Skip to main content

Tips for Ethical Testing

All educators should strive to administer State assessments in the most ethical and honest manner. Ethical testing ensures that test scores are not compromised, promotes a fair testing process, and avoids serious consequences that may stem from cheating. Unethical testing conduct results in the invalidation of test scores, improper assessment of student proficiency, loss of vital services for low performers, unfair advantage over colleagues, and professional discipline such as termination and loss of certification. Avoiding the following prohibited conduct in the administration of New York State assessments will demonstrate your commitment to ethical testing practices and will enhance the integrity of your school’s test results.

Before Testing DO NOT:

  1. Access secure test booklets and answer sheets prior to the time allowed by state rules;
  2. Copy, reproduce, or keep, any part of secure exam materials; or
  3. Review test booklets in order to:
    1. Determine and record correct responses for use during testing.
    2. Create pre-test lessons or discussions with students about concepts being tested.
    3. Create a “cheat sheet” for students to use in taking the test, including sharing of formulas, concepts, or definitions, necessary for the test.

During Testing DO NOT:

  1. Give students any clues or answers, including:
    1. Coaching students about proper answers.
    2. Defining terms and concepts included in the test.
    3. Pointing out wrong answers to a student, and suggesting that the student reconsider or change the recorded response.
    4. Reminding students during testing of concepts they learned in class.
    5. Making facial or other non-verbal suggestions regarding answers.
  2. Allow any student more time to take the test than is allowed for that student; or
  3. Leave any materials displayed in the room containing topics being tested or write on the board formulas, concepts, or definitions, necessary for the test.

After Testing DO NOT:

  1. Review an answer sheet for wrong answers and return it to a student with instructions to change or reconsider the wrong responses;
  2. Alter, erase, or in any other way change a student’s recorded responses after the student has handed in his/her test materials; or
  3. Re-score portions of the test in order to add points so the student will pass.


These are examples of prohibited testing conduct. For the full instructions for the administration and scoring of state exams go to: