How to ensure online test results reliability?


Testportal offers many features that help you protect the reliability of test or exam results:

  1. Restrictive time limits.

  2. Secure test-sharing methods, such as individual access codes or the dedicated Microsoft Teams app.

  3. Making tests available to all respondents in the same, short period of time.

  4. Randomization of questions and answers. Question subsets and drawing mechanisms.

  5. Blocking returning to the previous questions (backtracking).

  6. Reliable, non-intrusive proctoring with the Honest Respondent Technology.

  7. You also can use Testportal with teleconferencing tools. Respondent live camera feed access gives you control close to on-site tests.

Reliable results of your test allow you to make well-judged decisions based on dependable data. Testportal offers several features that will help you ensure security during online assessments. Use them for your remote assessments to stop cheating and guarantee that the results you receive show real skills and knowledge of your respondents.

Why is it important to ensure online test reliability?

Testportal-based security features help ensure fair and valid quizzes, tests and exams. They also reduce cheating, providing assessment organizers with results that reflect the skills and knowledge of their respondents.

Mechanisms that guarantee results reliability

Reliable results are those that reflect the real skills and knowledge of your respondents. Reliability can be affected by online cheating, which is why Testportal features several tools that make dealing with this problem much more straightforward.

A reliable test with restrictive online test time limits

You decide when respondents can start their assessments and how much time they have to complete the test or answer each question. You can also introduce the test activation deadline, allowing respondents to start their tests only until the selected date. Find these options in the Time settings tab in the Test configuration menu.

Testportal measures assessment time on the server side, making it virtually impossible for respondents to alter it.

Consider your questions and their difficulty level when deciding on the test time settings. If you give your respondents less time, your test results will be more reliable.

Make sure you read more about how to set the test activity period in another of our articles.

How to make results more reliable with fixed schedule of online test time?

Introducing limited time windows that are identical for all respondents is an efficient anti-cheating solution.

To ensure credible and reliable results, restrict the test window to a short period of time. It is also a good idea to force all respondents to start their assessments simultaneously.

Combine these methods with the question and answer randomization, restrictive online test time limits, blocking navigation between test questions and the Honest Respondent Technology to get a good level of security.

Use individual codes or a dedicated Microsoft Teams app access for reliable testing

If you share your test using individual access codes or in the Microsoft Teams app, only respondents with the unique code and team (or chat) members with whom you share the test can take the assessment. It helps you control who takes your tests and how many times.

Individual codes and Microsoft Teams app are perfect for strict access control. With unique tokens, respondents can take the test only the number of times you allow, regardless of their browser.

Discover more information about access to test on Testportal to make your assessments even more secure and reliable.

Question and answer randomization. Question subsets and drawing mechanisms.

You can make cheating much harder by randomizing the order of questions and answers in the assessment. Find this feature in the Test sets tab in the Test configuration menu. With randomization enabled, your questions are randomly selected at the beginning of the test based on the settings for each question category.

For example, when creating a complex language test, you can highlight questions related to vocabulary, grammar, or reading comprehension. Our platform can draw a specific number of questions from each category and create a unique test set for each respondent. In this case, the order of answers is also random.

This way, you can create an extensive questions database and select question subsets for each test. With the randomization feature, the more questions you make, the better result reliability you can achieve.

No returns to previous questions (backtracking)

Depending on the test type, you can disable answering questions in any order. Your respondents will be able to answer questions in a pre-set order only. Find this option in the Time settings tab, in the Test configuration menu, at the bottom of the screen. It forces answering each question when it is first displayed is the default option.

If you set a time limit for each question, this, too, will be a default option.

Non-intrusive proctoring of the online test with the Honest Respondent Technology

Honest Respondent Technology allows you to detect when respondents click outside their test tab in the web browser or Microsoft Teams app. Each attempt is flagged as an incident.

Apart from live monitoring, the test owner receives notifications about each respondent who left the test. It is also possible to terminate the test if a respondent triggers incidents over the allowed limit.

Discover more about Testportal's Honest Respondent Technology and make your tests more reliable.

Testportal features even more security mechanisms. Before starting the test, you can also require your respondents to enable their devices' cameras. In this case, supervision by the test owner (or other designated persons) is necessary during the assessment, similar to traditional on-site exams.

We recommend using this feature with our dedicated Microsoft Teams app, but it also works with other video conferencing software.

We want Testportal access to be easy, without any external software. High availability and simplicity, however, come at a price. We have no control over what the respondents installed on their devices and how their software can manipulate the website content.

That is why in addition to the Honest Respondent Technology, we also recommend using the test structure itself to discourage cheating. Question randomization, time limits and access restrictions can ensure high reliability of assessment results. If your respondents want a good grade, they won't have time to cheat.

The Honest Respondent Technology is an additional safeguard and cheating deterrent. The mechanisms we offer to increase the test reliability are native to Testportal and provide excellent value for money.

Together with the Examus platform, we offer more advanced options, such as:

  • face recognition,

  • speech detection,

  • person identification,

  • respondent’s absence detection,

  • detecting the use of headphones and a smartphone,

  • detecting gaze direction,

  • synchronized recording of the webcam feed and the student's desktop,

  • recording sounds from the student's microphone, synchronous with the video,

  • second monitor and screen sharing detection,

  • oral exam proctoring.

If you are interested in making your online exam or test reliable with Examus, contact us at

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