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Technical Requirements and Troubleshooting

WorkKeys Online Technical Specifications

Effective 6.1.2017

The computers used by examinees to access the WorkKeys Assessments (“Test Delivery Workstations”) must remain under the control and supervision of the authorized location, and shall not permit examinees to take possession of them. Administrative Workstations and Test Delivery Workstations may not utilize remote access technology (e.g. desktop sharing applications, etc.) to access the WorkKeys assessments. ACT supports and acknowledges delivery on desktop and laptop computers that comply with the following specifications:

Administrative Workstations

  • Operating Systems
    • Windows 7-10
    • MAC OS 10.x.x (using the Firefox web browser only)
  • Web Browsers
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, and 11 (enterprise mode)
    • Firefox 34+
    • Chrome 41+
  • Reporting
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader 7, 8, or 9 is required to view reports. Adobe Acrobat X is not supported at this time.

Test Delivery Workstations

  • Operating Systems
    • Windows 7-10
    • MAC OS 10.9+
    • Chrome OS 48+
  • Web Browsers
    • Firefox 45+
    • Chrome 48+
  • Screen Resolution
    • 1024 x 768, minimum
    • Minimum size: 12 inches measured diagonally
  • Attached Keyboard is required
  • Special Browser Considerations
    • The workstation browser must have JavaScript enabled and no AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) blockers
    • Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 Security settings (Tools > Internet Options > Security tab > Custom Level button)
  • Scripting
    • Active X controls and Plug-ins
    • Run ActiveX controls and plug-in = Enable
    • Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting = Enable Firefox (No special setup required)
  • Network
    • The ACT domain (act.org) and address space cannot be blocked (e.g., through firewall, router, or other settings).
    • Workstations must have broadband connections (256 Kbits/second or faster sustained download capacity to the workstation). Dial-up connections are not supported.

Additional Hardware/Software Requirements for Workplace Observation test delivery:

The first step to determine if your site meets the hardware/software requirements for Workplace Observation is to perform a Workstation Validation test located at: https://testadministration.org/nontestcds/launch?TESTTITLEID=119.

  • Video:
    • Workstation must be capable of receiving and displaying audio/video at 256Kbits/second or faster at a sustained download capacity.
    • Dial-up connections are not supported.
  • Audio/Volume:
    • Proctor must make sure each workstation's volume control is not set to mute.
  • Additional Software/Other:
    • Flash (version 9.0 or higher) is required. The Flash player must be set to a minimum of 100KB of local storage. Flash cookies must be enabled.
    • Video card
    • Headphones (headphones with inline adjustable volume control preferred)

Last updated: 5.1.2017

 

 Local Scan

Local Scan is the software used to locally scan the ACT® WorkKeys® answer documents for these tests:

  • Applied Math
  • Graphic Literacy
  • Workplace Documents
  • Observation 
  • Applied Technology

Local Scan replaces Express Score, which can only scan answer documents from the old tests (Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information).

New Software Technical Information

The new software will be compatible with the following :

  • Scantron OpScan 4ES
  • Scantron iNSIGHT 4ES
  • Scantron OpScan 6/8

This software operates on the following Operating Systems:

  • WIN 7, 32 bit & 64 bit editions
  • WIN 8, 32 bit & 64 bit editons
  • WIN 10, 32 bit & 64 editions

Please visit this link for more details if you have questions about your scanner or need to upgrade in order to use the new software, http://www.scantron.com/campaigns/ACT-Workkeys-Scanner-Upgrade-Request-Info

Ordering Local Scan 

If you have not done so already, and would like to add Local Scan to your site agreement, go to https://pages2.act.org/order-workkeys.html. Enter your email address and other information about your site account.Details on the download and install process will be provided via email when ACT updates your agreement. Contact ACT at 800.967.5539 if you have additional questions.

Troubleshooting

First Steps

  1. Verify your systems meet all hardware/software requirements.
  2. Confirm browser settings are correct on each workstation to be used.
  3. Verify that bandwidth to the workstations meets minimum requirements.
    • Determine the published bandwidth (throughput to the Internet) that is available to the testing lab by involving your network administrator/engineer.
    • Investigate the number of workstations outside the lab that will be sharing your throughput at the same timecandidate testing will be provided.
    • Verify the published throughput by utilizing the instructions in this document for throughput testing.
    • From your data, determine a best estimate of the bandwidth expected to be available during WorkKeys testing. Recognize that this is only an estimate. Various factors outside of your control can have an impact on available bandwidth. Here are two examples (this list is abbreviated/not all inclusive):
      1. Network connectivity can be disrupted for various reasons (including at your Internet Service Provider location).
      2. Anyone accessing the Internet from your site may decide to perform a large download at the time of testing. Note: Reducing the number of workstations able to use the shared bandwidth during test delivery should be a goal.
  4. Verify all remaining requirements presented in this document by checking off each one.
  5. Perform practice test to verify successful delivery of a WorkKeys exam.

