Central Michigan University’s Computer-Based Testing Center has been named to the list of 100 top testing centers in the country for 2013 by the College Level Examination Program.
The center, located in the basement of Robinson Hall, administers 2,000 high-stakes tests a year according to Terri Moeggenberg, administrator at the testing center.
Many of the tests are for admission to graduate school, law school and medical school. Students take the SAT here, as well as CLEP tests, to test out of college classes. International students take the Test of English as a Foreign Language, known as the TOEFL, in order to attend college in the U.S.
But the center isn’t just for students. Professionals take certification tests as well, driving from other areas of the state to be tested here. These include teacher, medical examiner, and alcohol and drug counselor certifications, executive chef and interpreters in the health care industry exams, and assorted tests in the information technology field.
Moeggenberg also is the proctor for students taking tests for online courses through other universities.
As test administrator, she greets all test takers, gets their paperwork in order and seats them in the testing room. She waves a security wand over them to check for any cell phones or cameras that could be used for cheating.
When they leave to take a break, she scans their palms, then scans them again when they re-enter — to make sure it’s the same person finishing the test.
Sometimes test takers are like secret shoppers. They’re not trying to get into graduate school — they're sent undercover by the testing companies to make sure Moeggenberg is doing everything right.
Is she asking for ID, scanning test takers with the security wand and informing them they’ll be videotaped?
Then they rate her performance. She and the testing center recently received a 100 percent excellence rating.
Test takers have a big investment. The fee for tests ranges from $160 to $250 per test.
“These tests determine whether you get into your school of choice or not,” Moeggenberg said. “Some take them two and three times to get the score they want.”
“I’ve had people say, ‘Thank God — if I didn't pass this test I would have lost my job.’”
“At the end, they thank me,” she says. “I tell them, ‘I didn't do anything. But, you're welcome.’”