FAQ from the Statewide CBT Simulation Webinar, January 10, 2020

The table below provides the questions with answers that were asked by participants during the Statewide CBT Simulation Webinar held on January 10, 2020.

The presentation slides and video can be found on CBT Support in the "Statewide Simulations" section.

Question  Answer NYSED Additional Comments
Will read aloud by human be an accommodation in operational? Yes, Read Aloud by human is an available accommodation during the operational CBT administration and the CBT Simulation.   
Does accommodations need to be added for all simulation students? You will only need to set accommodations for the students that have an IEP or 504 Plan. For more information on how to set accommodations, please view the CBT Support article: Documentation: How to set student testing accommodations for CBT
When ENL students are testing, will Spanish (or other language versions) be available? All students that need an Alternate Language version, must access Practice Test 3 on Questar's secure browser using the generic passwords that are posted on CBT Support. For the Simulation,  Alternate Language accommodations will not be available through Nextera Admin. 

You can find logins for Alternate Language Editions in Practice Test 3 and the PDFs of the English Editions that can be used in conjunction with Practice Test 3 within the Statewide CBT Simulations section on CBT Support.

When will the PowerPoint be available for download?   The PowerPoint is available on the CBT Support in the CBT Statewide CBT Simulations section  
Are there teacher/proctor directions for the simulation? NYSED will not be providing updated directions for the 2020 CBT Simulation.
It will be a local decision as to how simple or detailed schools want to get.
They can take last years instructions and modify them to suit their needs or they can just have students enter their login information and begin. 
Please feel free to use the 2019 Teacher Directions as a resource.
Will the Proctor PIN for the Simulation be the same Proctor PIN used during operational CBT? Yes. Proctor Pins are different for each administration window. So operational, SAFT, and Simulation will be different.  
So we will need to pair rosters with simulation users in order to set accommodations for specific students.  You will only have to update mock student data for students that will need testing accommodations.  
How will I be certain that the correct student receives their accommodations in the simulation.  You still have the ability to set accommodations for the student and can just change the "fake student" name to the real student's name. Also, please be sure to use the "export" feature to verify accommodations.  For a refresher on how to set accommodations, please view the CBT Support article: Documentation: How to set student testing accommodations for CBT
Can students use physical calculators on the actual tests? Yes, they can. For more information, please view our CBT Support article "What mathematics tools do students need for state exams?"
Are the released practice forms used in the CBT simulations the same as the 3 question samplers on the NYSED website? Yes.   
Is the simulation test for ELA or Math? The two simulations dates allows for ELA and/or Math. Best practice is to conduct the simulation for the same subject areas as you plan to administer during the operational test administration.  
Is the simulation mandatory? Yes.  Last year, the Commissioner brought together a work group of superintendents and district superintendents to make recommendations concerning computer-based testing. Based on their recommendations, the Commissioner concluded that all schools participating in operational computer-based testing also be required to participate in the Statewide Simulation. Therefore, NYSED is asking all schools who are participating in 2020 Grades 3-8 ELA and/or Math Operational Computer-Based Tests to participate in one or both Statewide Simulation days.
Can you administer ELA simulation on one test date(Jan) and do the Math simulation on the other date (Feb)?  Depends if the school had requested both ELA and Math tests for operational testing, then this would be a local decision on which date a school would like to administer the Simulation.  
During the simulation does all students need to test? You should invite all students who will be participating in the spring CBT operational administration.  
Can we administer the simulation throughout the day? This is a local decision. We recommend that schools begin the simulation between 8:30-9:30 a.m. EST or during the first session of the day. The simulation should not take
longer than one class period or 40 minutes.
Does the proctors get a paper copy of the same testing form?  Yes. We have made PDF files for each grade and subject for "test read copies" please find these files in following CBT Support article: Resource: Test Read Copies for Read Aloud (by human) and/or Alternate Language Accommodation.  
Can you please share the link to download the Questar Secure Browser on my desktop?  The Questar Secure Browser is available for download from Nextera Admin on the Help>Downloads page.  For more information, please view our Setup and Installation Guide.
When viewing students in our school within Nextera Admin, there seems that we have a surplus of students than our actual count of students. Is this a mistake?  No, there is no mistake. For the simulation, we have added 10% more student data based off of your school's CBT order.  
In Nextera Admin, there are two software links, one is labelled as download and other is labelled as download questarstudentsilent.mst. Which one should we download? This dependent on how your school' s device system is managed. If your school has managed devices, you would like the silent push download. For more information, please refer to the Setup & Installation Guide For additional assistance, please feel free to reach out to Questar Customer Support.
When in Nextera Admin, I see that my Examiner View is not available.  When the Simulation Administration Window officially opens on January 28th, the Examiner View feature will be available.   
So we have to set the accommodations individually rather than having the one log in for let's say "Test Read" accommodations? You will only have to set accommodations for students that will need them. You may use Multi-Student edit first, then set specific accommodations for the needed students. Please note: multi-student edit overrides any preset accommodations.   
Will a student in need of read aloud by human be able to pause a test on the operational test day? Yes, they will be able to pause a test for CBT operational.   
Do we need to set accommodations before printing the login tickets? Yes. You will want to set accommodations before the printing student login tickets. For further information please see Step 4 - Set Accommodations and Print Login Tickets in the CBT Simulation Webinar Slideshow
What is the process for getting the generic user names and passwords? Usernames and Passwords can be found on the Student's login ticket. Schools will want to print login tickets from Nextera Admin.  For more information on how to print student login tickets, please view our helpful resource "Documentation: How to Print Student Login Tickets".
Will login tickets for the practice tests have actual student information?  This is different from last year.  When will student data be populated in the system so that login tickets can be printed? Simulation login tickets will not use actual student information. Questar is creating mock student data to simulate actual login tickets students just as in operational CBT. This mock data was loaded on Jan 10, 2020.

