In March 2019, the International Diagnostics & Admissions Test (IDAT) was launched. On January 30, 2020, a global pandemic was declared.

Suddenly, students couldn’t go to test centres. Many could not even get to school. At IDAT, we ‘put on our thinking caps’ about what could be done. We needed to make our test available to be proctored in-home.

The IDAT Secure 360 proctoring system is a point of pride for IDAT and resulted in us being a Finalist for the PIEoneer Awards for 2022 for Digital Innovation in Accreditation and Assessment.

While online proctoring systems saw exponential growth based on the idea to “stop students from cheating,” there were so many other concerns that had to be considered. “The pandemic presented a golden opportunity for the mostly US-based education technology (or “EdTech”) industry.”

Your school may need to rely on external systems or may be able to develop their own for admissions testing, but regardless of what admissions test you use, there are many considerations to take into account. For admissions, it’s not about testing locally, it’s about testing internationally. This means the ability to proctor anywhere in the world, online, is paramount. Relying on agents or other schools to proctor doesn’t work if they have a vested interest in students’ results.

Consideration: Access

What do we worry about?

Equipment: Asking students to buy hardware or download software onto their computers is time consuming, confusing, and possibly expensive.

Make sure any proctoring system you use does not require lengthy or data-heavy downloads or external hardware that students do not possess. In admissions, you are dealing with students from all over the world from various socio-economic backgrounds.

Ease of Set Up: The set up needs to be easy for students (young, old, second-language speakers) and their parents to follow. It needs to be step-by-step and the system needs to be clear when set up is complete and correct.

International Accessibility: Make sure your students can access the test portal no matter the censor or firewalls in place for political reasons. This means using nodes in various parts of the world, depending on where your students are from. The nature of ‘international’ schools means that language and internet servers may be different.

What did IDAT do?

Equipment: IDAT wanted to be sure that students would not require additional hardware or devices. The IDAT Secure 360 uses a smartphone or tablet, a laptop with camera, a headset, Google Chrome and a reliable internet connection.

Ease of Set Up: By having students scan a QR code to set up, they get simple instructions about where to place the smartphone and self-check that their own system works.

International Accessibility: IDAT has nodes in Europe and Asia, including China. We open new nodes when we require or have demand.

Consideration: Security

What do we worry about?

Identity of Test Taker: How can you always make sure that the student taking the test on the test day is the student you are meant to be assessing?

External Aids or Assistance: You need to be confident that it is an accurate assessment of students’ abilities on the day. This means making sure that students cannot access other devices or have external help.

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