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CARS: Diagnostic Assessments

CSO Support Professional -


CARS Assessments

CARS assessments are interactive reading tests. To start the reading test, students read the passage provided and answer all of the related questions. The assessment page displays the passage on top and places the questions below it. The passage-and-question format has been designed to provide the most benefit to students in comprehending the passage and answering the questions. Students are able to refer back to the passage quickly when they have doubts about answering the questions. Additionally, accessing the passage and the questions on a single screen ensures students focus more on the reading tests. 

Students are encouraged to answer the questions in order, but they have the flexibility to skip a question and then return to that question later. When the student has answered a question, the selected answer will turn orange and the grey bubble will also turn orange. These bubbles also indicate the students' progress during the reading test.

The Submit button will remain grey if the student has not answered every question. The Submit button will turn green when every question has been answered. Students are only able to submit their answers when the Submit button is green. After clicking the Submit button, the test will be automatically scored and displayed on the Progress Chart.

The CARS assessment system automatically and progressively saves each student’s answers. If a student experiences technical difficulty when answering the multiple-choice questions, simply refresh the page by pressing Command+Shift+R for Mac or Ctrl+Shift+R for Windows operating systems.

The application can be easily adjusted to any device's capability and readability.

By default, the application will use High Performance Mode, but if students experience any performance issues we recommend that students switch to Low Performance Mode.

To switch on Low Performance Mode, direct students to the My Account section. To go to the My Account page, students will need to click on Return to Your Progress Chart at the top, and then click My Account on the left sidebar menu. Then, in the Assessment & Lesson section, students can change the application settings by switching on Low Performance Mode.

To improve readability, the size of the text in passages can also be adjusted at any time by clicking on the A+, for a larger font size, or A– for a smaller font size, both located in the top-right corner of the passage.

High Performance Mode

Once students are on the assessment page, they will see that the passage is at the top of the page, with the multiple-choice questions below it. Students can scroll vertically to read the whole passage and scroll horizontally to read and answer the multiple-choice questions.

By default, the application will use High Performance Mode. The reading tests display as side-scrolling above the passage. After answering a question, students can proceed to the next question by either clicking on the right arrow or swiping to the right. To return to any previous questions, students can either click on the left arrow or swipe to the left. High Performance Mode is intended for newer devices, as it may consume more computer resources in comparison to Low Performance Mode.

The grey bubbles below the multiple-choice questions refer to the number of questions in the reading test. Each bubble will automatically turn orange as answers are selected. By looking at these bubbles, students will also know if they have missed or purposely skipped answering any questions. To resume the test, students can click on a greyed-out bubble at any time to display the unanswered question.

Low Performance Mode

Low Performance Mode is designed to cater to older devices and browsers, and boost performance. This is achieved by disabling certain on-screen visual effects and displaying the reading test in a one-page format. The only interactivity is through vertical scrolling or swiping.

On the right-hand side you will see the side navigation, presented as a set of grey bubbles. The number of grey bubbles is equivalent to the number of questions in the reading test. These grey bubbles will turn orange when an answer has been selected. If the student has missed or purposely skipped a question, they will be able to revisit that question by clicking on the grey bubbles in the side navigation.

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