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Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE)

Work with your SSD coordinator to configure test settings for every student who's testing with accommodations or English learner supports. You'll also need to enable assistive technology for students who use it.

These students will need to take additional steps before they start testing. Read about these on the AT Settings tab.

We recommend starting two weeks before test day.

TIDE Test Settings

You can manage test settings in TIDE by searching for students and selecting their settings manually, or by uploading a file.

  1. To search for a student, select View/Edit/Export Students from the Student Information menu.
  2. Click the pencil icon next to the student's name in the search results.
  3. Expand the sections and make the appropriate selections. Find out which options to choose for students who use English learner (EL) supports, TTS, JAWS, NVDA, or STT.
  4. Click Save.

Make Critical Manual Selections

Before you can successfully upload your file, you'll need to make a few manual selections in each student's record.

  1. Follow the steps above, How to Select Test Settings for One Student, to set accommodations attributes on each student.
  2. For PSAT 10 and SAT: In the Accommodations drop-down, do one of the following:
    • Select College Board Accommodations if the accommodations have been approved by the College Board Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) program.
    • Select State-Allowed Accommodations if your school is part of a state contract and the accommodations are state allowed, not College Board approved.
    • Make no selection if the student is taking the PSAT 8/9 and their accommodations aren't approved by College Board or the state.
  3. Select Yes for Non-Embedded Accommodations if the student will use accommodations implemented outside the Cambium Assessment, Inc.™ (CAI) test delivery system, such as separate settings, writers/scribes, and human readers.
  4. Select Yes for English Learner (EL) Supports only if the student will be using time and one-half (+50%) extended time for English learners.

    Do not include this student in the upload file unless they are receiving additional accommodations.


    Note: Don't select anything for English learners who are using EL supports without extended time or any other accommodation.
  5. Repeat steps 1–4 for each student you will upload.

Download a Template

  1. Log in to TIDE.
  2. From the Test Settings and Tools menu, select Upload Test Settings and Tools.
  3. Use the Download Template drop-down to download the Excel or .csv template.

Prepare Your File

  1. Open the file in a spreadsheet application like Excel or a text editor.
  2. For each student, add a row for every test setting the student needs in every test section. The example below includes settings for a student approved for text-to-speech and double time (+100%). There are 9 rows for that student: 5 for text-to-speech (one for each test section) and 4 for double time (extended time isn’t applied to the Questionnaire because it's untimed).
  3. In column A, add the student's registration number exactly as it appears in TIDE.
  4. Select from the drop-down options in columns B–D. Find out which options to choose for students who use English learner (EL) supports, TTS, JAWS, NVDA, or STT.
  5. Save the file.
screenshot of an example spreadsheet

Upload Your File

  1. On the Upload Test Settings and Tools page, click Browse to find the file you saved.
  2. Preview the file and make sure it has the correct values before clicking Continue with Upload. If you find errors, correct them by clicking Upload Revised File, and repeat the steps listed above.

Uploading your file can take a while; don’t press Cancel. Once the upload is complete, you'll see a confirmation.

Note: Large files are processed offline; you'll receive an email when the process is complete.

English Learner (EL) Supports

For English learners who require time and one-half (+50%), open the State or College Board Approved Accommodations section on the View/Edit Student page, select the Yes option for English Learner Supports, and select Time and One-Half (+50%) in the Test Time and Breaks section. Get more information about testing supports for English learners.

Text-to-Speech

Take these steps for students who use TTS.

Follow the instructions for uploading settings for multiple students or selecting settings for one student and choose these settings:

  1. In the Reading/Seeing Text section, select one of the following from the Text-to-Speech/Assistive Technology options:
    • TTS (Read Text Only): enables the native speech synthesizer to read the text on the screen and the short image description.
    • TTS (Read Text and Graphics): reads the alternative long description of images and the text on the screen.
    • AT (JAWS, NVDA, Braille Display, etc.): renders the alternative long description for an image to convey necessary information. It's intended for students with visual impairment using assistive technology devices.

If you're uploading settings, select these choices in columns C and D of the template.

Important: Complete this step for the questionnaire and every test section.

  1. In the Test Time and Breaks section, your selection depends on which option you selected in step 1:
    • TTS (Read Text Only): select time and one-half (+50%) for all sections.
    • TTS (Read Text and Graphics): select double time (+100%) for all sections.
    • AT (JAWS, NVDA, Braille Display, etc.): keep the default setting (standard time) unless approved for an extended time accommodation.

Select other test time and breaks options only if the student is approved for another accommodation.

Supported Operating Systems

TTS is available on all supported operating systems, but TTS with tracking isn't supported on Linux OS. Students who need TTS with tracking must use a different operating system.

