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Universal Access to Assessments, Enhanced Assessment Instruments

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal government.

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School Administrator

Practice Tests

4th Grade Science

8th Grade Science

11th Grade Science

Operational Test


Accessibility Helper

A few schools were selected to participate in a sub-component of this project. Your school principal will know whether your school is participating in the Accessibility Helper research.

SAAS/NimbleTools School Information

Taking the Operational Test

Students will log into the test using the NimbleSecure test application. While practice tests are taken using links on this page, the actual test uses the secure application. You can download that application using the Operational Test links on the left side of this page. Please read the Technical Information if you are installing the application for students. More detailed information is provided below.

Important Dates – 2012

March 1: Have students start practicing using NimbleTools to help determine what tools would best suit the student's needs.

April 6: The Nimble School Administrator online tool is available to use by schools.

April 24: Deadline for Principal or designated Test Coordinator to express interest in having students use NimbleTools.

April 11 - May 2: Register students, assign tools to students, install the NimbleSecure application, then conduct the Network Load Test.

May 7 – May 24: Operational Test Administration


Administrative Procedures for Participating Schools

How do I get ready for the operational test?

How do I complete the Network Load Test?

All schools that have either never used NimbleTools or are having more students participate this year must complete a full network load test between April 11 - May 2 in order to have students use NimbleTools for the NECAP science test in May. If you have used NimbleTools and are not having increased participation, you still must complete the Network Load Test on at least one computer with one login.

  1. Register and assign tools to all students who you may want to use NimbleTools using the Administrator Tool located at Usernames and passwords will be mailed to your principal after a school representative attends a webex training session. Principals then need to setup teacher accounts within the Administrator Tool.
  2. Load NimbleSecure onto all computers that may be used for operational testing.
  3. Print a test ticket list for the Network Load Test using the Administrator Tool.
  4. Contact us at to acquire Network Load Test answer sheets – you will need to tell us how many students will participate. Print these Network Load Test mock answer booklets.
  5. Have students launch NimbleSecure, enter their usernames and ticket numbers from the Test Ticket report and answer booklet number from the emailed Network Load Test mock answer booklet.
  6. Have students use the Network Load test for at least 20 minutes. Students should be simulating a real testing environment by reading and answering the practice test items.
  7. Call us at (877) 636-0371 if you have any issues with slow loading items or any other technical issues.

Schools, in consultation with Nimble, will make a determination as to whether they should use NimbleTools for the operational test.

Will the results from the computer-based test count as the official score of record?

YES. Students who take the NECAP Science test online will produce an official test score based on their responses to this computer version of the test. This is NOT a pilot. The online version and the paper version of the test will both be scored in exactly the same way. Student scores will be assigned and will count. It is essential that all participating students, their parents, and school personnel clearly understand this fact when they make their participation decision. Should students encounter any problems while performing the online version or decide that this is not the right option for them, they will have the option of completing the remaining test sessions on paper. (If this occurs during a test session, contact your Department of Education assessment staff for procedural guidance.)

How do I know which tools to assign to students?

Tools should be assigned to students based on their individual needs. Use the Accessibility Animation, NimbleTools Orientations, and Practice Tests with your students and think carefully about matching students' needs with access tools. Providing students more tools than they need can actually make the test more confusing or difficult. 

How should I distribute test materials to students?

With the exception of Grade 11 Read Aloud of Text and Graphics, student test booklets and student answer booklets should be distributed to students using normal procedures. Please try to ensure that all forms are evenly distributed to students using NimbleTools. All Grade 11 students using Text and Graphics Read Aloud should be assigned to Form 1.

How do students login to NimbleTools?

Using the administrator tool, test coordinators will print a report listing participating student login and ticket number information. Test coordinators will be responsible for logging students in and out of NimbleTools during the operational test. Students will launch the NimbleSecure application from their computer to begin testing. NimbleSecure should have been installed on computers prior to conducting the Network Load Test.

