Additional Support | Pearson qualifications
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Additional Support

We understand that delivering an onscreen test is not just about the software. It's important for learners to be able to take a practice or mock assessment in the same format and environment that they will be taking their live assessment.

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We have the Sample Test Player that you can use with your learners to take their practice tests to support your teaching and preparing your learners for their live assessment.

In addition to the practice tests, we have created a test to support with familiarising learners with how an onscreen test player works, what the questions could look like, the tools that they will use and the features on the test player that can help them without having the pressure of a live test timer counting down.

Sample Test Player

The Sample Test Player allows you to deliver practice tests to your learners using the onscreen test player, at the end of the test a report can be generated which you can mark using the mark scheme that is provided to assess your learners before entering them for their live assessments.

Installer link

The Sample Test Player is simple to install, you can follow the steps in the install wizard and usually takes less than a minute to complete. You may need to speak to your IT department as admin rights may be needed to complete the installation.

The Sample Test Player install wizard will automatically select your local drive and save a folder called Pearson in the drive.

For the Sample Test Player to work correctly your computer will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Windows computer or laptop
  • Pentium III with 900Mhz processor
  • 1GB RAM memory
  • 100MB storage capacity
  • Minimum 1024 x 768 screen resolution
  • 10/100 Mbps network interface adapter (for LAN mode only)
  • Speakers/headphones (for sound-based assessments)
  • Windows Media Player 11 (or above)
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 (both x86 and x64 if 64bit Windows)
  • Access to Internet (ADSL 1MB minimum) via reliable ISP (if using online mode)
  • Windows 7 (or above)
  • Microsoft .Net 4.5 or above

Test packages are available on the qualification subject specific pages, they are in a zip file which you will contain the test package file and the mark scheme. Please note, the tests are not autoscored. Once you have navigated to the qualification page you will see the .pkgx and instructions on how to download and access them.

If requested, the Order and Learner numbers are ‘12345678’

If you need to pause the learners test at any point you can restart by re-inputting the order and learner number followed by an administrator password – secret1 – and click OK.

Important, at the end of the test the learner must click Generate Report before they complete the test. This will create a PDF containing their responses which can be used to mark their attempt using the mark scheme. Please note, if the test player is closed before the report is generated you cannot go back.

The onscreen practice tests are either retired tests or sample assessments which can be used to support your learners progress and preparation for the live assessments and can be used as mock tests.

Practice tests are available on the dedicated qualification subject pages for you to access. You will also be able to find the link to install the Sample Test Player on these pages. ​

Functional Skills Reading and Writing for Level 1 and 2

Functional Skills Mathematics for Level 1 and 2​

BTEC Firsts Sport (2018)​

BTEC Firsts Business (2018)​

BTEC Firsts Engineering (2012)​

BTEC Firsts Information and Creative Technology (2012)

There are also tests that you can use for your learners to familiarise themselves with the Test Player before they undertake any subject specific tests. These have been created so that learners can see the different question styles that may appear on their tests and familiarise themselves with the tools and navigating the test player. More information and the tests are available further down page.

You must ensure that you have the Sample Test Player installed on the machines that you are going to run the practice tests, if you try to download and open the .pkgx files and nothing happens this means the Sample Test Player is not installed.

You can check to see if the Sample Test Player is installed by going to the Programs and Features and looking for Sample Test Player.

If you have both the Live Test Player and Sample Test Player installed on the computer, you must ensure that the practice tests are opened with the Sample Test Player otherwise you will not be able to generate the report at the end of the practice test. You can do this by right clicking on the .pkgx file and select ‘open with’ TPO. If TPO does not appear in the list, you can find it at C:\Program Files (x86)\Pearson\SamplePlayer\TPO.exe.

If when clicking Generate Report nothing happens, please check that your site settings on your browser are set up to ‘Download PDF’.

The Sample Test Player must be installed on a Windows laptop or desktop, it will not operate correctly if used on a Mac, Chromebook, or tablet device.

Learner support

Taking an onscreen test can be an unfamiliar, daunting experience, so we have created some additional support to help you support your learners when preparing to take an onscreen test.

We understand that it is important for a learner to familiarise themselves with the onscreen test player without the stresses of taking a live or mock test, so we have created a package that they can work through which allows them to see the various question types and explore the different tools within the test player without having to take a real test.

The Sample Test Player is used for this test so please ensure that you have this installed by using the information above.

> Learner familiarisation test

As this is not a practice/mock test for live assessments there is no mark scheme, your learners can use this test to explore the test player and the question types.

The test player has accessibility features built in which the learner can manage themselves and they can view what this look like by using the familiarisation test. The features include the ability to zoom in or out and changing the colour of the screen.

Currently other computer programs, such as a screen reader, will not work alongside the live test player due to the strict security features within it. If a learner requires a reader, then a human reader can support, this should be applied for in the usual way.

Up to 25% additional time can be added to an onscreen test at the point of making the test booking. Anything different to this can be requested ahead of the scheduled test date by contacting us.

For any learner specific access arrangements should be requested in the usual way. More information can be found on the access arrangements support page.

Learners should have the opportunity to take a practice test using the Sample Test Player before taking their live assessment. You can also use the familiarisation test with learners to give them time to move around the test player, explore the different question styles and help them understand how an onscreen test looks and feels before taking any timed assessment.

It’s important that learners understand how much time they will have to complete their test. To help them prepare for this you can find the time allocation of tests within the qualification specification along with any other important information about the test, such as the Functional Skills Maths test. This test has 2 sections with different time allocations within the same test. The timer on the test player will show the remaining time for the current section, once section 1 is completed the learner will not be able to go back.

If you are entering your learners to take their test using Remote Invigilation, we have created dedicated support for both you and your learners for this format of test delivery which you should share with your learners ahead of scheduling their test.

It is important that your learners have familiarised themselves with onscreen tests by taking practice tests and using the familiarisation test. This will make them more comfortable during their live tests and know where to find the tools such as the calculator etc.

During the practice tests and before starting a live assessment you should ensure that learners know what is expected of them during a live test, such as:

Not wearing a smart watch, headphones, or earbuds.

What to do if they need to ask a question, or if they need to leave the room or if there is an emergency/fire alarm.

If test violation appears this is a security feature in our test player that is triggered when another program starts to run or if the learner is trying to access something else on the machine. The learner can notify the invigilator who will be able to clear it and allow the learner to continue with their test.

If there are any issues during the test that cannot be resolved by the invigilator, please contact Pearson as soon as possible so that we can support you.

Unless being taken offline the learners’ test responses should automatically return to Pearson once they click finish test in the test player. If taking a test offline this will need to manually be done once an internet connection is re-established.

If we do not receive a test response for a learner, we will contact your centre via email to ask for it to be uploaded to us to be marked.

If a learner does not take their onscreen test, you should mark them as absent in the software that you use to access your tests. This will then allow you to rebook the test for a future date by the following day.

If a learner enters a test and views a question but does not submit a response due to technical, or any other reason, you must notify Pearson and complete a void form so that we can ensure the learner does not receive the same version on any future test bookings.

You can find the answers to many of the common questions by looking at our Knowledgebase, just type in your question and find the answer.

If you have any questions or concerns about booking a test, delivering a test, during the test or after a test please contact us as soon as possible.

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