I was assigned the duty of proctoring during school-wide testing for most of this week, with proctoring being a common task for a paraprofessional, like myself, and one that I’ve performed at multiple other schools.

The duties of a proctor are rather commonsensical, assuring that students are on task, i.e. that they’ve written their names and other pertinent information where it should be written on scantrons, that they’ve completely bubbled in the appropriate sections of the scantrons, and/or wholly erased answers that they’ve changed and/or not marked multiple answers to a single question, and that they are not sleeping, cheating or distracting other students in any way during tests.

There are a few items additionally that all instructors and/or proctors should check for when administering especially standardized tests that require use of scantrons. With especially the proliferation of mechanical pencils, checking to be certain that all students are utilizing #2 pencils is of the essence. It is equally important to assure that all students have circled all answers in test booklets that they’ve bubbled in on scantrons, so that they are rendered credit for any erroneous grading of the scantrons.

Instructors should simply ask students before disbursing test booklets and scantrons to peruse their pencils to make certain that they are #2, and/or the instructors and proctors should check to be certain that they are, and to inform/reiterate to students that they are to circle the answers in their test booklets in addition to bubbling in the answers on their scantrons.

One of several instructors I worked with on a rotational basis had students who utilized mechanical pencils that were not definitively #2 to mark over the answers with definitive #2 pencils. Other instructors may require erasure of all markings with pencils that are not definitively #2, while others may require transfer of bubbled answers to a new scantron altogether with a definitively #2 pencil.

Most importantly, instructors, parapros and/or proctors should discern whether or not students have been introduced to the material that they’re being tested on, and render appropriate feedback to relevant school officials, when, hopefully, it is established that no student is to be tested on material that they’ve not been taught…