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Build a Test

To build a test, you must define the test properties, add items to the test, define test administration windows, and define security features for the test.

Ensure the Answer Key Only toggle is set to off (this is the default). Creating an Answer Key Only test requires a different procedure.

Define Test Properties

Enter test properties in the Properties tab. These include the test name, description, assessment category, course type, grade level, and performance band. After building the test and adding items, you can then review item summary information on this tab.

Test Properties Settings

  1. From the main navigation menu, choose Tests, then New Test.

  2. Enter the test's Assessment Title and Assessment Description using your school's naming convention.

    To prevent reporting issues, the Assessment Title cannot contain special characters. Only periods, underscores, dashes, parentheses, and forward slashes are permitted.

  3. Choose an Assessment Category.
  4. The Restrict Item Results from the Portal option is selected by default and should remain selected if you want to prevent parents or students from reviewing the test results on an item level.

    This option applies to districts that have the Student and Parent Portal enabled.

  5. Select one or more Course Types.

    When a test is assigned multiple course types, the test is listed in Assessment Manager when you select any associated course types in a filter. It also makes the test available in Assessment Manager for all students who take associated courses.

  6. If you choose multiple course types, then you must select a Primary Course Type.

  7. Select one or more Grade Levels.
  8. You can change the performance band. The district default is pre-selected. You can choose from Performance Band Select or click Create New Band to create a new performance band.

Initial Administration Settings

  1. Click the Administration tab.
  2. Choose from the following options to define security and access criteria for the test:

    • Private ensures the test is available only to you. This option is selected by default for teachers with district test access.
    • Restrict Access to Download Test hides the download option from any user who does not have permission to download to the test.

      If Restrict Access to Download Test is selected, users cannot download the test through Assessment Manager. If a user needs to download a copy of the test, they must access it from the search page or the edit test page, and they must have Read permissions to the test.

    • Test Security (High Stakes) must be selected to access additional security settings and is only available for users with high stakes admin permission.
    • Show Points (BBCard) displays additional options for the test in Baseball Card to include the points earned as a data point.
  3. Select Test Security (High Stakes) to designate the test as high stakes. This option prevents users without high-stakes permission from displaying this test or its items. Choose from the additional security settings:
      • Restrict Item Preview in Reporting hides the item preview button in the Student Item Analysis report and Test Statistics report.
      • Restrict View of Student Responses hides all student responses in the Student Item Analysis report.
      • Restrict Student Response Download (PDF) hides the PDF download option in test previews in the Student Item Analysis report.
      • Restrict Item Results completely hides this test from the Student Item Analysis, Item Statistics Analysis, Test Statistics, and Scoreboard reports.
  4. Click Save.

More options are set in the Administration tab after the test is complete and ready to administer.

Add Items to Test

Open Add Items Window

  1. From the main navigation menu, choose Tests, then Assessment Manager.
  2. Search for and choose a Test Title.
  3. Click Add Items.

Add Items

  1. Choose one of the search methods.
  2. Choose from the search filters.

    Search filters operate using the following logic:

    • If you select one attribute within multiple attribute categories, the search will return results that match all selections
    • (for example, Grade level - 5 AND Question Interaction -Multiple Choice).
    • If you select more than one attribute within a single category, the search will return results that match any chosen criteria (for example, Grade level - 5 or Grade level - 4).
    • If you select multiple attributes within multiple attribute categories, the search will return results that match any selected criteria (for example, Grade level 5 or Grade level - 4, or Question Interaction - Multiple Choice or Question Interaction - Draw).
  3. Begin typing a relevant search term to display a list of matching results.
  4. A count of the number of items matching the criteria precede Standards, Resource, and Item Assignments searches.
    1. Click on the count to display a list of the items with full previews.
    2. Enter a number in the text box equal to or less than the displayed count, then press Enter.
  5. The following options are available from the item list after conducting a keyword search or clicking on an item count:
    • Select the item to add it to the test.
    • Click the tag icon to display the item attributes.
    • Preview the entire item, its passages, and rubrics.
    • Click Next Items or Previous Items to load additional items.

      You can Select all ## items to choose all items if a keyword search returns fewer than 100 results.

