JAMB CBT Center Business Plan in Nigeria
SECTION 1 – EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The advent of Computer-Based Testing (CBT) and specially equipped testing labs made more frequent test administrations practical, while preserving the integrity and security of the exam. Today, well over a million exams a month are delivered worldwide via computer and that number continues to grow each year. Simply put, computer-based testing refers to the method by which tests are delivered via a computer, usually at a secure, proctored test center. Unlike paper and pencil exams, which are often monitored by temporary employees hired for the day of testing, computer-based exams are typically proctored by a permanent staff of trained and certified test center administrators. The presence of a professional staff of invigilators is essential to the security of the testing process and ultimately the value and credibility of the exam itself.
It is no longer news that the computer based testing technology has come to stay as it offers several outstanding advantages to both the tester and the tested. Several major tertiary institutions have adopted this testing method, the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) has adopted it since 2014 and the West African Examinations Council also has plans to adopt it in the nearest future. With this technology becoming widely accepted, we have a major constraint that cuts across the country, not just Kogi State, we do not have enough centers to handle the population of students that will be tested.
We propose to open a Computer Based Test Center in Lokoja, Kogi State. This is necessary to cater for the high population that require this service in the city, as you know, Lokoja is the capital of Kogi State and thus has a higher population than every other part of the State. Attached to the center as auxiliaries will be a cyber café and a business center, this will alleviate stress of the students who come around and also act as an extra source of income for management.
Our mission is to provide top notch information technology solutions to aid educational development. To this end we propose to work hard on what we have presently, proffer solutions to problems that will arise and work continually to upgrade our systems so as to offer our clients the best services money can pay for.
This vision will be achieved with an estimated initial capital outlay of #25,750,000 and the business should breakeven by the seventh year (it could be far earlier, depending on the acceptance of the CBT idea by the Ministry of Education. The business has a profitability index of 1.01.
SECTION 2 – INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND OF COMPUTER BASED TESTING
Soon after the introduction of the first Personal Computers the potential benefits associated with their use for exam delivery were quickly realized. Prior to this breakthrough the process of exam delivery and, therefore, the test-taker experience had largely been unchanged for more than 100 years.
Twenty years ago virtually all exams were administered via paper and pencil, with many large-scale tests only available to test-takers on one or two days a year. The substantial advance planning and logistical support required for these mass administrations made more frequent testing cost-prohibitive. As a consequence, test-takers often had to rearrange their schedules to accommodate an exam’s very limited availability.
The advent of Computer-Based Testing (CBT) and specially equipped testing labs made more frequent test administrations practical, while preserving the integrity and security of the exam. Today, well over a million exams a month are delivered worldwide via computer and that number continues to grow each year. The individuals taking these tests enjoy a level of convenience and satisfaction unparalleled with paper and pencil testing.
Simply put, computer-based testing refers to the method by which tests are delivered via a computer, usually at a secure, proctored test center. Unlike paper and pencil exams, which are often monitored by temporary employees hired for the day of testing, computer-based exams are typically proctored by a permanent staff of trained and certified test center administrators. The presence of a professional staff of invigilators is essential to the security of the testing process and ultimately the value and credibility of the exam itself.
One of the early concerns about the use of computers in the delivery of exams was whether inexperienced computer users would be disadvantaged. Decades of research have shown that test-takers who are administered the same test on computer and on paper perform equally well, even among individuals that have had little or no previous experience in the use of a computer.
Computerized exams can look very similar to a traditional paper and pencil test. Multiple choice questions continue to be the most commonly used format for both modes of delivery. Each question typically has four or five answer options from which the correct response(s) must be selected. Instead of using a pencil to fill in a ‘bubble’ to mark an answer, test-takers use a computer mouse to point to, and click, on the correct response. Just as with a paper-based exam the test-taker can easily see the selection that was made. However, the computer readily allows subsequent changes to an answer without the uncertainty of knowing whether a poorly erased answer might invalidate the new selection.
