Signing In to the Student Testing Site

This section describes the student sign-in process for the student testing application. Students follow this procedure when starting a new test or resuming a paused test.

If students do not know their exact information as it appears in CALPADS, a test administrator or test examiner can retrieve it in the Test Administrator Site (refer to the subsection How to Look Up Students).

Step 1: Signing Students In

To sign students in to a test session:

  1. The student launches the secure browser on a testing device. The Student Sign-In screen appears (refer to figure 1).

    Screen capture of the Student Sign-In Web form, with fields for the student's first name, SSID, and the test session ID

    Figure 1. Student Sign-In screen

  2. Students enter the following information:
    1. In the First Name field, students enter their first name as it appears in CALPADS.
    2. In the Student ID field, students enter their SSID as it appears in CALPADS.
    3. In the Session ID field, students enter the session ID as it appears on the Test Administrator Site (and indicated in figure 2).

      Top of the Test Administrator Interface with the session ID indicated

      Figure 2. Sample session ID

  3. Students select the [Sign In] button. The Is This You? page appears (shown in figure 3).

To enter special characters that appear in a student’s name:

  1. If there is a special character in the student’s first name, the student must use the Unicode character equivalent for that character; instructions for entering characters varies by operating system. Additionally, the Wikipedia topic Unicode input provides more information about entering Unicode characters and contains links to additional resources.
    • Windows: Press [Alt] + number pad [####]. For example, press the [Alt] + keypad [0201] to create the “É” in “JOSÉ.”
    • Chrome: Press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [U] until an underlined “U” is displayed, and then key in the key sequence for the character. For example, after the underlined “U,” type [00C9] + [Enter] or [Space] to create the “É” in “JOSÉ.”
    • macOS and iOS: Hold the standard character key until the Unicode accent characters are displayed. For example, holding down [A] will provide eight accented versions of the letter “A.”
    • Linux: Press [Ctrl] + [Shift], type [U], and then type the hexadecimal digits.

Common Student Sign-in Errors

The TDS generates an error message if a student cannot sign in. The following are the most common student sign-in issues:

  • Session does not exist: The student entered the session ID incorrectly or signed in to the wrong site. Verify that the student correctly entered the active session ID. Also, verify that both the test administrator or test examiner and the student are using the correct sites. For example, students signed in to the Student Training Site cannot access sessions created in the Test Administrator Interface.
  • Student information is not entered correctly: Verify that the student has entered the student’s name exactly as it appears in the Student Lookup tool. Spaces or accented characters must also be included; special characters in names may be added by typing the Unicode character (for example, by pressing the [Alt] + keypad [0201] to create the “É” in “JOSÉ” on Windows devices).
  • Student information is not entered correctly: Verify that the student used a correct SSID and did not preface the SSID with “CA-” as had been required in previous years. If this does not resolve the error, use the Student Lookup tool to verify the student’s information. Refer to the subsection How to Look Up Students for additional information.
  • Session has expired: The session ID corresponds to a closed session. Ensure that the student enters the correct session ID and verify that the session is open. For more information about test sessions, refer to the subsection Creating a Test Session.
  • Student is not associated with the school: The student is not associated with the school, or the test administrator or test examiner is not associated with the student’s school.

Step 2: Verifying Student Information

After students sign in, the Is This You? page (i.e., screen) appears (figure 3). Students verify their personal information on this page.

Screen capture of the 'Is This You?' window in the student interface, followed by sample student information.

Figure 3. Is This You? page

To verify personal information:

  1. If all the information is correct, students select [Yes]. The Your Tests page appears (figure 4).
  2. If any of the information displayed is incorrect, the student must not proceed with testing. The student should select [No]. A test administrator or test examiner must notify the CAASPP test site coordinator that the student’s information is incorrect.

Step 3: Selecting a Test

The Your Tests page (i.e., screen) displays all the tests a student is eligible to take (refer to figure 4). Students (or the test examiner for the CAA) can only select tests that have been selected by the test administrator or test examiner and still need to be completed.

Tests are shaded in a light color with an arrow icon pointing at the test name. When starting a new test opportunity, the arrow is solid. When resuming a test opportunity, the arrow is striped.

Screen capture showing the Your Tests screen from which a student selects a test. The sample is from the practice and training tests interface.

