Testing protocol for fall 2020

Due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, we will not be able to proctor the Language Proficiency Exam on campus in fall 2020. Instead, we have a temporary new method by which students can register for a proficiency exam directly from our testing provider: the nationally recognized Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service (FLATS). 

NOTE: While some institutions do accept FLATS as a way for students to receive academic credit, no academic credit is conferred upon passing this proficiency exam for students at the University of Puget Sound, nor will it fulfill any requirements toward a major or minor. Passing a proficiency exam only waives our institution's language graduation requirement

Which languages are available? 

The Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service (FLATS) provides proficiency tests in a wide range of languages. If you speak a language for which FLATS does not provide a test, please contact us and we will do our best to locate another test for you. Tests in some languages may not be available this fall because of ongoing restrictions due to COVID-19 (for example, ASL testing is not currently being offered). If you are an entering student and we are unable to find you a test in your language, we recommend that you consider alternative options to fulfill the language graduation requirement, or you may choose to wait until next year to take a proficiency exam, when restrictions will presumably lift. If you are a graduating senior and there is not a test available in your language, you should consider alternative options to fulfill the language graduation requirement, or you can submit a Petition for Waiver of Academic Policy to the Academic Standards Committee. 

Registering for the FLATS

Students who wish to take a proficiency exam to waive the language graduation requirement should register for an exam directly with FLATS. A FLATS exam costs $50, for which the university will reimburse you (see below). When you complete your registration form, you should select Proctor360 as your test proctor; there is an option to autofill this information. Please send your results to:

Meghan Rogers
The Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching
The University of Puget Sound
1500 N Warner St. #1096
Tacoma, WA 98416-1096
(253) 879-3404
meghanrogers@pugetsound.edu

Once you have successfully registered for the FLATS, you will receive a confirmation with a test code. This code is valid for six months from the date of registration. You will then need to separately schedule an appointment for your test to be proctored remotely. 

Remote Proctoring

This year, all proficiency tests will be administered by Proctor360, a company that provides live, secure, web-based proctoring for exams. Proctor360 is an official partner of the FLATS and has experience facilitating these tests. Once you register for the FLATS, you will book a test appointment with Proctor360 for a time that is convenient to you. A testing appointment with Proctor360 costs $25, for which the university will reimburse you (see below). Proctor360 will confirm your appointment, share the specific system requirements you will need in order to take the test, schedule a hardware check with you to ensure you know how to use their application, and then monitor your testing environment to ensure it is secure using the webcam in your computer--just as a proctor would do for an in-person exam. 

One benefit of remote proctoring is that you have a great deal of flexibility in scheduling your exam. While testing dates for an in-person proficiency exam are typically limited to 4 to 5 options per academic year, you can schedule your appointment with Proctor360 at any time that is convenient for you. This can better accommodate students across different time zones and schedules. It can also allow you to take the exam when you feel most ready: you might choose to take the exam before the school year starts, so you can get your results before the add/drop deadline for course changes, or you might decide to brush up on your language skills before scheduling your test appointment. FLATS exams are valid for 6 months from the date of registration; you can scheduled your remote proctoring appointment with Proctor360 for any time within that window. 

That said, students who wish to take a proficiency exam are advised to do so as soon as possible. With languages, you use it or you lose it: those students who studied a language in high school but waited until their junior or senior year at Puget Sound to take the exam typically do not do well. The longer you wait to take the exam, the less likely you are to pass and the more likely you are to risk delaying your graduation. 

Testing Fees

The total cost for taking a proficiency exam is $75: $50 to register for the FLATS, and $25 for a testing appointment with Proctor360. Since the University of Puget Sound typically provides these exams at no cost to students during orientation, in Fall 2020 we will reimburse students for the cost of the exam, up to $75.*

You do not need to wait until you receive your test results to request reimbursement, though you do need to have registered for both the exam and a proctoring time so you can submit a copy of your receipts. To receive your reimbursement, send a copy of both your FLATS receipt and your Proctor360 receipt with your full name and preferred mailing address to Meghan Rogers. We will process your reimbursement with the Office of Finance and you will receive a check in the mail. 

*NOTE: If you miss your scheduled test appointment with Proctor360, you forfeit your $25 proctoring fee and will have pay $25 to book another appointment. The University will not pay to reschedule your test if you miss your original appointment.