  6. Review the number of items selected in the Add Items dialog.
  7. When you finish selecting items, click Add to Assessment. You must click this to add your selections to the test.
  8. If your test has multiple sections, choose the section to which to add the items. Click OK.
  9. All items are listed in the order in which you added them. Options available when displaying the test items include:
    • Adjust item weight
    • Preview the full item
    • Remove an item
    • Reorder items

    • Click the tag icon to display the Item Attributes
    • Click the edit icon to edit the selected item

Click the item box with the directional cursor and drag it to the desired location. This option is only available if sections have not been added using Test Format.

When you review the test summary, be aware that items with multiple alignments result in counts and percentages that add up to more than the actual number of items and over 100%.

  • Only users with administrative-level permissions to the item sources for the items on the test can edit the items after they have been added to a test.
  • After you release a test for administration, the ability to edit its items is disabled, including the ability to add or remove items. You can still adjust the item weight.

Test Sections

You can create a test with multiple sections that can be administered separately.

Test Sections are only available for Online Assessments.

  1. From the main navigation menu, choose Tests, then choose Assessment Manager.
  2. Search for and choose a Test Title.
  3. Click Test Format.
  4. Tests initially only have one section. Click Section 1 on the structure tree.
    1. Enter a description of the section.
    2. Optionally, enter the following section details:
      • Section Instructions - Displays special instructions on the test section start page. Enter special instructions in the text box provided.
      • Stop Message - Displays specific information on the stop confirmation page. Enter the message in the text box provided.
    3. Optionally, select Reference Sheet to provide students with a link or a PDF file for a reference sheet to use while taking the test.
    4. Click the Is this a timed test? toggle to indicate whether the test is timed.
    5. If the test is timed, enter a Time Limit.
    6. If you want the timer available to students while taking a timed test, click the Show timer during tests toggle.
  5. Optionally, select Override Accommodations Profile for this Test if you want to override the available tools and accommodations for students assigned this test who have Accommodation Profiles.
  6. Select Online Testing settings for section administration. If you would like these settings to apply to all administration windows, select Apply settings to all administration windows.
    Section tools include:
    • Highlighter - Default tool to highlight text.
    • Eliminator - Mark out answers to eliminate them from consideration.
    • Notepad - Virtual scratch paper for the student to take notes about the item.
    • Ruler - Measure length.
    • Compass - Draw arcs and circles.
    • Straight Edge - Draw straight lines to help in answering questions.
    • Protractor - Measure angles.
    • Calculator - Basic calculator.
    • Graphing Calculator - Calculator with graphing capabilities.
    • Scientific Calculator - Scientific calculator functions.
    • Line Focus - Highlight a portion of text to improve visibility.
    • Read Aloud Only - Reads the text aloud.

    • Magnify - Magnifies the text as it is being read aloud. Only available if Read Aloud Only is selected.

      Content within iFrames is not read aloud.

    • Translation - Translates a chosen word.
    • Dictionary - Provides the definition for a chosen word.
    • Picture Dictionary - Provides a visual representation for a chosen word.

  7. Click Add Section or Remove Section to add or remove as many sections as needed.
  8. Re-order sections and items by clicking on the name in the structure tree and dragging it to the desired location.
  9. Click OK.

Define Test Administration Window

After you build and review the test, you can configure the test window.

  1. From the main navigation menu, choose Tests, then Assessment Manager.
  2. Search for and choose a Test Title.
  3. Click the Administration tab and locate the Administration Window configuration.

Administration Dates - Times

The test window administration dates determine when assessments are available in Assessment Manager and Online Testing.

Click the calendar to change these settings.

  1. Select the start and end date for test availability.

  2. Set the start and end times during which students can access the test daily via Online Testing.

    Be sure the test window administration times are set to end when the testing time is over to prevent students from accessing the test URL outside of class and altering their answers.

  3. If the test window spans multiple weeks, select Exclude weekends and holidays to ensure the test is available to students via Online Testing on those days.

    Your district can designate holidays and other non-instructional days in the Organization Calendar available in Manage Organization.


Select to enable the administration of this test via Online Testing during this test window. If OLA is selected, expand to specify additional Test Section options:

  • Random Question Presentation - Determines whether the system displays questions in random order for each session.
  • Allow Pause - Determines whether the student can pause while taking the test.

    You cannot select Allow Pause if Enable Secure Test Lockout is selected.