Supported Voice Packs

The built-in voice packs for these operating systems are supported:

  • Chrome OS
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • iPadOS

Note: Text-to-speech in Windows, Mac, and iPads includes a feature that allows students to pause and then resume TTS in the middle of a passage. On Chromebooks, however, students should highlight the desired text to be read as the pause feature does not allow students to pause and resume reading again.

If students need to use a voice pack that's not listed above, test it with in the secure browser to make sure it works. After you open the College Board secure browser, click the Take the Digital Test Preview button at the bottom left of your screen.

Desmos Calculator Settings

Because the calculator provides its own spoken output (including symbols), we recommend disabling keyboard echo completely and adjusting punctuation. Here's how:

  1. In the VoiceOver utility, set your typing echo to say nothing and change the spoken numbers from digits to words.
  2. Set the punctuation level to Some.

We strongly encourage schools to test the TTS settings before test day. You can check these settings through the diagnostic page. From the Student Digital Test Preview test login screen, click the Run Diagnostics link, and then click the Text-to-Speech Check button.

Assistive Technology Settings

Students who use assistive technology tools to interact with a standard web browser should be able to use those same tools with the test environment in the secure browser, TDS, unless they are web-based applications or browser extensions. The best way to test compatibility for tools is to test the assistive technology with the Student Digital Test Preview in the secure browser. If they do not work, see the additional configuration instructions below. If you still have questions about the assistive technology, please contact College Board.

Screen Reader Additional Details

JAWS–Professional

Supported Versions: 2018, 2019, 2020

Requires additional setup before use with TDS (see configuration instructions).

Test Presentation setting must be set to braille, whether or not student is a braille user.

Fusion Professional

Supported Versions: 2019, 2020

Requires additional setup before use with TDS (see configuration instructions for JAWS).

Test Presentation setting must be set to braille, whether or not student is a braille user.

Windows Narrator

Supported Versions: Windows 10 Version 1809, 1903

Configure settings in accordance with preferences.

NVDA

Supported Versions: 2019–2020

See configuration instructions.

JAWS

Take these steps for students who use the JAWS screen reader.

Test or SSD coordinators should follow the instructions for uploading settings for multiple students or selecting settings for one student and choose these settings:

  1. In the Reading/Seeing Text section, select AT (JAWS, NVDA, Braille Display, etc.) from the Text-to-Speech/Assistive Technology options. If you're uploading settings, select these choices in columns C and D of the template. Do this for the questionnaire and every test section.
  2. In the Test Time and Breaks section, keep the default setting (standard time) unless approved for an extended time accommodation.

The configuration instructions in this section apply to JAWS 2019, JAWS 2020, and JAWS 2021 as well as Fusion Professional.

You must edit the JAWS configuration file so that the software recognizes the Secure Browser. The examples below are for JAWS 2019 installed to the default location. If your version is installed to a different location, navigate to the appropriate directory.

Follow these steps to modify the configuration file:

  1. Open the JAWS ConfigNames.ini file. This file may appear in two folders. Depending on how JAWS is installed on your computer, you may need to modify both files:
    1. Required Folder: Start > All Programs > JAWS 2019 > Explore JAWS > Explore Shared Settings
    2. Optional Folder: Start > All Programs > JAWS 2019 > Explore JAWS > Explore My Settings
  2. In the ConfigNames.ini file, locate the line of text containing firefox:3=firefox. At the end of this line, press Enter and type CBSecureBrowser14.0=firefox
  3. Save the file.
    1. If you receive an error that you don't have permission to save the .ini file to this location, save the file to your desktop as ConfigNames.ini. Then copy the updated .ini file to the folder containing the original .ini file referenced in step 1.

Additional Configuration for JAWS 2019 and 2020

There is a known issue in which older versions of JAWS may not run properly with the Secure Browser. If you encounter any issues, please contact College Board.

For students using refreshable braille devices (RBDs) for the Reading and Writing and Language sections, the correct JAWS settings must be applied before the secure browser is launched. Here's how:

  1. Open JAWS and go to Utilities > Settings Center. The Settings Center window opens.
  2. From the Application drop-down list at the top of the window, select Firefox.
  3. Expand the Braille settings, General subsettings, and Translation subsettings in the Search for settings panel on the left. The Settings Center window displays the options for Braille Translation.
  4. In the Translation section, verify the Language drop-down list is set to English–United States. For a student who prefers contracted braille, select Unified English Braille Grade 2 from the Output and Input drop-down lists. For a student who prefers uncontracted braille, select Unified English Braille Grade 1 from the Output drop-down list.
  5. In the Braille Mode section, make sure only the following settings are checked:
    • Active cursor follows Braille Display
    • Enable Word Wrap
    • Auto Detect Braille Display using Bluetooth
  6. Click Apply, then OK.
  1. Open JAWS and go to Utilities > Settings Center to open the Settings Center window.
  2. In the Search for settings panel on the left, expand the Text Processing settings and Number And Date Processing subsettings. Click Speak Dollars.
  3. Mark the Speak Dollars checkbox.
  4. Click Apply, then OK.

