A student is unable to take a test. What might be the cause?
The student may be locked out of Renaissance and cannot log in to take a test.
Students may be locked out of all Renaissance software if they attempt to log in too many times with an incorrect password.
The connection to the server may have been lost.
If there are connection problems between the server which is hosting Renaissance and the computer that the student is testing on, the test may be interrupted. The following error messages will let you know what the problem is and what to do next.
- Trying to connect: Network delays have caused the program to slow down temporarily. The program will continue to try to re-establish a connection.
- Connection error: The program was unable to re-connect to the server, or the user selected Cancel in the "Trying to connect" message. Log out of Renaissance and then log back in again so you can resume the test.
The student capacity limit may have been reached.
Your Star Reading student capacity limit determines how many students can take the test during your subscription. Your school or district purchased this capacity with the software. Capacity can be viewed on the View Subscriptions & Capacity page.
If you reach your student capacity limit, students who have not yet tested during this subscription period will not be allowed to take the test. Star Reading will show the student a message: "You can't use Star Reading right now. The current class is full."
If you need to increase the limit, or reallocate the existing capacity, contact Renaissance Learning. After your order is complete, your capacity limit will be increased or reallocated for you by Renaissance Learning.
The web browser settings may be interfering with the Renaissance program.
If a student is unable to take a test on a computer, a setting or feature in your web browser might be the cause. You may need to:
- Clear the browser's cache
- Turn off pop-up blockers
- Turn off third-party toolbars
- Enable ActiveX controls
Consult your web browser's help to find out how to perform these actions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Star Reading and Renaissance: General Questions
Do I need additional software to use Star Reading? Where can I find the system requirements?
Go to www.renaissance.com/system-requirements/ for the system requirements and additional software needed to work with Renaissance and Star Reading.
How do I make Star Reading available to a class?
Assign teachers to a class on the Add/Remove Teachers page.
Assign products to a class on the Assign Products page.
Can I take a sample Star Reading test? Does Star Reading have a "demo mode" that I can try?
There is no "demo mode" for taking a Star Reading test. We do not recommend taking the test yourself, as it may use up student capacity.
How do I keep students from taking Star tests at home?
Set up restrictions on the Set Security Options page to limit student testing to the computers at your school.
How do I find my students' user names and passwords?
Get a list of student user names and passwords on the Student Password Report.
I forgot my user name and/or password: how can I recover it?
- View personnel user names on the Personnel tab of the View Users page.
- Clear personnel locks and prompt personnel password changes on the Personnel Password Management page.
Although you can view personnel user names in Renaissance, for security reasons, you cannot view or print a list of personnel passwords.
If the district level administrator password is forgotten, contact Renaissance Learning.
I'm unable to log in to Renaissance.
Personnel members may be locked out if they attempt to log in too many times with an incorrect password.
Clear personnel locks and prompt personnel password changes on the Personnel Password Management page.
Why would I choose to administer the non-Enterprise test?
The shorter version of the test is called "Progress Monitoring" in the software; the full-length version is called "Enterprise." You do have the option of using the Progress Monitoring version of Star Reading, but we recommend that you use Star Reading Enterprise assessments for all testing events, if possible. The Enterprise test provides more precise data that can be used for more purposes. Using this test type also makes it easier to compare results over time.
One reason you might choose to administer the Progress Monitoring version of the test is the available time for testing. If you are frequently testing students who are in intervention and you are concerned about testing time, a district-level administrator can set the Enterprise Test Preference, allowing schools to administer the Progress Monitoring version of Star Reading outside of the screening windows. Administrators in those schools can choose the classes in which students may take both the Enterprise tests and Progress Monitoring tests, and teachers for those classes can decide whether the software should administer the Enterprise or Progress Monitoring test. (Keep in mind that the software will only administer the shorter test to students for whom an intervention goal has been set.)
For more information, consult the Star 360® Implementation Guide.
How do I pause or stop a test?
Follow the instructions for stopping a test; during the procedure, you can decide whether to pause it or stop it. To summarize:
- Pausing a test puts it "on hold" temporarily, allowing the student to resume it at a later time.
- Stopping a test ends it completely. The student cannot resume the test, and must begin a new test instead.
I'm having trouble resuming a paused/stopped test.
Make sure you are using the monitor password to resume the test, not your Renaissance login password. View the monitor password on the Monitor Password - Star Tests Preference page
You may want to double-check the amount of time that has elapsed since the test was paused or stopped—a test needs to be resumed within 8 calendar days of when it was originally started.
If you still cannot resume a paused test, please contact our support center.
Sometimes my students accidentally close the web browser and the test disappears. Is there a way to go back in or do they have to start the test over?
A test that has been interrupted by technical problems or by an accidental closure of the web browser is treated as a paused test, and it can be resumed.
Are there time limits in Star Reading?
The Star Reading test itself does not have an overall time limit; however, each test question has its own time limit. If a student does not enter an answer within that time limit, the program moves on to the next question.
During the development of Star Reading, the time it took for students to answer questions was noted. The time limits used in Star Reading are based on those observed times—most students will be able to answer a question in the time allotted. See the Star Reading Technical Manual for more information on the program's development.
The amount of time allowed for each question can be extended by setting the Extended Question Time Limit Preference.
What if the student cannot pass the practice?
The practice session is primarily meant to gauge the student's ability to work with the program's interface, to see if the student understands how to select and enter an answer. Have the student try another practice, and carefully observe the student.
- If the student understands how to answer questions, but keeps giving incorrect answers, this may indicate that the student is not ready to have his or her abilities assessed by Star Reading.
- If the student understands how to answer questions, but keeps running out of time before entering an answer, you may need to extend the time limits for that student.
- If the student does not understand how to answer questions, review the testing procedures with the student. The Star Reading Test Administration Manual is an excellent resource for performing such a review.
Am I allowed to read questions to the students?
No. One of the things the Star Reading test is assessing is a student's independent reading ability. Reading the test questions to the student would defeat the purpose and have an adverse effect on the validity of the test results.
What happens if a student accidentally opens another program or another browser window/tab during a test?
As long as the student hasn't also accidentally closed the browser window where the test is taking place, the student can simply close the other program/window and return to the test.
After the Test
Can I delete a test?
You cannot permanently delete a test from a student's record, but a district level administrator, district staff, or school level administrator can deactivate it. Deactivating a test removes the test-taking data and the test results from any reports or calculations for that student. If necessary, a deactivated test can be reactivated at a later time.
Is it okay to retest a student if I know he or she can do better?
Yes, if you know that a student has rushed through a test or if you believe the student has not taken it seriously.
If the student takes another test of the same type (Progress Monitoring or Enterprise) before midnight on the same day as the test you don't want to count, only the retest will appear on reports that show the student's most recent test. The earlier test will still be available on reports like the Test Record Report or other reports that show all tests taken (except for tests that have been deactivated).
If the student tests after midnight of the day as the test you don't want to count, the retest is treated as a separate test.
Note: If a student tests more than once during a screening period, data from the last test taken is shown on the Screening Report.
Why can't I see which questions a student missed?
With computer-adaptive tests, the student's performance on individual items is not as meaningful as the pattern of responses to the entire test.
How do I view last year's Star Reading information for a student?