A day in the life of a Test Center Administrator


A day in the life of a Test Center Administrator

Jazelle Powe, Texas Test Center Lead


Jazelle is a State Lead for the PSI Test Center network in Texas. She works closely with the Regional Site Supervisor and Regional Operations Manager to introduce improvements and troubleshoot in our test centers. As Lead, Jazelle also supports the team of Test Center Administrators (TCAs) working at sites across the State. She knows what it’s like being a TCA as she worked in the role before becoming a Lead.

We spoke to Jazelle about what a typical day looks like for her, and the most rewarding and challenging parts of her day.

What does a PSI Test Center Administrator do?

When someone asks me what I do for a living I tell them that I am an administrator for a testing center. My team manages tests for anyone that needs a license or certificate to do their job. That includes government officials, city officials, barbers, cosmetologists and more. I don’t like to go into too much detail just in case they turn up for a test the following week!

Being a people person

When I go into the office I like to get fully prepared, confirming the rosters of TCAs for the day and making sure everything is organized. I am a people person so as a TCA I loved checking Test Takers into the Test Center and getting them ready for their test. Sometimes it’s smooth sailing but on other days we have challenges to overcome – whether that’s people forgetting their ID or bringing the wrong book for an open book test.

As Lead I work closely with newer TCAs who might need clarification, particularly when difficulties around ID or documentation do come up. We try to help wherever we can. For example, going through the different types of valid ID and whether a test taker has these in their vehicle or wallet. Something might be right there we could use. Or we explore how far away a Test Taker lives and whether they could get back to the Test Center with the book or ID they need within the time window available.

Embracing variety and a challenge

I work across different Test Centers. That could be anything from a 10-seater to a 64-seater. In the smaller venues I can be on my own so it’s a lot of moving around from the lobby to the testing room. I love a challenge though – it keeps me grounded. The most enjoyable part of my job is when team members come to me needing my support and I am able to help them. I used to be a TCA so I understand what they are going through. It was similar when I was a TCA and was able to help a Test Taker.

I remember a lady who came in for a nursing exam. It was just after COVID and her last chance to take the exam. She was so nervous because if she didn’t pass she wouldn’t have a job. I reassured her and encouraged her to free her mind of negativity and doubts and just go in and do her best. She came out and started to cry – but it turned out they were tears of joy. She lived two hours away but was so grateful for the support we gave her that she came back and bought us lunch.

Read more about the test taker experience here.

I get the chance to work in other regions, which gives me the opportunity to learn about testing in different States. I am proud of this because when I first travelled for work I wasn’t sure I could do it. My first trip was to Dallas, four hours away, and I had never been to the site before. Many of the team were off with COVID so I had to look after the site myself that day – and I did it. I am independent and like to solve things myself so that was really satisfying.

We’re all human

The most important thing to remember in my job is that we are all human. We all have a sensitive side. As long as we keep to the rules and regulations there is no reason why we can’t show this to the test taker.

This attitude is helpful when it comes to the more difficult parts of the job. For example, when test takers find working on the computer quite difficult. When someone’s first language isn’t English, they sometimes have trouble accessing a test in an alternate language, such as Spanish or Vietnamese. When a person is struggling and you are able to use your computer skills to give them what they need – wow, that feels really cool.

Read more about language translation for test takers here.

Some companies don’t give you the time or support to get to know the technology and show others, but PSI does. I also have a great support network myself in my Regional Site Supervisor and Regional Operations Manager.

The face of PSI

As well as opportunities to travel, PSI also gives the team opportunities to move into different roles and progress in the organization. I started as a TCA and I am now a lead. I know TCAs who have become Regional Site Supervisors, as well as people who have moved from working in Test Centers to roles in Corporate Head Office. There are always open positions on the website and we are encouraged to apply if there’s something we are interested in.

I love working as a team to achieve a common goal and it takes a whole team to make sure testing is successful. TCAs are the face of PSI. That’s why I like to have my game face on all the time and I encourage others to do the same. Test day is stressful and we do our best to leave our problems at the door and give our test takers the best experience they can have. I like to go into work with that attitude every day.