  • Do not allow back - When selected, the option to return to the previous item is unavailable in Online Testing. Additionally, the item navigation menu and the item flag tool will not display in Online Testing.
  • Do not allow forward - When selected, the option to move to the next question is unavailable until the student answers the current question.
  • Enable Secure Test Lockout - Locks a student out of the test if they navigate outside of the browser window in which the test is open.

    You cannot enable this option if you select Allow Pause.

    Avoid using this option with the upload interaction type. A student will be locked out of the test while attempting to browse for a file to upload.

    The following keyboard shortcuts are disabled to prevent capturing but do not trigger Secure Test Lockout:

    • Windows + Shift + S (Windows 10 command to screenshot)
    • PrtScn button + any other button (Windows command)
    • CTRL+ PrtScn (full-screen to clipboard on Windows)
    • Windows + PrtScn (full-screen saved filed on Windows)
    • Alt + PrtScn (active window on Windows)
    • Shift + CMD + 4 (window screenshot on a Mac)
    • Shift + CMD + 3 (full-screen screenshot on a Mac)
    • F8 (if configured to capture a screenshot in your district)
    • Ctrl + Switch Window key on Chromebook

  • OLA Impersonation - Determines whether the student can be impersonated in Online Testing by a Performance Matters user. This option is selected by default for tests set as private.

    Users who are assigned Administrator permissions can impersonate students for any test available for online administration, even if a test's settings do not explicitly have this option enabled.

  • Show student score after submission Determines whether the student's score displays after submitting their test.

    This only works for tests that contain machine-scorable items only. Scores for items that contain weighted points, partial credit, or rubric scores may not immediately display.

  • Requires Password - Requires students to enter a password before they can begin taking the test.
    • Optionally, you can select Set Password to Expire, then choose a date for password expiration.
    • Enter a Test Password, or click Suggest Password to enter a complex randomized password for added security.
    • Optionally, select Append Random ID to add a randomized numeric value at the end of the password. This random ID is unique for each student to prevent students from sharing the test password across class periods.

Scan Sheets

To enable the download of answer sheets during the test window, select Scan Sheets. Click Scan Sheets to choose from additional options.

The Scan Sheet option is not available if the test contains technology-enhanced interaction types that are not supported for scan sheet administration.

Performance Matters

Select this option to download and use scan sheets generated specifically for Scan Engine.

  • Primary Bubbles - Select to print larger bubbles for younger students.
  • Add Writing Lines to Extended Text Items - This default option adds gray lines matching the line count of the item in the response box. The default line count is set at five, but you can change this during item creation.
  • Add Wide Ruled Writing Lines to Extended Text Items - Gray lines spaced 1.225 times larger than the standard lines are added to the response box.

    The response box does not grow larger, so the number of wide-ruled lines in the response box is less than the number specified for the item.
  • No Writing Lines - No lines are in the response box.

Scan sheets created for tests with multiple sections contain all items on the test.

Depending on the number of questions and the answer set sections, the scan sheet for a test can be multiple pages. Estimated page totals per scan sheet include:

  • Preslugged answer sheets with A-D fit 84 questions.
  • Preslugged answer sheets with A-E fit 63 questions.
  • Blank answer sheets with A-D fit 48 questions.
  • Blank answer sheets with A-E fit 48 questions.
  • If an extended text item is used on a test and is set at 1000 lines or higher, that item takes up one entire answer sheet. If another question is added to that test, the extended text item stands alone on its own page.
  • If standard-ruled writing lines are selected, an extended text item can contain up to 30 lines in order to fit on one answer sheet.


Select this option to download and use scan sheets generated specifically for the GradeCam scanning tool. This option is available only if your organization uses GradeCam.

You can preview Scan Sheets prior to downloading them.

Enter/ Edit Responses

  1. Select to enable two features for this test window:
    • Use the Online Scoring tool to enter or edit student responses for this test.
    • Correct student responses or scores in the Student Item Analysis report.

    This is a default setting for tests set as private. Enter/Edit Responses does not have to be enabled for Site Administrators to access all administered tests in Online Scoring.

  2. Expand to display the Edit Response Settings option.
  3. Select Human Scorable Items Only to limit the ability to enter or edit student responses. This option only allows you to score rubric-based items using Online Scoring. This setting does not affect any capabilities of the Student Item Analysis report.

