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It's important to try navigating the test before test day. If you’re an educator preparing testing devices for test day, go to TIDE and AT Settings.

The Importance of Practice

If you preview the test interface using the same testing device and assistive technology settings you’ll use on test day, you can make sure that:

  • The testing device and assistive technology work together correctly.
  • The setup is consistent with your approved accommodations. Go to Types of Digital Accommodations for more information.
  • You're familiar with the way everything works, and you won’t have to figure it out on test day.

If you have questions, ask your SSD or test coordinator.

How to Practice Navigating the Digital Test

  1. For the most realistic experience, ask your SSD or test coordinator for help. They’ll give you a testing device loaded with the secure browser and assistive technology you need.
  2. Open the assistive technology software.
  3. Open the secure browser and launch the test preview.
  4. Follow your coordinator's instructions to adjust your settings and navigate through the sample test questions.
  5. You can also use the Student Digital Test Preview to practice on your own, by selecting the appropriate test settings during login.

What to Expect on Test Day

You'll need to take a few extra steps before you start testing.

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

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

  1. Open the assistive technology software.
  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 task bar.
    • 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 task bar.
    • On MacOS, click the accessibility software application in the dock.
  5. Configure verbosity, punctuation, text processing, and other settings as needed.
  6. Switch back to the secure browser.
  7. As soon as the proctor starts the test, you can begin answering questions.

Using Text-to-Speech

Learn how to take a digital test with TTS.

TTS includes a feature that highlights words as they're read aloud (not available on Linux OS).

  • To listen to a passage, open the passage context menu or right-click on the passage, and select Speak Passage.
  • To select a portion of text to listen to, such as a word or phrase, select the text, open the passage context menu or right-click on the passage, and select Speak Selection.
  • To listen to a question or to answer options, open the question context menu or right-click on the question, and select one of the following Speak options:
    • To listen to a question and all answer options, select Speak Question.
    • To listen only to an answer option, select Speak Option from the context menu, and then select the answer option. Or, right-click on the answer option and select Speak Option.
  • To stop or pause speaking, select Stop Speaking or Pause Speaking from the context menu. Or, right-click and select your options.

Navigating with JAWS

The actions associated with each JAWS keyboard command vary by page. The same key may have different uses on different pages. Keyboard layouts vary by device. Please refer to your device manual for more information.

These keyboard commands work only if your coordinator has correctly configured your test settings and set up your testing device. They might not work if JAWS enters forms mode. You can exit forms mode by pressing NUM PAD PLUS (+), or you can use the recommended forms commands.

RBD Users: The instructions in this section provide only the keyboard commands for digital testing. You can also press the RBD router key above the text for a particular button to move the cursor to that button. You can press the router key a second time to select that button instead of using the provided keyboard commands.

JAWS Keyboard Commands for Sign-In Pages
Action Keyboard Command

Returns the focus to the secure browser.

Keyboard layouts vary by device. Please refer to the manual provided by the device manufacturer for more information.

Insert + F10 (standard keyboard)

Space + S (Perkins Braille keyboard)

Moves the focus to the next field or button on the page

Tab

Moves the focus to the previous field or button on the page

Shift + Tab

Reads the next line on the page

Down Arrow

Reads the previous line on the page

Up Arrow

Selects the button that's currently in focus

Enter

JAWS Keyboard Commands for Test Pages
Action Keyboard Command

Navigates to the next landmark region on the test page. A test page has up to three primary landmark regions:

  • Banner Region: The banner contains the test information row. This row displays the current question numbers, test name, student name, test settings button, pause button, and help button.
  • Navigation and Test Tools Region: This region displays the navigation and tool buttons.
  • Test Content Region: This region consists of the passage section and the question section.

The passage section contains the passage title, passage context menu, and passage content.

The question section contains a question number, question labels (labels that appear when you mark an item for review), question context menu, question prompt, and the response area.

R

Jumps to the next heading on the page. In general, the following test components are defined with a heading:

  • Test name (H1)
  • Student name (H2)
  • Passage title (H3)
  • Question number (H3)

On test pages that have multiple questions, students can jump directly from one question to the next. To do this, press H and then press the Down Arrow twice. The question stem is read aloud.

H

Jumps to the previous heading on the page.

Shift + H

Moves to the next component on the page. In general, the following test elements are components:

  • Navigation and tool buttons
  • Question number (and associated prompt text)
  • Context menu
  • Response options

Tab

Moves to the previous component on the page

Shift + Tab

Selects a button or response option or open a context menu

Enter

Moves to the next line on the page

Down Arrow

Moves to the previous line on the page

Up Arrow

Reads everything on the page (from the current point of focus)

Insert + Down Arrow

Stops JAWS from reading

Ctrl or Space

JAWS Keyboard Commands for Context Menus
Action Keyboard Command

Pressing Enter when JAWS reads "Menu button" will open the context menu. This is the only way to open the context menu when streamlined mode is turned on.

