Surpass 12.21 Release Information (June 2020)

We've introduced some exciting new features and performance enhancements in the 12.21 release of Surpass. Read a brief description of each feature below. 

Watch the Surpass 12.21 Release Playlist on the Learning Portal for a demonstration of some of the key features.

Note: You may not be able to use these features if you are not on this version of Surpass. Please check the version of your instance.

New and Improved Features

NEW: Implement Welsh Language in Surpass
Description: Welsh is now an administrative language in Surpass.
Purpose: This feature allows more users to navigate the Surpass interface in their native language.

IMPROVED: Candidate Interaction Log
Description: The Candidate Interaction Log now includes additional information, such as when candidates enter and leave sections, item names, information about PDFs, short answer item responses, and numerical item responses.
Purpose: This gives test creators better insight into how candidates interact with tests and individual items, allowing them to make changes based on these insights.


Test Delivery

NEW: Document and spreadsheet editor source material support

Description: You can now add Word and Excel documents as source material that open as inbuilt applications within SecureClient.
Purpose: This feature allows candidates to securely make notes in documents and spreadsheets in delivery. 
Affected Delivery Method:  HTML SecureClient, HTML SecureClient BYOD Mode
WCAG conformance: Not assessed with WCAG 2.0 level AA 

NEW: PDF Viewer supported in HTML delivery
Description: PDFs uploaded as Shared Resources now open using the Surpass PDF Viewer in HTML web delivery.
Purpose: This provides candidates with a more consistent and user-friendly experience when viewing source material across different delivery methods.
Affected Delivery Method: HTML web delivery
WCAG conformance: Not conformant with WCAG 2.0 level A

IMPROVED: Time warning alerts appear over URL source material
Description: Time warning alerts now appear over URL source material in HTML SecureClient.
Purpose: This ensures candidates can still see how much test time they have remaining when they are viewing URL source material.
Affected Delivery Method: HTML SecureClient, HTML SecureClient BYOD Mode
WCAG conformance: Not assessed with WCAG 2.0 level AA

IMPROVED: Website navigation for HTML and URL source material
Description: You can now enable browser controls such as backwards, forwards, as well as access to a home page when viewing HTML source material in SecureClient. You can enable these controls in Test Profiles, and they will be automatically enabled for URL source material.
Purpose: Candidates can navigate more easily through attached HTML and URL source material with browser functionality.
Affected Delivery Method: HTML web delivery, HTML SecureClient
WCAG conformance: Partially conformant with WCAG 2.0 level AA



IMPROVED: Ordering of items in 'Authoring' tasks
Description: This feature ensures that the order of items in item lists are accurately reflected in 'Authoring' tasks.
Purpose: This feature allows you to set a particular order for task items.

IMPROVED: Ordering of items in item sets in 'Authoring' and 'Review' tasks
Description: This feature ensures that the order of individual items in item sets are accurately reflected in 'Authoring' and 'Review' tasks.
Purpose: This feature allows you to set a particular order for task item sets.  


Item Authoring

NEW: Shared Answers (HTML delivery)
Description: When working in an Advanced Numerical Entry question, you can now create a collection of correct answers that candidates can enter into any answer field. You can also create an answer combination within an answer collection, which requires candidates to select a specific set of answers from the collection to achieve a mark.
Purpose: This feature lets you create a pool of correct answer options for candidates in Numerical Entry questions. This supports computer marking across multiple answer fields.

NEW: Tables with embedded answer boxes (HTML delivery)
Description: You can now create tables with embedded answer boxes in the answer field of Advanced Numerical Entry and Short Answer questions.
Purpose: This allows you to make it clear to candidates where to input their answer.

NEW: Formatting toolbar for HTML Essay items (HTML delivery)
Description: This feature allows you to add a text formatting toolbar to Essay items. This is not compatible with HTML web delivery in Internet Explorer. All Essay items with the formatting toolbar currently enabled have to be republished for this feature to take effect.
Purpose: This enables candidates to format their text response.

