ATS Director Accepts Position on the National College Testing Association Board
Ashton Testing Services is proud to announce that our Director of Operations, Ananth Sundaram, was recently appointed as a board member for the National College Testing Association (NCTA). This position is a milestone achievement for both Sundaram and ATS. “It provides an opportunity to discuss various issues regarding test centre management and create professional contacts with colleagues from around the nation and abroad,” explains Sundaram.
The testing industry is constantly changing and evolving to adapt to the modern world. A position on the NCTA board will help ATS stay on top of industry best practices. “Technology has changed test administration,” remarks Sundaram. “It is important to stay ahead and be informed of these advancements so that we can better manage ATS.”
Remote proctoring and exam taking have become increasingly popular thanks to advances in technology and the many advantages they offer. Remote exams allow candidates to securely test from the comfort of their own home, at any time of their choosing. This has been immensely useful for students looking to test during the ongoing COVID pandemic. However, in-person exams are still irreplaceable when it comes to security and accessibility. “The traditional test centre will likely be the mainstay in the industry,” Sundaram affirms. “The pure online remote proctoring format has many flaws [and] challenges. Privacy and security are key areas are of major concerns.”
ATS is on the cutting edge of both electronic and in-person exam proctoring. Sundaram’s new position with the NCTA serves to reinforce that fact. To celebrate Sundaram’s achievement, here is a break down of what the NCTA is and what their certification means for ATS and students who take tests with us.
What is the NCTA?
The NCTA is a non-profit organization made up of testing professionals who work in post-secondary institutions. "It is dedicated to the promotion of professionalism and quality in the administration of testing services and programs,” says Sundaram. The NCTA promotes professionalism and quality in the four goals listed in their mission statement:
- Enhancing professional testing practices
- Offering opportunities for professional development
- Encouraging professional support activities
- Advancing collaborative efforts among testing professionals, testing companies and other policy-making agencies
By following their mission statement, NCTA maintains high standards for the delivery and administration of national standardized tests, placement exams, classroom makeup tests, non-standard exam administrations for students with disabilities, certification exams, distance exams and more. The NCTA guidelines apply to exams taken both electronically and in-person.
What Does This Mean for ATS?
Along with Sundaram's appointment to the board, ATS became an NCTA certified test centre as of June 11, 2020. “This certification is a testament to our commitment in maintaining the highest standards in test delivery and professionalism,” said Sundaram. Though there are many testing centres available in North America, only 265 have been certified by NCTA. These test centres have a more unified and coherent set of testing standards. Testing companies also have more direct contact with certified testing centres.
How Does This Affect Test Takers?
ATS administers and offers proctoring services for many high stakes exams for a variety of industries in Canada. Test takers can feel more secure when taking these exams knowing that ATS meets the NCTA’s high standards for certification. Taking exams at an NCTA certified test centre assures students that every part of their exam experience is being handled properly, and this allows students to focus more on the tests themselves. “These centres offer a secure testing environment and provides the best opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge,” said Sundaram.
The Path Ahead
ATS prides itself on its professionalism and high standards for proctoring and administering exams. These values align with NCTA and reaffirm that ATS is leading its staff and students down the right path. Congratulations to Sundaram on his new position on the board and thank you for continuing to support ATS.