AEST Industry Certification Exams - Important Details & Updates
Mar 28, 2017 by Kevin Kent
As the beginning of April and the peak of industry certification testing season approaches, we are excited to share some very important and significant updates regarding AEST and industry certifications.
Yes, this is a lengthy email. There are some very important details in here. It is highly encouraged that you find time to review this message in its entirety and also share it with those involved in certification exam testing at your school.
Exams Offered and Minimum Passing Scores
AEST is excited to offer the following exams for the 2016-2017 academic year: Agritechnology, Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural Communications, Agricultural Mechanics, Animal Science, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Agriculture.
Minimum passing scores will remain the same as the standardized scores from last year. The UAS certification has yet to be standardized, and will be undergoing that process after the first round of scores.
- Agritechnology - 60%
- Agricultural Biotechnology - 65%
- Agricultural Communications - 60%
- Agricultural Mechanics - 60%
- Animal Science - 65%
- Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Agriculture* - 75%
Testing Platform Updates
The AEST team has been hard at work over the summer to enhance the user experience for teachers, proctors and test takers. Highlights of the improvements and changes include: printable results report per exam and per student, forget password feature for teachers and proctors, and time-sensitive exam codes.
- Exam Codes now expire in 24 hours. If you do not use all of your exam codes for a schedule exam, you must schedule a new exam to receive additional codes. “Not using a code” will have no affect on your account balance. Only when a code is used (entered by a proctor) will funds be deducted from your account.
- Need to turn in documentation or reports to your district? You can now print reports for individual students, an entire testing session, or even a “school report” that will list student names, scores, etc. AEST processes certificates in batches once we reach a certain number, so these official reports are designed for submitting to school officials for funding purposes, etc.
- Don’t know your password? Use the reset button on the login screen. This works for teachers and proctors.
Additional Exams and Updates
AEST will be submitting two new certifications to the Florida Department of Education for the 2017-2018 academic year: Forestry Specialist and Agricultural Associate. With the introduction of the Agricultural Associate certification, the “foundations” core of standards (which are currently included in all AEST exams) will only be tested in the Agricultural Associate certification and will be removed from all other exams.
The Agricultural Associate certification will be targeted towards middle school and first year agriculture students. Subsequently, this will also allow current exams to focus more on their
respective subject area. Pending DOE approval, these exams will be offered during the 2017-2018 academic year.
- User Names & Passwords (for both teacher and proctor) - Please do not wait until the day of the exam to be sure your usernames and passwords are working. It would be very helpful if your proctor attempted logging into their account 48 hours prior to the scheduled exam date. The proctor should be doing this anyway to retrieve the test codes. See proctor tutorial attached.
- User Names & Passwords (for both teacher and proctor) - If you or your proctor had a username and password for a previous test but cannot remember it, please do not create a new account. Instead, please email us so that we can refresh it for you. Multiple accounts for the same proctor will cause continued issues.
- Proctor Tutorial – It is critically important that your proctor follows the step-by-step instructions in the proctor tutorial attached to this email. If they do not follow the instructions, it is almost a 99% guarantee that they will have problems.
- Printed Exams – The “print exam” feature is ONLY allowed for students with documented needs (504/IEP) and must be approved by our office before printing. We have the ability to track each exam that is printed. Each instance of an exam being printed without prior authorization will result in a failed attempt for all students in that testing sessison/school and proctor/teacher credentials will be permanently revoked by AEST.
- Test Credits & Exam Codes – Please understand that your account credit balance is deducted each time an exam code is entered. Please do not play around with exam codes or enter them mistakingly as this will reduce your account balance by $85.00 for each incorrect entry.
- Account Balance – Please understand that that amount that you add to your account balance will be the amount that your school (or school district) is responsible for. Do not add more credits than you wish to test. While unused credits will carry-over for future exams, the full payment must be made in the current year. Refunds or reductions in account balances will not be allowed. Also, please do your math correctly and only load account balances in multiples of $85 or $50 depending on the number for new or retake exams you wish to purchase.
Although this is nothing new, agriculture teachers CAN NOT proctor an exam, period - regardless of who and where they teach. Proctoring an exam includes “typing in a registration code to initiate an exam.” Teacher accounts will not allow teachers to initiate an exam. Proctors MUST have an approved-proctor account to start an exam for a student.