The University Testing Center (UTC) at SMU is focused on open, transparent, and proactive information-sharing related to our procedures and practices.
We have a range of departmental procedures that guide how we work.
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Placement Testing & Evaluations
The University Testing Center (UTC) at SMU is dedicated to providing every visitor of our center a comfortable, confidential, and efficient testing experience with professionalism and respect. Please familiarize yourself with our policies and practices below prior to visiting the center.
The University Testing Center (UTC) offers testing services for current and prospective students as well as select community members. The center opened in Fall 2022 and will phase in select services outlined below. Read each service page to understand when services will be operational and which testing service best meets your needs.
SMU students with testing accommodations should make every effort to have tests proctored by their professor. This gives the student an experience similar to those of students who take tests in the classroom. The UTC serves as a backup in cases when an instructor is unable to provide required testing accommodations. Students and instructors are expected to follow testing policies and deadlines for exams proctored at the UTC.
- Test proctoring at UTC must first be approved by the professor with the date and time agreed upon in consultation with the professor
- Extra testing time cannot be granted due to late arrival at UTC
- Reduced distraction does not mean testing alone
- Calculators and other authorized items for use during testing are not provided by UTC
- Breaks are not allowed for the first 2.5 hours of testing without prior approval and/or supporting documentations
- Test date changes or cancellations must be made with UTC 24 hours prior to the scheduled appointment
Due to student athletes' travel required during their competition, it may necessitate early or make-up testing. The center offers services for student-athletes at the request of their instructor and coach. This service will pilot in Fall 2023.
Current and prospective SMU students can earn academic credit through CLEP (College Level Examination Program) beginning Spring 2024. Students should review the Credit-By-Examination, Audition and Portfolio section of their matriculation year catalog regarding course credit granted and passing scores required before registering, as not all CLEP tests are accepted. https://catalog.smu.edu/content.php?catoid=59&navoid=5631#credit-by-examination-audition-and-portfolio-review
All exams taken at the University Testing Center are proctored by the Testing Manager and/or their designated proctors (called UTC staff), in order to:
- Maintain integrity and security during the test process
- Ensure test outcomes are fair and scores are valid for their intended use
- Maintain a distraction-reduced testing environment
The University Testing Center offers proctoring services, which vary based on the time of the academic year aside from University closures, holidays, and academic breaks. Hours of operation are posted on the UTC website.
Testing is done by appointment only.
For accommodated testing, currently enrolled students with approved accommodations can submit a testing request via RegisterBlast a minimum of 48 hours before the classroom testing date.
SMU professors must submit test materials (e.g., test, essay prompt, formula sheets, etc.) and test proctoring instructions for approved testing appointments in RegisterBlast at least 3 days prior to the classroom testing date.
For SMU Student Examinees:
Your SMU ID Card is the official student ID. It will be the only form of ID accepted by the University Testing Center. SMU students are required to present a physical SMU student ID. Electronic and other forms of ID will not be accepted. You will be denied access without a physical SMU ID Card. If you do not have an SMU ID Card, you must obtain one prior to your exam.
Non-SMU students must present one or more forms of current, government-issued photo ID as required by the test entity/issuer. These include:
- Driver’s License (any state)
- Federal-Issued ID
- State-Issued ID
- Passport card
- Military ID
- Green card/alien registration/permanent resident card
Visitors to the University Testing Center must be 14 years or older. Visitors aged 14-17 (except currently enrolled SMU students) must always have a parent or guardian on-site in a designated waiting area during testing.
Testing compliance is achieved by walkthroughs of testing labs and monitoring of examinees using overhead cameras and computer surveillance equipment. Cheating attempts and other irregularities are documented and reported according to test-specific proctoring guidelines.
Irregularities caused by technical issues, examinee cheating, or an emergency requiring the temporary or permanent suspension of testing and/or dismissal are documented and reported according to test-specific protocols and guidelines.
By visiting the University Testing Center, you consent to electronic surveillance.
Testers can store their personal belongings and prohibited items in one of our keyed lockers or leave them at another location, such as their vehicle. Testers are encouraged to leave their valuable property at home. The lockers can fit small or medium-sized backpacks and are located outside the testing room.
The University Testing Center is not equipped to store firearms, nor are weapons permitted on the SMU campus.
The University Testing Center is not responsible for personal property brought to the University Testing Center and/or stored in a locker.
If the key provided to a test taker is lost or stolen, a lock change fee will be assessed for $150. SMU students will be charged via their student account, while non-students will be provided a link to remit payment.
Before admission to the center, examinees must store all personal belongings and prohibited items in keyed lockers provided at no charge. Only personal items specified as permissible will be allowed in the testing labs, and prohibited items cannot be accessed during breaks or during testing time, except for medical reasons with supporting documentation.
Keyed lockers are available free of charge to secure your personal items before check-in. The following items not permitted inside the University Testing Center's testing labs include, but are not limited:
- Backpacks, bags, purses, wallets, badge holders
- Bracelets/bangles, wristbands
- Calculator covers, pencil cases, or pouches
- Candy, chewing gum, lip balm, food, or beverages of any kind
- Electronic devices: any phones, pagers, iPads, timers, smart watches, laptops, headphones, ear pods, cameras, recording/listening/scanning/photographic devices
- Firearms and weapons of any kind
- Hats, beanies, wave caps, head scarves
- Handkerchiefs, Kleenex/tissues (Testing Center will provide if requested)
- Keys, any watches (including digital, analog, smartwatches, and Fitbits)
- Large outerwear (jackets, coats etc.), hoodies/hooded shirts
- Scarves, gloves, sunglasses
- Scratch paper (Testing Center will provide)
- Tobacco products, Vapor, or E-Cigarettes
If you are wearing an item that should not be removed for cultural or religious purposes (such as a hijab, turban, Kara, etc.) or you have an accommodation that permits one of the above items, please confirm this upon check-in with UTC Staff.