NEW: Animations as Source Material
Description: You can now upload an HTML package within a ZIP file to the Media Library in ‘Item Authoring’.
Purpose: This enables you to add animations or simulations to the item as source material.  

NEW: Bulk Update from Item Search and Item Lists
Description: You can now update multiple items in the ‘Item Search’ and ‘Item Lists’ screens using ‘Bulk Update’.
Purpose: This feature makes it easier for you to update multiple items in a list.

NEW: SI Units
Description: You can now upload unit conversion profiles in the new 'Unit Conversions' screen in Item Authoring.
Purpose: This feature allows you to convert units across your items.

NEW: SI Units – Bulk Update
Description: You can now update conversion units across multiple items using ‘Bulk Update’ in the ‘Item Lists’ screen.
Purpose: This feature allows you to ensure accuracy and consistency when converting units in Surpass.  

NEW: Sorting on tag columns in Item Search and Item Lists
Description: This feature enables you to sort on tag columns in the 'View' mode of Item Search and Item Lists.
Purpose: This allows you to re-order your items based on tags.

IMPROVED: Search for items using a list
Description: You can now search for multiple items in the ‘Item Search’ screen using item names. There is also a new ID search type in the ‘Item Search’ screen.
Purpose: This feature lets you find multiple items in one search and add them to a list.

IMPROVED: URL whitelist upload for HTML and URL source material
Description: You can now upload whitelisted URLs to HTML and URL source material in the media library via CSV file.
Purpose: This allows you to add and update multiple URLs at once.


Test Creation

NEW: Add additional information to a test profile
Description: You can add additional information to a test profile in a JSON file in Test Creation.
Purpose: This allows you to extract this information from the API.

NEW: ‘Random’ and ‘Collection’ order nodes in 'Item Pools'
Description: You can now organise items into collections and choose a collection at random to deliver to candidates.
Purpose: This allows you to deliver collections of items at random to candidates. 


Test Administration

IMPROVED: Audit Report - Script Submitted by
Description: You can now view the name of the user who submitted a script from the 'Mark' screen in the 'Test Details' section of the Audit Report.
Purpose: This allows you to view which user submitted the script, as the marker might not be the same person who submits the script.


Performance Improvements

There have been a number of improvements and updates to the performance of Surpass, including:
  • The speed of the Rescoring screen has been improved.
  • The 'Tests' and 'Test Forms' screens now have pages and filter management to improve loading times.
  • The storage of audio recordings and file submissions is now enhanced to reduce the impact of large files on system performance.
  • Audio Capture recordings now upload back into Surpass faster.

Integration: API v2

There have been a number of improvements and updates to v2 of the Surpass API, including:
  • More detailed information about tests taken locally, such as keycode and External Reference, will be sent to a central location to identify potential risks in advance.
  • The Results resource now exports full item answers for all item types in response to a GET request.
  • Test Session API GET and PUT and Token POST have been optimised.

Integration: SurpassLocal API

There have been a number of improvements and updates to the SurpassLocal API, including:
  • You can now upload files to the SurpassLocal TestSession resource to be retrieved from both Local and Central.
  • Improvements to the communication of candidate responses from SurpassLocal to Central.

A Note on HTML Delivery

Adobe have announced that they will stop supporting Flash by the end of 2020. In response to this, we are accelerating the move to convert Surpass from Flash to HTML5 based technology. Over the course of the conversion there will be a notable increase in the number of features that are only available in HTML delivery as we stop producing any new development in Flash.

For more information about the features that are currently supported in HTML, please see this article.

We also intend to reduce the risk of conflicts and errors by reducing the amount of Flash content in the system by the end of 2020. Therefore, we advise you to start creating or converting your content for HTML delivery. This includes converting Flash media files (.flv and .swf) to new file formats that are compatible with HTML. For more information, please see this article.


A Note on Windows 7

Microsoft have now removed support for Windows 7. You can continue to use Surpass and SecureClient on machines running Windows 7, but please be aware that from 12.21 we will not fix any issues found as a specific result of using this operating system.


