In any exam situation, security and candidate authentication are key considerations. Under normal circumstances, test centers provide employers and institutions with all the assurances they need to be able to accept the results of exams for professional purposes.
However, schools and universities around the world have locked their doors and international test centers are being temporarily closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This unexpected global state of alarm means that many employers and universities are struggling to offer their applicants qualifying tests during their recruitment and admissions processes. As a result, they have no real means of confirming whether their candidates have the required level of English, which may lead to missed job opportunities or lost university places.
Both corporate and university administrators are therefore looking for flexible, reliable and secure digital language assessment solutions. Corporations particularly need a layer of security built into their tests for recruiting activities and Higher Education institutions require an alternative means of remote testing solutions for their placement and entrance tests.
So are there viable alternatives to test center-based exams?
Remote assessment with Versant
At Pearson, we offer an alternative assessment solution to help institutions and companies test the capabilities of their students, staff and applicants.
Versant is a series of flexible digital language assessments for adults and has a number of use cases:
- For corporations, the 30-minute Versant 4 Skills Essential Test allows recruiters to standardize their onboarding processes and ensure they are employing team members with an adequate level of English.
- For Higher Education Institutions, the Versant English Placement Test (VEPT) helps admissions and language departments place students into programs.
How does the Versant test work?
The general English test consists of a series of questions spanning 6-9 question types, depending on the test. It’s worth noting, however, that English speaking or writing skills can be tested independently depending on what is required by the institution or corporation.
Versant is powered by artificially intelligent (AI) scoring technology, which not only means that it is free of human bias, but also that scores are available almost immediately on completion of the test.
What’s more, the score report is thorough. It offers detailed commentary on each skill and how their result aligns with the Global Scale of English and Common European Framework for language. It also includes a comprehensive commentary section with areas for the candidate to work on so they can improve their language skills.
Adding a layer of security with HirePros’ Remote Monitoring
Versant is most often delivered through a web browser or computer application. Remote monitoring is available for the Versant 4 Skills Essential Test, the Versant English Placement Test, the Versant English Test and the Versant Writing Test.
When Remote Monitoring is included, the candidates are recorded and AI remote monitoring from HirePro is employed to ensure they are taking the test fairly. The means candidates can take the Versant English exams in the comfort of their own home (or other convenient location), but with the benefit of security and verification.
How does it work?
HirePro’s online proctoring service is fully automated and flags suspicious test taker behavior for administrators to review.
AI video and image monitoring carefully observe the test taker and flags:
- A different face or multiple faces appearing in the video frame
- The test taker looking away from the camera multiple times
- The test taker leaving the video frame
- The camera being obscured in some way
- Other suspicious or unusual behavior
The Remote Monitoring system also keeps track of the test taker’s web browser. Both navigating away from the browser window and changing tabs multiple times are counted as violations.
Moreover, the tests are recorded in full, which means human reviews and audits can take place at any time. If there are any suspicious segments, these are highlighted for easy review within minutes of test completion.
Corporations and institutions can rest assured that the tests are secure, fast, and fully GDPR compliant. The tests are also cost-efficient, ensuring only the most qualified candidates make it to the interview stage or students are placed in the correct program.
Introducing our new and improved Versant mobile testing app
Test takers who are stuck at home without a desktop computer or laptop can still participate.
Our new and improved Versant Mobile test app has just been launched for the Versant English Speaking test. The app offers a great way to test a learner’s speaking ability and produces the same rapid, accurate results as a computer-based test.
You can download the new app for iPhones and Androids.
Please note: Remote Monitoring is only available via our web-based solution.
For more information about the Versant Test suite, take a look at the Versant Test home page, or visit our introductory blog post: Everything you need to know about the Versant tests.