Requirements for Peripheral Equipment

This section describes the requirements for peripheral equipment: monitors, screens, keyboards, mice, and headphones.

Monitors and Screen Display Requirements

All supported computers, laptops, netbooks, and tablets must meet the following requirements.

Screen Dimensions

Screen dimensions must be 10" or larger (iPads with a 9.7" display are included). This means that the Apple iPad Mini is not supported.

Screen Resolution

All devices must meet the following minimum resolution:

  • Desktops, laptops, and tablets: 1024 × 768

Larger resolutions can be applied as appropriate for the monitor or screen being used. To maximize the testing experience, the device’s display scale should be set to 100 percent, which keeps the amount of usable screen space within the 1024 × 768 minimum resolution for the TDS.

Depending on the screen size, students may need to use vertical or horizontal scroll bars to view all test-related information. Students may also use the Zoom tool in the computer-based or web-based assessment to enlarge the content on the screen.


External Keyboards

External keyboards are strongly recommended with tablets used for testing. The intent of this recommendation is to ensure the required display area is available to allow students to read multiple sources of complex item text and respond to source evidence for analytical purposes. Students may use mechanical or manual keyboards. Wireless and Bluetooth-based keyboards are not supported.

Some external keyboards have additional “shortcut” buttons that can create security issues. These buttons may allow students to open another application or the tablet’s default on-screen keyboard, some of which can cause the security breach detector to exit a student from the TDS. Students are strongly cautioned against using keyboards that have these shortcut buttons.


Mice on mobile devices are not supported. Wired two- or three-button mice that are compatible with the operating system on desktops and laptops are supported but are not required. No other mice should be used, especially mice equipped with a “browser back” button that could create an insecure testing environment and can cause the security breach detector to exit a student from the TDS.

Headsets and Headphones

Students need headphones to listen to audio in computer-based and web-based assessments and may use headsets to record answers to tests. Students should use headphones or headsets with a 3.5 mm connector or USB headphones.

What follows are some scenarios that require headphones or headsets.

  • The CAASPP ELA assessments contain audio (prerecorded or device-based read-aloud). Students must be provided with headphones so they have the option to clearly listen to the audio in these tests. Students who receive audio through speakers may be tested in a separate setting when assigned separate setting, as a non-embedded designated support.
  • The ELPAC Listening, Speaking, and Writing domains contain prerecorded audio. Students may be provided with headphones, so they have the option to listen to the audio either using headphones or their device speakers. For the audio capture feature in the Speaking domain, students may use the microphone on the headset (if available) or built-in microphone on the device.
  • Students with the TTS test setting can use headphones to listen to stimuli or test items being read aloud by the device. For more information about TTS and other test settings, refer to one of the following resources:
  • Students with the streamline designated support can use headphones along with JAWS or other screen-reading software to complete computer-based or web-based assessments.
  • Each NComputing terminal used for testing must have a USB headphone or headset.

CAASPP test site coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators should determine how many students will need headphones to ensure that there are enough available at the time of a test.


Students taking the ELPAC who are not using headphones may instead hear the audio for the Listening, Speaking, and Writing domains through a device’s built-in or external speakers so that the test examiner can listen along with the student. This is recommended for one-on-one administrations of the ELPAC.

ELPAC test examiners are encouraged to test their audio systems, prior to testing, by playing the sample audio to determine the appropriate volume, sound quality, and placement of student speakers.


The ELPAC Speaking domain uses voice capture technology. Because the Speaking domain is administered one-on-one for all grade levels, LEAs are encouraged to administer the Speaking test using student testing devices with built-in recording or microphone capabilities in an area where outside sounds are minimized. LEAs that do not have student testing devices with recording or microphone capabilities are not required to use the voice capture function. Headphones or headsets with microphones are not required.