Schools can start printing login tickets now. Please do keep in mind that Simulation login tickets are non-secure; however, we encourage storing them securely as you are required to do so during operational testing.  

Do we have to notify SED of what date we will be participating? NYSED required schools to note what day(s) they planned on participating for the Simulation in the CBT technology Readiness Checklist. The information taken from the checklist and CBT orders, Questar was able to generate the mock student data. Schools do not need to notify NYSED, if any changes were made on the previously indicated participation dates.  
So it is not mandated that we take both simulations? How much a school chooses to participate in the CBT Simulation is a local decision.   
Can students testing be staggered on the same day due to limited technology? Yes. This is a great best practice and will help to ensure a seamless and complete test download that works well with most standard school internet/network speeds. 

Please keep in mind that for Operational CBT, all tests are untimed. The School Administrator's Manual states:  As long as students are productively working, they should be allowed as much time as they need within the confines of the regular school day to complete that day’s test session. For planning purposes only, estimated average times that most students will need to complete test sessions are provided on page 4 of this manual. Some students will take more or less time than the estimated averages provided on page 4 for both English language arts and mathematics. Please plan accordingly to allow students who are productively working to complete the test at their own pace each day. 

For more information please refer to the School Administrator's Manual (SAM).

For operational testing, if a student has submitted their test but would like to go back to it, can a proctor unsubmit the test so the student can go back?

For CBT, proctors should review the Review Screen with the student to ensure the student has answered
all of the questions before the student selects Submit Test.

Test Coordinators cannot unlock a submitted test on Nextera Admin. A student is asked multiple times to confirm that he/she is ready to submit a test on the Nextera Test Delivery System, but, if, by chance, a student continues to click “Submit” and this is a mistake, then the school must contact NYSED through CBT Support. NYSED will review the situation and advise further. Proctors should help to advise students about submitting tests.

