CTAS Qualification Criteria
To administer ETS tests via the internet, a testing center must complete the Certified Test Administrator Services (CTAS) certification process and training, and it must meet the various requirements. The following information describes the technical, facility and staff requirements for CTAS test centers.
CTAS Technical Requirements
A. Computer Requirements
- Administrative Station: Required for image capture, candidate check-in and other administrative tasks.
- Cache Proxy (or Internet Authentication Service (IAS) local server): Required for storing test delivery information and temporary storage of candidate results.
- Testing Stations: Required for delivering tests (one testing station per candidate).
B. Required Operating Systems and Browsers for ETS Internet-Based Testing (iBT):
- Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Windows 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Windows 10 (32-bit and 64-bit)
You must use Microsoft Internet Explorer® (IE) v10, v11 or Edge.
- The operating system should reside on, and boot from, the computer's local hard disk. Virtual machines and thin clients are not supported.
- Macintosh® or iMac® are not supported or approved for use with test delivery on the iBT platform.
- Microsoft® Server Operating System or Linux® are not supported.
C. Local Area Network (LAN) and Internet Connectivity
Cache proxy, administrative and testing station computers should:
- reside on a LAN in the same subnet to allow communication between test delivery applications without blocking of any ports.
- be connected to the internet via a broadband internet connection with a minimum download speed of 4Mbps and upload speed of 1Mbps.
- allow test delivery applications accessing TCP port 80 and 443 (more detailed technical requirements and whitelist information available in the Test Center Configuration Tips section below).
We strongly recommend using a separate device for LAN (switch) and internet connectivity (router) instead of using an integrated device.
D. Specifications for Administrative and Testing Stations
- Minimum Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 2.66GHz or equivalent
- Minimum Installed Memory: 2 GB
- Minimum Free Memory: 1 GB
- Free Disk Space: 2 GB
- Display Adapter: 1024x768 resolution, with 32-bit color depth/65,536 colors
- Display Monitor: Widescreen monitors (aspect ratio other than 4:3) are not supported
- Display Monitor Screen Size:
- CRT: 17-inch screen or higher
- LCD: 15-inch screen or higher
- Sound Card: 44.1 KHz (or better) sample rate
Note: Logitech® C270, C210, C170 and Microsoft VX800 webcams are approved for image capture at the Administrative Station. KOSS® SB45 headsets are approved for audio recording/playback on the Testing Stations.
E. Specifications for Cache Proxy (or IAS Local Server) Computers
Up to 40 concurrent test takers:
- Minimum Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad 2.4 GHz
- Minimum Installed Memory: 4 GB
- Minimum Free Memory: 2 GB
- Minimum Free Disk Space: 4 GB
F. Test Center Configuration Tips
The test center technicians must review the technical configuration requirements and guidelines.
This will help them in configuring the test center network and desktop environment for iBT test delivery.
CTAS Facility and Staff Requirements
A. General Facility Requirements
- A testing room with 15 internet-connected computers and a cache proxy that meet the current CTAS technical specifications.
- The ability to restrict other activities in the testing room during an estimated six-hour test period.
- A specified check-in area located near the entrance to the testing room, in an area separate from other activities.
- Nearby restrooms located within the test center building where test takers do not have to leave the building to gain access.
- Signage designating the facility as a test center. The test center and testing rooms should be easy to find with signs inside the building directing test takers to the test center location and testing rooms.
B. Physical and Environmental Requirements
- Separation Distance:
- The testing room must comfortably accommodate the number of testing workstations placed in it.
- If there are no partitions between computer testing workstations to restrict visibility, then there must be a separation distance of 5 feet (1.5 meters) from the center of one computer monitor screen to the center of the screen of any adjacent computer.
- If, after reviewing a site’s lab layout, ETS determines that partitions are necessary, ETS will provide the required number of partitions to the site.
- With partitions in place, the minimum center-to-center separation distance is 3 feet (0.9 meters).
- In testing rooms where computer tables are at a 90-degree angle, test takers must not be seated next to each other in the connecting corner. The 5-foot (1.5 meter) minimum distance must be maintained.
- Location of Check-in Area:
- The check-in area should be located near the entrance to the testing room, in an area separate from other activities.
- A table, desk or counter is recommended for use during check-in.
- If the check-in area is inside the testing room, the Test Center Administrators (TCAs) must use their best efforts to ensure that the check-in process does not disturb test takers whose testing is in progress.
- If the check-in area is outside the testing room, ensure that this arrangement does not hinder the TCA’s ability to monitor the testing room; at least one TCA or proctor must be present within the testing room at all times during all testing sessions.
- Writing Surface:
- Provide a writing surface at each testing workstation that is large enough to accommodate scratch paper.
- The writing surface must be large enough to accommodate right- or left-handed test takers.
- The dimensions of the writing surface should be at least 12 x 15 inches (30 x 38 centimeters).
- No Written Materials: The testing room must not contain any written materials other than test station seat numbers.
- Ensure that testing rooms are quiet throughout the test administration.
- When testing is in progress, do not conduct other activities in or near the testing room that would disrupt the standardized testing environment.
- Access for People with Disabilities:
- The building, testing rooms and rest rooms must be accessible to people with disabilities, including wheelchair access.
- They must meet local and national accessibility laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States, and equivalent laws (if any) in other locations.
- A clock should be provided in the break area so test takers taking exams with a scheduled break can time themselves.
- Provide comfortable chairs with backs. Stools or benches without backs are not acceptable.
- A phone must be available to TCAs at all times for use in calling the Global Help Desk, reporting irregularities or tending to other emergencies.
C. Test Center Staff Roles
- Test Center Administrator (TCA)
Each test center must have a primary TCA and an additional certified TCA to serve as a replacement in case the primary TCA is absent. The primary TCA’s responsibilities include the following:
- Perform a readiness check several days before each scheduled test administration
- Perform check-in of test takers at the administrative station
- Ensure the security of the test center
- Write Center Problem Reports (CPRs)
- Coordinate activities with proctor(s)
Each test center requires one or more proctors, whose responsibilities include the following:
- Assist the TCA with preparing the workstations
- Escort test takers to their workstations
- Monitor the testing room to maintain security
- Interact with the testing workstations to start or pause tests
- Report any irregularities to the TCA
D. Test Center Staffing Requirements
- TCAs and Proctors:
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
- Must be able to read, write, speak and understand English.
- Staffing Proportions
Test centers are required to provide TCAs and Proctors in the following proportions for each testing room:
- 1–25 test takers requires two staff members (one TCA and one Proctor)
- 26–40 test takers requires three staff members (one TCA and two Proctors)
How to Begin the ETS CTAS Certification Process
To become an ETS CTAS test center, please fill out an application.