see where they were strong, where they were weak, where they did well and which areas they were stronger in, some more so than others.

So this has been a brief overview of what to expect from the new Georgia GACE assessment program. We hope that you’ve found this helpful as a program provider and speaking with your examinees in preparation for taking a test. The nice thing about this presentation is that it will be on demand as a webinar any time you need to go in and re-review it, perhaps with some of your staff. And, of course, at all times if there are any questions or concerns, you’d like clarification about anything that you’ve seen presented here today, feel free to contact us at ETS. Thank you.