Students will have a different ticket number for each of the testing sessions. After logging into NimbleTools, students will be asked to enter the the 10-digit answer booklet number (sometimes called the lithocode number) from the bottom right hand corner of the student answer booklet that has been assigned to them. Students will be asked to enter the answer booklet number twice to confirm accuracy. Entering the answer booklet number will allow the proper form to be delivered to the participating student.

Are all three NECAP Science Test Sessions available within NimbleTools?

All three grade 11 test sessions are available within NimbleTools. For grades 4 and 8, sessions 1 and 2 are available within NimbleTools, session 3 is NOT.

Can students use other accommodations in addition to NimbleTools?

Yes. If needed, students can also use regular accommodations, like D2: (Student answers on separate paper and school personnel transcribe answer to student answer booklet), or D5: (Student dictates constructed responses and school personnel scribe into test booklet exactly as dictated.) Any approved standard accommodations, as appropriate, may be used, and if used – must be documented on page 2 of the Student Answer Booklet in the normal way. Use of the computer accommodation version of the test will be documented by data collected online during administration.

What other accommodations are provided that are not listed as 'Tools'?

Allow Breaks: Students are allowed to log out of a test session, take a break, then continue with the same session by logging back in. Answers will be saved and restored when they return. This should only be assigned to students who specifically require breaks, as their test session will require more careful supervision (to ensure test security). This accommodation is assigned in the Nimble Administrator online application.

Extended Time: All students participating will be allowed extended time when taking the tests. You do not need to assign the student to this accommodation.

Magnifying Glass: All students using NimbleTools will have access to the Magnifying Glass tool that can increase the size of text or graphics for any part of the test.

Will students be shown how to use the accessibility tools as part of the testing session?

No. Students should view the general NimbleTools orientation and specific accessibility tool orientations posted at before taking the operational test.

Will we need to provide our own earphones for students using read aloud or auditory calming?

Yes. Also, there will be a reminder when students start the test to check the system sound volume. While they will be able to change the volume within the test, they can not unmute or change the computer system volume from the computer screen.

What happens if there is a technology problem while students are taking the test?

Student’s test answers will be recorded on Nimble’s servers as the student answers each question. If an Internet connection problem occurs during testing, please have the student resume testing when the connection has been reestablished. You will need to notify Nimble if the application was closed. In these cases, Nimble will need to reset testing sessions for students. You need to provide your school Administrator username and password in order to have a test session reset.

Will students record their answers to both multiple choice and open response items using NimbleTools?

All multiple-choice items will be answered using NimbleTools. Open response items will be presented through NimbleTools, but because some items encourage students to draw graphs or pictures, all open response items must be answered in the normal paper based student answer booklets. NimbleTools will instruct students to respond in their student answer booklet for all open response items.

How will NimbleTools Testing Session End?

When students finish a testing session, they will be shown a summary of their answers, asked to confirm that they want to exit the session.

What happens if a student’s paper-based student answer booklet is damaged or destroyed?

If a student's answer booklet is damaged or destroyed, call us at (877) 636-0371.

What happens if a student decides that they would rather not use NimbleTools after starting a testing session?

If a student begins a testing session using NimbleTools, please encourage the student to finish the test session on the computer. Try to switch to paper only at the beginning of a new session. If the change to paper is critical, simply have the student answer all remaining questions in the current session in the answer booklet. The test proctor should ensure that the student locates the proper starting point in the answer booklet to begin entering his or her remaining responses in the paper answer booklet. Standard NECAP test administration procedures should be followed after switching to paper.

How Can I Get Help or Ask Questions?

If you have questions about NimbleTools or the specific accessibility tools, please view the orientation files on the Detailed Description of Tools page. If you have further questions, please email, or call (877) 636-0371. During the testing window, the help line hours are 7:30am to 4pm Eastern.

Will students and educators be asked about their experience using the resources developed through this grant?

Paper based surveys with pre-paid return envelopes will be mailed to all schools that have students use NimbleTools. Receiving information about the use NimbleTools and the resources developed through this grant is very important. Parental consent will be required for students to complete the survey. Please do your best to obtain parental consent and help us achieve a high response rate for both educator and student surveys.


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