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How to Furnish a Testing Center

A testing center is a space, (typically in an office-type building), that is used to administer standardized tests. When planning to furnish a testing center, two areas need to be taken into consideration. First, there must be a lobby or check-in area. This is where the person who is taking a test comes to sign-in. The type of furniture necessary for the lobby can be as basic as a desk and chair. It is also helpful to provide some type of locker for test takers to leave their personal belongings since in most cases they are not permitted to bring anything into the testing room. The second area is the testing room. In the testing room there must be computer desks and chairs, and perhaps some type of partition in between each to minimize distractions. Step 1 – Determine the Amount You can Spend Determining a budget for how much you can spend on furniture in testing center is the first thing you should do. The cost of office furniture ranges from the hundreds (for refurbished items) to the thousands. The bulk of the budget will be spent on computer equipment and desks. You must also take into consideration what style you want to project in your testing center. This will have a great effect on your budget in the sense that the more items you plan to include in the testing center, the larger your budget will need to be. Step 2 – Pick the Style You want to Project When determining the style you want to project in the testing center, you must consider its purpose. Because the main activity that is going to take place in the testing center is testing, there should not be a lot of clutter or excessive and unnecessary items present. In the lobby, the style should reflect professionalism, so there is no need for overly expensive furniture. In the testing area, each computer desk may be separated by a partition wall, but in some cases that is not desirable because it may impede the test administrator’s view of the test takers. The style of the testing area should promote calmness and comfort in order to keep test takers relaxed and at ease. For instance, the chairs should be comfortable in a “classroom” sense as opposed to a living room sense. You will also want to consider the colors in the testing area. Desktops should be a plain, neutral color to minimize distraction. Step 3 – Choose Key Furnishings You will Need When choosing key furnishings for a testing center, you will need basic office furniture. Some of the items that might be necessary include: • Desks • Desk chairs • Office cubicles • Lockers All of these items will be sufficient in setting up a testing center. In addition to the items listed above, it might be helpful to purchase some filing cabinets in order to keep records and other materials organized. The furnishings in a testing center should be functional, and they should also be arranged in a way that will minimize distractions. By following the steps outlined above, it is possible to furnish a testing center within an allotted budget while projecting your style, and minimizing distractions to the test takers.

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