If a school listed that all grade levels are taking CBT, do all grade levels have to participate in the simulation? This is not required. It is a local decision as to how many will participate in CBT Simulation testing.   
Can we edit the Proctor PIN? Proctor PINs can be edited. However, schools should have a process to notify all necessary parties of that change. Proctor PINs are secure materials and must be stored in a safe or vault if they are printed prior to testing. Also, if a student's test was paused, the Proctor must type the Proctor PIN on the student's keyboard for re-entry to a CBT test session.  For more information, please view the CBT Support article "Where do we locate the Proctor PIN for CBT?"
Will you be posting or sending the Test Directions? Updates to Teacher's Directions are not currently available. When the new 2020 Teacher Directions are finalized, they will be posted to the Office of State Assessment website and mailed to the appropriate CBT schools.    If needed, you may refer to the Teacher's Directions from last year. Please refer to the Teacher's Directions for Computer-Based Testing (CBT) article found on CBT Support.
We have concerns about the additional work this year when it comes to setting accommodations for the Simulation? NYSED’s goal in the suggested procedure for this year’s Simulation is to provide an opportunity for schools to mimic as closely as possible the experience of operational testing for both staff administering the tests, as well as their students. Therefore, the preferred method is for schools to use the Simulation student logins and set accommodations in Nextera Admin, as needed. However, we do not want to make this overly complicated or burdensome for schools.   
If there happens to be a snow day on either January 28 or February 11, will NYSED reschedule the respective Simulation date, or will that be a local decision? If your school has a snow day on January 28, the school may participate in the Simulation on February 11. NYSED is not able to reschedule the February 11 Simulation if schools that selected that date have a snow day.   
Are the questions on the Questar Secure Browser Practice Tests and the web based Question Sampler Practice Tests the same?  Yes, the practice tests are the same.  
Can the Simulation login tickets be used more than once?  The Simulation login tickets can be used only once on either day.  
Is examiner view real time? The Examiner View updates every 60 seconds.  
Do you have to be participating in operational CBT in order to participate in the Simulation? Yes, Simulation login tickets, printed from Nextera Admin, are required for the Simulation this year.  They were created based on schools' requests for operational computer-based tests. If your school did not request operational computer-based tests, Simulation login tickets were not created for your school.   
Can we use the Simulation student logins on a different day if we have conflicts with the established simulation dates?

The Simulation student login tickets from Nextera Admin can only be used on the January 28th and February 11th Simulation dates. The Simulation login tickets can be used only once on either day.

