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Cat5 Frequently Asked Questions

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I do not have enough devices for all the classes in my school, can I still administer the Cat5?

The testing windows should provide teachers enough time to arrange amongst themselves the best way to schedule their test sessions that will allow all students to complete the tests by the deadline. Teachers are encouraged to plan for the test sessions so that all students participating in the class can complete at least one test session in one sitting (or day). Splitting the class to do the test at different times may risk students sharing the test questions and/or answers.

What kind of time commitment is required from the teachers?

This depends on the number of classes teachers have, the grades they teach, and the tests they will administer. Please refer to our Cat5 User Documentations for specific times required for each test, this will help teachers plan each test sitting. In some cases, teachers may be required to input their student information manually, if this information was not provided to our office. This extra step may take some time for the teacher to ensure the accuracy of student information. In other cases, some students may bring their own devices to use for administering the test, and separate IT set-up appointments may be required to ensure the Cat5 Secure Browser is installed and ready to use.

Note: All test scores are automatically scored, with reports immediately accessible to teachers, which means teachers will not require to collect tests or score them individually.

How do we prepare the students for the test or what do teachers need to do to help their students before administering the test?

There is no special preparation required by the teachers. All the questions and test content is based on the most updated curriculum. Teachers will have already taught the material being tested. The Cat5 will be a good indicator of what students have retained and what needs to be reviewed.

Are teachers allowed to preview the tests before administering them?

No. Teachers are not allowed to preview any Cat5 subtest before administering them. If they’d like to see a demo please go to Subtest Demo page and select the subtest they’d like a preview of.

How much testing time is required?

Each grade level and subtest has a set time for completion. Not all students will require the time that is set, but the set timer on the subtests will serve as a guide for students when completing the test. Please refer to the Cat5 Overview and Preparation document for more information.

Are calculators allowed for the Cat5 mathematics tests?

Yes. Only for Mathematics and Real-World Math subtests. Students may choose to use a hand-held calculator and scrap paper, or the tools provided within each math-related subtest. However, for Computation and Estimation subtests, students are not allowed to use calculators, they can only be given scrap paper to do rough work.

What about students on IEPs or have accommodations? Will there be time extensions?

For this Norming study – students will not be given any accommodations. It is under the teacher’s discretion to determine whether they should exempt a student from a test due to their circumstances. But note that students are encouraged to try the test even if they will not do well, because the purpose of the study is to understand these norms. Please indicate in the Teacher Master List if there are any “Special Groups” that students may fall under. This can be found by clicking the “edit” icon beside the student’s name in the Master List. For more information please refer to the Introduction to the Cat5 Teacher Dashboard document.

After the study – teachers will be given the option to provide accommodations to students. For example, they may choose to provide ‘audio’ accommodations or allow students to complete a test that is above/below their grade level in certain circumstances.

How complicated or involved will the IT personnel need to be to facilitate the Cat5 tests?

Once the IT department on both ends sets up the Cat5 Secure Browser on the device and completes testing, there should be no further issues. However, if there are any issues with the devices or administering the test, we are happy to help!

Are the test results normed?

The objective of the Cat5 National Study is to collect representative samples of schools across Canada. Our purpose is to establish national normative data of student achievement, particularly regional norms (including Western and Northern Canada and Ontario). This allows an understanding of the range of achievement levels from K-12 in Canada. A published document of this study will be made available to all Principals when Cat5 is published.

Are students’ names/school names shared with others?

No. Only the CTC team will have access to this confidential information. Student or school identifiers (name, ID#, and date of birth) will not be kept in the data records. The study results will only show the data that was produced from student results.

How is confidentiality ensured? What measures are taken to guarantee this?

Only classroom teachers have access to his/her students’ reports (through the password-protected Teacher dashboard). Links to the reports are sent directly to the teacher’s email address. No one else should have access to these reports. All data transmission over the internet is encrypted and the user accounts are password-protected.

All student identifiers (name, date of birth, and ID #) will be permanently removed from the database so that these individual identifiers will not be used for any data analyses. The collected national data will be completely removed from the server. While in use, all data will be fully protected by hardware firewall (Cisco Firepower 2110) and software firewall (NGINX, Ubuntu UFW).

Information regarding students or schools will not be distributed externally. Only members in the CTC office will have access to this information. There are strict protocols that are put into place to protect the identities of the students and schools.

Are the curriculum standards or normative standards compared to Ontario or other regions in Canada?

Cat5 is aligned with both the Ontario and WNCP curricula, with separate Math tests for Ontario and WNCP.

When does the Passcode expire after I generate a new one?

Passcodes will only expire after any student has used it to log in to a Test Session. Once it is used to log in, it is good to use until 6:00 pm BC time (or 9:00 pm ON time) that day. Once a passcode expires, a new passcode may be generated.

How do I get a new passcode?

Open the test session you wish to generate code for and under Session details, there should be a link to “Generate New Passcode(s) for this Session”. You should receive an email shortly.

A student clicked “I’m Finished” and submitted the test, but realized she did not complete the entire test, how can I go back into the test?

Once a student submits the test by clicking the “I’m Finished” button, there is no way for the student to re-enter the test as the test has already been submitted for scoring. Please remind students to check that they’ve tried all questions before submitting (clicking the “I’m Finished” button).

If there is a power outage and all the devices lose internet connection, what happens to the student tests and the countdown timer?

The test timer and the student results will be auto-saved on our server. Do not worry about data loss during power outages.

When I click “Pause Session”, will my student’s test scores be saved? What about the timer, will that be paused too?

The timer will be auto-paused at the time “Pause Session” was activated on the Teacher’s Dashboard. The student’s most recent test answer will also be saved.

If a student does not answer a question, will that question be considered “incomplete” or “incorrect” on the test report?

All unanswered questions on subtests will be considered “incorrect” when it is scored on the report.