STAMP Guides for Testing Coordinators

Monitor Scoring

Testing Coordinator's Report will show the following information:

See examples of STAMP reports below:

Level Keys

Benchmark Levels are grouped by major levels (Novice, Intermediate and Advanced). Within each major level are three sub-levels (low, mid, high) that are aligned to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines as shown below. 

Scoring and rating is done using the following Benchmark Levels:

  • Reading and Listening sections – 1-9 (from Novice-Low through Advanced-High).
  • Writing and Speaking sections – 1-8 (from Novice-Low through Advanced-Mid).
  • Self-Evaluated Reading and Listening sections – 1-7 (from Novice-Low through Advanced-Low).

For more information about these levels please refer to our STAMP Benchmarks & Rubric Guide.

Test Status Explanations

The test taker has not started this section of the test. If all sections are marked NS the test taker has completed only the Profile.

The test taker has started, but not completed, this section of the test. For the Writing and Speaking sections, click the IP to see how many responses have been submitted.

This section of the test is complete, but rating is not complete for one or more responses. Click the SP to see how many responses have been rated.

Writing or Speaking sections will have status NR (Not Ratable) if a rater is not able to rate any of the responses in the section. Not Ratable responses are generally due to technology challenges and are flagged as such in the report. Other situations, for example, if the testing environment is too noisy for the rater to hear the test taker response OR the test taker has whispered their response to the point it cannot be rated, an NR score will be given for that response.

Technology Issues

SPEAKING: No audio, buzzing, static/noises or low audio volume that prevents an accurate score. These are clear cases of technology hindering the ability to complete the task.

WRITING: Test taker indicates that no keyboard was set up for character-based languages or had other typing/input issues.


SPEAKING: Test taker is speaking, however, there are loud background noises like disruptive test takers near the test taker, fire alarms, teachers giving instructions/directions in the background or test taker is whispering preventing the raters from being able to adequately hear the complete response.

SPEAKING/WRITING: Test taker describes the picture or reads/translates the prompt or responds using dialect.

The NR status for Writing or Speaking sections does not count against the test taker in the composite score. Writing and Speaking sections with NR status can be reset at no charge. Resets must be requested and completed within 90 days of starting the test.  Please refer to Avant’s Test Retake and Reset Policy.

As the STAMP test is increasingly used for higher stakes purposes like awarding either credit or the Seal of Biliteracy, Avant has also increased the rigor of our rating process. The purpose of the zero score is simply to act as a flag that a potential test taker agreement violation has been identified in the response.

Our raters are trained to identify responses that may include some of the following behaviors in test taker responses:

  • Using ANY outside resources (translation support).
  • Writing out your Speaking response and reading it (flagged for poor pronunciation of very common words and/or a reading cadence rather than fluent or natural flow).
  • Any action or evidence that the test taker may have received assistance or support in completing any portion of the task.

All the above instances will be flagged with zero score. Once these flags are observed in the report by the teacher or administrator, they should review each instance to see what the test taker submitted and if there are further questions, then reach out to Avant to discuss these. If the teacher/proctor can share with us the conditions of the testing environment and verify that the test takers did not use outside resources, including paper to write out their spoken response, we can review those responses.

By doing this, we can better support the validity of the test as it is used for higher stakes purposes. Our intention is to better partner with teachers/proctors and administrators on providing a secure testing environment and accurate scores.

Level zero (0) scores for Writing and Speaking responses will count toward the section score and will lower the overall composite score. Level zero (0) scores cannot be reset. Please refer to Avant’s Test Retake and Reset Policy.

Writing or Speaking responses will receive a zero (0) score for one of the following reasons which will be displayed on the report:

Test Agreement Violation

  • Using ANY outside resources (translation support).
  • Writing out your Speaking response and reading it (flagged for poor pronunciation of very common words and/or a reading cadence rather than fluent or natural flow).
  • Any action or evidence that the test taker may have received assistance or support in completing any portion of the task.

Please refer to the test taker agreement items found here.

Non-Target Language

Response is given entirely in a language other than the target/test language.

No Attempt to Respond / Only ONE Target Language Word

WRITING: No response given.

SPEAKING/WRITING:  Speaking response submitted with only background noise (no response), or ONLY ONE target language word. Test taker responds with “I DON’T KNOW” or similar response in English or testing language.

Off Topic

Response fails to address ANY portion of the prompt or task.


Language provided makes no sense to even sympathetic reader/listener.

Violent Language

Any language that is threatening, menacing or violent towards ANY participant in the narrative or to the reader.

Profane Language

Any language that is vulgar, offensive, profane, or disrespectful towards ANY participant in the narrative or to the reader.

Reading and Listening Sections Scores

Reading and Listening scores are available as soon as test takers complete those sections (refresh the page for updates). 

Scaled Scores

For Reading and Listening sections of the test, you may also see a Scaled Score to the right of the level. These can be used to track test taker progress within the levels. For more information on Scaled Scores see our Scaled Scores Guide.

Writing and Speaking Sections Scores

Writing and Speaking scores are typically available from 7 to 10  business days after test completion. Scores may be available sooner, so check the test results screen periodically to determine the rating progress. Click on any score to see additional details or to access Writing and Speaking responses. During busy testing times (March-June), scoring may take longer. Please plan accordingly.

High (H) and Low (L) Indicators for Individual Responses

High (H) and Low (L) indicators for individual responses are included in the sidebar of the report. This assists testing coordinators and teachers in better understanding the range of responses that can occur in each sub-level for an individual test taker. These indicators serve a similar purpose as the Scaled Scores for Reading and Listening and can be used for research and review purposes.

What Does The Minus Sign Mean?

A minus sign after the score for a Writing or Speaking section notates that, of the three necessary ratable responses, the test taker only submitted one. This is an alert that limited evidence was available to establish the score.

Accessing Writing and Speaking Responses

You’re able to see the written responses and listen to recorded audio responses that test takers submit. For the Writing and Speaking sections, click on the section score to bring up the section details. Click on Response 1, Response 2 or Response 3 to access the test taker’s actual response for each specific task. This can also be helpful for understanding why responses were scored Zero or Not Ratable.

Composite Score

Composite Scores are available when all sections have been completed, scored, and rated. Composite Score represents a test taker’s scores added together and divided by the total number of sections assessed.

Testing Group Averages

The number in the graph for a specific skill represents all test taker scores divided by the number of test takers with a score for the specific skill. The number in the graph for the Composite Score represents all test taker’s Composite Scores added together and divided by the total number of test takers.

Distribution of Test Takers Across Levels

The bar graphs show what percentage of test takers are scoring at each specific level for each skill of the test: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

Updated December 2022

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