Fall 2014      |      Stephen P. Sands, Registrar      |      Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor


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Exam Process Goes High-Tech in CSLB Test Centers

The license examination experience is much easier and quicker in CSLB's eight statewide testing centers, thanks to new touchscreen computer monitors and an upgraded, custom software program that has transformed the exam procedure.


CSLB Testing Chief Wendi Balvanz,
at computer, demonstrates its touchscreen capabilities
as Natalie Chernich, CSLB Examination
Administration Unit Manager, looks on.

All of CSLB's 265 test stations now feature new 23-inch screens that replaced the aging collection of 17- to 19-inch monitors. Updated software enables increased text sizes for better readability, and larger answer spaces designed for the touch of a finger (or stylus, if preferred).

Each new computer also features a built-in camera and on-screen signature capability, eliminating the need for an attached webcam and accompanying sign-in pad. Gone, too, is the computer mouse.

After checking in with an exam proctor, contractor candidates are assigned to an exam station to begin the testing process. Candidates listen to a female-voiced “instructor” through headphones as she leads them through the exam details, with the assistance of a cartoon-like character wearing, appropriately, a construction helmet.

Test-takers can easily move forward or backward through the answers, change answers, display their answer sheet, or see where they've skipped a question—just a few of the features to make the experience more comfortable.

So far, applicants are completing the tests about 10-15 minutes faster.

More testing center upgrades are on the way. Enhanced security features at test registration stations (where candidates are checked in) will allow Testing division staff to better track identities, and camera surveillance of the exam rooms is being added to safeguard against cheating.

The testing software, known as the State Contractors Official Regulatory Examination (SCORE), was initially developed by CSLB's IT staff and implemented in 2006-07. IT staff wrote the upgraded version, dubbed SCORE 1.5, to be compatible with the Windows 7 operating system and Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8.1 system.

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