Adjust the voice profile, speaking rate, verbosity, and punctuation settings before test day.

  1. Open JAWS and go to Options > Voices > Voice Adjustment.
    1. Select a voice profile from the Profile Name drop-down list. Click Apply.
    2. Drag the Rate slider to control how fast words are read aloud. Click Apply.
  2. From the JAWS Settings Center:
    1. Go to Punctuation and select from the Punctuation Level drop-down list. A higher level of punctuation can be helpful for proofreading and editing. Some students find a lower level is less distracting for more casual reading. Click Apply, then OK.
    2. Go to Speech Verbosity, select from the Verbosity Level, and configure the verbosity levels for effective language use. Click Apply, then OK.

To generate spoken output from Desmos on devices that use Windows and JAWS 2018 or higher, select Full Speech when setting the Speech on Demand mode. This is especially important for users of ZoomText Fusion 2018, which leverages JAWS to provide speech and braille support. To cycle through Speech on Demand options, press Insert + Space, S or Caps Lock + Space, S.

Because the calculator provides its own spoken output (including symbols), we recommend disabling keyboard echo completely and adjusting punctuation. Here's how:

  1. Set keyboard echo to None by pressing Insert + 2 or Caps Lock + 2. You can also change it within the JAWS Setting Center.
  2. Set the punctuation level to Some.

NVDA

Take these steps for students who use the NVDA screen reader.

Test or SSD coordinators should follow the instructions for uploading settings for multiple students or selecting settings for one student and choose these settings:

  1. In the Reading/Seeing Text section, select AT (JAWS, NVDA, Braille Display, etc.) from the Text-to-Speech/Assistive Technology options. If you're uploading settings, select these choices in columns C and D of the template. Do this for the questionnaire and every test section.
  2. In the Test Time and Breaks section, keep the default setting (standard time) unless approved for an extended time accommodation.

Choose voice, braille, and keyboard settings before test day.

Voice Settings

  • Punctuation/Symbol Level: Click NVDA + p to control how many punctation marks and other symbols are spoken as words.
  • To generate spoken output from the embedded Desmos calculator:
    1. Set the punctuation level to Some.
    2. Disable keyboard echo completely by pressing Insert + 2 or Caps Lock + 2 (for characters) and Insert + 3 or Caps Lock + 3 (for words). You can also find the options for speaking typed characters and words in the Keyboard tab of the NVDA Settings dialog.

Braille Settings

Braille Tethered To: Click NVDA + Ctrl + t to choose whether the braille display follows the system focus or the navigator object/review cursor.

Keyboard Settings (NVDA + Ctrl + k)

  • Speak Typed Characters: Click NVDA + 2 to adjust NVDA to announce all typed characters.
  • Speak Typed Words: Click NVDA + 3 to adjust NVDA to announce all typed words.
  • Speak Command Keys: Click NVDA + 4 to adjust NVDA to announce all noncharacter keys typed on the keyboard, including key combinations such as Ctrl + another character.

Fusion

Take these steps to make sure that ZoomText and Fusion recognize the secure browser:

  1. If Fusion is running, close it.
  2. Make sure that hidden files are displayed on the computer.
  3. Navigate to the folder where ZoomText or Fusion is installed on the computer: Local Disk (C: )> ProgramData>Freedom Scientific>ZoomText>[Your ZoomText version]
  4. Open the ZoomTextConfig file in Notepad.
  5. Locate the line that includes the text D2DPatch.
  6. On the same line, type ~CBSecureBrowser14.0, immediately after ~Firefox, (include the tilde and comma). Note: If using a computer running macOS 10.13–10.15, type ~CBSecureBrowser12.5.
  7. Save and close the file.

Braille Display

When you configure screen readers for students who use a screen reader with a refreshable braille device, keep in mind:

  • They can access the Reading and Writing and Language sections by default.
  • The Math sections (with and without calculator) use Nemeth code, which does not readily display on refreshable braille devices and will require the use of Braille Graphs and Figures.
  • Equations can be written in Nemeth and Unified English Braille (UEB) for student-produced response questions.
  • Computer braille input and output are required for students using the online calculator.

Speech-to-Text (STT)

Take these steps for students who use STT.

Follow the instructions for uploading settings for multiple students or selecting settings for one student.

When directed to make selections, open the Reading/Seeing Text section, and turn Permissive Mode on. If you're uploading settings, select Permissive Mode in column C and On in column D of the template. Do this for the questionnaire and every test section.

You might need to configure your Speech-to-Text (STT) application for digital testing.

