Test Security: Overview

The Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test is a secure test. All LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators are required to read and electronically sign the ELPAC Test Security Agreement and ELPAC Test Security Affidavit prior to accessing test materials. All ELPAC TEs, secondary TEs, and other school staff assisting in the test administration are required to read and electronically sign the ELPAC Test Security Affidavit prior to testing and handling test materials.

Security of the Test Environment

A secure online testing environment is possible when a device is restricted from accessing prohibited computer applications (local or internet-based), copying, or otherwise sharing test data. A secure online testing environment is necessary to maintain test security and provide a stable testing experience for students across multiple platforms. The security of assessment instruments and the confidentiality of student information are vital to maintaining the validity, reliability, and fairness of the results

All test items and test materials are secure and must be appropriately handled. Secure handling protects the integrity, validity, and confidentiality of assessment items, prompts, and student information. Any deviation in test administration must be reported as a test security incident to ensure the validity of the assessment results.

It is the responsibility of each person participating in the administration of the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test to immediately report any violation or suspected violation of test security or confidentiality to the site ELPAC coordinator. The site ELPAC coordinator is responsible for immediately reporting any security violation to the LEA ELPAC coordinator.


TEs and site ELPAC coordinators or other individuals who have witnessed, been informed of, or suspect the possibility of a test security incident that could potentially affect the integrity of the assessments or the data should review the information in the Identifying Testing Improprieties, Irregularities, and Breaches subsection of this manual; and then refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide web document for additional instructions. Note that only LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators may report the incident using the STAIRS/Appeals process and, if directed, submit an Appeal.

Table 1 through table 4 describe security requirements for the test environment during various stages of testing. The test environment refers to all aspects of the testing situation while a student is testing and includes what a student can see, hear, or access (including access via technology).

Before Testing

Table 1. Requirements of the Test Environment Before Testing

Requirement Description
Instructional materials removed or covered Instructional materials must be removed or covered, including, but not limited to, information that might assist a student in answering questions. This includes material that is displayed on bulletin boards, on chalkboards or dry-erase boards, or on charts (for example, wall charts that contain literary definitions, maps, mathematics formulas, etc.).

If helpful, place a “TESTING—DO NOT DISTURB” sign on the door or post signs in halls and entrances rerouting hallway traffic to promote optimum testing conditions.

Site ELPAC coordinators or ELPAC TEs should post “Unauthorized Electronic Devices May Not Be Used at Any Time During the Testing Session” signs so that they are clearly visible to a student. A master of this sign can be downloaded from the Manuals and Instructions web page on the ELPAC website.

During Testing

Table 2. Requirements of the Test Environment During Testing

Requirement Description
Quiet environment Provide a quiet environment void of talking or other distractions that might interfere with a student’s ability to concentrate or might compromise the testing situation.
Student supervision A student is prohibited from accessing or using unauthorized electronic devices that allow availability to outside information; communication with other students or with other individuals outside the testing environment; or photographing or copying test content. This includes any device with cellular, messaging, or wireless capabilities, but is not limited to cell phones, smart watches, personal digital assistants, tablets, iPods, cameras, and electronic translation devices. Note that a tablet may be used for augmentative communication and cell phones may be used to monitor diabetes. Remember, all alternate assessments are administered one-on-one with the student.
Access to allowable resources only A student must only have access to and use of allowable resources (refer to the subsection Establishing Appropriate Testing Conditions for examples) that are permitted for each specific test (or portion of a test). This includes access to medical supports and devices that may be integrated into other technology devices. Use of such devices may require additional monitoring to maintain test security.
Access to assessments Unauthorized staff or other adults must not be in the room during testing. For the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test, only the student who is testing, primary test examiner, and a secondary test examiner (if the LEA has been assigned second scoring) may view items. TEs should use caution when reviewing the DFA, the test questions, the picture cards, and other materials before testing begins and when preparing student resources (AAC device) to individualize the student testing experience.
Testing through the secure browser Administration of the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test is permitted only through the student interface via a secure browser or a method of securing the student device.

During and After Testing

Table 3. Requirements of the Test Environment During and After Testing

Requirement Description
No copies of test materials Unless needed as a print-on-demand designated support, no copies of the stimuli and test items may be made or otherwise retained. Any documents from the Administration and Scoring Trainings, such as the TIP, should be securely destroyed.
No access to digital, electronic, or manual devices No digital, electronic, or manual device may be used to record or retain stimuli or test items. Similarly, these materials must not be discussed with or released to anyone via any media, including fax, email, text message, social media websites, etc.
No retaining, discussing, or releasing test materials Descriptions of test items and stimuli must not be retained, discussed, or released to anyone.
No reviewing, discussing, or analyzing test materials LEA ELPAC coordinators, site ELPAC coordinators, and other staff may not review, discuss, or analyze stimuli and test items, at any time, including before, during, or after testing. ELPAC TEs may not discuss or analyze stimuli and test items but may review the stimuli and test items in preparation for individualized student assessment. The student may not discuss or share stimuli or test items with anyone during or after testing.
Keeping all test materials secure at all times Printed materials such as the DFA, print-on-demand stimuli and items, picture cards, and documents with student information must be kept in a securely locked room or locked cabinet that can be opened only with a key or keycard by staff responsible for test administration. LEAs need to make sure DFAs are securely destroyed after test administration is complete.

After Testing

Table 4. Requirements of the Test Environment After Testing

Requirement Description
No test materials used for instruction Test items and stimuli must not be used for instruction. However, LEAs are allowed to use the training and practice tests in the classroom as those are not secure and publicly available.
Destroy test materials securely Upon a student’s completion of the test, printed stimuli and test items, scratch paper, picture cards, and notecards or paper that include student logon information must be collected and inventoried, and then immediately shredded. Printed DFAs must be shredded at the end of the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test window.