Crib sheet for digital test

Please find a downloadable and printable version of these digital administration instructions in the Digital admin guide in the Downloads section


The test must be administered in a formal test environment with students made aware that they are taking a test and that the usual expectations of behaviour and constraints of a test session will be in place. 

Each student will need either their own personal computer with a mouse, or a tablet, along with a high-quality set of headphones. You are advised to check that headphones are working and that sound levels are appropriate before logging on to Testwise. 

All administration instructions are incorporated into the test program but please introduce the test session and check that students understand the instructions and the method of answering by walking around the room as they work through these parts of the test. 

When students are settled, explain that they are going to take a test that will show how well they can read and understand what they have read. Students must work in silence but if they have a query they should raise their hand and wait for the teacher to approach them. Answer any questions at this stage and explain that you cannot help with any of the test questions. 


Further explain that the test starts with some practice questions to get them used to the real questions and that all instructions are given by audio. NGRT is not a timed test so students should work through the questions at their own pace. 

Student completion - example question

All students will start the test with the sentence completion section and see the following example question. 

The voice over will explain that the students have to click on the word (from a choice of five) that they think best completed the sentence. 

Once the students have clicked on ‘Next’ they cannot return to the previous question. 

In the practice section students will receive feedback telling them whether they have answered correctly or incorrectly. This will not be a feature of the test, however. 

Because the digital version of NGRT is adaptive, each student will see a different set of test questions. Performance on the sentence completion section will determine which part of the test will be administered next.

Phonics section - example questions

These questions are supported by a picture and the student is asked to identify the first letter of the word illustrated (the audio provides the word).

Initial letter items:

These questions are supported by a picture and the student is asked to identify the first letter of the word illustrated (the audio provides the word).

'Sounds like' items:

Again, supported by a picture and by audio, the student is asked to select the word that sounds like the item illustrated.

Final letter sound items:

Students are presented with the first part of a word and from a selection of diagraphs or trigraphs (two or three letters which together represent a single sound) and three letter combinations have to complete the word.

Initial letter sound items:

Students are presented with the final part of a word and a selection of letters from which they must select one to complete the word.

These four short exercises are aimed at students who are at the very beginning of learning to read or whose reading is delayed and there is a need to test that they can match letters to sounds, understand simple rhyme and complete real words by adding final or initial sounds.

Passage Comprehension - example questions

Students will see one, two or three passages (determined by performance on sentence completion and, as appropriate, the initial passage). A short passage, appropriate to the demands of the test passage is presented as an example and for practice.

For the easiest passage comprehension, ‘Looking after Missy Mouse’, a short example passage about looking after a pet mouse replicated the layout of the real test questions where the story text and questions relating to that part of the story are on the same screen. Here is an example:

All other passage comprehension tasks are introduced by a short passage with example questions which show students how to answer the questions. 

In these passages students can navigate through the story text using the scroll bar and through the questions using the ‘Next’ and ‘Back’ buttons separately so they can refer to any part of the story at any time to answer any question. 

The example section look like this: 

Here is an example from one of the test passages:

During the test

During the test session, you should walk around periodically to prevent copying and to ensure that students understand how to answer the test on-screen. Any students showing signs of difficulties should be given assistance. However, you should give no help at all in the choosing of answers or explaining text.  

Testing time will be approximately 30 minutes. Some students may finish in a shorter time and should have work to hand so that they remain occupied until the whole group has completed the test.  

At the end of the test all responses will be stored on the Testwise server. Please do not turn off any computer until the students have clicked on the End Test button and have been taken back to the page showing that the test has been taken:  

The test environment

Students completing NGRT need to be in a quiet room without interruptions. Enough time should be allocated to allow students to settle, be given the introduction to the test and complete it. A total of 40 minutes should be sufficient to introduce and administer the test. 

Students should be told that they must work in silence but that if they have a query they should raise their hand and wait for the teacher to approach them. 

While students are completing the test, the teacher should walk round the computer suite to check that they are progressing appropriately and that they are not having difficulty with the methods of answering questions. 

Unexpected incidents

If there is a failure in your computer system while students are completing the test, it will not be possible to re-enter the test at the point at which the failure occurred. If students have fully completed a section of the test and a computer failure occurs, they will be able to recommence the test at the section after the one they have completed. If students complete the test and responses are stored (that is, they have clicked the End Test button) and then the system fails, it will be possible to retrieve the responses and reports from the GL Assessment back-up server.