Setting up the Equipment
There are some practical concerns to consider when preparing the environment for an on-screen test. Some preparations specific to on-screen testing that you must consider are:
- Is there sufficient space for each candidate, including any extra space required for materials, equipment or doing rough work on paper?
- Is the candidate’s workstation set up so that they can sit comfortably, with an appropriate chair and footrest (if required)?
- Have any accessibility considerations been taken into account, e.g. space for a wheelchair user?
- Are screens or monitors set comfortably at eye–level, or can they be adjusted by the candidate?
- Are the screens or monitors free from glare?
Note: The concerns listed here are additional to those issues relevant to setting up the physical environment for all tests, such as arranging seating to prevent cheating and removing any inappropriate information from the walls of the test room.
All hardware and software needed for the test should be checked and tested in advance of the test session. This includes testing the computer and any external hardware or peripherals, such as:
- Speakers or Headphones (if applicable).
- Wherever possible, ensuring there are back-ups of these items (e.g. spare mice) available and that these are in good working order.
- Checking that the SecureClient has been installed and is working correctly on each PC.
- Checking that any tests that are to be delivered offline have been downloaded in advance.
- Checking that tests that are to be delivered online have a connection to Surpass (i.e. an internet connection.)
- Ensuring that any additional software or equipment (e.g. Screen Readers for accessible tests) is available and working correctly.
Setting up an Invigilation ‘Control Centre’
For any test session where the invigilator will control the test using the Surpass Invigilation tools the invigilator will need access to a computer connected to Surpass.
For this reason, it is useful to designate one computer for each test session to be used as a ‘Control Centre’. You may wish to consider having more than one Control Centre if multiple tests are running in the same session. This computer can be used as a workstation to monitor and control the test through the Invigilate screen of Test Administration, allowing the invigilator to:
- Control when the test will begin using the ‘Unlock’ button.
- Use the ‘Pause’ and ‘Resume’ buttons to control planned or unplanned breaks.
- Monitor the progress of all tests, identifying which candidates have started, finished, or any candidates that have become disconnected.
Good Practice Tip: It is worth considering increasing the number of invigilators if, for example, multiple Control Centres are in use, or if one invigilator is required to monitor candidates or patrol the room whilst the other is using the Control Centre.