Trace Routes

If there is a need to run a trace route, verify that there are not an excessive number of hops or significant response times. Expect to see a response time of less than 300 milliseconds. Longer network response times indicate a higher likelihood of data communication failures.

When performing a trace route, use the host TESTREGISTRATION.ORG

This will verify connection to the appropriate servers, and that the network is resolving DNS correctly.

If the trace route is not resolved, verify connection with a known website (e.g., www.yahoo.com).

The trace route utility can be accessed through Start > Run > (enter the word "Command"). This opens a system command window where the text "TRACERT TESTREGISTRATION.ORG" can be entered.

NSLOOKUP

  • Verify that the NSLOOKUP utility can resolve an IP address for TESTREGISTRATION.ORG. If it cannot, attempt to resolve a more common network address website (e.g., www.yahoo.com).

Certain network and workstation settings have been found to prevent names from being resolved at the testing workstations. This may be a symptom of inherent network problems at the site that will slow or otherwise hinder the testing experience. The NSLOOKUP utility can be accessed through Start > Run > (enter the word "Command"). This opens a system command window where the text "NSLOOKUP TESTREGISTRATION.ORG" (without the quotes) can be entered at the command line.

When this command is run, an IP address should be displayed, which means the workstation is resolving IP addresses correctly. However, if no IP address is displayed, then DNS/other network settings may need to be corrected on the network. This situation should be addressed by a qualified network technician at the site.

Network Caching General Recommendations

  • Turn off all caching (except browser caching) for 151.148.x.x
  • Caching to be turned off includes proxy servers.

Other Possible Concerns

  • Content filters: Some filter settings may cause conflicts with WorkKeys Internet Version. Verify that your filter allows all communication from 151.148.x.x
  • Firewall: Verify that standard ports 443 and 80 are available for use.
  • Throughput: There are various utilities available that test Internet throughput speed. Verify that speed and available bandwidth meet industry standards (e.g., https://speakeasy.net/speedtest or www.speedtest.net). Note that such utilities only test the available bandwidth at a single point in time. The available bandwidth may be quite different while students are testing due to various factors (e.g., the number of on-campus students accessing the Internet, the type of downloads or uploads being performed, local technical problems). ACT does NOT recommend running a throughput speed testing utility such as this while students are testing. Doing so will reduce the throughput available for the WorkKeys Internet Version testing experience.
  • Real-time Monitoring: Several shareware utilities are available that allow monitoring of networks (e.g., www.pingplotter.com). These programs can be run by a proctor or technician during student testing without adverse effects. Review directions below. Note: ACT recommends complying with all third-party software licensing requirements.
  • Microsoft Synchronize: Verify that utilities such as this are not set up to perform regular updates of off-line webpages. Such updates could occur during the test event and affect WorkKeys Internet Version performance.
  • Packet Shaping: Consult your network administrator with respect to whether they utilize packet shaping on your network. Some features, including those that perform packet manipulation and caching, may not be supported. Others, including bandwidth reservation to ACT websites, can be beneficial.
  • On student workstations, verify that no other utilities or services are accessing the Internet on a regular basis (e.g., Weatherbug™).
  • Verify that no utilities capable of producing pop-up windows during the test session are running (e.g., MSN Messenger, Microsoft anti-spyware utilities). Pop-up windows can interfere with the overall testing experience.

Customer-Specific Network Issues and Recommendations

  • PingPlotter recommended settings:
    • Enable MAX TIME column (right click on column header for options).
    • Under ADDRESS to TRACE enter the ACT server name: testregistration.org
    • Note: Times listed in trace routing programs such as PingPlotter are not cumulative. Each time provided on-screen is the time it took for the packet to travel from the source computer to the location on that line. Note: It is possible for intermediate hops to take longer than the final destination if packet processing times at that location take an extended amount of time.
    • Throughput testing: When choosing a server location for throughput testing, choose a city that is fairly close to your location. The farther away the server is from your site, the less reliable the connectivity speed readings will tend to be.

Please note: ACT does not support Thin Client workstations for Validus.

If you have any questions, call 800.967.5539, or email workkeys@act.org.