We are now well into our second year of the Covid-19 pandemic and it is undeniable that the disruption it has caused has been the catalyst for multiple changes in the world of education.
Despite these changes causing significant challenges, it could be argued that some have proven to yield unexpectedly positive outcomes. One example we have seen is in the way that online admissions testing has been run.
For many years schools have used standardised testing to help them identify promising candidates. Examples of these include the CAT4, Password, ISEB Common Pre-Test and the UK Independent Schools’ Entry Test (UKiset).
UKiset, an assessment typically taken by international students wishing to study in the UK, has certainly seen a change. It provides independent schools with a report on candidates’ aptitude, as well as things such as GCSE predictions.
Previously assessments such as UKiset relied heavily on a network of affiliated test centres across the globe. With the pandemic forcing many of these centres to close, many candidates were at risk of being unable to take their assessments. Teams were forced to quickly think of other ways to facilitate invigilation.
UKiset rose to this challenge by providing online invigilation in-house throughout the week. This resulted in solving the problem of restrictions, but also the wider-reaching issue for some candidates for whom travel to a centre was not necessarily the easiest option.
Even as restrictions slowly ease and test centres open, many candidates still opt for an online invigilation. This has certainly been popular for children already in UK independent schools, looking to change for sixth form.
Online invigilation allows them to take the assessment in solitude, in a much less formal situation, easing the pressure and increasing their confidence – especially important in recent times. Any issues they may have can be easily flagged, and invigilators are able to keep an even closer eye on the test thanks to secondary devices and screensharing.