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Creating tests

For frequently asked questions about creating tests, please click on the links below.

The curriculum strand slide bars on the Create Test screen are different from asTTle. What do they assess?

Reading and mathematics and statistics have been mapped to the new curriculum. The other documents relate to the previous curriculum.

In reading and mathematics and statistics, each strand area includes objectives that have been extrapolated from the indicators, derivied from the appropriate curriculum statement.

For more detailed information on each curriculum strand and what is being assessed please click here:

Why can't I pick more curriculum strands for the test I am creating?

The number of strands that can be selected is directly related to duration for the test and the test type. Any test score needs to be based on a sufficient number of items, and this minimum constrains the number of strands that can be chosen for any fixed time. To be precise:

  • If the test is a customised test and the test duration is:
    • 12 - 23 mins, the user can select up to 1 strand
    • 24 - 35 mins, the user can select up to 2 strands
    • 36 - 47 mins, the user can select up to 3 strands
    • 48 - 59 mins, the user can select up to 4 strands
    • 60 mins, the user can select up to 5 strands

Note: Pānui and pāngarau tests can only be between 24 and 40 minutes.

  • If the test is an adaptive test and the test duration is:
    • 18 mins, the user can select up to 1 strand
    • 19 - 24 mins, the user can select up to 2 strands
    • 25 - 36 mins, the user can select up to 3 strands
    • 37 - 48 mins, the user can select up to 4 strands
    • 49 - 60 mins, the user can select up to 5 strands

Writing and Tuhituhi tasks are always 40 minutes, and the user must select only one writing purpose.

What are the different attitude domains available?

For reading, mathematics and writing, teachers can select the Attitude Domain from one of the following:

Attitude – General This is the general set that have always appeared in asTTle, but rewritten into statements for students to respond to (six statements).
Engagement – General This is a set of general statements relating to students' engagement with school (six statements).
Motivation – General This is a set of general statements relating to students' motivation for school (eight statements).
Motivation – Subject specific There are different sets of statements relating to motivation in Reading, Mathematics and Writing (six statements).
Interest – Subject specific There are different sets of statements relating to students interest in Reading, Mathematics and Writing (six statements).
Self-Regulation – General This is a general set of statements relating to students self-regulation. This set could be used across subjects for senior students (six statements).
Self-Efficacy – Reading This is a set of statements relating to self-efficacy in reading (eight statements).

For the complete attitude sets by subject please click here:

Note: Not all attitude sets are appropriate for all ages, for example, self-regulation is aimed at older students. It is suggested teachers view the attitude set to consider suitability (for example, context, comprehension, readability) for their students.

The Attitude – General set is available for Pānui, Pāngarau and Tuhituhi tests.

Why do I need to set the number of closed questions when creating a test?

By default the proportion of closed questions is set to 'Some'. If you are happy with this, then you need not adjust the slider. For onscreen tests, the more closed questions, the more questions the computer can mark automatically.

When I add up the number of questions in the test summary list, there seem to be more than are in the test. Why is this?

All items were classified by teachers according to the New Zealand Curriculum. Some items measure more than one objective or curriculum strand, so they are counted for each strand they are connected to. For example, if one item was related to two different strands, it would be included in the count for both of these strands. This gives a total higher than the number of items in the test, but each item counts only once for the total score.

Why do the difficulty totals on the summary page not match the number of questions?

In order to improve the accuracy of measurement for pupils with extreme scores, e-asTTle may include very easy items (Below 2B) or very hard items (Above 6A) in a test designed to assess curriculum level 2 or 6, respectively. These items are not counted in the difficulty total and so the tally may sum up to less than the number of items in the test.

Why are the curriculum level and strands totals given as percentages for adaptive tests on the View Test Information screen?

If the test is an adaptive test, then the curriculum level and curriculum strands sections summarise the percent of questions included in the full set of possible questions that could appear for an adaptive test overall. This is because the questions a student gets on the 2nd and 3rd stages will vary, depending on how the student does on previous stages.

Why do I seem to get the same items in a test no matter how often I go through the test selection?

To avoid getting the same test questions you need to:

  • accept the test and the e-asTTle application will know that those questions have been used (Otherwise you will get the same questions until they have been used)
  • change your requirements. (If you ask for exactly the same thing, even if you have accepted previous tests, you may get similar items simply because there are not enough reading passages or questions that ask what you want.)

