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Test Builder

You can use Test Builder to create custom objective‐based tests using objectives from the Compass Learning curriculum, your standard state objectives, or your own custom district or school objectives. As part of the test‐building process, you first select a standard set, subject, and level; then, you select the desired associated objectives to include in the custom test. 


You can make changes to the order and number of objectives for each test and to the test item property settings. All of the tests you create can be saved and edited.


Objective-Based tests are independent from assignments. If you copy an assignment that contains an objective-based test, you will have control over the assignment properties, but not the test properties (unless you also created the test).

Building an Objective-Based Test

To build an objective-based test:


  1. Click Assessment on the main menu, then click Test Builder.
  2. Select a set of standards from the menu provided. For each custom test, you may select objectives from only one set of standards.

Depending on the curriculum your school or district has purchased, you may see an "End of Course" standard set (for high school curriculum) and/or a state-specific standard set (for English Language Arts and Math). For example, TAKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) is the state test for English Language Arts and Math in Texas.

Note: If you are creating a test that you intend to share with the entire district, ensure that you use the district standard set. Using one school’s standard set for a district test makes the test items unavailable for teachers at different schools in the district.

  1. Select a subject. The subjects available are based on the standard set you selected.
  2. Select a grade level.
  3. Optional: To further focus your search for objectives, enter a keyword.
  4. From the Objective Additions menu, specify how you want objectives to be added to a custom test:
  • Add to existing objectives adds newly selected objectives to existing objectives in the test, if any. Select this option when you build a custom test that includes objectives from multiple subjects and/or levels. For example, if you want to include objectives from more than one subject area—Math and Geometry—you will select this option.
  • Replace all objectives includes only the newly selected objectives in the test, replacing any existing objectives, if any, that were previously defined. This option allows you to start building a custom test from the beginning and also may be used when you are editing an existing custom test. For new tests, Replace all objectives is selected by default. To build a test that includes objectives from different subjects and/or levels, select Add to existing objectives.
  1. Click Next. The Select Objectives screen displays the objectives that match your search criteria.
  2. Check the objectives you want to include in your custom test. If you include an objective that cannot be printed—typically a voiced question—the test cannot be administered offline. Objectives that cannot be printed are marked with an icon showing a printer with a red X over it:

cannot print.png

  1. Click Next. The Review Selected Objectives and Items page opens. It lists the objectives you selected. To review a test item, if available, click the objective code next to the item. The test item will open in a separate window.
  2. If you wish to make changes to the objectives you selected, click Back to return to the Select Objectives screen. From there, select or deselect objectives to make the changes you want.

Note: If you want to add objectives from a different subject or level, click Back until you return to the Select Standard page  (the first page you viewed during the process of selecting objectives). From here, select the Add to existing objectives option. Then click Next to return to the Select Objectives page. Add the additional objectives you want to include.

  1. When you have finished, click Next to go back to the Review page.
  2. When you have finished reviewing objectives, click Next. The Test Properties page opens.

Setting Test Properties

From the test properties page, define usage details for your test.

select test properties.png

Set the test properties as follows:

  • Enter a name for the test. It's best to give your objective-based test a name that can be easily undertood in reports. Include relevant details in the name. For example, the test title "Common Core Language English III High School Reading Standards" conveys more meaning than "English III."
  • Enter a message for your student. Provide a message that students will see on the test title page. This is optional.
  • Draft Mode. Use draft mode if you want to conduct a review before administering the test. A draft can be viewed, but not assigned. This option is set to No by default, as tests and assignments in draft mode cannot be located through a search in the assignment archive.
  • Multiple Sessions. This option allows students to return to an unfinished test at a later time. (However, students will be unable to return to questions already viewed in the previous session.)
  • Allow Early Turn In. This option is available only if Multiple Sessions is set to Yes. It allows students to turn in the test before they have viewed all of the test items. Setting this option to No prevents students from accidentally turning in an uncompleted test.
  • Mastery Score. This is the minimum score a student must reach to master each objective on the test. It is set to 70 by default.
  • Build Learning Path. Creates a learning path to correspond with the objectives in a test. This option is set to Yes by default, as learning paths are frequently used as pre-test tools. 
  • Navigation Allowed. Enables students to navigate sequentially--forward and backward--or non-sequentially through the test. Note that if Multiple Sessions is set to Yes, students cannot return to questions they already viewed during a previous session.
  • Randomize Items. Selecting Yes for this option varies the order of test items. 
  • Minutes Allowed. Sets a time limit on students' testing sessions. The default setting of zero specifies unlimited time allowed for the test. If Multiple Sessions is set to Yes, the value you specify here applies to all test sessions.

When you have finished setting test properties, click Next. The Confirmation page opens.

The Test Confirmation Page

The confirmation page displays all of your test properties and lists the objectives included in your test.

test confirmation.png

To make changes, click Back. To save the test, click SaveAssignment Builder launches, displaying your test as part of a new assignment. 

built test in assignment builder.png

From here, follow the steps described in Assignment Builder to complete your assignment.

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