Testing and Assessment

Will the Department of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment offer training and workshops?

Yes, workshops will be held throughout the academic year. All workshops (group and one-on-one) training sessions dates and times will be posted on the DIRPA website. These workshops will address all components of DIRPA—Research, Planning, and Assessment.

What is the difference between the ACT and the ACT Residual test?

The ACT assessment is one of the most widely-used tests for undergraduate (college) admissions. Many colleges and universities — including JSU — either require or accept ACT scores as part of the admissions process. Students wishing to take the ACT Assessment have two options: the ACT National Testing Program, and the ACT Residual Testing Program. Although the exams given under these two programs are the same, the policies and procedures governing them are quite different. Students wishing to take the ACT Assessment through Residual testing at JSU may register for the exam through the JSU Department of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment. Students are advised to complete an application for admission to the University prior to registering for the test. The JSU Department of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment conducts Residual ACT testing eight to ten times each year, on weekdays, beginning at 8:30 AM or 1:00 PM, (check the department website for specific scheduling details). Testing takes approximately four hours to complete. Once scoring is complete, students may contact JSU admissions department for an update on their admission standing, including ACT Residual scores. The fee for taking the ACT Assessment through Residual testing at JSU is currently $48.00, payable by money order ONLY on the day of testing or prior payments may be submitted via the JSU Marketplace. When paying through marketplace, students are asked to bring receipts as proof of payment on the day of testing. It is important to note that results from the ACT Residual administered at JSU can only be used for admission to Jackson State University. Students taking the ACT Assessment through Residual testing may not repeat the exam under Residual testing within a sixty-day period. This sixty-day exclusion applies to all Residual ACT testing, even if the previous Residual exam was conducted at a different institution.

How far in advance do students need to schedule appointments?

Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment no less than one (1) week prior to test administration. Walk-ins are not welcome.

What items are prohibited in the testing environment?

Cell Phones and other electronic devices that can be used to transmit data. Most institutional exams and national tests do not allow cell phones and other electronic devices in the testing environment. In the event that cell phones and other electronic devices are allowed into the testing site, instructions generally indicate that they must be turned off, stored out of sight and not accessed until testing concludes and/or until students are dismissed from the test center. In the event that a student accesses a cell phone or other prohibited items during testing and/or during the break, some testing companies require immediate dismissal from the exam and score cancellation or voiding of the answer sheet. Students or candidates for testing should visit the applicable testing website for more information regarding cell phone and prohibited items policies.

What items should students bring on test day?

Items needed for the UEPE include blue or black ball point pens, valid current photo ID or student ID and an optional non-electronic dictionary.

Items needed for the GECE include #2 pencils, blue or black ball point pens, blue booklet(s), valid current photo ID or student ID, and an optional non-electronic dictionary.

National Tests (Items to Bring) Writing Instruments and Identification Most tests require writing instruments (#2 pencils and/or blue or black ink pens) and valid current photo identification. Some tests specify the types of acceptable photo identification and the number of identification pieces needed for admittance to testing.

Example 1 ACT requires a 3-way identification check. 1) The student’s name must appear on the roster along with an uploaded photo. 2) Students must present valid, current photo identification. 3) Students must present a photo bearing admission ticket on the day of testing. 6 Note: The photo on the roster and admission ticket may be the same but it cannot match the photo on the ID. Student’s first name, last name, and gender must match on all three documents for the student.

Example 2 LSAT requires an uploaded photo with a water mark on the admission ticket in addition to a valid, current photo ID. Special stationery and other items for national tests Some tests require students to bring colored markers, assistive devices, braille machines/writers and braille erasers. Another suggested item to bring include zip-lock bags to store personal items. Students are also encouraged to dress in layers and/or bring a jacket/sweater to adjust to the climate of the testing environment. For more information regarding what to bring for testing, students should visit the applicable website or contact the testing company/institution. 

Is there a study guide or other preparation material available? How do students access free study material(s)?

For the institutional exams, UEPE and GECE, the Richard Wright Center for Writing, Rhetoric and Research offers help sessions each semester before the exams. Students may visit their website for more details, http://www.jsums.edu/wrightcenter/, and access the “Workshops & Roundtables” tab. Some national exams have preparatory materials and resources available in print or computer based to assist with test preparation. Students may visit local libraries, institution libraries and the testing company’s website for more information. 

What if students have taken these institutional exams at a prior school? What is the process to request exemption from these exams?