Resolved Issues

ID: DE39850
Issue: Multiple Choice questions which had tables containing ampersands could not be exported to Word.
Resolution: Multiple Choice questions with tables that contain ampersands can now be exported to Word.

ID: DE40805
Issue: Tag groups were missing from tag collection groups when deleted tags groups and tag groups combined exceeded 100.
Resolution: All associated tags are now available within a tag collection group.

ID: DE41445
Issue: Repeated bulk update failure was causing Item Authoring to become unresponsive.
Resolution: Repeated bulk update failure no longer causes Item Authoring to become unresponsive.

ID: DE33906
Issue: After editing an item and closing the browser before saving, items were not loading correctly when reopened.
Resolution: Items now open correctly, even if the browser is closed during editing.

ID: DE38163
Issue: An error was locking certain items, preventing them from being edited.
Resolution: These items are now unlocked and can be edited.

ID: DE38703
Issue: Tests with ‘-1' to '-6’ in their name could not be exported as a Word document.
Resolution: Tests with ‘-1' to '-6’ in their name can now be exported as a Word document.

ID: DE39390
Issue: Tests sat in HTML SecureClient using the Greek language incorrectly displayed the candidate’s first name.
Resolution: Tests sat in HTML SecureClient using the Greek language now display candidates’ first names correctly.

ID: DE39780
Issue: If candidates were using the comments dialog, this was staying open when they navigated between items using the section review panel.
Resolution: The comments dialog closes when navigating between items using the section review panel.

ID: DE40379
Issue: The 'Candidate Review' screen in ‘Test Administration’ was not loading correctly if it contained tests scheduled at deleted centres.
Resolution: The 'Candidate Review' screen is now loading correctly.


Known Issues

For information about known issues in Surpass, please see this article.

Surpass Release Information

  1. Upcoming Surpass Release Schedules
  2. Surpass Developments in Progress
  3. Surpass Known Issues
  4. Surpass 12.23 Release Information (November 2020)
  5. Surpass 12.22 Release Information (June 2020)
  6. Surpass 12.21 Release Information (June 2020)
  7. Surpass 12.20 Release Information (November 2019)
  8. Surpass 12.19 Release Information (August 2019)
  9. Surpass 12.18 Release Information (April 2019)
  10. Surpass 12.17.1 Release Information (February 2019)
  11. Surpass Release 12.16 Information (October 2018)
  12. Release 12.15 Minor Update (September 2018)
  13. Surpass Release 12.15 Information (August 2018)
  14. Surpass Release 12.14 Information (June 2018)
  15. Surpass Release 12.13 Information (April 2018)
  16. Release 12.12 Minor Update (January 2018)
  17. Surpass Release 12.12 Information (January 2018)
  18. Surpass Release 12.11 Information (October 2017)
  19. Surpass Release 12.10 Information (July 2017)
  20. Surpass Release 12.9 Information (May 2017)
  21. Surpass Release 12.8 Information (March 2017)
  22. Surpass Release 12.7 Information (December 2016)
  23. Surpass Release 12.6 Information (October 2016)
  24. Surpass Release 12.5 Information (August 2016)
  25. Release 12.4 Minor Update (July 2016)
  26. Surpass Release 12.4 Information (June 2016)
  27. Release 12.3 Minor Update (May 2016)
  28. Surpass Release 12.3 Information (March 2016)
  29. Release 12.2 Minor Update (Feb 2016)
  30. Surpass Release 12.2 Information (December 2015)
  31. Surpass Enterprise Release 11.11
  32. Surpass Enterprise Release 11.9
  33. Surpass Enterprise Release 11.7 (September 2015)
  34. Release 12.0 Information (July 2015)
  35. Release 1.6.1 Information (May 2015)
  36. Surpass Enterprise Release 11.6 (May 2015)
  37. Release 1.6 Information (March 2015)
  38. Release 1.5 Information (December 2014)
  39. Release 1.4 Information (August 2014)
  40. Release 1.3.1 Information (July 2014)
  41. Release 1.2 Information (February 2014)

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