Enter

Moves the focus to the next option in the menu. JAWS will read this option aloud.

Down Arrow

Moves the focus to the previous option in the menu. JAWS will read this option aloud.

Up Arrow

Selects the menu option currently in focus

Space

Closes the context menu without selecting any options

Esc

JAWS Keyboard Commands for Tables
Action Keyboard Command

Move to the next table

T

Navigate table cells

Ctrl + Alt + arrow keys

Navigate to first cell

Ctrl + Alt + Home

Navigate to last cell

Ctrl + Alt + End

JAWS Keyboard Commands for Answering Questions
Action Keyboard Command
  • Students can use the Tab key to navigate to the item prompt, which JAWS will read aloud.
  • After JAWS reads the prompt aloud, students can press Tab again to navigate to the response area. They may need to press Tab multiple times depending on the item type and whether any question labels appear for the item.
  • In the response area for a question, students can press Tab to navigate between each answer option, text box, selectable text field, keypad button, or checkbox, depending on the item type.

Tab

Navigates to the previous answer option, text box, selectable text field, keypad button, or checkbox, depending on the item type.

Shift + Tab

For multiple-choice and multi-select items, pressing the arrow keys will move between each answer option.

Up and Down Arrow keys

For multiple-choice and multi-select items, pressing Space will select the answer option in focus.

Space

For equation items, pressing Alt + 7 will open a pop-up menu with special characters. Students can use the arrow keys to move between the special characters in the list and then press Enter to insert a special character in the response area.

Alt + 7

Automatic Forms Mode

When JAWS reads a webpage, it defaults to Virtual Cursor mode, where most of the alphanumeric keystrokes provide special quick key navigation. However, if auto-forms mode is turned on, JAWS will beep when it encounters an input form field and all keystrokes will then be passed to the webpage to interpret. There are three levels of forms mode:

  • Manual: You must press Space or Enter to send the information to the browser.
  • Semi-automatic: When navigating with a tab key, forms mode will automatically be entered.
  • Automatic: When the virtual cursor enters a form field, forms mode is automatically enabled (but there might be a delay).

To turn off forms mode, select NUM PAD PLUS (+) on the numeric keypad. To enable forms mode, you must focus on a web element, for example, text input, radio button, slider, etc., and then select the return key.

Smart Navigation

JAWS uses Smart Navigation to read longer webpages more efficiently. It can be toggled with [insert] + [x]. You can enable smart navigation on controls and/or tables.

When a table is encountered, the entire contents of a table cell are read with each arrow key. If you need to read inside the table with more control, hit the 5 key twice on the numeric key pad. This will enable regular character and word navigation while in the current cell.

Controls mode will read entire lines on the browser screen when using the p/down arrow keys. So even if there's a link or button in the middle of text, the entire line will be read.

Key Commands for JAWS Navigation of Tests in Forms Mode

JAWS Forms Mode Keyboard Commands (JAWS 16 and higher)
Action Keyboard Command (capitalize to reverse direction)

Move to the Main region of the current webpage; this is close to where the prompt starts

q

Move to the next heading

h

Move to the next graphic

g

Move to the next input field

f

Move to the next radio button

a

Move to the next checkbox

x

Move to the next combo box

c

Move to the next edit box field

e

Move to the next list

l

Move to the next item in a list

i

Read the next paragraph

p

Bring up a list of links

Insert + F7

Bring up a list of form fields

Insert + F5

The following icons are used to label questions:

  • Mark for Review flag: If you use the tool in the context menu to mark a question for review an icon appears next to the question number and JAWS will read "marked for review."
  • Unanswered question triangle: If you leave a question unanswered, a triangle appears next to the question number and JAWS reads "unanswered."

In this section, learn how to answer each question type.

Note: The instructions in this section assume that the question does not display any question labels. If the student has used a context menu tool for a question, the student must press Tab an additional time for each question label displayed.

Multiple Choice

The procedures for responding to multiple-choice and multi-select questions are similar.

  • Answer multiple-choice questions by selecting one response option from a group of radio buttons.
  • Answer multi-select questions by selecting one or more response options from a group of checkboxes.
    1. After listening to the question text, press Tab twice to hear the answer options.
    2. To navigate between each answer option, use the Tab and Shift + Tab commands. JAWS reads the option in focus.
    3. To select the response option that’s in focus as your response, press Enter. To deselect a response option, press Enter again.

Writing and Language Section

The Writing and Language section contain passages with question markers that correspond to a specific question. If you use assistive technology or streamline mode, you'll be presented with same-page links that navigate to question markers.

SAT Essay

The rich text editor toolbar includes a row of text formatting buttons. However, these formatting options are not available to students testing with braille.

