Best Practices for Delivering Exams

April 14, 2016 Josh Neidish

Prepare Exam Taker (ET) Data

Users will need to import at least three files: Exam Taker data, Course data, and then a file that assigns each Exam Taker to a course. This is important as assessments are assigned to courses and not to individual exam takers. Always import your ETs and courses before the start of each semester to ensure the accuracy of your roster(s).

Announce ExamSoft to your Exam Takers

Once Exam Takers are in the system, it is recommended that users send a notification of account activation that includes their individual login IDs and passwords. A default email message with the exact instructions is available and titled ExamSoft Installation Instructions. This email has instructions for the Exam Taker on how to download and install SofTest on their device.

Monitor Exam Taker Registration Activity

After sending the welcome email, you can start tracking registrations.

Give Exam Takers an Exam to Practice

Create a Mock Exam prior for Exam Takers prior to the first exam posting. This enables them to become familiar with the exam features you will choose to utilize, such as Spell Checker and Text Highlighting. When building a Mock Exam, make it as similar to a regular exam as possible. Add notices, exam password, and at least one of each question type that you plan on using this semester. The Exam Takers should go through the process of downloading and uploading their exams. This critical process will familiarize them with SofTest and how it will run on their devices.

Preview Your Exams

The Preview Exam Feature will allow users to view exams as an Exam Taker would, without actually taking the exam. This is an excellent way to review the questions on the exam and make necessary changes before posting it for Exam Takers to download.

Tips for Posting An Exam

If internet connection allows, it is recommended download start times are set shortly before the start of the exam so that students can download the exam file in class on the day of the exam. This limits the amount of time students have access to the exam file.  If the testing environment's internet does not allow for this, then we recommend that the download start time be set far enough before the start of the exam to allow all exam takers a chance to download the exam ahead of time. Double check to ensure that the exam was posted to the correct course.

Exam Takers should also be given only ONE download for an exam. If additional downloads are needed, they can easily be changed on an individual basis.

Track Exam Taker Activity Efficiently

Tracking downloads and uploads is a great way to research which Exam Takers have downloaded their exam files and uploaded their answer files. Exam Taker Activity may take up to 15 minutes to be refreshed with the most recent uploads. Reviewing this information before and after each exam enables you to quickly identify the Exam Takers you need to communicate with about their exam. Emails can be sent directly from this Exam Taker Activity page.

Creating a Successful Exam Day Experience

Bring a list of all Exam Takers scheduled for the exam. Take attendance to determine who must be contacted and scheduled for a make-up exam. Bring a few paper copies of the actual exam in the event an Exam Taker’s device experiences hardware failure during the exam.

If possible, provide the proctor access to the Exam Taker Activity before the exam. This will allow the proctor to make any necessary changes and track all downloads and uploads in real time. If allowing late arrivals to take the exam, have them sit close to the proctor so they will end their exam on time. SofTest will provide them the original time limit set for the exam.

At end of exam

  1.  Verify answer file upload with green screen.
  2. Notify Exam Takers of manual upload instructions if they have issues with uploading their files.

*Always provide the proctor with the Exam Password, Universal Resume Code, and ExamSoft Help phone line



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