News from the Exams Institute

by Kristen Murphy

Greetings to all from ACS Exams.

We welcome a new colleague to our Board of Trustees, David Licata, the new Division Treasurer.  We also say farewell to long-time Board member, Anna Wilson.  Anna, you have been on the Board of Trustees since 2000 as a valued colleague and friend.  Thank you for all you have done for ACS Exams, you will be dearly missed.

Since our last newsletter, we continue to face challenges at ACS Exams, particularly those related to exam security.  Last fall, we were required to recall a second-term general chemistry test (General Chemistry, Second Term, 2014).    All users of this exam were immediately contacted once the recall began with the remedy of replacement exams (free of charge).  Thankfully, a new exam in this series was also available last fall (General Chemistry, Second Term, 2017).  This recall was required given the illegal posting of exam material, compromising the integrity of the exam and the exam norms.  We would like to continue to stress to everyone in the community how important it is to work together to maintain the integrity of secure exams and impress on our colleagues and students the gravity of illegally posting or distributing copyrighted material.  Finally, we ask that if any postings are found of our exams or study materials, please contact us so we can take the appropriate steps to remove these materials and pursue action to prevent posting of these materials in the future.

In order to help institutions who may want to update or change their current ACS Exams offerings, as a reminder, the price reduction to only $1 per copy (minimum 25 tests per order) of all general and organic chemistry exams is in effect until December 31st, 2018.
Exam development has stabilized into a regular cycle of 7 to 10 new exams per year.  We are excited to offer our organic chemistry exams in two forms.  As with our high-use general chemistry exams, these are the same tests with different item orderings and response orderings with the two forms printed on different colored booklets (gray and yellow).  This can provide instructors with the option to use both forms in larger classes where students are closer during testing.  Our newly released exams are:


Exams released in late 2017 and early 2018

Name

Stock code

# of items

Time (min)

# of forms

General Chemistry, Second Term, 2017

GC17S

70

110

2

Organic Chemistry (full year), 2017

OR17

70

110

2

Organic Chemistry, First Term, 2017

OR17F

70

110

2

Biochemistry, 2017

BC17

60

120

1

Diagnostic of Undergraduate Chemistry Knowledge, 2018*

DUCK18

60

120

1

Organic Chemistry (full year), 2018*

OR18

70

110

2

Toledo Placement, 2018*

TP18

60

55

1

General Chemistry, Brief, 2018*

GC18B

50

55

1

*Due to be ready for purchase no later than April 1st, 2018
Field testing also continues in full swing.  This spring we are trial testing a number of tests:


Field-testing Exams, Spring 2018

Name

Stock code

# of items

Time (min)

# of forms

2019 General Chemistry, Full year

GC19

70

110

2

2018 General-Organic-Biochemistry Chemistry, one semester (condensed),
revised from Fall 2017

GB18C

60

50

1

2018 General-Organic-Biochemistry Chemistry, full year
General Chemistry subtest

GB18, GC

50

50

2cc

2018 General-Organic-Biochemistry Chemistry, full year
Organic Chemistry subtest

GB18, OC

50

50

2

2018 General-Organic-Biochemistry Chemistry, full year
Biochemistry subtest

GB18, BC

50

50

2

2019 High School Exam

HS19

70

80

2

2019 Physical Chemistry, Dynamics Items

PH19D

15 or 20

30 to 45

2

If you are interested in participating in field testing, please let us know.  As always, there is no cost to you as we provide all test booklets and answer sheets.  We require that you return student performances to us to assist us in the final stage of exam development.  We are very appreciative of the vast number of faculty and instructors who serve on these exam committees and the chairs who lead these groups.  If you are interested in serving on future exam committees, please let us know.  We are regularly starting new committees, particularly in general and organic chemistry.

We would also like to specially thank all faculty and instructors who participated in trial testing in fall, 2017.  We were so pleased at the fantastic response to the request to field-test exams.

The business continues to be strong with 2017 finishing as another stable year.  Under the outstanding leadership of our Business Operations Manager, Julie Adams, our business has been strong and our continued stability will enable the continued operations of ACS Exams far into the future.  Our office staff has changed as well with the addition of Steve Koester as our new shipping clerk.  Cherie Krayna continues to be the bright voice when you call us, and we are so happy to work with such a great group. 
Our research staff continues to change as well.  This year, we have been joined by Ashford Fellow (2017-2018), Prof. Thomas Pentecost from Grand Valley State University as well as Dr. Jaclyn Trate as a postdoctoral researcher.  The research accomplished by our team is outstanding.

As always, ACS Exams would not function without the numerous and dedicated board members, exam committee chairs and members, trial testing faculty and instructors, and the focus group participants.  The highest quality work that ACS Exams has the honor of producing is only possible due to the many, many people who contribute to this work.  It continues to be a humbling and extraordinary experience working with you all.  And, if you are interested in working with us on exam committees or through development projects, please let us know.  For this and all other concerns or matters related to ACS Exams, please feel free to contact me at kmurphy@uwm.edu.
We thank you all for your continued support of ACS Exams!

Best to you all,
Kristen Murphy

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