Creating a File Attach question

NOTE: File Attach questions are compatible with standard and legacy tests. For more information about delivery types, read About Surpass test delivery options.

A File Attach question allows candidates to work in an external app (like a word processor or spreadsheet editor) and upload a file as their response. You can provide a template file for candidates to complete, let candidates work from a blank file, or ask candidates to provide their own files.

This article explains how to create a basic File Attach item in Surpass, including details on the difference between Manual and Managed modes and how to set up Secure File Attach.

In This Article

1. Choose your item type

In your subject, select Create New Item to open the Question Types menu. Choose File Attach to create a blank File Attach item and go to the Edit screen.

2. Name your item

Enter the item’s name in the Name field.

3. Enter your question text

NOTE: Question stem tables and the formatting toolbar behave differently in Mixed subjects and HTML subjects. For more information, read Creating tables in items and Using the formatting toolbar.

Enter your question text in the question stem. Select Add Text Area to add an additional question stem. You can have a maximum of five question stems per item.

Open Additional Options  to add source material or assistive media to your question stem. In mixed subjects, you can also add a table to your question stem (in HTML subjects, tables can be added using the formatting toolbar).

4. Choose your File Attach mode

Select either Managed or Manual to set your File Attach mode. For information on each mode, refer to the following table.

Candidates’ responses are automatically uploaded when they select Save in the external application.

Managed mode is recommended only for tests delivered in locked-down SecureClient.

WARNING: Do not select Managed if your File Attach item is to be used in web delivery because candidates will be unable to upload their file.
Candidates must select Upload in the test driver and find the file on their device’s local storage to submit their response.

Manual mode is recommended for tests delivered in a web browser or unlocked SecureClient, because candidates have access to their device’s file explorer.

5. Set up files for candidates

How you set up your files depends on your selected File Attach mode. Expand the relevant section for instructions.

Setting up Managed mode

In Managed mode, candidates can work on up to five files. Candidates’ responses are automatically uploaded when they select Save in the external application.

Setting up Secure File Attach

Secure File Attach restricts the functionality of Microsoft Word and Excel instances opened by a Managed File Attach item in SecureClient. Candidates are only able to use Save, which uploads their response to SecureClient. Other functions like Save as, Print, and Open are disabled.

Setting up Manual mode

In Manual mode, you can define the type and number of files candidates can download and upload. Candidates must select Upload in the test driver and find the file on their device’s local storage to submit their response.

6. Set the question’s marks

Set the item’s total marks in the Mark field.

IMPORTANT: File Attach items must be human marked.

7. Select a workflow status

Set the item’s workflow status in the Status drop-down menu. Only items set to Live can be used in a test.

An item's workflow status being set to Live.

8. Preview your question

WARNING: Flash is no longer supported by web browsers. Use the Surpass Viewer to preview items in the legacy test driver. For more information, read Installing the Surpass Viewer.

To see your item from a candidate’s perspective, select Preview .

In Mixed subjects, you can preview your item in the HTML test driver. Use the Preview arrow to open the Preview Options menu and select Preview in HTML . Any custom CSS is applied in the Preview screen. For more information on custom CSS, see Creating a subject in Setup.

If you need to continue working on the item, select Edit to return to the Edit screen.

9. Saving and closing your item

Select Save to save your item to your subject.

To see additional saving options, use the Save arrow to open the Save Options menu. Select Save & Close to save the item and return to the Subjects screen. Select Save & New to save the item and create another File Attach item.

WARNING: Saving changes to live items included in scheduled tests might affect candidate delivery.

Select Close to leave the Edit screen. If you have unsaved changes, you are prompted to either save or discard them.