Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Best Practices for Setting Up TestNav for Students in Hybrid or Remote Learning

While students are engaging in remote or hybrid learning, schools and districts can take the following steps to prepare student devices for spring 2021 MCAS testing while those devices are residing at students' homes. The following steps will help ensure that devices are prepared when students return to school.

  1. Confirm that devices meet minimum system requirements.
    Visit the system requirements page for the most updated information.

    For Chromebooks: Turn off auto-update on Chromebooks to avoid auto-updating to an unsupported OS. Operating systems, particularly iOS and ChromeOS, update frequently. Students may not be able to test or may experience interruptions if the testing device/operating system is not supported.

  2. Ensure student devices have the current version of TestNav.
    Districts that have not yet updated to the latest version of TestNav should install it on student devices. This latest version of TestNav was released in the summer of 2020. Schools who have updated TestNav since summer of 2020 do not need to update or reinstall TestNav on their devices.

    The Pearson Support Page provides guidance for installing TestNav by device type. The steps to update TestNav remotely will vary by school. Schools using Mac devices can use an MDM (e.g., JAMF) to update TestNav. Schools using Chromebooks should follow the steps here: Set Up TestNav on Chrome OS, under Install TestNav on Managed Devices.

    Please see the software versions that should be installed for spring 2021 below.

    Device typeTN VersionUpdate ProcessApprox. Time
    Windows1.9.7Manual/Auto Update (with app store download)1 minute
    Mac1.9.7Manual Update2 minutes
    Chrome OS1.9.107Auto UpdateN/A
    iPad1.9.1Auto UpdateN/A

    Auto-Updates to TestNav are supported for both iPads and Chromebooks, so TestNav on those devices should have automatically updated upon a restart after the summer TestNav release. Auto-updates are also supported on Windows devices if TestNav was downloaded through the Microsoft Store.

    In most cases, schools will be able to update TestNav on student devices even while those devices are out of the building inside students' homes.

    Note* If using Chrome devices, the Google management console will allow districts/schools to configure the devices with TestNav installed as a kiosk app, as well as any other software that the students use. If districts/schools want to "powerwash" (this is what Google calls a "clean wipe" for Chrome devices) when the students return for testing (or at any point prior), and the devices are reset, they will still have the necessary software installed.

  3. Steps for families to download TestNav
    In the event that schools are unable to update TestNav remotely on student devices, schools may refer students and families to these step-by-step instructions to download TestNav on their device. Schools should maintain a list of devices that were not updated prior to test administration.

  4. "Bring Your Own Device"
    A "bring your own device" (BYOD) policy allows students to use their own devices for instruction. Schools with students who are using their own devices for remote or in-person instruction and would like to use these devices for spring MCAS testing should email for instructions on preparing devices.

  5. Turn off background applications.
    Depending on the type of device, schools may want to ensure that they turn off background applications and notifications on devices so that students do not experience interruptions to testing.

  6. Remind students to bring in devices on test day.
    Communicate with students and families that devices need to be brought in on the day of testing. Remind students that they should also bring in their power cord. If possible, students should bring in devices the day prior to testing to confirm that the device is ready, and keep at school overnight for charging.

  7. Contact Pearson's technology support as needed.
    For any technology-related questions, please schedule a call with Pearson's Technology Support Specialists.

Last Updated: March 26, 2021

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