Surpass Release 12.8 Information (March 2017)

The Spring 2017 release of Surpass includes an array of exciting new features and enhancements, including the ability to create a test that includes optional sections, the ability to create relationships between items within a subject, and a new diagram creator, which can be made available to candidates to support their response to questions.

To find out more about these changes and other updates made to Surpass for this release, read the 'New Features' section below. Visit the in-built Surpass Help and the Surpass Learning Portal for more detail on these great new features. You can also find a summary of issues fixed in this release at the bottom of this article. 

New Features

Below you will find details of new and updated features that have been introduced in release 12.8 of Surpass. The features are divided into sections based on the area of the system which they affect.  

Test Delivery: Additional Languages
Over 30 additional delivery languages have been introduced in this release of Surpass, including Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and Portuguese. Click here to access a Knowledge Base article listing all of the available delivery languages.

Test Delivery: Confirmation of Candidate Details
When returning from a break, candidates will now be asked to confirm their details before being able to proceed with the test.

Test Delivery: High Fidelity Image Viewer
A new High Fidelity Image Viewer will be launched when candidates open grouped source material that is attached to a question. This image viewer allows the candidate to navigate through multiple images and pan and zoom in on the image. 


Item Authoring: Diagram Creator
It is now possible to allow candidates to create diagrams that can be attached to either Spreadsheet or Essay questions. Candidates will have the ability to construct diagrams and flowcharts with a range of predefined shapes and lines, as well as the capability of freehand drawing.

Item Authoring: Enemy Items
Enemy relationships can now be set up for question items within item authoring. This ensures that items within a subject that have an enemy relationship with each other cannot be included in the same fixed test. 

Item Authoring: Item Sets
It is now possible to create item sets within Item Authoring. Creating an item set ensures that if one item from a set is included in a fixed test, it will automatically bring all other items that are part of the same set into the test with it.

Item Authoring: Assistive Audio
Assistive media can now be added to the question stem block of all question types, and the answer options of Multiple Choice, Multiple response and Either/Or question types. Assistive media can also be added to introduction, information, and finish pages, as well as the Multiple Choice and Multiple Response survey items. This feature will allow, for example, an item author to upload an audio file so that the candidate can hear the question text in another language.

Item Authoring: Add tables to question stem
Tables can now be added into the question stem block, as well as being added underneath the question text. This allows item authors to create a question which contains a table (or tables) in between blocks of question text.

Item Authoring: Grouped Source Material
It is now possible to group together images that have been uploaded into the media library. You are able to add up to 25 images to a group, which can then be added as Source Material to your items. During delivery, these grouped items will be launched in the High Fidelity Image Viewer, as mentioned above.

Item Authoring: Computer-Marked Essay Item
Item authors can now set an essay item to be computer marked, meaning it will bypass the marking screen of Surpass, in order for them to be marked externally. Essay items set up in this way will automatically be awarded 0 marks by the system.


Test Creation: Optional Sections
It is now possible to add a 'Section Selector' to a test. The Section Selector determines the mandatory number of sections which must be completed from those available. When candidates reach the Section Selector, they are able to choose which sections from the group they attempt.


Reporting: Candidate Tags added to Raw Data Extract
Candidate tags have been added as an optional field in the raw data extract. Users can now choose to include details of custom tags added to candidates as part of this report.


Setup and Site Admin: Default Font Setting for Subjects
Subject owners can now set the default font and font size for items authored within their subject, meaning item authors will not have to manually change the font for each item they author. MS Gothic has also been introduced as an available font in item authoring.

Setup and Site Admin: Item Lists
A new site setting allows users with the relevant permission to switch the ability to publish item lists on or off.

Setup and Site Admin: Creation of Custom Roles
Users with the Site Administration role are able to create custom roles that can be assigned during 'User setup'. The custom roles and the permissions you assign to that role are based upon the tabs in Surpass. Customisable roles streamline the process of assigning permissions to users and will give greater flexibility in configuring workflows in Surpass.    

Integration: Updates to v2 of the Surpass API
There have been a number of updates to the Surpass API for Release 12.8, including the ability to:
  • Add, update, get and delete Item Sets in Item Authoring
  • Import and export enemy item associations to/from items
  • Import and export assistive media to/from items
  • Identify section selector information and selected optional sections from results
To find out more, please visit the Surpass API help page by navigating to [your Surpass URL]/api/v2. Further information can also be found on the Surpass Developer Portal.  

