Candidate Agreements: Establishing honor codes for test takers

julie-smallPosted by Julie Delazyn

With schools, colleges and universities now fully launched into a new academic year, it’s certain testing season!

The security of test results is crucial to the validity of test scores – something we explored in a previous post. Today, I’d like to look at another helpful tool for promoting secure and fair tests: the candidate agreement or examination honor code.

These agreements outline what is expected of test takers. They present a code of conduct that test takers must agree to before they start an assessment. This can be done manually as an outline or electronically before an online exam begins. When participants sign the code, they’re consciously acknowledging the rules and the repercussions of cheating. Such codes apply to all types of high-stakes testing, such as certification tests.

What expectations should you include in a candidate agreement? Here are some to consider:

  • The candidate must abide by the rules of the test center, organization, or program
  • The candidate will not provide false ID or false papers
  • The candidate cannot take the test on behalf of someone else
  • The candidate will not engage in cheating in any form
  • The candidate will not help others cheat
  • The candidate will not use aids that are not allowed
  • The candidate will not solicit someone else to take the test
  • The candidate will not cause a disturbance in the testing center
  • The candidate will not tamper with the test center in any way
  • The candidate will not share information about the assessment content they saw (non-disclosure agreement)
  • The test vendor will have the option to terminate the assessment if suspicious behavior is detected

If you’d like more details about these and other tips on ensuring the security and defensibility of your assessments you can download our white paper, “Delivering Assessments Safely and Securely.”

One Response to “Candidate Agreements: Establishing honor codes for test takers”

  1. Jim Parry says:

    We use this type of “agreement” on all of our high stakes exams as a seperate block. By continuing to the exam by clicking “submit” the test taker acknowledges agreement to the terms and conditions.

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