Some applications send data to the cloud for processing by default. To ensure the security of test data, disable this feature where noted.

Dragon Naturally Speaking 15 (Home or Professional Individual for Windows)

Follow these steps to configure Dragon Naturally Speaking 15:

  1. Use the Tools drop-down list on the DragonBar to open the Options dialog box.
  2. Go to the Commands tab, and disable the following settings:
    1. Uncheck "Enable E-Mail and Calendar commands."
    2. Uncheck "Enable Cut shortcut commands."
    3. Uncheck "Enable launching from the Start Menu."
    4. Uncheck "Enable launching from the desktop."
  3. Go to the Miscellaneous tab and uncheck "Use Dictation Box for unsupported application."
  4. Go to the Scheduled Tasks tab in Administrative Settings, do the following:
    1. In Dragon 15.5 or earlier, uncheck "Enable scheduled Data Collection."
    2. In Dragon 15.6, uncheck "Help Us Improve Dragon."

Windows Speech Recognition

The Windows built-in Speech Recognition application must be set up on each testing device that will be used by students who require STT. The application can be set up through the Windows Control Panel. Users should set the device to not send data to Microsoft for improvement so that secure test data are not sent to the cloud. During setup, Speech Recognition Voice Training must be completed by the student for optimal performance.

To prevent Windows from sending data to the cloud:

  1. Go to Start > Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & Feedback and mark the Basic radio button in the Diagnostic Data section.
  2. Select the Speech tab.
  3. Set the Online Speech Recognition toggle to Off.

While Windows Speech Recognition is processing speech, the testing site may slow down. If transcription is not needed for testing, make sure Windows Speech Recognition is not listening in order to prevent this slowness from interfering with the test performance.

Testing with Assistive Technology

Students who test with JAWS, NVDA, and other assistive technology use the same secure browser as other students. They'll see the test in streamline mode, which arranges the test content vertically. The stimuli appear at the top of the page, and questions appear in sequence below their passages.

Accessibility software must be certified for use with the test delivery application. To make sure the assistive technology works with the assessment and that its functions are permitted by the College Board Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) program, launch the test preview from the secure browser on a testing device like the one the student will use on test day.

Students must use devices running supported Windows, Mac, Chrome, or Linux operating systems. For security reasons, students can't use iPad with assistive technology. Go to Supported Operating Systems.

Your students should make sure they’re comfortable with the test settings before test day. They can practice navigating the test on the test preview. Take these steps to get them started:

  1. Get a testing device like the one your students will use on test day.
  2. Make sure it's loaded with the secure browser and the assistive technology the student needs.
  3. Ask the student to:
    1. Open the assistive technology software.
    2. Open the secure browser.
    3. Select the button on the bottom labeled Digital Test Preview (at the bottom left of the screen).
  4. Show the student how to adjust their settings and navigate through sample test questions.

Students can also use the Student Digital Test Preview to practice on their own by selecting the appropriate test settings during login.

Students take these steps to get started on test day.

Note: If you click within the secure browser before you configure your accessibility software, the secure browser won’t work properly.

  1. Open the assistive technology software.
    Note: If you're using JAWS 2020 make sure the unified keyboard setting is turned on. Go to Utilities > Setting Center, and search for "Unified Keyboard." Mark the "Use Unified Keyboard Processing Method" checkbox if you need to. For JAWS 2019 or earlier, you may need your proctor to help you return focus to the secure browser during the login process.
  2. Open the secure browser.
  3. Sign in and select the correct test. After the proctor admits you to the test, you'll see the operating system menu and taskbar.
    • On Windows, the CB Secure Browser resizes and the taskbar remains visible inside the test in its usual position. Press Alt+Tab to switch between the CB Secure Browser and permitted accessibility applications.
    • On MacOS, the CB Secure Browser resizes and students can view the dock in its usual position inside the test. If the dock is set to autohide, no resizing occurs and the dock is only visible when the mouse moves toward the bottom of screen. Press Cmd+Tab to switch between the CB Secure Browser and permitted accessibility applications.
  4. Switch to the accessibility software so it appears over the secure browser.
    • On Windows, click the accessibility software application in the taskbar.
    • On MacOS, click the accessibility software application in the dock.
  5. Configure the verbosity, punctuation, text processing, and other settings as needed.
  6. Switch back to the secure browser and continue with the sign-in process.

Important: To change settings again, you'll need to sign out of the secure browser.

  1. As soon as the proctor starts the test, you can begin answering questions.

Contact College Board

For Help with Digital Testing and CAI

By Email

[email protected]

By Phone

855-373-6387

Hours: 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

For Help with Accommodations

By Email

[email protected]

By Phone

844-255-7728 (toll free, for educators with SSD inquiries only)

Hours: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday