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After months of paper exams and long waits for results, computer-based testing for professional licenses with same-day scoring resumed last week. Promissor, which won a three-year contract in March to administer tests, will have 12 test sites throughout Florida, with two new South Florida sites slated to open soon afterwards. Computer testing for all types of professional licenses halted in May, when competitors challenged the awarding of the contract to Promissor. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation had to administer paper tests. Test takers had to wait weeks before learning their results rather than on the spot with computer-based testing. The delay increased the amount of time before test takers who passed could start working or that those who failed could reapply to take the test again. Initial test sites are in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Fort Myers, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Daytona, Lake Mary and St. Petersburg. Additional sites in Hollywood and a second test venue in Miami are scheduled to open by the end of November, said Promissor spokesman John Ellsworth. Evanston, Ill.-based Promissor, a division of publishing giant Houghton Mifflin Co., also has three trucks packed with equipment that can be sent to cities with the greatest demand, allowing the company to set up additional temporary testing centers as needed. “We are very excited about being able to get back to work … about being able to get these people back into the economy,” Ellsworth said. Professionals from auctioneers to veterinarians have been able to register for the computer-based testing by calling Promissor since Oct. 1. To avoid an overflow, the state continued administering paper tests through Friday. The dispute that led to the temporary suspension of Promissor’s contract dates back to 2002, when the department began the process of selecting a contractor. Started in 1998, the computer-based testing program has had only one contractor, Promissor. It won the contract again in March. But on May 21, rival Experior Assessments of St.Paul, Minn., sued the state in an effort to block the contract’s renewal. Experior claimed that the process used to select the winner was unfair. The 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee delayed the awarding of the contract pending the outcome of the bid protest before an administrative judge. On May 29, the state resumed testing using paper. There were two drawbacks: the state provided fewer testing sites and a smaller frequency of days per month for testing and testers had to wait three weeks for their results instead of learning immediately how they did. Last month, Administrative Judge P. Michael Ruff in Tallahassee recommended that the state award the job to Promissor and set aside Experior’s objections. No other complaints were filed. Of the 20,824 candidates who tested since May 29, the overwhelming majority — 17,976 — was seeking a real estate broker’s license. An additional 249 were prospective real estate appraisers. The overall cost to the state was $124,397, said Meg Shannon, a state spokeswoman.

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