More than 550 Purdue students opt in to take the ASC's fifth annual mock exam, Test Drive

Last updated: Oct. 6, 2023

students sit in elliott hall for test drive 2023

For courses with large rosters, Elliott Hall of Music is Purdue University’s most practical space for hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of students to take a single exam at once.

Early this September, the Helen Bass Williams Academic Success Center (ASC) held their fifth annual Test Drive. This event was available for students enrolled in courses that either have exams scheduled in Elliott Hall, have a large number of first-year students, offer supplemental instruction (SI) or have an instructor who wants their students to practice taking an exam.

Since Elliott Hall is such a unique testing environment, the ASC’s annual Test Drive is a great resource for students who are unfamiliar with taking exams at Purdue or who may experience test anxiety. Not only do they get a sense of the potential distractions in Elliott Hall — like the shuffling of papers, dim lighting and minimal writing space — but taking a mock exam also provides insight into the types of questions that may show up on a real exam.

students sit in elliott hall for test drive 2023

Pictured: Purdue students space out across Elliott Hall for a mock exam during the ASC 2023 annual Test Drive

“When discussing test anxiety, we always suggest that students mimic the testing environment, and this event really does that for them,” Cardarelli says, adding that she and ASC Assistant Director Mary Kirk also provide test-taking tips at the beginning of the Test Drive experience. “The practice alleviates a lot of unknowns, giving participants more time to focus on the test itself.”

Following the exam, students are encouraged to attend the Academic Resource Fair. Originally this portion of the event was focused on ASC services, but has expanded over the last two years to involve additional academic support on campus. This year, the presence of campus partners expanded to include the WIE-WISP tutoring program, College of Science Instructional Nightly Enrichment, Building Excellence for Students in Technology and the Disability Resource Center (DRC).

students sit in elliott hall for test drive 2023

Pictured: Student volunteers stand near a display table in Elliott Hall, ready to share information about Academic Success Center services

These partners help students in various ways to achieve their academic goals. While it was their first time tabling at the post-exam resource fair, the DRC has been a campus partner for Test Drive since 2018. Specifically, the DRC allows students to utilize their accommodations during the Test Drive so they can decide how they want to approach testing in the semester ahead.

Cardarelli notes, “This experience helps students who aren’t sure if they want to use their testing accommodations make a decision that is right for them.”

Test Drive would not be possible without the ASC staff who organize and communicate with instructors, volunteers, academic support offices, resource fair staff, student leaders and proctors. Their commitment to providing a comfortable testing experience with ample resources is a crucial piece of Boilermakers' continued academic success.

For more information about the Test Drive and other programs offered by the ASC, browse their website or contact Katie Dufault at or Jo Cardarelli at

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Elle Hall

Student Communication Assistant for Student Success Programs, 

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