CBT Technology Readiness Requirements & Guidelines

9/10/18: This checklist has been updated for the 2018-19 School Year.

To participate in operational Computer-Based Testing (CBT) for Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, the school principal must verify CBT Technology Readiness of her/his school in order to administer assessments on computer in spring 2019. Verification of these requirements is only required for schools that have indicated they will be administering operational CBT in either subject in the 2018-19 school year. Schools that will only be participating in CBT field testing are not required to verify CBT Technology Readiness, but they should use this checklist to determine technology readiness within their school.

The CBT Technology Readiness Checklist must be verified every year by the principal of the school administering operational CBT to help the school prepare for a successful CBT administration.

The principal should work with school, district, RIC, and BOCES staff as necessary and appropriate to confirm the school can meet the requirements and conditions outlined in the checklist.

The deadline to complete the checklist and submit verification through Nextera Admin is December 28, 2018. Please note, any school that fails to verify by this deadline will be reverted to paper-based testing.

There are many variables that factor into determining readiness for computer-based testing. If you have questions about your school’s ability to test on computer or need additional resources to help you better understand the requirements in the checklist, please contact your district, RIC, BOCES, or Questar Customer Support at 866-997-0695 or send an email to Questar Customer Support.

Category Requirements Guidance/Resources Will my school be able to meet this requirement?

CBT Scheduling

1. Schools must schedule primary test administration for all students in an entire grade level on the same two consecutive testing days within the six-day primary test administration window

Exam scheduling within the CBT test administration window is a Local Education Agency (LEA) decision.

Schools can administer as many grade levels as is possible within the school on the same day.

While it is not recommended, schools can split a single grade into more than one testing group within a single day at different times to meet this requirement.

This requirement does not apply to students who are absent and will be tested within the make-up testing window.

It is a CBT Best Practice that the school try to stagger student start times for CBT; details on how to stagger student start times can be found on CBT Support in the CBT Resources section.

 Yes

 No

Bandwith & Access

2. Schools must have adequate bandwidth, including considerations for any wireless connections, to support CBT on the days scheduled for test administration.

The bandwidth requirements and tools for testing your school’s bandwidth capabilities are available on the Questar Readiness page.

  • Schools should check bandwidth readiness, prior to testing, to prepare for CBT and ensure a stable testing environment for students.
  • For schools using wireless connections, be sure to consider network access-to-student ratios within a testing space.

 Yes

 No


3. Every student must have access to a computer device and keyboard that meets the minimum technology specifications on the days that student is scheduled to test.

  • An external keyboard must be provided and available for all students testing on computer.
  • All devices must have a mouse, touchpad, or touchscreen to assist students with responding to different item types.

Information on whether devices meet minimum technical requirements is available on the Questar Readiness page. There is also a test that can be run on the devices to determine if they meet minimum technical requirements.

  • iPad Minis are not an allowable device for CBT.
  • Questar Supports touchscreen input for Chrome, Windows 8+, and iPad operating systems (OS).
  • Students who are testing in CBT math in an alternate language may make use of an alternate language keyboard.

For more information, refer to Appendix B in the Nextera Setup & Installation Guide for a list of supported devices. The guide is available on CBT Support in the CBT Resources section.

On the Nextera Admin CBT Technology Readiness page, the school is encouraged to select a day to participate in the Statewide CBT Simulation in February or March 2019 to test internal systems, student testing devices, external systems, and review CBT school procedures.

 Yes

 No


4. A process must exist to download, deploy, and update (if necessary) the Questar Secure Browser on all student devices to be used for CBT.

Detailed instructions for installing, setting up, and testing the installation of the Questar Secure Browser are available in the Nextera Setup & Installation Guide. The guide is available on CBT Support in the CBT Resources section.

  • The Questar Secure Browser is updated and ready for spring testing at the end of January each year.
  • Your school should consider a process to ensure that every testing device has the most recent version of the Secure Browser installed.

