About Surpass test delivery options

As well as traditional paper production, Surpass supports test delivery on multiple digital platforms. Whether a test is being taken within a web browser, on an iPad (or an Android tablet using our Surpass (Legacy) tablet app), or on an offline Windows machine running SecureClient in lockdown mode, you can be assured that candidates will always receive the best and most reliable text experience possible.

The article explains the differences between the available test delivery options in Surpass.

In this article

About the Surpass test driver

The Surpass test driver is the default delivery engine for Surpass tests taken on a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer, built on HTML5. Tests taken in both web browsers and our SecureClient application use the Surpass test driver as the means of delivery. It frequently receives updates and unique new features.

Items must be authored in HTML subjects to be delivered in the standard test driver. HTML subject items feature advanced functionality not found in their Mixed subject counterparts (for example, 60 minute time limits for Audio Capture items). Mixed subjects are home to items delivered in our legacy test driver, although HTML-compatible items in Mixed subjects can also be delivered in the standard test driver.

Tests using the legacy test driver must be delivered using the Surpass Viewer following Flash’s end-of-life at the end of 2020. For more information, read Installing the Surpass Viewer. Therefore, we recommend that, wherever possible, all tests are delivered in our standard, HTML test driver.

To learn how to set up a test for HTML or legacy delivery, read ‘Test Delivery Options’ in About test settings. For information on how to access the Surpass test driver, read Opening the Surpass test driver.

Surpass tests can also be taken in the HTML test driver on tablet devices.

NOTE: You can deliver Surpass item content in another test driver by exporting the items either in a QTI file or individually via the API.

Delivering tests in a web browser

The Surpass test driver can be used to deliver tests in a web browser of your choice. This can be launched from the Web Delivery section of the Launch Test screen.

For more information about web delivery for Surpass tests, read About web delivery.

NOTE: HTML tests run natively in web browsers and do not require the installation of third-party plugins.

Delivering tests in SecureClient

NOTE: For information on what devices SecureClient is supported, read System Requirements.

SecureClient is a standalone desktop delivery app with offline test support and built-in protections against internet and device failure. It features lockdown capabilities that prevent candidates from leaving the test session and accessing any other apps on their device during the examination. SecureClient also features several unique functions, like the high fidelity image viewer.

SecureClient can be installed from the Secure Delivery section of the Launch Test screen.

For more information about SecureClient, including installation instructions, read About SecureClient.

Delivering tests using BYOD SecureClient

IMPORTANT: If you are interested in using the BYOD SecureClient, speak with your Surpass Account Manager.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to when candidates are allowed to take tests at a test centre on their personal machines rather than devices provided by the awarding organisation or test centre. Tests can be taken in a BYOD version of SecureClient, which contains some additional functionality:

  • Additional security measures – a virtual desktop overrides the candidate’s desktop to mitigate any open applications. Screen recording software is blocked. BYOD SecureClient auto-closes if suspicious activity is detected.
  • Candidate resume code – candidates must enter a code provided by the invigilator to re-enter a test closed before being submitted. For more information, read ‘Actions on the Invigilate screen’ in About the Invigilate screen.
  • Device information included in candidate logging – candidate logging is automatically enabled for BYOD SecureClient. Read ‘Test Delivery Options’ in About Test Settings for more information on candidate logging.
  • Simulated Word and Excel editors for Managed File Attach questions – Word and Excel editors auto-save every 30 seconds. Read ‘Setting up Managed mode’ in Creating a File Attach question for more information on Managed File Attach questions.

To learn how to configure a test for BYOD SecureClient, read ‘Setting up BYOD mode’ in Configuring a test for SecureClient.

Delivering tests using the legacy test driver

Tests delivered in web browsers can also use the legacy test driver if opened in the Surpass Viewer. For more information, read Installing the Surpass Viewer.

Legacy test delivery options can be access from the Legacy Delivery section of the Launch Test screen.

NOTE: SecureClient contains the Adobe Flash Player plugin, so this does not need to be installed on candidates' devices in order for legacy tests to be delivered securely. SecureClient automatically detects which test driver it should launch for the test based on the test configuration.

Delivering tests on the Surpass (Legacy) tablet app

Surpass (Legacy) is a tablet delivery app available for Android and Apple tablet platforms. No new tools are required to create and deliver content, as the app is fully integrated with existing Surpass products.

The Surpass (Legacy) tablet app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store via the Legacy Delivery page of the Launch Test screen.

A test must be certified for tablet delivery during test creation for it be delivered in the Surpass (Legacy) tablet app. Furthermore, not all item types are supported in the Surpass (Legacy) tablet app. For more information, read About the Surpass (Legacy) tablet app.

Delivering tests on paper

As well as digital, on-screen tests, Surpass can be used to generate traditional paper tests that can be printed out and distributed to candidates either in person or by post. Paper test analogues can also be created for on-screen tests if candidates prefer to take their tests on paper rather than a computer.

For more information, read Creating a Paper and Onscreen test in the Test Wizard and Downloading printable tests in the Test Wizard.

Further reading

To learn more about Surpass, read the following articles: