STAMP 4S Test Taker Guide

What is Avant STAMP 4S?

Before the Assessment

During the Assessment

After the Assessment

Avant STAMP stands for Standards-Based Measurement of Proficiency and is a web-based test that assesses language proficiency. An Avant STAMP 4S test has four sections – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, and the results of this test inform test takers and educators about learning progress and program effectiveness. Avant STAMP 4S test items 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 national standards. Test results will indicate the level of proficiency achieved for each section of the test.

Before the Assessment

Prepare for the Assessment

Take a Sample Test for the language you are testing to familiarize yourself with the layout of the test and confirm the following:

  • You can record and playback your Speaking response
  • You can type your Writing response in the language you are testing. Refer to our Writing Input Guide to see which languages require special keyboards
  • Your equipment is configured properly and all technology preparation steps are completed before registering for a remote proctored test

Refer to the Assessment Technology Guide to troubleshoot any issues and make sure your system is properly configured.

It is also advisable to read the Avant STAMP Benchmarks and Rubric Guide and Test Taker Power Up Guide if you want information about the skills you need to demonstrate to achieve a certain test level.

Rules for Taking an Avant Test

Avant Assessment’s online language proficiency tests must be taken in a proctored environment with a proctor who is authorized by the organization sponsoring the test. To protect the integrity and security of our tests, the proctor cannot be a parent, guardian, or relative.

Avant’s test utilizes spontaneous, unrehearsed situations to measure real-world language proficiency. The purpose of this assessment is to measure what you are able to do with the language without the support of any translators, reference material (including taking notes during any portion of the assessment) or assistance of any kind. 

The following is NOT ALLOWED during the assessment.
  1. The use of dictionaries, textbooks, cell phones, paper, pens, or other support materials (paper-based or electronic). The only time test takers should have access to pens or pencils is if the Writing section is being administered as handwritten.
  2. Taking or using notes of any kind (digital or handwritten) for any portion of the test, including the speaking and writing sections.
  3. Writing down a speaking response and reading it as your recorded response. This will lower your score for that response, and it may be scored as a ZERO because it involves the use of paper or reference material.
  4. Using additional computer or smartphone applications (e.g., Word, email, chat) or having other browser windows open during testing.
  5. The use of Google Translate or any other translation aid (paper-based or electronic).
  6. Using copy-paste, printing, screen capture apps/tools, video conferencing, messaging tools, or scanning and taking pictures/videos with your phone.
  7. Sharing information about questions or prompts on the test with anyone.
  8. Speaking or corresponding with anyone other than the proctor during the test. Or, receiving any advice or help from anyone during the test.
  9. Using violent, profane or inappropriate language in your responses. This will lower your score for that response and it will be scored as a ZERO. 

Rules for taking an Avant test infographic

Violating any of these rules may invalidate your assessment results. We recommend also referring to your organization’s policy on academic dishonesty. Learn more about Test Security and Integrity

During the Assessment

Login Page

  • Your teacher or proctor will provide the URL, Test Code and Password for the Avant STAMP 4S login page

  • After entering the Test Code and Password you will see 2 buttons for starting a new test or continuing a test. After clicking on one of the buttons you will be asked to enter your Login Name

    • Start New Test: Click this button when starting a test for the first time. After clicking this button you will be asked to create a Login Name

    • Continue Test: Click this button to resume a test you have already started. You will be asked to re-enter the Login Name you entered when you started the test the first time

After clicking on one of the buttons you will be asked to enter your Login Name:

Test Taker Login Name

Login name should be:

  1. Between 5-25 characters long.
  2. Any combination of letters, numbers, or any of the following special characters: @ (at symbol) _ (underscore)  (hyphen) . (period) , (comma)  (single quote).
  3. Unique within the testing group (e.g. student or employee ID number or email).

Test takers should memorize their login name. If test takers need to stop and continue the test at a later time, they will need to enter their login name exactly as they did the first time.

  • Your teacher or proctor may have suggestions on what to enter in this field but please note that your Login Name cannot be the same as anyone else’s in your testing group.
  • Be sure you remember how you entered your Login Name because if you need to resume you will need to use the same Login Name you started the test with previously.

Profile Page

The profile page is the first screen that appears after the test taker logs in. All test takers are required to create a profile.  It is used to verify the test taker information, gather additional information about the test taker and record information about the test taker’s background with the language being tested.

The only required fields are:

  • First Name

  • Last Name

  • Test Taker ID

  • Confirm Test Taker ID

Other fields are optional. However, we encourage test takers to use the optional fields. They provide a wealth of information that is used by testing coordinators and teachers.

STAMP Profile

After test takers enter a Login Name and log in, the Test Taker Profile screen will appear where test takers will need to enter First Name, Last Name and Test Taker ID.

Please note that test taker ID is different from Login Name. However, test takers can use the same combination for both Login Name and Test Taker ID. Some institutions have the test takers enter their student ID for one and their school issued email address for the other for data tracking purposes.

An optional email field. This field provides an additional test taker verification point. 

Dashboard Page

Test Takers will enter a Dashboard to begin testing.

  • Reading section has about 30 questions that must be completed before the Writing Section.
  • Listening section has about 30 questions that must be completed before the Speaking Section.
  • Writing and Speaking Sections will have 3 prompts each.
  • 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. Scroll down, if necessary. 
  • After clicking the NEXT button, you will not be able to return to the question
  • Unless directed otherwise, complete all sections of the test until the Test Complete message appears. If you get logged out of the test, you can log back in with the same credentials to continue where you left off.


    IMPORTANT: Please note that the following functions are disabled while taking the test: 

    • Right-click, back button, copy/paste. 
    • Off-page clicking is not allowed. Clicking outside the test will log you out. You will need a proctor’s assistance to log back in to continue the test.

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 he/she moves through the test. 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 items, which feature longer reading or listening passages. The speed of your Internet connection can also affect the length of the test.


Here are some 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 Section

Reading Section must be completed before the Writing Section.

At the beginning of the Writing Section you will see a Practice Writing Prompt. Type a few words into the text box to make sure that you can type in the language you are testing.  Remember that this is only a practice prompt, do not spend too much time on this technology check, but make sure it is working. 

  • Writing Section has 3 prompts.

  • You can read the prompt’s instructions in English or listen to them in the testing language.

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

  • Click NEXT to submit the response and move to the next screen. After clicking NEXT, you will not be able to return to the prompt.

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

Writing Section Tips and Strategies:

    • Provide your responses using the testing language.

    • Write at your highest possible level.

    • Provide all detail requested in the prompt and enough detail to fully demonstrate your writing skill.

    • Stay on topic.

    • Allow sufficient time for all three of your Writing prompts.

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

Speaking Section

Listening Section must be completed before Speaking Section.

At the beginning of the Speaking Section you will see a Practice Speaking Prompt. This is only a practice prompt, do not spend too much time on this technology check, but make sure it is working.

  • Speaking Section has 3 prompts.
  • You can read the prompt’s instructions in English or listen to them in the testing language.
  • To record a response, click Begin Recording.
  • Click NEXT to save and submit the response and move to the next screen. After clicking NEXT, you will not be able to return to the prompt. Do not click NEXT if the response is inaudible or of poor quality.
  • When done recording, wait two or three seconds, and then click Stop Recording. If you see the Begin Recording button again after clicking Stop Recording, your recording was not captured.
  • After recording, click Listen to listen to your recording and to verify that the response was recorded properly.
  • 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 one the Trash can.
      • Use the Stop Recording and Begin Recording/+ Sign (Add to Recording) buttons as needed.

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

Speaking Section Tips and Strategies:

    • Organize your thoughts before you start to record.

    • Provide your responses using the testing language.

    • Record your response at your highest possible level.

    • Provide all detail requested in the prompt and enough detail to fully demonstrate your speaking skill.

    • Stay on topic.

    • Avoid long pauses when you are recording.
    • Allow sufficient time for all three of your Speaking prompts.

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

Completing the Assessment

  • If you are not completing the test in one session, follow the instructions from your teacher or proctor about when to click Stop Test

  • You have not completed Avant STAMP 4S until you see a screen that says “Test Complete.”

  • If you need to finish the test at another time, plan to do so within 14 days of starting the test (or within the timelines specified by your teacher or proctor).

Resuming the Assessment

To resume a test, click Continue Test after entering the Test Code and Password and re-enter your Login Name exactly as you did the first time. The test should resume at the point where you left off. Contact your test proctor or teacher for assistance if you experience difficulty resuming your test.

After the Assessment

Test results are delivered to the testing administrator after test completion. Test takers should contact their testing administrator to receive test results.

Updated November 2022

Stay up to Date

Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates.
Scroll to Top