Endeavoring to maintain a profitable testing tool despite the COVID pandemic, the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) has redesigned the ISEE private school test so it can be taken by students applying to 5th – 12th grades in their own homes, using their own technology.

Big Brother will be watching. According to the ERB,

Using the student’s computer webcam (or an external camera), the Prometric readiness agent will conduct a live scan of the room and desk area to confirm that it meets security requirements. Additionally, the agent will perform a webcam security inspection of the student’s pockets, sleeves, accessories, and glasses (where applicable).

Once the test launches, the ProProctor unique browser locks down the device that the student is using, so that there is control over the exam experience and the student is unable to access any other programs or screen capture exam content.

Once the test is launched, a certified Prometric proctor will use the webcam to monitor the student for the duration of the test. While the student will not be able to see the Prometric Proctor, they are with the student the entire time and will be able to provide assistance at any point during the test or stop a test if any of the test regulations are violated during the exam.

The remote ISEE has the same test structure as the in-person test. Scores are promised within 2 days.

The SSAT has not yet posted details of their test “SSAT at Home” (so comforting sounding, yes). However, they promise:

For students, the SSAT at Home will have the same content, length, and quality of our traditional SSAT. We hope that you will work with EMA to communicate to families that they can rest easier knowing their educational ambitions for their children won’t be undone, and that this new mode of testing will help both admission officers and EMA manage health and safety concerns of prospective students in the face of this worldwide battle against COVID-19.

Remote testing has raised questions as students can be stymied by their technology. Unlike many colleges, NYC, Westchester and other private schools have not suggested abandoning standardized testing as an admissions standard. Given this, for now, students should assume testing is on.