STAMP™ 4S Test Taker Guide for Avant’s Remote Proctoring Solution

Overview

Avant STAMP (Standards-Based Measurement of Proficiency) is an internationally recognized web-based test that assesses language proficiency. An Avant STAMP 4S test has four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Avant STAMP 4S test questions are based on real-world, everyday situations. Avant STAMP 4S measures a test taker’s language ability according to Benchmark Levels that are based on ACTFL national standards. Test results will indicate the level of proficiency achieved for each section of the test.

Remote Proctored Test Taker Steps

OFF-SITE TECHNOLOGY PREPARATION

You are responsible for ensuring the readiness of the computer you will be using for the test and that the following requirements are met:

STEP 1: Visit the Assessment Technology Guide for Remote Proctored Testing page to review technology requirements.

STEP 2: Take a STAMP 4S Sample Test to confirm your computer is configured properly and all technology preparation steps are complete before registering for the test. This will also help familiarize yourself with the layout of the test and the types of questions and prompts that you can expect.

  • Confirm that you can record and playback your Speaking test response

  • Confirm that you can type your Writing test response in the language you are testing.

TESTING TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Read the following guides that explain what you need to demonstrate in your responses for the writing and speaking sections to achieve a certain level.

PRE-TEST: TEST TAKER ACTIONS

  1. Your testing coordinator will send you a Registration link.

  2. Click on the link to register

  3. After registering for the test you will receive a confirmation email that includes your login information and steps to create your account with Proctortrack.

  4. When you receive the email saying your Proctortrack account has been accepted, you will login to schedule a time to take your test.

  5. IMPORTANT: Test takers must re-login to Avant when they are scheduled to take their test. Even if they are already in Proctortrack.

Click here to learn more about the process of setting up a STAMP 4S remote proctored test.

COMPLETING YOUR TEST

  1. Login at the scheduled time to take the test

  2. You will have 3 hours to complete the assessment. Your 3 hours will begin when you start the assessment. Breaks are not allowed so properly prepare yourself.

    On average, test takers take approximately 2 hours to fully complete the assessment. Advanced level test takers can expect to have longer testing times than Novice level learners.

    • Reading: approximately 35-40 minutes

    • Writing: approximately 20-25 minutes

    • Listening: approximately 35-40 minutes

    • Speaking: approximately 20-25 minutes

Rules for Taking a Remote Proctored Avant STAMP 4S Test

  • Use a private testing area and turn off all noise-making devices

  • This is a closed-book, closed-notes test

  • Physical books, Online, and digital resources are not allowed (cannot refer to PDFs, DOCs, or searching the web)

  • Copy-paste, printing, screen capture apps/tools, messaging tools, video conferencing tools, etc. are prohibited

  • Scanning or taking pictures with your phone is not allowed

  • Digital or handwritten note taking is not allowed

  • You will have 3 hours to complete the assessment. Your 3 hours will begin when you start the assessment.

  • Food and drinks are not allowed

  • Breaks are not allowed so properly prepare yourself

  •  Complete all sections of the test until the Test Complete message appears

Taking the Avant STAMP 4S Assessment

When you start your proctored test, the Student Profile screen will appear first. All required information will be already filled out. Click the submit button to submit your profile as is or you can complete the optional demographic information before hitting submit.

On your testing dashboard you can choose to start with either the Reading or Listening section. Please note: the Reading test must be taken before the Writing test, and the Listening test must be taken before the Speaking test section. Once you enter a test section you won’t be able to back out of it and will need to complete it.

The test will provide helpful instructions at the beginning of each section. Please read the instructions carefully. Responses to test questions are submitted using the NEXT button, located at the bottom right of the screen. When taking your proctored test you will need to minimize the proctor’s control window to click the NEXT button.

Complete all sections of the test until the Test Complete message appears.

READING AND LISTENING SECTIONS

The Reading and Listening sections of the test are multiple-choice and computer-adaptive, meaning that each new question is selected based on previous responses. Because Avant STAMP 4S is used to determine language proficiency for test takers who are at Novice, Intermediate and Advanced levels, the Reading and Listening sections start out with questions at various levels. If you are at the early stages of language learning, the test may challenge you, but don’t be frustrated if you encounter a topic or words that are unfamiliar to you. Do your best, but keep in mind that an incorrect answer on an unfamiliar topic is okay and provides the system with valuable information needed for determining proficiency.

