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.

  • We recommend staggering groups of 25-30 students to download the test (click the “Start Test” button) for your own network capacity.

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

  • Consider advising teachers (who are not testing) to 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 WiFi hotspot.
  • Consider replacing WiFi batteries before testing day.
  • Make sure you have enough hotspots to sufficiently cover all student testing devices.
  • Be sure to test WiFi connections 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 and system notifications.

  • Active screen savers can disrupt the test for the student, causing the student to have to pause and log back into the test.
    • The NWEA 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.
  • System notifications, including meeting reminders and low battery notifications, will disrupt the test for the student, causing the student to see a "Switching Applications" pop-up error that "boots" the student out of the active test session. 

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 NWEA Secure Browser recognizes this as the computer trying to access another program and will log the student out.
    • This is an intentional security feature.

Avoid possible domain name server problems by whitelisting specific domains.

  • Nextera Test Delivery System uses the same protocols to communicate on the Internet as standard
    Web browsers, so it is critical that proxy servers be configured to allow all HTTP traffic between
    the Nextera Test Delivery System and the Internet on ports 80 and 443.
    • URL: PORT: 443
    • URL: PORT: 80
  • The following domains should be whitelisted at the firewall, authenticating proxy server, or content filtering server:
    • *
    • *
    • AND (for Speech-to-Text troubleshooting)
    • (for Apple iPad devices)
  • If you need to whitelist by IP address, the IP's for are currently and
  • Please verify with "nslookup" prior to testing.

Make sure the device date and times are accurate.

  • The NWEA Secure Browser is set to allow testing only during the testing window (beginning at 7:00 am on operational CBT testing days).
    • If the device date/time is not set correctly, the system will not allow the student to log into the computer-based test session.

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.
      • If a student that was actively testing on a device lost power before they were able to log out; and then attempts to login on a new device with their same credentials to continue testing, the student will receive a warning message stating, "This account has been signed in on another device, and only one sign in can be active at a time. The students test will need to be unlocked in order to test begin testing again. 

        • RICs, DTCs and Principals can unlock a student’s credentials within Nextera Admin.

REMINDER: Make sure your student testing devices have the most recent version of the NWEA Secure Browser installed. 

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

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