Test Center expanding hours during finals

Around 5,000 tests will be given in the OCCC Test Center the week of May 11 through 16. The Test Center is preparing for finals week and urges students to do the same, said Linda Little, Testing and Assessment director.

During finals week, the center will be open extended hours from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Little said students need to arrive an hour before the center closes in order to take a test.

Most students show up between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., so Little advises students to arrive before or after those times if they want to avoid a crowd. She also recommends students take their tests on Monday or Tuesday, instead of waiting until Friday or Saturday.

“Sometimes, our peak hours are 11 a.m. until about 6 p.m., so anytime in there we’re going to be swamped,” she said. “If they really want to try to be here when it’s not as busy, they need to come before 11 a.m. or after 6 or 7 p.m.

“Earlier in the week is better. It seems that students tend to put off taking the test until the end of the week, so we tend to get progressively busier as the week goes on.

“If they can — if their test has been opened, or their professor has it down here — if they take it earlier in the week, there won’t be as many people here,” she said.

In order to accommodate the large number of people, Little said, the extra testing room in 1F6 will be open from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. and allow people to spread out more. The air conditioning also will be turned down to make students a little more comfortable, she said.

Students need to bring their OCCC ID each time they visit the Test Center and are only allowed to bring a regular pencil in with them.

“They can bring their own pencils,” she said. “We have pencils here. There are pencil sharpeners in the room, but they can bring their own pencils and erasers if they want. They just cannot use a mechanical pencil.

“It has to be a regular pencil and a regular eraser, and they have to show them to us. We just make sure there’s not anything written on them, because you’d be surprised how much you can write on something like that.”

All possessions, such as cell phones and backpacks, are not allowed in the Test Center. Students can secure them in the lockers just outside the center. During peak hours, Little said, finding a locker can be difficult.

“If they come during really busy hours, they might want to leave their stuff locked in their car if they can,” she said.

Food and drinks are not allowed, but students with a cough are allowed to bring cough drops to prevent distraction due to coughing, but are asked to show them to the Test Center staff.

Little also recommends students use the restroom prior to taking their test.

“If they leave the Test Center, they have to turn in their test, because we can’t walk them to the bathroom and if they leave the Test Center, we have no way of knowing what they’re doing.

“Then they come back in, we don’t know if they’ve looked at their notes, their textbook, talked to somebody … ,” she said.

For more information about the Test Center, visit www.occc.edu/acs/testingcenter.html or call 405-682-7531.

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