The Student Portal is where students can take online assessments, view their test results, complete assignments, and access personal resources. This document will review how to take an Item Bank Assessment in the Student Portal, including the use of tools that may be available.
Where to Start
From the Top Menu Bar, select Assessments (1a), then click on the Start arrow next to the assessment name as instructed by your Test Administrator (1b). [Note: You may only take an assessment when it shown as Available in the Status column. If it is shown as Incomplete or Unavailable, check with your Test Administrator for instructions.]
Or, click on the TAKE ASSESSMENTS Flip Card (1c), then click on the assessment name as instructed by your Test Administrator (1d). If a PIN is not required, you may begin taking the test as soon as you click on the assessment name.
Entering a 4-Digit PIN
As a security measure, some assessments may require you to enter a 4-Digit PIN before you can take the assessment. The same PIN will be provided to all test-takers by the Test Administrator. The PIN will expire approximately 30 minutes after it is first used by a test-taker.
- Once you access the assessment as shown in Step 1, if a PIN is required, a window will appear. Enter the PIN your test administrator has given you in the box.
- Click on Start Test.
Taking the Assessment (with or without a Passage
- The Assessment Name and Number of Items (test questions) will appear at the top left.
- View All Items or Incomplete Items (those items you have not yet answered).
- The Passage will appear on the left side of the screen, with Test Questions/Items on the right. (Tests without a passage will not have a split screen. Only one item per page will appear.)
- Click on the arrow in the top right of the passage to expand to full screen.
- Go to any item (or group of items) by clicking on the number(s) of the item(s) you want to view. The item number(s) you are currently viewing will be green.
- Use the drop down menu to view and select the item you want, or enter a number in the box, and press the Enter key on your computer or tablet.
- Click the Next icon or Previous icon to view the next item or previous item.
- Click on Save periodically to save your work. Your work will be automatically saved when you move to the next page.
- Click on Review Summary to review your answers for all test items. (See Step 7)
- Click on Exit Testing only if you are as instructed by your Test Administrator to do so.
- Click on the Tool bar icons to use tools that have been made available for the test. (See Step 4)
- Click on the By Item Tools that are available. (See Step 5)
The tool icons are shown in the upper right hand corner of your screen. Available tools are determined by the Test Administrator and/or Test Creator.
Toolbox: Click on the toolbox icon to open and select the tools and calculator you wish to use. Check the box(es) of the tools you want. Uncheck a box to put the tool away. Then click on Close. You will need to select the tools again when you move to the next item.
Graph: You can use virtual graph paper to add points and form lines.
Highlighter: Highlight text in a passage. After enabling this tool, select some text and a set of color buttons will pop up. Choose yellow, pink, or blue to create the highlight. To undo the highlighting, select the text again, and choose the white highlighter.
Line Reader: This is an adjustable, movable box (orange) that can help you track text more easily. Click the padlock icon on the right to lock the reader in one place, so you can scroll through the text while using the line reader.
Periodic Table: This is an interactive periodic table. Click on an element to enlarge it and see a more detailed view.
Protractor: The protractor is transparent so you can move it over a question to measure angles. You can rotate the protractor by clicking and dragging on the curved arrow in the circle.
Ruler: The ruler is transparent so you can move it over a question to measure lengths in inches or centimeters. You can rotate the ruler by clicking and dragging on the curved arrow in the circle.
Calculators: The three levels of calculators are Advanced, Basic or Scientific. Which one(s) are available to you depends on the grade level and content of the assessment items and the policy of the Test Creator or Test Administrator. Only one may be opened at a time. Tutorials on using each of the calculators can be viewed at http://learn.desmos.com/.
The Advanced calculator includes the ability to perform graphing. Use the “functions” button to access trigonometric and other functions.
The Basic calculator is called a “four-function” calculator, but does have a square root key and the ability to group expressions with parentheses. There are also undo and redo buttons (the left and right curved arrows, respectively).
The Scientific calculator can evaluate more complicated expressions and includes trigonometric functions.
Color Contrast: The Color Contrast icon displays to the right of the Toolbox. This allows you to select different colors for how text is presented on the screen. Select your color choice and click Close. You can change the color contrast at any time during the test.
Zoom: The Zoom icon displays to the right of the Color Contrast icon. You can increase or decrease the text font size by clicking on the magnifying glass next to the smaller or bigger A. The middle A returns the text back to the original size. Click Close when the font size is correct.
Language Tools: The Language Tools appear to the left of the Toolbox icon.
Dictionary: Highlight a word in the text of the assessment. The definition of the selected word displays in a small floating window. Click the speaker button on the right side of a definition to read it aloud. Click on the red x to close the window.