A note on HTML delivery:Developments are underway to move Surpass from Flash to HTML. Release 12.8 of Surpass sees more features supported in HTML. To stay up to date with HTML developments,here for a full list of supported features.

Please note, we are currently aware of an issue when delivering HTML tests in certain browsers, where the 'I accept' and 'I don't accept' buttons are disabled if the 'Agree to terms' text spans 2 lines. This issue will be resolved in the next release of Surpass which is currently planned for late March 2017.

Usability Enhancements

Release 12.8 of Surpass offers a number of enhancements made to improve usability. Updates include:
  • Improved end section functionality for candidates. When selecting the 'Finish' button, candidates will now be asked to confirm if they want to finish the section, or the whole test.
  • To support additional delivery languages and future enhancements, we've made changes to the header and footer during test delivery, replacing some buttons with simple, easy to understand icons.
  • The ability to search for candidates using first name and last name in the 'Candidates' tab of the Setup screens.
  • A display name can now be added to items during test creation, which is shown in the Test Form Rules and Preview screen, as well as the Marking screens of Test Administration.
A note on Item Authoring
In this release of Surpass, the indenting functionality introduced to Item Authoring in release 12.6 has been temporarily removed. We will be re-introducing this feature in a future release of Surpass. Any existing items that use indenting will still be supported. The indentation can be removed from existing items using backspace.

Fixed Issues and Defects

Below you will find details of issues that have been resolved in this release of Surpass. The issues are divided into sections based on the area of the system which they affect.

Item and Test Creation

ID: DE24155
Issue: When previewing an item with correct/incorrect feedback set up in Item Authoring, the correct feedback is displayed even for incorrect answers.
Resolution: ‘Incorrect’ feedback is displayed for incorrect answers.

ID: DE23837
Issue: If changes are made to the folder structure in Item Authoring, these changes are not updated in Test Creation.
Resolution: The folder structure in Test Creation matches the folder structure in Item Authoring.


ID: DE19650
Issue: Users with the ‘Manage Users’ site permission and the ‘Invigilate’ centre permission are able to see all subjects, not just those associated with their centre.
Resolution: Users are only able to view the subjects associated with their centre.

ID: DE23484
Issue: An error is displayed when users of a single subject attempt to access the ‘Setup’ tab.
Resolution: Subject level users with relevant roles can now access the ‘Setup’ tab.

ID: DE23186
Issue: When searching for users using the ‘Centre’ filter in Setup, the search is not returning site level users.
Resolution: Site level users are visible when searching via the Centre filter.


ID: DE22592
Issue: There is an issue with the loading time for the distractor analysis chart in the Items Delivered Report.
Resolution: The chart now loads in a reasonable time.

Test Delivery

ID: DE22352
Issue: There is an incorrect Welsh translation present in web delivery.
Resolution: The correct translation displays.

ID: DE22576
Issue: When packaging a test which contains a spreadsheet question, or delivering it in SecureClient, the bottom scrollbar (left to right) is not visible.
Resolution: The scrollbar is visible when scrolling is enabled.

ID: DE23988
Issue: When there is more than one introduction page in a test delivered in SecureClient the candidate is unable to navigate between introduction pages using the tabs on the left-hand side as they become greyed out.
Resolution: Candidates can now use the tabs to successfully navigate between introduction pages.

ID: DE24001
Issue: When finishing a test with grouped items, a message advising that not all questions have been answered appears, even if all questions have been attempted.
Resolution: The message does not appear if all questions have been attempted.

ID: DE24090
Issue: If a candidate opens a Tool, e.g. a PDF or a calculator, and closes it to return to the question then that particular question displays as attempted when it hasn’t been.
Resolution: The progress bar and breadcrumb tabs are not affected by the opening of Tools, and they will only show progress if the question has been attempted.

ID: DE24281
Issue: When opening a PDF attachment in a test taken in unlocked SecureClient, the candidate is asked to save the PDF before being able to open it.
Resolution: The PDF opens straight away.

ID: DE24283
Issue: In a forward only exam, the message ‘You have not attempted all of the questions in this exam. Are you sure you want to finish?’ is displayed, even though the candidate cannot return to any unattempted questions.
Resolution: This message is no longer displayed.

ID: DE22911
Issue: Long answer option text on MCQ items does not auto-wrap correctly and requires a scroll bar.
Resolution: Option boxes wrap text accordingly and no longer require scrolling.

ID: DE23822
Issue: The author name appears to candidates in Word documents used for the File Attach question type.
Resolution: The author name does not display to the candidate.

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