Transforming English Language Exams: LanguageCert’s Award-Winning Project – ExamShield

In today’s rapidly evolving technological world, characterised by instant access and on-demand services, LanguageCert has taken a pioneering role in revolutionising the English language examination experience through its cutting-edge software, ExamShield. LanguageCert launched ExamShield in 2019, and it has not only reshaped high-stakes English language exams but also offered candidates a secure, accessible, and highly customisable approach to online testing.

By Nancy Katsikari

Mission and innovation

From the outset, LanguageCert's mission has remained resolute: to enhance the career, education, and life prospects of individuals by offering high-quality exams and secure and flexible testing solutions. While traditional classroom-based and paper-based exams have long been the de facto standard, the dynamic digital landscape calls for innovation. ExamShield was conceived to address the specific challenges faced by test-takers who expect the same level of validity and quality as traditional exams in a secure but more convenient format.

ExamShield's core approaches

LanguageCert's success in transforming the examination landscape is underpinned by a set of core approaches:

1. Live proctoring: empowering flexibility and security

In 2019, LanguageCert introduced live, human proctoring, empowering candidates to take their English language exams from a location of their choice at any time with the guidance of a highly- trained, live proctor, setting LanguageCert apart as a true pioneer in the language examination field. This approach not only offers unparalleled flexibility, eliminating the cost and effort of travelling, but also maintains stringent security standards, adapting to the diverse needs of individual candidates.

2. Consistency across exam formats

What distinguishes LanguageCert is its unwavering commitment to consistency. Whether a candidate opts for a paper-based, computer-based, or online proctored exam, the content parity is maintained. This ensures that candidates are assessed fairly, regardless of the delivery method.

3. Ongoing enhancement: adapting to the digital landscape

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, LanguageCert maintains its position at the forefront by consistently reviewing and enhancing the examination experience, technology, and methodology. This unwavering commitment to improvement ensures that LanguageCert exams seamlessly adapt to the evolving dynamics of online testing. To uphold the integrity of its exams, LanguageCert makes substantial investments in anti-cheating solutions and technologies, continuously monitoring the latest developments in digital exam fraud and proactively devising effective countermeasures.

4. The power of proprietary proctoring software

LanguageCert's parent company, PeopleCert, developed the proprietary ExamShield software in 2013, becoming the first organisation to deliver online exams with live proctoring. This cutting-edge software guides candidates through the exam process, offering a comfortable and stress-free experience while maintaining the highest security standards.

5. Rigorous security measures

Candidates are rigorously identified through a multi-step verification process, including ID and 360-degree room checks, and are discreetly monitored throughout the exam to ensure compliance with PeopleCert/LanguageCert security standards. ExamShield, as a ‘lock-down’ software, regulates and secures the candidate’s computer device to safeguard validity and to prevent malicious or blacklisted applications from being accessed during the test.

6. Trained online proctors

LanguageCert takes great pride in its meticulous selection and rigorous training of online proctors.  Proctors are chosen with care to ensure provision of secure, responsive, and standardised live online proctoring services, seamlessly blending the convenience of online testing with the supportive presence of a human touch. Candidates also have the option to choose proctors who speak their native language, further enhancing the overall exam experience and leading to a significant uptick in online exam participation. In a recent survey, an impressive 95% of candidates who took LanguageCert exams online expressed satisfaction with the experience and indicated a strong likelihood of recommending it to their peers.

The seamless candidate experience

The booking system is tailored to candidates' schedules, and the entire process is designed to be simple, secure, and reliable. Provisional results for Speaking exams are available in less than one hour with official results typically available in just two to three working days (based on the exam), allowing candidates to receive their e-certificate, hard-copy certificate, and digital badge promptly.

Navigating challenges and learning from experience

Throughout the journey of developing and implementing ExamShield, LanguageCert and its dedicated team have encountered valuable lessons. These lessons include the importance of maintaining the highest security standards, the need for ongoing innovation, and the significance of providing candidates with a user-friendly experience.

LanguageCert acknowledges that challenges will continue to emerge in the evolving landscape of online testing. However, the lessons learned thus far have equipped the team to effectively navigate these challenges, ensuring that the candidate experience remains exemplary.

A clear vision for the future

As LanguageCert looks to the future, its vision is unwavering: to build upon the success of ExamShield and further enhance the online examination experience. The company remains committed to:

Innovation: Continuing to innovate and adapt to the evolving needs of candidates and the industry, ensuring that its examination solutions remain cutting-edge.

Security: Maintaining the highest security standards to ensure the integrity of online exams and assuring candidates of a secure testing environment.

Accessibility: Making LanguageCert exams accessible and user-friendly , ensuring that all candidates can benefit from its high-stakes English language exams.

International recognition: Offering internationally recognised, Ofqual-regulated high-stakes English language exams that open doors to global opportunities for candidates.

In conclusion, LanguageCert's ExamShield software has ushered in a new era of English language exams, combining the convenience of online testing with the security and quality standards of traditional exams. With a commitment to ongoing improvement and a clear vision for the future, LanguageCert is poised to continue setting the standard for high-stakes English language exams in the digital age.

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