If an item has a machine-scorable interaction and human-scorable interaction, then a user can update both parts of the item even if Human Scorable Items Only is selected.

Course type does not limit the use of these features. Any teacher with access to the student can enter or edit their responses even if the test is assigned to a course they do not teach.

Limit Test Center

Limit Test Center is a default setting to limit who can display this test in Assessment Manager during the defined test window.


  • Clear the Limit Test Center option if you do not want to limit access to this test.
    • Alternatively, click Limit Test Center, then choose from the Test Center School(s) and Test Center Course(s) options.
      The choices available depend on the course types and grade levels selected in the test properties.
  • To update the student population on the OLA student status for a same-day test, select Refresh eligible student population for same-day administration
    Student eligibility is updated during the nightly update process. Use this option only if the test is for the current day. 

    ImportantRefreshing student eligibility for a list of over 10,000 students may result in performance issues on the district site.

Reporting Options

  1. Select Weighted Average to include results of this test window in reports tied to state test subjects.

    This is only recommended for major benchmark assessments.

  2. Choose the benchmark column where you would like to have the data for this test display in reporting.


Expand to display the test window IDs, last edit user, and last edit date.


After defining a test window, you can use the Test Editor to release the test for Online Testing and download scan sheets.

Test Preview for New Tests

  1. From the main navigation menu, choose Tests, then Assessment Manager.
  2. Search for and choose a Test Title.

Test Preview allows you to review a test from a student's point of view before assigning the test. You can also download scan sheets with Test Preview to verify they are set up properly.

Test Preview is only available for tests saved with either OLA or Scan Sheets selected in their Administration tab. The test administration window's dates must also be in the present school year.

  1. Click Test Preview.
  2. Select Scan Sheet Preview to download a copy of the scan sheet.

    Test Preview only provides a preview option for selected administration methods

  3. To preview the test in OLA, select OLA Preview. A new tab displays the OLA testing site and automatically signs you in. Click the test name to start the preview.

You cannot submit tests from the Preview mode.

Assign Permissions for New Tests

You can determine who has access to your test, as well as the level of access granted.

  1. From the main navigation menu, choose Tests, then Assessment Manager.
  2. Search for and choose a Test Title.
  1. Click Permissions.

  2. Click Add group.

  3. Choose users and groups.

    1. Search for the user or group using the Group Type, Organization, Description, or User's Groups (role).

    2. Click the user or group row.

      Press and hold the Ctrl or Cmd key to make multiple selections.

    3. Click OK.

  4. Select the permissions in the header to apply or remove the permissions for all users and groups. You can add or remove permissions from individual users or groups as needed.

  5. Click Save.

Permission levels

The following permissions determine what you can display and the available actions:

  • Read provides access to display objects.

  • Copy allows objects to be displayed and copied.

  • Update allows objects to be copied and updated.

  • Admin provides access to manage permissions. Users who have administrative permissions have access to all site objects.

  • Access allows users to display reporting data.

  • Report provides access to all reports associated with the object.

  • High_stakes_admin gives access to any objects with the high stakes attribute.

  • File_uploader provides the ability to upload files.

Edit Tests with Outdated Items

Over time, some items from third-party vendors may become obsolete. When this occurs, those items are flagged in the test editor with the Outdated Item label so that users can prepare to make necessary updates to their tests.

  1. From the main navigation menu, choose Tests, then Assessment Manager.
  2. Search for and choose a Test Title.
  3. Observe items labeled Outdated Item.

There are two ways to resolve this issue:

  • If the test has not been administered, you can remove the item from the test and replace it with a new item.
  • If the test has been administered and locked and you must use it again, then you can use the copy function to duplicate the test. Then, remove the outdated item and replace it with a new item. When you copy a test, the test window settings are automatically copied, as well. The dates of the window default to the current 30 days, but all other reporting, security, and Online Testing tool settings are copied from the original test.

Administration Readiness

An icon displays next to the test ID in the test editor, indicating the administration status for the test. The icons include the following:

  • A construction cone indicates that any of the three necessary criteria for administering the test are missing. This includes the course type, grade level, or the current date set in the administration window. Hover over the icon to read more information on the missing criteria.
  • A checkmark indicates that the test is ready for administration.

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