Changes made to Testing Center hours make it challenging for students

The Testing Center, which is located in the North Commons Building, offers new hours for Utah Tech University students to take exams for their classes. The new hours have their benefits, but it also has its disadvantages. For instance, the lines have doubled in size because of the closing hours, yet the new hours allow students to arrange their time to take the required exam. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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The Testing Center at Utah Tech University made some changes to their hours that became effective Oct. 1 and have since made students on campus worried they won’t have enough time in the day to take their tests. 

The hours for the 2023-2024 school year vary depending on the day of the week compared to previous semesters where the hours were open all day for walk-ins. The new hours include:

  • Walk-in hours: Daily from noon-9 p.m.
  • By appointment only: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.–noon

Students all over campus have had a couple of challenges with these hours such as being able to find time when the center isn’t busy. Students across campus have also said they had no idea that the hours had been changed due to it not being announced enough.

The new hours were announced over the university’s Trailtracker Newsletter emails, and some teachers spoke about it in classes. 

Tamron Lee, director of testing and assistant dean of students, said the reason behind the change of hours for the Testing Center on campus was due to reduced funding. 

The Testing Center is a self-supported professional testing operation. With inflation, wages have gone up and the demand for professional testing has dropped. This, in turn, made revenue go down.

The early hours of the day are used the least, making it the best time for appointment-only sessions. The only full-time staff member at the center was having a hard time keeping up with the demand for tests during the later hours of the day. Lee hopes that these adjustments will help the demand and need for tests as well. 

Lee said, “We would love to bring the [old] hours back if and when the funding is available, and right now, I just want students to be aware that those morning hours are priorities for those students who don’t have another option.”

The shock of the new hours was all over campus within the first week of it being announced as students were lined up out the doors of the Testing Center due to midterms. 

Joseph Gee, a sophomore English major from Preston, said he thinks the hours should be extended to allow more time for students to access the Testing Center and not have to rush in to take their tests at the end of the day. 

Olivia Cobian, a sophomore English major from Littlefield, Arizona, said: “Our lives are so busy as college students and working, so it’s easier to say ‘Ok. I have time to go take a test. I’m going to go do that right now.’ We don’t have time to say, ‘I’m going to be free at this time, so I can take the test.’” 

Lee said that the information that he is gathering from students is seemingly decent as he said, “No news is good news.” He only hopes that the reviews that the Testing Center gets are those that allow for improvements in the system. 

The mixed reviews of the Testing Center hours continue to grow among students. However, Lee said he hopes students can have patience when trying to understand the reasoning behind this change as well as being helpful as everyone adjusts.