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Technology coordinators and test coordinators need to take these steps at least two weeks before test day to make sure technical problems don't interrupt testing.


Critical to Test Day Success

Each of these steps is critical to a successful test administration.

Part One: Technology and Setup Verification


Make sure all staff and student test-taking workstations meet the hardware requirements and run the supported versions of operating systems listed on Supported Operating Systems. This is critical for optimal performance.

Make sure all staff workstations use one of the web browsers listed on Supported Browsers.

Disable auto-updates or limit them to a supported version of your operating system to promote stability during testing season. New operating system versions are released regularly and tested by AIR® to make sure new features don’t pose a risk. However, new releases sometimes introduce features or bugs that disrupt testing. Go to Supported Operating Systems to confirm that your devices are running supported versions.

Prevent these common application types from launching on any student test-taking computer during testing:

  • Antivirus software performing scans
  • Screen savers and sleep or hibernate mode
  • Automatic updates to software or applications (e.g., Java)

Disable any other applications that will launch automatically and terminate testing, including:

  • Cameras (still and video)
  • Screen capture programs (live and recorded, e.g., Skype)
  • Email
  • Instant messaging
  • Application switching
  • Media players (e.g., iTunes)
  • Printing

Disable the following features on Mac OS X:

  • Exposé or Spaces
  • Applications launching from function keys
  • Updates to iTunes
  • Updates to third-party apps
  • Dictation to Siri

Verify that test coordinator, proctor, and student test-taking devices can maintain a charge for at least 5 hours or that a reliable power source is available for each computer.

For computers used to access TIDE or the TA Interface, disable pop-up blocking software.

For computers used to access TIDE or the TA Interface, enable JavaScript.

Make sure all content filters, firewalls, and proxy servers are open accordingly. The Test Delivery System uses these ports and protocols:

  • Port/Protocol: 80/TCP
    • Purpose: HTTP (initial connection only)
  • Port/Protocol: 443/TCP
    • Purpose: HTTPS (secure connection)

Determine the number of wireless access points you need and confirm that the test site has sufficient wireless coverage.

Make sure that content filters and firewalls are configured to allow access to the appropriate TA and student testing sites on all student test-taking computers.

Use a wildcard to whitelist these URLs at the root level because testing servers and satellites may be changed during the school year:

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *

If your filtering system has both internal and external filtering, URLs must be whitelisted in both filters.

Part Two: Test Readiness and Evaluation


Install the secure browser on every device students use to take a test in the SAT Suite of Assessments. Coordinate with your district, as necessary, to ensure your school can download and install it within your network.

Versions are available for all supported operating systems. Download the secure browser and get detailed instructions.

Run the diagnostic tool in areas of the building that will be used for testing and at a time of day when network activity is most similar to network usage on test day. The results may influence how testing is scheduled within the testing window.

The tool will display your current upload and download speed and gauge whether you can test the number of students you enter.

Run the network diagnostics test now and let your test coordinator know if there are network issues.

Take these steps to make sure students with disabilities test with their approved accommodations:

  1. Ensure that students testing with accommodations have tried out any and all assistive technology before test day in the Student Digital Test Preview.
  2. Work with the SSD coordinator to ensure that approved accommodations—and only approved accommodations—have been set in TIDE prior to test day.
  3. Ensure that the required voice settings for the text-to-speech (TTS) accommodation are configured and functional on computers assigned to students.

Learn how to choose settings and configure assistive technology on TIDE and AT Settings.

Before test day, execute a digital test to confirm that the secure browser is properly installed on test-taking devices and that it communicates with other AIR testing applications. This step can be combined with a test administration practice session.

Follow these steps, described in detail in the proctor-guided preview section of the Digital Test Preview Guide (.pdf/2.34 MB).

  1. Launch a test session from the TA Interface Practice Site.
  2. On all test-taking devices, launch the secure browser and navigate to the Student Digital Test Preview.
  3. Admit the "students" to the test.

With the test coordinator, confirm that all student devices intended for test taking can access a test session without disruption.