Check carefully before assuming the test is the same. The reading passage may be the same but the questions themselves may be different.

How long is an e-asTTle test?

For reading, pānui, maths and pāngarau tests, test time depends on the duration selected during test creation. Writing tests are always 40 minutes. The total length of an e-asTTle test can be determined by the Total Test Time.

For an onscreen test, time to answer attitude questions and review time is included. It does not include time to answer practice questions.

For paper tests, only the test duration is included and, therefore, teachers will need to allow time for students to answer attitude and practice questions.

When replacing questions, I can only see the first question in the set / some of the images are cut off the side of the screen.

Check your screen resolution in the Control Panel. In order to use Replace Questions, a screen resolution of 1024x768 is required.

I am trying to create an adaptive test, but I am stuck on the Processing: Creating New Test screen.

Test creation time can vary depending on the combination of strands and levels you have selected, and on the other activities taking place on the e-asTTle system. You are able to continue using other features in e-asTTle while test creation is occurring. If you go back to the View Existing Tests menu, the test will appear once it has been created.

When replacing questions, when I click on the Find Similar button, it says 'undefined'.

This is an issue on Mac Safari version 1.3.1. The minimum version of Safari supported by e-asTTle is Safari 2.0.4. Please upgrade your browser to a newer version.

Why do the test questions appear in a different order after I have replaced questions?

In e-asTTle, test questions are ordered in terms of difficulty. Thus, depending on the difficulty of your replacement selections, your test may appear in a different order than it did originally.

When I press the Find Similar button in Replace Questions, nothing happens/the page takes a long time to load.

When you click on the Find Similar button, the system is searching for similar items and loading new items and images. However, this screen does not display a green timer image.

The time Replace Questions takes to load will vary depending on the number of items found and on the other activities taking place on the e-asTTle system. If the system is taking some time to find replacement items, it may appear that nothing is happening.

When trying to create a test, I get a message saying 'There was a problem creating your test, please try again'

This occurs occasionally when e-asTTle cannot create a test meeting all the parameters set. You will need to adjust one or more parameters (such as test time, delivery method, strand or curriculum level selection) and try to create the test again.

Is there a limit to the number of times you can copy a test and increase the test duration?

Yes, it is possible to copy a test multiple times and add up to 10 minutes to the test duration each time. 70 minutes is the maximum duration for a test.

If I have copied a test and increased the test duration, how can I mark the test to show it was administered with extra time?

When you copy the test, change the test name to indicate that the new test has a longer duration.

I requested 'Most' for a particular level/strand, however my test was created with fewer questions in this level/strand than I expected.

The proportion of items in different levels and strands is limited by the number of items that match the criteria in e-asTTle. For example, e-asTTle test creation needs to take into account things like:

  • the curriculum levels of the item
  • the strand(s) of the items
  • whether the item is suitable for paper, onscreen or both
  • the type of item (adaptive tests, for example, only use closed items)
  • the reading time required for the items and/or any associated reading passages
  • the minimum number of items required to appear with a given reading passage
  • if the item has appeared in any tests you administered previously.

e-asTTle tries to create a test that meets the criteria you set when you created the test. However, occasionally your test will have level/strand proportions that don't exactly match the parameters requested.

How can I create a test with all closed questions?

To create a test with all closed questions:

  1. On Step 4 of the Create Test process (Select Attitude Domain and Delivery Method' page), use the sliders to select 'Most' Closed questions. e-asTTle will try to create a test using all closed questions, given the parameters you requested when creating the test.
  2. After the test is created and while it is in a Pending state, view the test questions or marking guide. If the test contains some open questions, you can use Replace Questions to try and find alternative items to replace the open questions.

Note: e-asTTle may not have sufficient closed items at the curriculum levels or Strands selected, to create a test with 100% closed questions.

Why do some of the questions look funny when they are displayed on the Replace Questions screen?

If you are replacing questions for a paper test, you may notice that some of the items display incorrectly on the Test Player. This is because some items in e-asTTle are designed for paper administration only. The items will display correctly once you make the replacements and view the test in PDF format.

Why is there no slider to choose the proportion of Closed questions for Adaptive tests?

Adaptive tests are designed to adjust in difficulty based on the student’s performance in the previous stages. For this to occur, e-asTTle needs to mark the questions in each stage as the student moves through the test. As e-asTTle can mark only closed questions automatically, all adaptive tests consist of 100% closed questions.

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