Can you edit the name on the Multi student edit?  Multi-Student Edit is available to set simulation accommodations.  It can not be used to edit students' names. Schools can edit student names from the Student's page within the Student's profile.  
Should you edit the name prior to setting the accommodations?  For the Simulation, it is a best practice to edit the student's name with the accommodation name (or abbreviation) after the accommodation has been set.   
Do test coordinators have access to all students testing? It depends on their account permissions. If they are a District Test Coordinator, they have access to student data for all students within their district. Student test coordinators only have access to student data for students in their school. For more information on what access does each Nextera Admin user has, please view our CBT Support article: Nextera Admin Roles & Responsibilities
If there is more than one proctor in a classroom, should they both have access to the Proctor PIN? Proctors PINS are secure and should not be shared with students.  Only Teachers/Proctors are to type the Proctor PIN into the students' keyboards.  If there is more than one Proctor in a room, it is a local decision if they should all have access to the Proctor PIN.  
How do you give access to the Examiner View? Please reference the School Administrator's Manual (SAM) Appendix Y, pages A-74 to A-75, for the steps to set up Examiner View.   
Will accommodations entered for the Simulation carry over to the operational tests? The Simulation is not using real student information.  Accommodations entered for the Simulation will not carry over to the operational tests.   
In Nextera Admin, I am seeing SIM ELA and SIM Math for all grades is this a Simulation class? Yes. The only window available in Nextera Admin during the Simulation is "2020 Simulation." The classes and mock student data you see are for the simulation. No real student data will been used.  
Our school is Special Act, most of our students are designated IEP, this will be impossible and very difficult for staff.  Can we not replace the made up info with real names and real ID's? For the Simulation, mock student data is being loaded into Nextera Admin. The mock student last and first name can be edited. If using the mock student data, it is recommended that the student's name be edited once accommodations have been added to help indicate the accommodation (s). If replacing mock student names with actual student names, please ensure that the tickets are treated as you would any PII.  
Can proctors pause the test? Yes. A Proctor PIN will be provided for when a student needs to pause the test. The Proctor PIN is located on the bottom left of the Home page of Nextera Admin for district and school level users.  
What type of account access is needed to see class lists in the admin site? For information on user permissions and which roles have access to Class information in Nextera Admin, see page A-38 in the School Administrator's Manual (SAM).  
Can all the user groups that have accommodation assignment rights have the ability to assign accommodations via individual student or do some have to use the multi-student editor? You can set the student accommodations individually or you may use the Multi-Student Edit feature. Please note, that the multi-student edit feature can override any preset accommodations beforehand. Suggestion, please use the multi-student edit feature first, then update individual students with their specific accommodations. Additional information on setting accommodations for the Simulation can be found in this simulation presentation and the Simulation Quick Reference Guide on CBT Support, and in the School Administrator's Manual (SAM).  
Are we able to add another grade level to the simulation on the second date? We are already registered for the first day but would like to add a different grade level. If you requested operational CBT for that grade, there will be mock student data in Nextera Admin to use for those students in the simulation. Additionally, you will see double the number of students in the mock student data so that schools have flexibility in participating in the simulation on one or both dates.  
How do I check that our Chromebooks have latest version of the Questar Secure Browser? The Simulation Quick Reference Guide (QRG), available on CBT Support, provides information for confirming that your devices have the most current browser. You can find the 2020 Simulation QRG in the Statewide CBT Simulations section.  
The simulation login tickets in Nextera are different than the Secure Browser Practice Test login tickets on NYSED. Correct. This year, mock student data has been uploaded to Nextera Admin for all schools participating in the Simulation. (No real student data is used for the Simulation.) The number of mock students is based on doubling the number a school indicated for Operational CBT in the online request system. Additional information can be found in the CBT Simulation Quick Reference Guide available on CBT Support.  You can find additional information about this year's CBT Simulation process from the Statewide CBT Simulations Webinar video and PowerPoint.
If a student has an accommodation for speech to text (they talk and it converts to text).  What is the best way to accommodate for this? The student would use a separate device with the speech-to-text software and then a staff person would type the responses into the testing platform.  For more information, please view our CBT Support article: Can my students use speech-to-text software to test on computer for the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math exams?
If we spend the time entering the accommodations in Nextera admin for the simulation will it stay in there for operational testing? No, unfortunately they do not carry over.  Even if set during ELA operational administration, they will need to be reset for Math.  
Do the students get a paper reference sheet or is it just online? Schools will receive paper reference sheets for the operational tests.  Reference sheets are available on the Office of State Assessment website where they can be downloaded and printed for the Simulation.  The reference sheets are also available to students online as part of the test delivery system for CBT.  
How do we set up accounts for District-Level and School-Level users? Your DTC, Principal, and Superintendent have permissions to do so.  
How do we identify the student simulation ticket with the correct accommodation if we are batch assigning accommodations? You can edit the student's name on the login ticket with an accommodation naming convention of your choosing. For additional information see the CBT Simulation Guide.  
Will this simulation work outside of the two designated simulation days? For example, if we have a classroom who cannot participate on Jan 28 or Feb 11, can they go through this process another day? January 28 and February 11 are the only two days selected for schools to participate in this year's simulation. However, if a school would like to identify an additional day for a classroom that cannot participate on either of the two days designated for the Statewide, they are encouraged to do so and can use the Questar Secure Browser practice tests and logins available on CBT Support.  
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