Test Center Criteria

Test Center Criteria and Responsibilities

Michigan Language Assessment requires Authorized Test Centers to meet a set of strict criteria. An overview of these criteria follows. For questions about becoming a test center, fill out the contact form.

General Test Center Responsibilities

  • Administer the exams to our standards
  • Ensure the security of confidential materials
  • Abide by financial arrangements as outlined in the Test Center Agreement
  • Organize the recruitment and training of test proctors and speaking examiners
  • Make a financial investment to set up and run the center
  • Ensure use of our branding and logo complies with guidelines
  • Promote Michigan Language Assessment exams to local schools and recognizing organizations

To apply to become an Authorized Test Center, email one of our regional business development managers.

Does your institution meet the following minimum criteria for test centers?


  1. Financial Soundness. The institution is a financially sound educational institution, such as a language school or testing center, that is able to handle test-related financial transactions in a secure and timely manner.
  2. Established Institution. The institution is an educational institution, such as a language school or testing center, that has been in operation for a minimum of three years. The institution is able to consistently securely receive, store, and return confidential and secure documents in a timely manner.
  3. Publication. The institution is willing and able to publicize the exams and disseminate information about them.
  4. Affordability. The institution is committed to working with Michigan Language Assessment to make the exams affordable to test takers.
  5. Cooperation. The institution is committed to cooperating fully with Michigan Language Assessment and other Michigan Language Assessment Authorized Test Centers.
  6. Policies and Procedures. The institution is committed to following all Michigan Language Assessment policies and procedures regarding the testing programs and committed to being an exemplary representative of Michigan Language Assessment.
  7. Accommodations. The institution is willing to accommodate test takers with disabilities following Michigan Language Assessment procedural guidelines.
  8. Confidentiality. The institution is committed to respecting confidentiality of test taker results and personal data.
  9. Fair and Impartial. The institution is able to be fair and impartial in dealing with test takers; and willing to administer the exams to people who are not affiliated with the test center’s educational institute.
  10. Qualified Personnel. The institution is able to provide qualified instructors and staff to administer a secure administration, including administrative and supervisory staff; staff to act as examiners and proctors for the exam; and staff to train examiners to conduct the speaking test. The institution also must have the ability to recruit, hire, and train additional qualified personnel as needed for the test administration.
  11. Maintenance of Standards. The institution is committed to maintaining the highest possible standards with respect to the administration and security of the exams.
  12. Consistency. The institution is able to guarantee consistency in test administrations among test takers, among venues, and from year to year.

General Criteria for Testing Sites

  • Venues must meet all legal requirements for maximum capacity, fire exits, disability access, access to toilets, and access to water.
  • Optimally, the test site will be in an auditorium or classroom in an educational institution. Michigan Language Assessment prefers that the exams be administered to a minimum of fifty test takers at a time. Other acceptable venues include hotel ballrooms, auditoriums, or conference rooms. Examples of unacceptable venues include hotel dining rooms, bars, or night clubs.
  • On exam days, test centers must have the ability to restrict the exam rooms to test takers and designated test center staff.
  • There must be enough space to seat test takers a minimum of 36” (1 m) apart, although 48” (1.25 m) between test takers is preferred.
  • Tables, lapboards, or other flat surfaces must be provided for test takers to write on. There must be enough room for their answer sheet and the test booklet to be laid open.
  • Helpful materials must be covered or removed from the walls before test takers sit for an exam.
  • The test center must provide good lighting and a quiet and comfortable heating/cooling system.
  • Each test center must appoint an individual to the role of Center Examinations Manager (CEM). The CEM is the person at the institution who will be the key contact for Michigan Language Assessment for all matters related to the exams. The CEM holds the responsibility of following the policies and guidance; they also generally manage the center.
  • Each room must have one examiner, plus one proctor for every 25 test takers (minimum of two staff in each room).
  • The exam room must be relatively quiet from outside noise as to not disturb test takers.
  • Good, quality playback equipment must be used for the listening sections of the exams.
  • Amplification must be used in large auditoriums (any room requiring a microphone for the examiner’s verbal instructions).