As your test progresses, you may see easier or more difficult questions based upon your earlier answers. Each test taker will follow a unique path as the test progresses. You will see approximately 30 questions in each of the sections. The Reading section takes, on average, 35-40 minutes to complete and the Listening section averages 35-40 minutes. Either section may take longer for test takers who are getting many higher-level test questions, which feature longer reading or listening passages. The speed of your Internet connection can also affect the length of the test.

Reading and Listening Tips:

  • Read the question and answers before you attempt to read or listen to the passage (this will help guide your reading/listening and help you move through the test more quickly)

  • Do not translate each word that you read or hear – translating each word is not reading or listening for comprehension and it will take more time that you can better use in later sections

  • In the Listening section, you can listen to each recording two times

  • If you’re having trouble reading the text in the images on the test, you can enlarge your screen with the following key combinations:

    • On a Mac: Press the “Command” and “+” keys at the same time

    • On a Windows/PC: Press the “Control” and “+” keys at the same time

WRITING AND SPEAKING SECTIONS

  • These sections start with a sample test question.

    • Use the sample Writing question to practice keyboarding special characters you may need to use

    • Use the sample Speaking question to ensure that your microphone is working properly

    • Do not spend much time crafting answers to sample questions as they do not contribute to your final score

  • Provide your response using the target language you are being tested in

  • Write or record at your highest possible level

  • Provide all detail requested in the question and enough detail to fully demonstrate your writing or speaking skills

  • Stay on topic

  • Pace yourself

    • Allow sufficient time for all three of your Writing/Speaking items

    • Complete responses for all items are needed to accurately determine your proficiency level

  • In these sections, click NEXT to submit the response and move to the next screen

  • After clicking NEXT, you will not be able to return to the question

WRITING & SPEAKING GUIDES

It is also advisable to read the following guides that explain what you need to demonstrate in your responses for the writing and speaking sections to achieve a certain level.

Avant raters review all written and spoken responses and any inappropriate responses (vulgar, violent, etc.) will not be scored and will be reported to your test administrator.

WRITING SECTION

The Writing section consists of one sample and three test questions.

  • For some languages the test will include a character box where the appropriate symbols and accented letters are included and can be clicked. No additional action is required to set up a virtual keyboard for these languages.

  • Other languages require that a virtual keyboard is loaded. A standard keyboard will be used to type characters corresponding with the virtual keyboard.

  • To see which languages require loading a virtual keyboard visit the Writing Input Guide. This guide also includes directions for loading the virtual keyboards

  • The test will AUTO-SAVE test taker’s writing every 10 seconds.

  • When done with a test question, click NEXT to save the response and move to the next question or screen

SPEAKING SECTION

The Speaking section consists of one sample and three test questions.

  • Organize your thoughts before you start to record

  • To record a response, click Begin Recording

  • When done recording, wait two or three seconds, and then click Stop Recording

  • After recording, click Listen to listen to your recording

  • You can then do one of the following:

    • If you want to add to the recording, click the + sign

    • If you want to delete the recording and start over, click on the Trash can

  • Avoid long pauses when you are recording

    • Use the Stop Recording and Begin Recording/+ Sign (Add to Recording) buttons as needed

  • When the recording is complete, click NEXT to save your response and move to the next test question or screen

VERY IMPORTANT

For the Speaking Section, click Listen after recording to verify that your response was recorded properly.

  • If the response is inaudible or of poor quality, DO NOT CLICK NEXT.

  • If you see the Begin Recording button again after clicking Stop Recording, this indicates no recording was captured

Following these procedures will prevent having a speaking response that cannot be graded. 

Completing the Avant STAMP 4S Assessment

You have not completed the Avant STAMP 4S Assessment until you see a screen that says “Congratulations! You have completed the test!” Please click the Stop Test link to logout.  The final step will be to END the PROCTORTRACK session. The test taker will do this by clicking on the control panel and then click the “END” button to close the session.

All testing results will be delivered directly to your testing administrator within 5 to 7 business days of test completion. Please contact your testing coordinator to receive your test results. 

Copyright © 2021 Avant Assessment L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Updated March 2020

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