  1. Read the question and then use the Tab command to move to the text box. JAWS beeps and reads "Edit, type in text."
  2. Enter your essay. When you're done, press Tab to navigate from the text box to the next page. JAWS beeps again in a different tone when leaving the text box.

Math Student-Produced Responses

Follow these guidelines when you answer the student-produced responses in the Math Test.

  1. Only the numbers 0–9, the decimal point, and the fraction line can be entered in the answer box.
  2. No question has a negative answer.
  3. Some problems may have more than one correct answer. In such cases, enter only one answer.
  4. Mixed numbers such as fraction with whole number 3 and 1 over 2 must be entered as 3.5 or 7/2. (If 31/2 is entered in the answer box, it will be interpreted as fraction 31 over 2 and not fraction with whole number 3 and 1 over 2.)
  5. Decimal answers: The answer box allows for 4 characters total. If you obtain a decimal answer with more than 4 characters, it may be either rounded or truncated, but 4 characters must be entered in the box.
  6. Leading zeros: Do NOT begin your answer with a zero.
Examples of Math Student-Produced Responses
Answer Acceptable way(s) to enter answer Unacceptable; will NOT receive credit

fraction 7 over 12

7/12
.583

0.58

2.5

2.5
2.50
5/2

21/2

fraction 2 over 3

2/3
.666
.667

0.66
0.67

NVDA Keyboard Commands

Use these keyboard commands to navigate the test.

Note: The NVDA key is set to the Insert key by default, but it can be changed to the CapsLock key when installing NVDA for the first time. If you want to change your NVDA key preference later, press Ctrl + NVDA + k.

NVDA Keyboard Commands for Sign-In Pages
Action Keyboard Command

Return focus to the secure browser

Alt + Tab

Move focus to the next field or button on the page

Tab

Move focus to the previous field or button on the page

Shift + Tab

NVDA Keyboard Commands for Reading Text
Action Keyboard Command

Say prior character

or numpad 1

Say next character

or numpad 3

Say current character

numpad 2

Say word

numpad 5

Spell word

numpad 5 twice quickly

Say prior word

Ctrl + ← or numpad 4

Say next word

Ctrl + → or numpad 6

Say prior line

or numpad 7

Say next line

or numpad 9

Say current line

NVDA + ↑ or numpad 8

Spell current line

NVDA + ↑ twice quickly

Read all starting at current position

NVDA + ↓ or numpad +

Top line

Shift + numpad 7

Bottom line

Shift + numpad 9

Start of line

Shift + numpad 1

End of line

Shift + numpad 3

NVDA Keyboard Commands for Adjusting Voice Rate
Action Keyboard Command

Decrease voice rate

Ctrl + NVDA + ↓

Increase voice rate

Ctrl + NVDA + ↑

Change voice settings (inflection, pitch, etc.)

Ctrl + NVDA + ←/→

NVDA Keyboard Commands for Headings and Lists
Action Keyboard Command

Headings quick key

H

Headings level 1–6

1–6

List quick key

L

List item quick key

I

NVDA Keyboard Commands for Tables
Action Keyboard Command

Table quick key

T

Cell to right

Ctrl + Alt + →

Cell to left

Ctrl + Alt + ←

Cell below

Ctrl + Alt + ↓

Cell above

Ctrl + Alt + ↑

NVDA Keyboard Commands for Forms
Action Keyboard Command

Form quick key

F

Button quick key

B

Enter forms mode

Enter or NVDA + Space (in a form element)

Exit forms mode

NVDA + Space

Navigate to next form control

Tab

Navigate to previous form control

Shift + Tab

Select and deselect checkboxes

Space

Open combo box/jump menu/auto-complete menu

Alt + ↓

Select radio button

↑/↓

Select element in combo box

↑/↓ or the first letter

Checkbox

X

Combo box

C

Radio button

R

Submit form

Enter (in forms mode)

NVDA Keyboard Commands for Links
Action Keyboard Command

Jump to next link/form element

Tab

Next link

K

Jump to previous link/form element

Shift + Tab

Elements list—lists page links, headings, and landmarks

NVDA + F7

Unvisited link quick key

U

Visited link quick key

V

Other NVDA Keyboard Commands
Action Keyboard Command

Search for a word or phrase

Ctrl + F

Keyboard help

NVDA+ 1

Next image

G

Previous/next paragraph block quote

Ctrl + ↑/↓ Q

Next key you hit ignores NVDA and is a normal Windows key

NVDA + F2

Speaks characters typed

NVDA + 2

Speaks words typed

NVDA + 3

Reads the entire foreground window (useful for reading a dialog box)

NVDA + B

Announces the title of the current foreground window

NVDA + T

Quit NVDA

NVDA + Q

Search for a word or phrase

Ctrl + F