Testing Center COVID Operation Update

August 13, 2021

Our testing center staff are following strict cleaning regimens after each exam session, that includes disinfecting all items and surfaces that candidates encounter. Please review our testing center’s Procedures and FAQs prior to your scheduled appointment for information on what to expect during your visit. With safety measures in place, we are working together to ensure a clean and hygienic testing environment.

Mask Update: Face coverings are still required and will be inspected during check-in procedures.

Please be mindful: Testing staff use latex free gloves when handling test materials. If you have an allergy that may impact your testing experience, please notify testing staff of your concern.

Due to present COVID 19 pandemic, we will operate the test center in accordance with state and local guidelines, including but not limited to requirements for:

Following local governmental guidelines regarding temperature testing

  • Temperature testing must be performed if required by governmental guidelines.
  • Test center will engage in temperature testing and will use the following standards:
  • Use a non-invasive, touchless infrared thermometer to read individual temperatures. Note: SAU Testing Center will apply a standardized temperature threshold, e.g., 99.5o F (37.5o C) or as required by governmental guidance, to determine whether an individual is allowed to enter the test center. This will be an applied requirement across all test takers and staff in a confidential and nondiscriminatory manner.
  • If a test taker is refused admission because of a temperature that exceeds the threshold, staff will mark the test taker’s status as No Show and file a CPR describing why the test taker was not admitted.
  • We will engage in daily health-related screenings of test center staff
  • It will be required that test center staff to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in order to take reasonable precautions to attempt to limit exposure to test takers, test center staff, and any other individuals present at the test center

Capacity Control/Social Distancing

Plans are in place for abiding with the 6 feet social distancing requirement to comply with governmental standards to reduce spread of the virus. Social distancing will affect all phases of the testing process.

  • Due to social distancing guidelines, all testing rooms original capacities will be adjustment to accommodate the 6 feet distancing guideline
  • 35 seat rooms will now accommodate 20 test takers each
  • 25 seat rooms will now accommodate 15 test takers each

During Arrival and Check-In Test Taker Arrival

  • Test takers will stand in line as they arrive, tape or signs will indicate where they should stand to maintain the necessary social distancing during the check-in process.
  • Test takers are to stand in the safe distance location that have been marked on the floor.
  • Routine visual inspections will be performed from the designated safe distance area. This includes having test takers present their eyeglasses for inspection, empty their pockets, and raise their pant legs above their ankles and pull up their sleeves above their wrists for inspection.
  • Image capture and ID verification will be completed from the same position. Test taker will be asked to lower or remove their mask momentarily for this process.
  • Webcam will be situated on a stand or furniture so that test takers can approach the webcam for image capture while maintaining distance from the TCA.
  • Photo quality is still important. The face should be clear and recognizable. Only the face and shoulders should be included (similar to a passport photo). The photos are used for security purposes and are printed on score reports.
  • ID document expiration dates of February 1, 2020 and later are acceptable for testing. This is a temporary measure to assist test takers who may have been unable to renew their ID documents due to restrictions and closures during the pandemic.
  • Metal detector wand scanning of test takers is temporarily suspended in order to maintain social distancing.
  • Capturing a voice sample from the test taker is temporarily suspended. (This applies to centers that are eligible for voice capture for the GRE and TOEFL programs.)
  • Scratch paper and pens or pencils are to be provided by the test center, as usual.
  • For tests that require headsets (e.g., TOEFL), the foam windsocks will be removed from the headset microphones but save for future use. Leaving the windsocks off will enable us to wipe down the microphones before each use.
  • Maintain social distancing during the test taker flow.
  • If mask/face covering is government-mandated, we will not admit test takers who arrive without a mask/face covering. If test taker does not comply, the test taker’s status will be marked as No Show and a CPR will be filed describing why the test taker was not admitted.
  • Test takers will be allowed to wear a mask and rubber gloves.

To maintain social distancing when seating a test taker and starting the test:

  • Instead of escorting a checked-in test taker immediately to the assigned workstation, test taker will be asked to wait in a designated safe distance location while staff prepare the workstation to launch the exam.
  • Staff will go to the workstation and complete the confirmation steps to bring it to the Candidate Information screen (the first screen that the test taker should see). Note: You will need to remember the test taker’s name to confirm that the name is correct on the workstation.
  • Test taker will be motion to come to the workstation. Staff will step back as the test taker sits down, and observe at a distance that the test taker has launched the test.

During the test:

  • Test takers will be allowed to wear masks and gloves.
  • Increase visual monitoring of test takers. Be vigilant for electronic devices, notes, and other prohibited items.
  • Staff will ensure that the testing room is monitored continuously during testing. However, testing room walkthroughs can be eliminated if necessary to maintain social distancing.
  • On return from breaks, test taker will hold up their ID and lower their face mask briefly so staff can verify their identity. Observe the social distancing guidelines.
  • If a test taker requests replacement scratch paper, ask them to move away from the workstation briefly so staff can swap the paper while maintaining social distancing.

At the end of the test: Cleaning and disinfecting of testing facility after the test session

Containers will be available for test takers to return their pencils and scratch paper to minimize touching these items. Staff will control test taker flow to maintain social distancing when they are retrieving personal belongings and exiting the center.

  • Securely destroy all used scratch paper.
  • Clean and sanitize:
    • the used pencils before reusing
    • the locker keys
    • high-touch and commonly used surfaces
    • the headsets, including the microphones
    • Microphones will be wiped down after each use.
    • Caution: all electronics will be wipe down with cleaner wiped carefully.