Best Practices: Computer-Based Testing "Tech Tips"

The following list provides "Tech Tips" best practices that our CBT schools can reference to make sure they've planned for the optimal computer-based testing experience for students in their school. 

Stagger student testing start-times within the testing group within your school.

Limit network activity that may impact bandwidth, such as streaming music and video.

  • Consider advising teachers (who are not testing) not refrain from using the network for instruction that consumes a lot of bandwidth, such as playing music or videos from the internet.
  • Consider disconnecting non-essential devices from your network.

Double-check wireless connections.  

  • If you are administering CBT using a wireless connection, make sure that the testing devices are set to connect to the correct hotspot.
  • Make sure you have enough hotspots to sufficiently cover all devices.
  • Be sure to test WiFi connection before testing.
  • Remember that there are non-technology causes for interruptions in WiFi service, such as proximity to microwaves in the teacher’s lounge.

Disable screen savers.

  • Active screen savers can disrupt the test for the student, causing the student to have to pause and log back into the test.
    • The Nextera Secure Browser is set to log a student out if the browser suspects the student is trying to get to another program, which can be triggered by a screen saver launching.
    • This is an intentional security feature.

Avoid performing client software updates, patching, and data backups. 

  • Disable applications are set to run “behind the scenes” on devices.
    • When the computer starts an automatic update, for instance a Java or Acrobat Reader update, the Nextera Secure Browser recognizes this as the computer trying to access another program and will log the student out.
    • This is an intentional security feature.

Make sure the device date and times are accurate.

  • The Nextera Secure Browser is set to allow testing only during the testing window.
    • If the device date/time is not set correctly, the system will not allow the student to test.

Make sure student Testing Devices are charged before starting the operational CBT tests.

  • Student laptops and iPads should be fully charged before students sit for the operational CBT exams.
  • If you are a 1:1 student device school and students take their devices home at night, be sure to remind students to charge their devices the night before operational CBT sessions. 
    • Note that when a student receives the "Low Battery" notification pop-up, the student will be booted out of the operational CBT test because the Secure Browser will detect activity on the student testing device that is outside of the operational CBT test. 
      • This is a security feature.
      • Students will require assistance from the Proctor with the Proctor PIN to re-access the operational CBT test. 

REMINDER: Read and follow the Setup and Installation Guide.

  • The Nextera Setup & Installation Guide provides instructions on properly setting up your system and devices for successful student computer-based testing.
  • You can reference the Nextera Setup & Installation Guide

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