Frequently asked questions

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I have not received any email from SMART after signing in.

Most likely, a spam filter in your email application has intercepted the message. You might find it in the "spam" or 'Junk E-mail" folder. If it is there, you need to right-click on the message, select "Junk e-mail" and then "Add sender to safe senders list". This will adjust the spam filter settings.

Why are capable students sometimes reported at a low stage?

Capable students might be reported at a low stage because of careless errors, omitting questions or because they really have gaps in their understanding. First check the "percent attempted" column of the results. If the student has not attempted most of the questions, the diagnosis will be unreliable. In this case, ask the student to repeat the test.

If the student has attempted most of the questions, the diagnosis is worth checking because even very capable students do sometimes have gaps in their understanding. Sometimes good procedural skills can disguise a lack of fundamental understanding. Ask the student to explain his or her thinking on some of the easier questions to you to check the report.

Note that stages are assigned on the basis of all the student responses. Multiple careless errors or omissions will interfere with a reliable diagnosis. However incorrect answers and consequently unexpectedly low stages are more often the result of faulty thinking than the result of careless errors.

Using iPads and other tablet devices

We advise you to trial the test that you need on your iPad or tablet computer before making the quiz available to students. Tablet devices such as the iPad currently can be used for nearly but not all smart tests. The screen size is small, so sometimes the format is not good. Additionally, some types of questions need a more sophisticated browser or coding in order to operate. We are gradually updating smart tests to cater for tablet devices.

The screen on a smart phone is usually too small.

Geometry items and aspect ratio

The aspect ratio of the screen resolution impacts on the shape of some diagrams in some geometry smart tests, causing students to make errors and the resulting diagnosis is wrong. This possibility is flagged at the beginning of affected tests. Please check using school equipment, and do not use the smart test if it is an unfixable problem at your school.

Why are students' scores not given?

Smart tests do not report the number of items correct, because the diagnosis depends on the patterns in the answers, not just whether they are right or wrong. Students only have misconceptions which cause SOME items to be correct. Miasconceptions also cause some answers to be correct - otherwise students would think differently! So the number of items correct sometimes just depends on how well they match the misconception that the student has. Smart tests only report whether the student gets more or less than 80% of the questions correct. This is to quickly indicate whether a good student might have accidentally many most questions.

Why is my good student at a low stage? Is this test reliable?

The two columns 'percent correct' and 'percent attempted' are useful for understanding unexpected results, such as a good student who may have performed badly. If students have not attempted most of the questions, then the diagnosis is not reliable. Ask these students to repeat the test. Check first that they know about pressing the 'submit' button.

If the usually strong student has attempted most of the questions and has a low stage, the diagnosis is worth checking because even very capable students do sometimes have gaps in their understanding. Sometimes good procedural skills can disguise a lack of fundamental understanding. Ask the student to explain to you his or her thinking on some of the easier questions to check the validity of the report. If the diagnosis still seems incorrect, please tell the smart office.

Are smart tests aligned to the Australian curriculum?

The results of smart tests are not reported in terms of any specific curriculum. They will cover most of the Australian curriculum topics.  We looked at the key ideas for the topics that are taught around Year 6 - 9 (without strict boundaries) and then we wrote tests where we could effectively diagnose students' understandings in a computer-based test. The stages of learning are not linked across topics and they are not reported in terms of any state curriculum levels. For example, a typical good student might reasonably be at stage 1 in one test, stage 2 in another and stage 3 in another. It depends on when the topic is taught and to what depth. Each stage is described in words and gives advice on how to move students from one stage to the next. Australian teachers - please let us know if you find important gaps in the scope of the tests as you plan for the Australian curriculum.

Can I see students' answers?

Your are able to see student answers. In the results table on your teacher page, in the row for the student whose responses you wish to check, click on the button labelled “View the submission”. For most tests this will make it easier to see the sorts of errors made by your students. Please note that we are still seeking to solve difficulties with viewing some slider questions. While the slider may not be exactly as placed by the student, the numerical answer beside will show you the student response.

Students' names and teacher's name

The smart test system does not keep track of students. Names are only used when students log in so that teachers can identify students. Teachers can instruct students to use any name or code that they wish.

Hint: If multiple classes use the tests, results will appear in name order, If you wish to sort by class then ask students to log in using a code within their name. For example: first name Maria, second name 7eRoberts to indicate that Maria Roberts in is class 7e. Sorting on family names will then automatically sort your classes.

Teachers should be careful to give the name by which students know them when signing up. Students will see this name.

Pre-tests and post-tests

Very closely parallel version of the tests are available for most topics. These can be used before and after teaching. Occasionally teachers prefer to alternate tests to the students so they have different tests to their neighbours.


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