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NAEP Technical DocumentationConduct of Assessment Sessions



General Sessions

Accommodation Sessions

Make-Up Sessions

Conducting Special Studies


The primary responsibility of the assessment teams is to conduct the assessment sessions according to established procedures. Sessions are scripted so that all students are given the same instructions and opportunity to demonstrate what they know and can do. Assessment Administrators (previously called Exercise Administrators) conduct the sessions under the supervision of their team's Field Supervisor or Assessment Coordinator. Training of Assessment Administrators (AA) focuses on their responsibilities in the classroom and on reading the scripts verbatim in order to administer the sessions in a uniform manner.

At the start of each session, the AA checks attendance. In digitally based assessment sessions, the AA then directs the students to locate their assigned tablet, which contains their assigned electronic booklet. For paper based assessment sessions, the AA distributes the assessment booklets and any other materials needed for the assessment. Each student was randomly selected and assigned to one of the subjects being assessed, and every assessment session includes many different booklets for each subject. Individual booklets are pre-assigned to students and the identification number of the booklet assigned to each student is listed on the administration form. As an added check to verify that the correct booklet is provided to each student, for paper based assessment sessions the student's name appears on a peel-off label affixed to the booklet. For digitally based assessment sessions, a login card with the student name and assigned login ID is placed next to the tablet.

Using the script, the AA reads general instructions to the students. In paper based sessions, the AA instructs them to remove the label with their name from the booklet cover, starts and ends each of the booklet sections, and collects all assessment materials at the end of the session before dismissing the students. While the students are working on the booklet sections, the AAs monitor to make sure that students are working in the correct booklet section and to discourage inappropriate or disruptive behavior.

In digitally based sessions, the AA informs students before the assessment starts that they will see a screen that teaches them how to use the device, followed by a tutorial that explains more about how to take the assessment. The tutorial shows students how to navigate the assessment, select answers, and use any tools that may be available throughout the assessment. Once the tutorial is over, students are given a practice question and then are instructed to put on their earbuds to begin the assessment.  AAs then monitor students' progress through testing sections, troubleshoot and document any technical issues, and create an environment where students can focus on the assessment with the fewest possible distractions. AA field materials include information on troubleshooting procedures in the event that a device is not functioning as expected, and AAs may call a help desk for assistance as needed. AAs collect the login cards with student names at the end of the session.

These general procedures apply to all sessions involving paper-and-pencil administration or digitally based testing, including general sessions, make-up sessions, and separate accommodation sessions. Special scripts are used for separate accommodation sessions, but the procedures are the same.

Last updated 04 November 2022 (SK)