New policies at the Testing Center make lines longer

Lines at the Testing Center stretch out the door more often after a change in policy. (Photo by Stephanie Rhoades)

Long lines at the Testing Center are nothing new, but they have started winding out the door more often because of new instructions from the BYU fire marshal.

The Testing Center has been asked to reduce the number of desks. The change has reduced the number of people inside the building by about two-thirds.

“As soon as all the seats are filled, we can’t let more people in so the lines get really long,” said Felicia Bunting, a Testing Center assistant.

When the Testing Center is busy, as many as six employees hand out tests at a time. This speeds up the line, but only until testing areas fill up.

Bunting said she has not only seen longer lines at the Testing Center, but they have also sent people to the overflow seating on the first floor more often this semester. This may occur even more often during future midterms and finals as 60 desks were removed from the main testing area, due to the fire code.

The BYU risk management department found the fire code violation during an assessment of the Testing Center. Linda Shirley, manager of the Testing Center, said no one at the Testing Center knew there was a problem.

“The chairs have been like that for years and years,” Shirley said.

The Testing Center is now overbooked by 5,000 tests for fall semester finals. Linda Shirley, manager of the Testing Center, has asked professors to consider administering finals in class if their situation allows it. Since the announcement Oct. 14, less than 1,000 tests have been moved out of the Testing Center. Management at the Testing Center is trying to find new ways to accommodate as many finals as possible.

“We’re looking at alternatives, but right now we don’t know what those will be,” Shirley said.

The extra chairs did not result in increased medical or legal incidents according to Todd Hollingshead, BYU spokesperson. Bunting said the only complaints about the crowded room came from test proctors when test-takers do not put their bags under their seats.

The Testing Center has not had an overbooked day since the chairs were removed. Shirley said she has asked some professors to move deadlines on very busy days, and they will continue to look for solutions between now and finals week.

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