 Yes

 No


5. The guidelines provided in the Nextera Setup & Installation Guide must be reviewed and adhered to prior to CBT administration to ensure the school is prepared for CBT.

The Nextera Setup & Installation Guide provides guidance on network settings for firewalls, internet content filters, and more. The guide is available on CBT Support in the CBT Resources section.

Additional consideration may be needed for the following:

  • Ensure the Questar URLs are allowed within your network firewalls (whitelisting).
  • Update any needed network configuration changes.
  • Implement iPad or Chromebook configuration policies.

 Yes

 No


6. The school must identify a Lead Scoring Entity when ordering computer-based tests through the NYSED online examination request system.

  • Computer-entered constructed responses must be scored by educators from a minimum of three schools collaborating under the direction of a Lead Scoring Entity.
  • The Lead Scoring Entity includes the name and BEDS Code of the school, district, BOCES, or scoring vendor that will be responsible for conducting scoring activities with educators from a minimum of three schools.

 Yes

 No

Testing Space

7. Suitable physical space must be available for computer-based testing.

For more information on physical space setup, see the NYSED School Administrator’s Manual.

  • Be sure to consider availability of electrical outlets and wireless access points (if applicable).

Suggestions for setting up a secure CBT testing environment can be found on CBT Support in the CBT Resources section.

 Yes

 No



8. Staff member(s) must be identified as point(s) of contact for technology support before and during CBT.

The number of staff member(s) required is locally determined. See your school/district/BOCES/RIC professionals for guidance.

  • All schools should coordinate with their District Test Coordinator (DTC).
  • Schools may want to establish a School Test Coordinator (STC) to manage CBT administration.
  • All schools can indicate on the Nextera Admin Technology Readiness page additional contacts for notification from NYSED about important CBT information and events during operational CBT.

 Yes

 No


 9. Teachers and proctors administering CBT will receive information and training for the Questar Secure Browser and Nextera Admin systems.

Ensure that training and communication workflows are established for CBT. Confirm all teachers and proctors administering CBT know how to locate relevant CBT testing materials.

 Yes

 No


10. Students who will be taking a NYS 3-8 ELA and/or math assessment on computer should have regular interaction with technology as part of their standard instruction.

The online New York Question Sampler allows users to preview test questions in a platform that closely resembles the secure test platform students will use for the actual test. Practice tests are also available from the Nextera Secure Browser, once installed on school devices, for students to practice taking online tests in the secure test platform; logins to the secure practice tests are available on CBT Support in the CBT Resources section.

  • Students should have familiarity with the Nextera online testing platform prior to test administration, including use of online tools available as part of the Nextera Test Delivery System (TDS).
  • Students should have experience with certain technology skills, such as keyboarding and using a mouse/touchpad/touchscreen.

 Yes

 No


This form must be verified by the Principal on Nextera Admin.

Statewide CBT Simulation

In order to test internal systems, external systems, as well as internal hardware and CBT school procedures, the school principal is encouraged to pick one of the two offered Statewide CBT Simulation Days to schedule a CBT dry-run or “simulation” with at least one grade level in your school. This is an opportunity to test the performance of the Questar Secure Browser within your school network and to identify any improvements your school can make to streamline operational testing procedures this spring. Within your school, decide the following for planning purposes:

  • Select at least one subject and grade level
  • Select one Practice Test Sampler for all students to access during the CBT Simulation
  • Prepare for students to use the Questar Secure Browser for accessing and logging into the CBT Practice Tests

We are collecting date scheduling information for our own planning purposes. Your school can test on either day or both days for the Statewide CBT Simulation. Please indicate a date below that you would like to participate in the Statewide CBT Simulation:

  • Tuesday, February 26, 2019 (start time should be scheduled between 8:30 to 9:30 AM)
  • Tuesday, March 5, 2019 (start time should be scheduled between 8:30 to 9:30 AM)

Guidelines for participating in the Statewide CBT Simulation can be found online on CBT Support in the CBT Resources section

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