Grades 3-8 CBT Technology Readiness Requirements & Guidelines

This checklist has been updated for the 2017-18 School Year.

To participate in operational grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Computer-Based Testing (CBT) the school principal must verify her/his school will be ready to administer assessments on computer in spring 2018. This is only required for schools that have indicated they will be administering one or more operational 3-8 ELA and/or math assessments in the 2017-18 school year. Schools that will only be participating in field testing on computers can also use this checklist to determine technology readiness, but it is not required.

The CBT Technology Readiness Checklist must be verified every year by schools administering operational CBT.

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. This checklist is a working document intended to help the school verify CBT technology readiness to ensure a successful CBT administration.

The deadline to complete the checklist and submit verification is December 29, 2017.

Please note, any school that either fails to verify on the Nextera CBT Readiness page by the given deadline or is not able to show technology readiness 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 about available resources that will help you better understand the requirements in the checklist, contact your district, RIC, BOCES, or Questar Customer Support at 866-997-0695 or send an email to Questar Customer Support.

Technology Category Requirements


Bandwith & Access







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





The Nextera Setup & Installation Guide provides guidance on network settings for firewalls, Internet content filters, and more.

Additional consideration may be needed for the following:

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













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

• An external keyboard is required.

•  All devices must have a mouse, touchpad, or touchscreen to assist students with responding to different item types.










Schools must schedule primary test administration for an entire grade on the same two consecutive testing days within the six-day primary test administration window. For example, “splitting” a grade to administer the test to a portion of students in a single grade on the first day of the CBT administration and then to a second portion of the students in the same grade on the last day of the test administration window is not allowed.
  • Administering the assessment to one grade during the first two days of the window and then to a different grade on two other consecutive testing days within the window is acceptable
  • Information on whether devices meet minimum technical requirements, visit Questar System Scan and Testing Readiness Check Support page. There is also a test that can be run on the devices to determine if they meet minimum technical requirements.

For more information, refer to Appendix B in the Nextera Setup & Installation Guide for a list of supported devices.  


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

Detailed instructions for installing, setting up, and testing the installation of the Nextera Secure Browser are available in the Nextera Setup & Installation Guide.






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.
Additional consideration may be needed for the following:

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




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.











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.

Teachers and proctors administering CBT will receive information and training for the Nextera 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.

  • The primary website for CBT information is on CBT Support and all testing manuals and information can be located on the Office of State Assessment website.
  • The Teacher’s Directions will be updated for 2017-18 administration. 
  • The degree of teacher/proctor training on the system is locally determined. See your district/BOCES/RIC as appropriate for guidance.









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 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.

  • Students should have familiarity with the Nextera online testing platform prior to test administration.
  • Students should have experience with certain technology skills, such as keyboarding and using a mouse/touchpad/touchscreen.




Testing Space



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).