Every test administration is conducted to ensure academic integrity in accordance with the SMU Honor Code, SMU Student Code of Conduct, applicable SMU University Policies, as well as the National College Association’s (NCTA) professional standards and guidelines to ensure fair and equitable outcomes for all.
Misconduct and disruptive behavior are prohibited in the University Testing Center. The following is a general list of misconduct and disruptive behaviors; however, it is not exhaustive. The University Testing Center reserves the right to dismiss a tester for misconduct and/or disruptive behavior, as well as to refuse to administer an exam for the same reasons.
- Causing a disturbance of any kind
- Failure to follow instructions
- Giving or receiving assistance of any kind
- Attempting to take an exam for someone else
- Taking or attempting to take the same exam more than once during a testing session
- Using any prohibited aids (this includes Internet sites)
- Removing or attempting to remove test questions, responses, or notes
- Attempting to remove scratch paper
- Tampering with the computer
- Attempting to use the computer for any reason other than testing
- Speaking with other testers
In the event of encountering misconduct and/or disruptive behavior, the University Testing Center staff may take one or more of the following actions:
- Confiscate unauthorized materials
- Notify professor
- Notify the University Conduct Officer, Honor Council, and/or the Dean of Students Office
- File an incident report
- Contact the SMU Police Department
- Dismiss the tester from the University Testing Center
- Ban the tester from future use of the University Testing Center facilities
Professors who suspect a student has violated the SMU Honor Code or receive a UTC Incident Report documenting test irregularities should follow one of the following:
- Resolve the case informally with the student without filing any paperwork.
- Resolve the case formally, in writing, with the student by selecting "Faculty Disposition" on the Academic Misconduct Reporting Form.
- Refer the case to the Honor Council for a hearing by selecting "Disciplinary Referral" on the Academic Misconduct Reporting Form.
Regardless of the action taken by the individual professor, the University Testing Center will file an incident report for behavioral misconduct for failure to comply with university policies and practices.
The University Testing Center staff adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and where applicable, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Some testing agencies have additional confidentiality guidelines based on the test administration.
Information is processed in a manner that ensures confidentiality. Confidential information is not provided over the phone.
- Testers are expected to follow instructions given by University Testing Center staff.
- Testers may not leave the testing lab during testing for any reason (including bathroom breaks unless approved), nor may testers return to the testing lab to finish an exam.
- If a tester needs assistance, they must raise their hand, as able, and wait for a UTC staff to come to them. The UTC staff cannot assist with the content of an exam.
- Testers must use the scratch paper provided by the UTC staff as approved by the professor. Scratch paper must be turned in to the proctor along with the exam when checking out from the testing center.
- Due to liability issues and out of respect for those testing, the University Testing Center cannot allow guests, visitors, or family members in testing labs at any time unless the student has a documented disability that requires pre-approved assistance.
- In order to avoid distracting others, testers must keep their voice level low and only communicate with University Testing Center staff.
The University Testing Center uses in-house electronic surveillance and human proctoring for test monitoring. Computer-based exams must be administered on UTC desktop computers, as student laptops and other devices are not allowed. Exam assignments in Canvas or other LMS platforms must be configured without Respondus Lockdown Browser, software downloads or plug-ins, as they limit or interfere with the center’s electronic surveillance tools.
All visitors and test takers are expected to comply with a verbal or written request or instruction of a UTC staff acting in the course of their duties.
University Testing Center test proctoring services are free to currently enrolled SMU students.
Non-SMU students must pay proctoring fees at the time of test scheduling. Proctoring fees are non-refundable. No-show fees will be assessed in addition to the proctoring fee for exams not canceled or rescheduled 24 hours before testing.
Please visit our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org for proctor fee inquiries.
Examinees will not be allowed to check in for your exam if the allotted exam duration (per the professor’s instructions) exceeds the University Testing Center’s scheduled closing time.
- If the allotted exam duration is 2.5 hours and you arrive 1 hour before the scheduled closing time, you will be denied access and will need to either reschedule or contact your professor directly to discuss other testing options available to you.
Closing times are strictly enforced. Plan ahead and allow enough time to complete your exam.
All tests should be completed 15 minutes before closing time, any students still testing at this time may continue to do so up to the scheduled closing time. Any tests not turned in at the scheduled closing time will be submitted and considered complete. The UTC does not remain open past the scheduled closing time.
The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center does not provide documentation for granting excused absences from class. If students are absent from a scheduled test for illness, they should talk to their professors about how they might be permitted to reschedule. If students are seriously ill and require hospitalization or an extended absence, students should talk to their professors and the Office of Student Life to decide how to deal with the interruption in their studies. To facilitate communication with their professors about their absence, students may submit the Absence from Class Form available at www.smu.edu/healthcenter.
Should the University Testing Center be unable to proctor due to an unforeseen event, testing capacity limitation, technical issues or other emergency, tests will be rescheduled within guidelines specified by SMU professors or the community test entity/issuer.
UTC staff will immediately document and communicate emergencies or technical issues that prevent testing and/or cause the closure of the center.
SMU students in need of a pre-approved reader, scribe, or adaptive equipment will test at the office of Disability Services & Success Strategies (DASS) at the A-LEC (Altschuler Learning Enhancement Center) in the Loyd Center after scheduling testing appointments in RegisterBlast.