The Test-taker Tools are a set of accommodation tools which are designed to aid the Test-taker in various ways when taking tests.
The Test-taker Tools which have been activated for a Test are displayed on the blue bar along the bottom of the screen. There, you will find both the name of the tool and a corresponding icon. They can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate icon.
Note: Test-taker tools can be activated either for a whole Section of a test, or for each Item. Not all Test-taker Tools are activated for every test – this depends on the test configuration.
The tools available can be divided into the following groups:
There are three different types of calculator available in TAO: The simple calculator provides you with a basic calculator, the BODMAS calculator provides you with a calculator which functions according to the BODMAS rule, and the scientific calculator provides you with a calculator for solving science, engineering and mathematical problems. If one of these calculators has been enabled for the test you are taking, you will see ‘Calculator’ on the blue bar at the bottom of your test. Click on it to activate it.
Note: It is not possible to choose between the types of calculator: the type which has been activated for your test is the one that will appear when you click on ‘Calculator’.
The set of tools which serves as visual aids can help you to focus visually on a particular part of the test question in various different ways:
The Answer Eliminator allows you to eliminate answers in Choice interactions. This is useful if there is a long list of answer choices, and you have problems processing so many options at once. By using the Answer Eliminator you can, for example, strike through certain options if you are sure they are incorrect, enabling you to consider the remaining ones with greater ease.
Answer Masking allows you to mask and unmask answers in choice interactions. It helps similarly to the Answer Eliminator above.
Area Masking allows you to mask parts of the item with a movable mask. Doing this may enable you to focus on the unmasked area with greater ease.
The Highlighter allows you to highlight parts of the text in an item.
The Line Reader allows you to visually isolate a line of text. Again, this may help you to focus on that particular line in a long text.
The Magnifier provides you with a movable magnifier tool. You might want to use this check certain parts of a long text.
The Zoom Tool allows you to zoom in on an area of an item. It has a similar use to the Magnifier.
The tool offered in TAO which serves as an aural aid is the text-to-speech tool. It gives you the possibility of hearing the test question as well as reading it.
The text-to-speech functionality allows you to hear the questions of a test being read aloud, giving you another option to make sure you have understood the content correctly. Clicking on the text-to-speech option on the blue bar will bring up a recorder display, with play and stop buttons. For more information on how the text-to-speech function works, see Text-to-speech.
Note: This functionality is only available in the Ignite/Premium Edition of TAO.
Flag an item for review
Flagging an answer to a particular question allows you to review the answer at a later stage. You can do this by clicking on ‘Flag for Review’ on the blue bar. Flagged items are marked in the review panel on the left. There, as well as seeing which items you have flagged, you can also see how many of the test questions you have viewed, how many you have answered, and how many you have still to answer. You can return to flagged items by clicking on the flag in the review panel. You can hide the panel again if you wish by clicking on Hide Review.
A list of keyboard shortcuts for these tools can be found in the section Keyboard Shortcuts.
Timer, Progress Bar and Connection Indicator
You find these three utilities on the top right of the Test Runner. Strictly spoken, they aren’t test-taker tools, but they appear in the same context.
If a time limit has been set for a test, the time you have left will be shown in the middle of the bar across the top of the screen once the test has been started. You can choose to hide this if you wish, by clicking on the timer next to the time display. Note that when you set timers on multiple levels, for instance, one for the test and one for a section, they will appear side-by-side.
This bar indicates the overall progress in the test as a percentage.
When you begin a test, a connection indicator in the form of a connectivity icon will appear on the left-hand side of the blue bar across the top. The symbol changes when the connection is lost, i.e. it will have a slash through. You can also check connectivity by hovering over it: if your computer is connected to the internet, the message Connected to Server will appear.