In a paper and pencil exam, test-takers must remember items they wish to review prior to the completion of the test. This often results in elaborate notations made in the test booklet or scratch paper, that are meant to indicate which items require further consideration. Time management becomes an essential, but unintended, aspect of the exam. For many exams, the computer environment provides several tools that allow the test-taker to more effectively utilize their allotted time. First, test-takers can electronically ‘mark’ test questions for review, providing a visual indicator of items that should be revisited. Second, an item review screen allows test-takers to quickly track their progress by viewing a list of all the test questions within the exam, along with an indication as to whether the item has been answered and/or marked for review. Using this review screen, test-takers can select and immediately view any item in the test, thus eliminating the need to flip through the pages of a test booklet in search of a particular question.
The presentation of items is also enhanced through the use of computer-based testing. Unrestricted by the physical limitations of test booklets, computer administered test questions can be formatted to meet each item’s unique requirements. Graphics and reference materials can either be integrated directly into the item or, in the case of very large images, invoked by clicking on an on-screen button. Many tests utilize case studies in which the test-taker reads a passage and then responds to a series of test questions that are associated with that material. Computer delivery makes it possible for the case study contents to appear on one side of the screen and all of its associated test questions to appear on the other, thus allowing test-takers to quickly reference all of the information required.
In the event of power outage, there are contingency options for ensuring that data is not completely lost and even allow for full recovery. Exams remain resident on the local file server throughout the administration of the test and each time a candidate makes a selection the response is immediately stored on the server when he/she advances to the next item. If there is a blackout, or any other disruption such as a workstation crash, all of the candidate’s responses are safely housed on the server’s hard drive. When power is restored, or the appointment is transferred from the defective workstation to another computer, the exam can be resumed exactly where the candidate left off, with no loss of time on the exam.
Available since the early 1990’s, computer-based testing continues to grow in popularity. It is now widely used for admissions testing as well as licensure and certification exams. The adoption rate is expected to continue to grow as test sponsors explore the use of new, innovative item types and advanced multimedia to create ever more engaging and effective assessments. As the technology evolves test-takers will continue to be the beneficiaries of these advancements.
ADVANTAGES OF COMPUTER BASED TESTING (CBT)
- Lower long-term costs.
- Instant feedback to students.
- Greater flexibility with respect to location and timing.
- Improved reliability (machine marking is much more reliable than human marking).
- Improved impartiality (machine marking does not know the students, so does not favor nor make allowances for minor errors).
- Greater storage efficiency – tens of thousands of answer scripts can be stored on a server compared to the physical space required for paper scripts.
- Enhanced question styles which incorporate interactivity and multimedia”.
JAMB CBT Centre Requirements
- A minimum of 250 functional Desktop Computer systems or laptops with 10% (i.e. 25) backups.
- Provision of individual cubicle with minimum length of 26 inches, breadth of 18 inches and height of 18 inches and appropriate seat for each system.
- Minimum 15 inches flat screen Computer monitor for desktop or 17 inches for laptop.
- The computer systems must be connected to a robust computer server with a capacity to carry 250 systems concurrently.
- All the computer systems must be linked together on Cable Local Area Network topology (LAN). (Wireless Computer connection is not allowed).
- Adequate security and minimum of five (5) technical personnel and one network engineer.
- Availability of back-up power supply (power generating set of minimum 40kva for a center with 250 systems; 60 KVA for 350 systems and 100 KVA for above 350 systems) and UPS/inverters that can carry all systems for a minimum of two (2) hours.
- The center must be adequately fenced.
- Provision must be made for a holding room or reception facility e.g. canopy with chairs, etc.
- The center must not be in shared premises such as cinema hall, shopping mall, market, etc.
- Availability of adequate and functional air-conditioners and lighting.
- Provision of up to date Antivirus and all the systems must be virus free.
- Minimum of Windows 7 or higher version of windows operating system.
- IP Camera (CCTV) is compulsory for all CBT centers (Specification to be given by JAMB).
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