Figure 4. Sample Your Tests page

To select an available test:

  1. Students or the test examiner (for a CAA) select the required test name. The request is sent to the test administrator or test examiner for approval, and the Waiting for Approval message appears (figure 5).

    Waiting for approval screen on the student testing interface

    Figure 5. Waiting for Approval dialog box

  2. If a student’s required test is not displayed, the student should select [Return to Login]. Verify the test session includes the correct tests and add additional tests, if necessary.

Step 4: Verifying Test Information

After the test administrator or test examiner approves the student for testing, the student (or the test examiner, for a CAA) should verify the test information and settings on the Your Test Settings page (i.e., screen) (refer to figure 6 for the Review Settings screen that is available in a practice test).

Choose Settings page in the test delivery system

Figure 6. Review Settings screen

To verify test information:

  1. If the settings are correct, students (or the test examiner, for a CAA) select [OK].
  2. If the settings are incorrect, students (or the test examiner, for a CAA) select [Request Changes]. The test administrator or test examiner must report the incorrect test settings to the CAASPP test site coordinator, who will update them as required in TOMS and reschedule the student’s testing. After a student’s test settings are corrected, the student must sign in and request approval again.

Step 5: Sound and Video Check

Audio/Video Check

The Audio/Video Checks page (i.e., screen) appears for tests with listening questions (refer to figure 7). Students verify that they can see the sample video and hear the sample audio. The screen is in Spanish for the CSA.

Screen capture of the Sound and Video Playback Check page showing the playback interface

Figure 7. Audio/Video Checks page

To check audio and video settings:

  1. Students play the video and listen to the audio by selecting the [Play] arrow [Play arrow icon] icon.
  2. Depending on the sound and video quality, students do one of the following:
    1. If the student can see the video and hear the sound, students select [I could play the video and sound]. The Instructions and Help page appears.
    2. If the student cannot see the video and hear the sound, the student selects [I could not play the video or sound]. The Video Playback Problem page appears, giving students two options:
    3. A student can select [Try Again] to return to the Sound and Video Playback Check page.
    4. A student can select [Log Out]. A test administrator or test examiner should troubleshoot the device and headphones or move the student to another device with working audio and video.

Text-to-Speech Check

The Text-to-Speech Sound Check page (i.e., screen) appears if a student has the text-to-speech setting (figure 8). On this page, students verify that text-to-speech is working properly on their device. Students can only use text-to-speech within a supported secure browser.

Screen capture that shows the Text-to-Speech Sound check page

Figure 8. Text-to-Speech Sound Check page

To check text-to-speech functionality:

  1. Students select the [TTS Speaker] speaker [TTS Speaker icon with an image of audio waves coming from a speaker] icon and listen to the audio.
    1. If the voice is clearly audible, students select [I heard the voice].
    2. If the voice is not clearly audible, students adjust the settings using the sliders and select the [TTS Speaker] icon again.
    3. If students still cannot hear the voice clearly, they select [I did not hear the voice] and close the secure browser. A test administrator can work with students to adjust their audio or headset settings (for more information, refer to the subsection Troubleshooting Audio Issues). They can sign in again when the issue is resolved.
    4. To continue without testing text-to-speech, students select [Skip TTS Check].

Troubleshooting Audio Issues

Prior to testing, ensure that audio is enabled on each device and that headsets are functioning correctly. If audio issues occur, take one of the following actions:

  • Ensure headphones are securely plugged in to the correct jack or USB port.
  • If the headphones have a volume control, ensure the volume is not muted.
  • Ensure that the audio on the device is not muted (often via a control panel or settings window). This requires logging off the secure browser to check the device’s volume settings and then logging back on to the secure browser.

If the student is still experiencing issues, contact the CAASPP test site coordinator or school technology coordinator.

Step 6: Viewing Test Instructions and Starting the Test

The Instructions and Help page (i.e., screen) is the last step of the sign-in process (refer to figure 9). Students may review this page to understand how to navigate the test and use test tools.

screen capture of the Instructions and Help page with a section for Test Settings and one for the Help Guide.

Figure 9. Instructions and Help page

To proceed and begin the test:

  1. After reviewing this page, students select [Begin Test Now]. The test opportunity officially begins or resumes.