Step 1: Prepare for Test Day

The goal of post-testing is to collect accurate data. In order to gather accurate data you need to (1) simulate the testing experience as closely as possible and (2) communicate your data needs to Cambridge for timely data processing.

Simulate the Testing Experience

First, you need to simulate the testing experience as closely as possible. Schedule the post-test, gather your materials, and prepare your students.

Schedule the Post-Test:

It is absolutely necessary that students take the test under actual testing conditions. An important aspect of these conditions is to administer the test in one, unbroken session. If your test prep sessions are normally scheduled for less than the required time it takes to administer the exam, arrange to hold a special long session during the day, after school, or on a Saturday. Allow at least three hours plus 50 minutes for the optional Essay (add 10–20 minutes for one break and administrative functions). If possible, schedule the post-test at the same time of day as you administered the pre-test.

If students are working remotely, consider whether you would like them to take the test on their own or if they will all take the test at the same time. You can open the testing window and tell them when it will close (i.e., you have until next Friday to take the test) or you can have all the students log on at the same time and proctor the test while they work remotely. If your students complete the test on their own, have them set aside three and a half hours to test so that they can complete the test in one sitting as explained above.

Gather Your Materials: Be sure that you are familiar with the Proctor Checklist and Proctor Instructions (available in Step 2) and that you have collected and reviewed all the testing materials listed in the Proctor Checklist.

The proctor information is available for each proctoring situation (paper or online materials, in person or remote proctoring) so be sure to use the instructions that apply to your testing implementation.

If you are using printed test booklets, look at the Scantron™ Information Form (included with your materials) to determine which of the tests students should take as a post-test. Do NOT administer the same test as both a pre- and post-test.

If you are self-scoring your tests, either have your students write their answers on a separate sheet of paper or contact a Cambridge rep to order blank Scantron forms. You will also need lined paper to distribute when students respond to the essay prompt.

A Note about the Post-Test: Cambridge uses retired tests from the testing companies that produce the test. Using these retired tests ensures that your students have a testing experience that prepares them for test day and gives you data so you can have confidence in measuring your students’ skills. They also provide good information for a pre- and post-test analysis.

Also, Cambridge test writers create tests for pre- and post-test use. We make sure our tests are designed to accurately reflect the difficulty and range of topics that students see on the real test. Our test writers are experts in the field, and they closely assess each item’s design to make sure that they are as accurate as possible.

Prepare Your Students: Notify students ahead of time to bring several No. 2 pencils (online students can use any writing utensil), an acceptable calculator, and a watch to pace themselves while testing (optional). An acceptable calculator is defined as a four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator. Although it is possible to solve every item on the SAT test without a calculator, it is recommended that students use a calculator at least at the scientific level. For more information on permitted calculators, see

After putting forth a great deal of effort to complete all previous coursework, student motivation may subside when the time comes to administer the post-test. They are probably not looking forward to taking another test, so it is important to remind them of the significance of the post-test. Plan something fun in order to reward them for all of their hard work and dedication.

Communicate Your Data Needs

Before you test, go to to verify your testing details and finalize your reports (including requesting custom lesson plans). You will log in using your location code and location email address. If you do not know your location code or the email address associated with your account, call (847) 299-2930. PrepMyData helps you confirm that you are ready for testing and that you will receive timely reports.


Cambridge offers a pre-slugging service (we fill in your students’ names, IDs, etc.). We recommend this service because:

  • The sheets will be returned to the school with the student information already filled in, which saves time on the testing day and reduces the chance of errors.
  • By providing additional information about the students’ class, teacher, homeroom, etc. Cambridge can create specialized data reports. For example, we can create an Instructor Summary and Error Analysis for Ms. Anderson’s 3rd period Algebra II class.
  • If the school is using a pre- and post-test evaluation of student learning, pre-printing Scantron answer sheets is the best way to ensure that students are correctly matched.

You can download and then submit a pre-slugging file in the PrepMyData form. You MUST complete the PrepMyData form at least three weeks before testing in order to receive pre-slugged Scantrons.