Browsers for Testing
The secure browser is a program on a student’s device—for example, a desktop PC, laptop, or tablet—that allows a student to take the CAASPP and ELPAC. It is the typical application students and teachers have used for testing in prior years.
When the secure browser is running, it is the only program allowed to be open on the device. Recent enhancements to the secure browser have been made, allowing for communication and video monitoring within the system to accommodate remote testing.
Web-Based Student Testing Interface
The web-based student testing interface was used for remote testing in fall 2020, so some test examiners and students may already be familiar with it. The web-based student testing interface allows test administrators or examiners to use Zoom, Teams, or other screen-sharing software applications to administer a one-on-one assessment. However, this type of screen-sharing software can only be used with the web-based student testing interface and cannot be used with the secure browser.
For the spring 2021 CAASPP and ELPAC administrations, local educational agencies (LEAs) will be primarily using the secure browser for testing. Exceptions are administration of the Initial ELPAC and one-on-one administration of the Summative ELPAC.
The secure browser should be used when testing in person.
|Test||Remote Testing||In-Person Testing||Remote Testing Browser Type(s)|
|Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics||Yes||Yes||Secure browser|
|California Science Test||Yes||Yes||Secure browser|
|California Spanish Assessment||Yes||Yes||Secure browser|
|California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA and mathematics||No||Yes||Secure browser|
|CAA for Science||No||Yes||Secure browser|
|Initial ELPAC||Yes||Yes||Web-based student testing interface|
|Summative ELPAC K–2 Listening, Reading, and Writing domains||Yes||Yes||Web-based student testing interface|
|Summative ELPAC K–12 Speaking domains||Yes||Yes||Web-based student testing interface|
|Summative ELPAC 3–12 Listening, Reading, and Writing domains||Yes||Yes||Secure browser|
|Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments||Yes||Yes||Secure browser or Web-based student testing interface|
Required Browsers for Initial ELPAC
For the Initial ELPAC, the secure browser is required for in-person administration. For remote administration, the web-based student testing interface should be used. However, test examiners should still select the In Person radio button for the session type when starting an in-person or remote test session for the Initial ELPAC.
Required Browsers for Summative ELPAC
For the Summative ELPAC, some of the grade levels and domains use the secure browser and some use the web-based student testing interface. The grade levels and domains that use the web-based student testing interface are those that are administered one-on-one with a text examiner, including all domains for kindergarten through grade two and all grade levels for the Speaking domain.
|Summative ELPAC Domains||Kindergarten−Grade 2||Grade Levels 3−12|
|Listening||Web-based student testing interface||Secure browser|
|Speaking||Web-based student testing interface||Web-based student testing interface|
|Reading||Web-based student testing interface||Secure browser|
|Writing||Web-based student testing interface||Secure browser|
Required Browsers for the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments
For the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments, the secure browser is required for in-person administration. Either the secure browser or the web-based student testing interface can be used for the remote administration of the interim assessments.
Additional Information About Browser Usage
Note the following for tests being administered using the secure browser:
- The secure browser must be installed on each computer or tablet that will be used for student testing. For more information on which operating systems are supported and which secure browser to install, please visit the Secure Browsers web page.
- For more information about technical requirements for testing, please refer to the 2020–2021 CAASPP and ELPAC Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for Online Testing.
- For parent/guardian instructions on how to download the secure browser on a personal device, please visit the Download the Secure Browser web page.
Note the following for tests being administered using the web-based student testing interface:
- Download the current version of Chrome—the preferred web browser—or the current version of Firefox.
- Safari is not currently supported for remote administration features.
|Operating System||Permitted Browsers|
|iOS||Mobile secure browser (current app)|
|ChromeOS||Chrome browser, versions 83+|
|Windows||Chrome 83+, Firefox 60+, Edge 83+|
|Linux||Chrome 83+, Firefox 60+|
|macOS or Mac OS X||Chrome 83+, Firefox 60+|