Picture Dictionary: Highlight a word in the text of the assessment. A visual definition of the selected word will display in a small floating window. Click on the red x to close the window.
Translate: Highlight a word (not a phrase) in the text of the assessment to translate the selected word from English to Spanish. The translation will display in a small floating window. Click the speaker button on the right side of a translation to read it aloud in Spanish. Click on the red x to close the window.
Text to Speech Audio Settings: See Step 6 below for more details on using Text to Speech. Click the speaker button to open the Audio Settings window.
- Volume controls how loudly or softly the text is read aloud.
- Speaking Rate controls how fast the text is read aloud.
- Accent determines in what language the text should be read. Set Accent to “Spanish” if you have items written in Spanish to ensure they are pronounced correctly. This setting will not perform any translation.
Tools Per Item
Some tools are specific to each item: Flag, Answer Eliminator, Notes.
Flag: Click on the Flag icon to flag an item for attention. The flag will turn green. Click again to remove the flag. You can use the items filter menu at the upper left to see just those items you’ve flagged. You’ll also be reminded when you complete the test that there are flagged items to review before submitting your test for scoring.
Answer Eliminator: Click on the circle with an X button. It will turn orange. Then click on answers you want to eliminate. Click the same answer again to remove the cross-out. When you have finished eliminating answers, click the orange eliminator button to allow you to select your desired answer choice.
Note: Click on the talk bubble to make a note to yourself and/or to your teacher. The note is moveable and resizable. Click on the diagonal arrows to resize. Click and drag the note to move it to another location on the screen. There are icons for Cut/Copy/Paste in the upper right hand corner. Click on Save or Cancel to close the note.
Other Specialty Tools
Specialty tools that may be enabled include Text to Speech, Equation Editor, Special Characters, Pop-Ups, Rollovers, and a Drawing Tool.
Text to Speech: Text to Speech may be enabled for the passage only, the questions and answers only, or the whole assessment. Use the buttons as described to have the text read aloud. See “Text to Speech Settings” in Step 4, above, for how to control the volume, speed and the pronunciation language.
The Equation Editor is part of the CKEditor text box formatting tools. There are four levels of editors: Elementary (shown below), Algebra, Algebra with Trigonometry, and Advanced. Write the equation in the space provided and click OK to enter it into the text box for scoring.
The CKEditor for both Constructed Response and Writing Prompt items allows you to easily insert special characters, such as non-English language letters by using the omega toolbar button.
Pop-up: If a Pop-up has been created for the text in the assessment, a word or phrase will be underlined. Click on the underlined word or phrase and a Pop-up box will appear with a synonym or definition for that word or phrase. Click on the x in the upper right corner to close the Pop-up.
Rollover: If a Rollover has been created for text in the assessment, a word, phrase, or sentence will have an arrow in the right hand margin next to the Rollover. Click on the arrow to see alternate phrasing or more information about the text. If Text to Speech has been enabled, you may have the Rollover read aloud by clicking on the blue play button. Click on the orange arrow to close the Rollover.
Drawing Tool: For some Constructed Response items, a drawing tool may be enabled. Constructed Response items can be text-only, drawing-only, or have both text and drawing options. You can freely sketch and create shapes using basic drawing tools.
- Click on Review Summary at any point during the assessment to review your answers so far, see flags, and notes.
- Click on All Items and select Incomplete Items and/or Flagged Items, if any, to return to those items.
- Hover over the Student Response item to view your answer(s).
- Submit: Select Submit when you are done reviewing your test. [Note: The system will allow you to submit a test without completing all items; however, you should follow the requirements set by your Test Administrator.] (See Step 8)
- Exit Testing: If for any reason, you must stop taking the test, or if you are directed by your Test Administrator to do so, select Exit Testing. Your work will be saved and you may be able to log in again to continue taking the assessment, given the time window is still open and you have permission from the Test Administrator. You may need to be given another PIN if one is required.
Submit Test for Scoring
- On the last page of test items, when you’ve completed all items, click Done.
- The Review Summary will appear again for a final opportunity to check all answers.
- Click Submit when your test is ready for scoring.
- A Submit Alert will appear, confirming this action. If any items are flagged or incomplete, these will be included in the alert. Click Review Items to go back and make corrections, remove flags, etc. Or, click Submit for Scoring.
Viewing Test Scores
Depending on Test Security measures, you may be able to view the test results immediately.
- Your total Percent Correct will show underneath the assessment name.
- If a constructed response item still needs to be scored by your Test Administrator, a message will appear with that information.
- Click on any of the item correct or incorrect statements in blue to go to the Review Scores screen for this assessment.
- A thermometer may appear as a visual representation of your score.
To learn more about the Student Portal in SchoolCity, see the guides in SchoolCity, Student Portal.