Nervously chewing on your pen, tapping your foot, scratching your scalp. Maybe a bead of sweat drops on to your scantron. We all know the stress of being a student, and there’s no denying tests are a big part of that stress. And the higher in education students go, the harder it is to keep track of all the tests necessary for success. To help alleviate some of that stress, UCI is fortunate to have the Academic Testing Center (ATC).

“The ATC is a great resource for our students to get placed in the correct introductory courses,” says Michael Dennin. “The right placement test can mean all the difference for student success to make sure their introductory courses are challenging — but not impossible — and that they’re ready for the university workload. That’s why we at OVPTL want to make sure our faculty and staff are up to date on the 411 for the ATC.”

You’ve probably heard about the great work the Academic Testing Center does with student testing — especially the Language Testing Program which lets students satisfy GE requirements in a snap. Talk about diversity? The ATC gives tests in over 40 languages!

But what about the great work the ATC does that people aren’t talking about? We sat down with Craig Longuevan, Director of the Academic Testing Center, to learn more.

So Craig, if you want to just get right to it, what is the best kept secret about the Academic Testing Center?

The Academic Testing Center does not keep secrets! Everything’s on the website so we can disseminate as much information about our Center as possible to the campus community. Yet there are two activities that seem to be less well known. First, there’s the support we provide to the Dean and Vice Provost’s Educator Recognition Program. That’s a really exciting program where high-achieving new freshmen and transfers nominate the educator who most influenced them to attend UCI. Second, there’s our test scanning services which provide test results for a large and growing number of classes across campus.

UCI is unique in having an Academic Test Center. None of our sister UC campuses has anything comparable. There’s an enormous advantage to having a center that provides testing services to the entire campus, and that is also the central source of placement and exemption results.

What are some common misconceptions about the ATC?

The most common misperception is that we offer testing services for the SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, and LSAT.

Wow that is actually pretty surprising! So, if your center doesn’t administer those tests, what do the administrators of the ATC do to help students?

We provide numerous opportunities for students to take the placement, exemption, and course challenge tests they need. We also provide a well-used distance testing service. We also advise students on graduation requirements, particularly for the Language Other Than English general education requirement.

How can students best use the resources of the ATC?

Be aware of which tests you need to take and when you need to take them. New students should definitely read the Freshman and Transfer Guide we created and posted on our website.

I think that just about does it. Do you have any good testing tips for the road?

Practice good study habits, get a lot of rest and good nutrition, and keep studying!

And if I may add an important postscript? ALWAYS maintain your academic integrity and NEVER take shortcuts!

If this interview proved anything, it’s that the Academic Testing Center is open, ready, and waiting for students to wake up and smell all the amazing things they have going on. That’s where you come in! Spread the word about the Academic Testing Center so next time students know where to go for their placement needs.

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