Technical Tips for Administering the ParaPro Assessment
Once you have your assessments from the ParaPro Assessment Administration Website, review the following:
- Download and run the Installation Program from the ETS ParaPro Assessment website to each testing workstation. Click "I Agree," then follow the "Candidate Testing" link. This installation program installs Java Runtime Environment 1.6 (JRE), which includes Java Web Start (JWS) as well as the ETS iBT keyboard driver.
Before starting, make sure you have:
- administrative privileges on each computer running Windows XP (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 and 64 bit), Windows 7 or 8 (32 and 64 bit), Mac OSX v10.6 (Snow Leopard) or higher operating system that allow you to install software
- 10MB of available disk space on your hard drive (the download is approximately a 9MB application)
- permission to download files via the Internet from the ParaPro Assessment website
- enough time to complete the download (It could take a few minutes or more than half hour depending on your Internet connection speed.)
Reboot the computer to complete the installation, otherwise the ParaPro application won't run. Contact your local technical support staff with installation problems.
If your computers have desktop security systems (like Centurion Guard™, Deep Freeze™, Clean Slate™ or Fortress™) that control what software resides on the PC, consult your local technical staff before installing software on these computers.
- After successful software installation, run the Verification Tool that's available at the ETS ParaPro Assessment website. The Verification Tool performs three tests on your system to verify readiness for taking ParaPro tests. These include a:
- check for proper installation of Java Web Start/Java Runtime Environment
- screen resolution test
- communication test with the ParaPro server
You must run all three tests on all computers delivering ParaPro tests.
ParaPro requires consistent and reliable communication between the testing PC and the ETS server, so improperly configured networks can have a negative effect on testing. Look at the results of the communication test (100 lines of communication timings and a summary). Check for any individual communications that took more than five seconds. Also look at the average. An average of more than two seconds, or any individual communication taking more than five seconds, may cause problems when the test is run. Copy, paste and save all text into a text editor, and share it with ETS Technical Support if you encounter many restarts during testing.
- Delivery of ParaPro requires an 800x600 screen resolution. The display resolution automatically switches to 800X600 when the assessment starts. In some cases, computers are configured to prevent screen resolution changes. If the resolution switch didn't work properly when running the Verification Tool or when testing, consult your local technical staff.
- If your Internet access is through a firewall or proxy server, check with your technical staff to make sure you:
- are allowed to access the ETS ParaPro Assessment Website using http and https network protocols (TCP port 80 & 433)
- have permissions to download files with extension type JAR & JNLP
Check the Internet options for your browser to determine if you're communicating through a proxy server. If unsure, consult your local technical staff.
If your Internet access includes a proxy server and you have communication problems (excessive "Retry" messages and many restarts during the test), your technical staff may want to check for any applied "filtering" that may slow down or reject communications between ETS and your PC.
ParaPro relies on Sun's Java™ Web Start technology to start the application and inherits any security settings from it. Java Web Start doesn't support proprietary Windows authentication methods like NTLM. If you find ParaPro can't start because you're required to authenticate yourself to the network and it doesn't work, contact your local network support. Proxy servers using Basic authentication are well supported by Java Web Start.
- Test takers may want a printed copy of their score at the end, so make sure each computer used for administering ParaPro can print from the web browser — either to a printer attached to the computer or to a network-attached printer.
- The ParaPro administrative interface and the candidate test launch use browser pop-up windows. If your computer has software installed that prohibits pop-ups, disable it while using ParaPro. Virus-scanning software can also considerably slow down the display of ParaPro test items. ETS doesn't recommend you run a computer without virus protection, but certain software may require disabling during testing.
- If testing is interrupted by a power loss or a network interruption, restart the assessment using the same session key (within the time specified by the Administration Guide). If necessary, another workstation can be used to restart the test, as long as it has been prepared for ParaPro administration.
- If you need to stop an assessment, tell the test taker to click on the "Exit" button. Click "Yes" when prompted, and then the "I have been instructed to exit" button. In an emergency, turn off the PC's power.
- Session keys for each assessment are displayed on the Admin "Assessment Status" screen. Session keys are case-sensitive and must be entered exactly as displayed. Session keys can't be shared and each key must be given to only one candidate.
- Always enter the ParaPro site through the main page. Don't bookmark any location other than https://parapro.ets.org/parapro/. Bookmarking a specific candidate's "begin test" page and starting from there can cause test-delivery problems. For problems starting a test, close all browsers and restart at the main page. Navigate to the Candidate link and re-enter the session key.
- If the ParaPro assessment application can't communicate with the ETS server, several "Retry" windows will appear. If still unsuccessful, it will terminate. If this happens more than two or three times during a test:
- Ask your local technical support if there are local network problems.
- See if there's excessive traffic on your local area network. This may slow communications.
- Stop as many other applications on the affected PC as you can, including virus scanning.