UEPE Exemptions—According to the Academic Affairs department at JSU, if a student requests submission/transferability of prior college UEPE or similar scores, the following process must occur: 1) The student will make request within his/her academic department. 2) The College/School Dean must evaluate the request and transcript, review the test specifications from the prior college and evaluate the findings against JSU UEPE. Evaluations should include how the assessment was conducted and the grading process for the assessment. 3) The Dean will consult with the JSU English department on the comparability/feasibility for transfer credit. 4) The Dean must write a narrative (letter) justifying why the prior college assessment should be accepted for JSU UEPE credit and forward the letter along with the student transcript to Academic Affairs. 5) Academic Affairs will render judgment and send notification to the Registrar for placement on the student’s transcript. 6) DIRPA will work with the Registrar's Office to obtain records so that the student’s name may be cleared from the rosters. Additionally, Academic Affairs may send notifications to DIRPA regarding the student’s grade and transcript. JSU undergraduate students may meet the exemption requirement by entering the Division of Graduate Studies immediately after graduation. GECE Exemptions — Students in selected degree programs may meet the exemption requirement by obtaining appropriate scores on the following examinations: GRE, GMAT and PRAXIS. 5 For additional exemption eligibility requirements, students may contact the applicable department chair or graduate program advisor. The Division of Graduate Studies must receive written notification of students meeting the requirements via exemptions. 

How do students reschedule tests?

Institutional assessments are handled on a case by case basis, depending on the nature of the request and extenuating circumstances. Re-scheduling requests can be handled via email, phone or in person with proof, where applicable, of the extenuating circumstance and/or need for rescheduling. Students are strongly encouraged to adhere to the academic calendar. For national tests, please see above links for the individual policy concerning re-scheduling. 

Are students allowed to re-test?

For the two institutional examinations (UEPE and GECE), re-testing is not allowed. Students who are unsuccessful on the UEPE must enroll in English 399, Functional Writing, offered each semester and each summer term. Student should check the course registration booklet to verify intercession course offerings as they may vary. Students who are unsuccessful on the GECE must enroll in English 500 and earn a grade of “B” or better to be marked successful. For national tests, please see above links for the individual policy concerning re-testing. 

When will I receive my score and where can I find it?

UEPE score results are posted to students Personal Access to Web Services (PAWS) account at the end of the semester. GECE score results are posted in the following manner: If the student successfully masters the multiple choice portion of the GECE, results will be reflected on their PAWS account two (2) weeks after the exam. The remaining results will be posted to the student’s PAWS by the end of the semester. For national tests, please see above links for information pertaining to score reports. 

When are exams offered?

The UEPE is offered each semester and each summer session as indicated by the testing calendar. The GECE is offered three times a fiscal year-once during each semester, fall, spring and summer as indicated by the academic calendar. JSUOnline provides a testing window for online students for each assessment. This information is communicated via email. Additional information can be obtained by contacting, JSUOnline at (601) 979-0779. For national test dates, please visit the applicable website. 

What is the cost of the UEPE and GECE tests?

For the UEPE, the registrant’s account is charged $1.00 by the Department of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment via financial services. For the GECE, a fifteen dollar ($15.00) assessment fee will be added to the student’s account after registering for the GECE. This fee will be assessed each semester thereafter for those registering for the examination until this requirement is met

What is the fee for proctoring services offered at JSU?

JSU DIRPA testing services charges $25.00 for up to three hours of testing time. Each additional hour is +$15.00, unless a different amount is specified via a contract or memorandum of understanding per the testing company. Total testing time is not to exceed six hours for one test session. Paid proctoring services are for students external to the university. 

Are these institutional exams offered for online students? If so, how do I access proctoring services?

Yes, exams are offered online for students that are officially majoring in an online degree program.

UEPE Proctoring information is available at http://www.jsums.edu/jsuonline/proctored-testing/

GECE proctoring information is available at JSUOnline and Online Proctor Agreement.

Which institutional tests are required for graduation from JSU?

Undergraduate English Proficiency Examination (UEPE) http://www.jsums.edu/dta/

Graduate English Competency Exam (GECE) http://www.jsums.edu/graduateschool/graduate-english-competency-examinationgece/

Which national assessments are offered at JSU?

JSU offers several national assessments as listed below. Each test is specific in its requirements. Some of these requirements include cost, payment options, test dates, registration, scheduling procedures, required items, preparation materials, and opportunities to re-test. Specific information related to requirements for each examination can be found by clicking on the links under the assessment names.

American College Test (ACT) www.act.org

Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) Exam www.nchec.org

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)—Subject Area Tests Only www.ets.org/gre

Law School Admission Test (LSAT) www.lsac.org  

National Board for Certified Counselors http://www.nbcc.org

Praxis (paper based, by request only) http://www.ets.org/praxis