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During a preadministration session, students are asked to provide some basic information about themselves and their interests (e.g., name, date of birth, intended college major) using the same digital platform they'll use to take the test.

Benefits of the Preadministration Session

A preadministration session serves as a dry run for the test administration. It's also when students can fill out a questionnaire about themselves. Everyone benefits:

  • Students learn how to use the digital testing tools and become familiar with the testing platform.
  • Proctors practice administering the digital test.
  • Test coordinators confirm that proctors understand how to administer the test.
  • Everyone saves time on test day.

During the session, coordinators should make sure all computers are set up correctly.

  • The secure browser should be properly installed on all student devices.
  • The TA Interface should launch on all proctor computers.
  • Student test settings in TIDE should reflect students' approved accommodations.

Best Practices

  • Schedule the session before test day (the earlier the better).
  • Hold the session during a class period.
  • Make sure your technology coordinator is on hand in case there are any technical issues.

Before the Session

Instructions and a script for the preadministration session are included in the test coordinator manual.

Detailed instructions for the following tasks are available in the TIDE User Guide (.pdf/2.3 MB).

Create Staff Accounts and Encourage Proctor Practice

Any staff member at the preadministration session who'll be administering the test needs a user account to access the TA Interface. Test coordinators create these accounts in TIDE.

Tell proctors they can use their accounts to sign in to the TA Interface Practice Site and to practice giving the test.

Confirm Student Information in TIDE

All student information should already be uploaded to TIDE. Check with your SSD coordinator to make sure all accommodation settings are correct.

Plan Your Space and Staff

We recommend breaking the session into several small groups and assigning students according to their testing group. Take some time to:

  • Figure out how many rooms you'll need.
  • Reserve the necessary space.
  • Assign students and one proctor to each room.

It's important for all students to log in at the same time to make sure your computer network has enough bandwidth to accommodate them on test day.

Print Test Tickets

Students' test tickets have information they need to sign in to the secure browser. You'll need to:

  • Sign in to TIDE to print them.
  • Store them securely.
  • Group the tickets by room (if holding multiple sessions).

Spread the Word

Let students and staff know what to expect in the session:

  • Students who take the SAT will have the chance to select the colleges they want to send their score reports to. They should be aware that free score sends expire.
  • Students taking the SAT or PSAT 10 can opt in to Student Search Service®. Their answers to preadministration questions will help us connect them to colleges and scholarship programs looking for students like them.
  • Proctors will conduct the session.

During the Session

During the session, students are asked to fill out a questionnaire about themselves and their plans for college. They also get to practice navigating the test so they'll feel confident on test day.

Conducting the Session

Conducting a preadministration session is good preparation for administering the test. Proctors should:

  • Display the date and session ID where students can see them.
  • Hand out students' test tickets.
  • Use the TA Interface to start the session.
  • Follow the script.

The preadministration script in the coordinator manual will let you know when to distribute the tickets. At the end of the session, be sure to collect all test tickets and store them securely until you hand them out again on test day.

Students with Accommodations

Students with accommodations can practice using their approved assistive technology tools, which is particularly important for students using screen readers or text-to-speech. Find out how to help students with accommodations practice navigating digital tests.