Frequently Asked Questions about Practice and Training Tests
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Frequently Asked Questions about Practice and Training Tests

How do I administer a practice or training test in secure mode?

If you need to administer a practice or training test in secure mode, you must first ensure that the students have the correct secure browser version installed. Before logging into the Practice & training site, confirm that you have acknowledged the Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in TIDE. If the NDA is not signed, you will not be able to administer tests in the secure mode. Next, the TE/PR will need to start a test session in the  Practice & Training site. Once you have selected the specific tests and approved students for testing, they will be able to take an online test in an environment that mimics the operational assessments. 

Do students need to be added to TIDE before they can take the practice or training test?

No. If the student has not yet been added to the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE), they can still take the practice or training tests using a supported web browser in the guest mode.

Why am I not able access the Practice & Training Site or TDS? (Accessing the NDA)

It is possible that you have not acknowledged or signed the Non-Disclosure Agreement in TIDE. If you do not acknowledge the non-disclosure agreement, you will not be able to log into the Proctor (PR) Interface. To acknowledge the non-disclosure agreement:

  1. Select Non-disclosure Agreement from the General Resources dropdown menu on the TIDE toolbar. The Non-Disclosure Agreement page appears.
  2. Read the agreement, and click I Acknowledge. A confirmation message appears.

Note: You must acknowledge a non-disclosure agreement each year prior to administering tests through TDS. SDDOE recommends acknowledging the NDA at least 48 hours prior to administering tests. Users who sign the NDA will be able to access the TDS 30 minutes after signing the form in TIDE.   

Can iPads be used for Student Testing?

Computers, laptops, netbooks, and tablets can all be used if they meet the system requirements. Please refer to the technology configuration documents for more detailed information.

What tablet sizes should I use for student testing?

Screen dimensions must be at least 10” or larger. The following devices are not supported:

  • Apple iPad Mini
  • Google Nexus 7 and similar-sized Android tablets
  • Netbooks with screen dimensions smaller than 10”

Note: Testing on iPads with a 9.5” display is allowed. Please refer to the technology configuration documents for more detailed information.

Why am I not able to hear the Text-to-Speech in the Practice or Training Test?

In order to use the Text-to-Speech (TTS) feature in the practice or training test, you will need to launch the test in the Secure Browser or in a supported browser.

  • In the practice session's guest mode (first name and SSID are not required), students will not need to enter their first name or SSID. They will be able to enable the TTS themselves on the settings screen.
  • If the name and SSID are required in the practice session, the student's record needs to have the TTS enabled in TIDE. Note: To enable the passage accommodation, you will need to request that your SDDOE Assessment Contact activate that setting for your student.

How do I know I am administering the correct practice test?

If you are planning to administer an practice or training test in secure mode or with student-specific accommodations from TIDE, you will need to a test session using TDS.

  1. Click the Practice & Training Test Administration card from the portalThe login page appears.
  2. Enter your email address and password.
  3. Click Secure Login. TDS.
  4. Select the Training Tests (blue category) or Practice Tests (green category).
  5. After you select the desired tests, click the Start Practice Session button to begin the test session.

Note: Students can access the practice and training tests in guest-mode without the use of a session ID. For more details, refer to the TDS User Guide.

During a practice or training secure-mode session, why do students see the error message, “The session is not available for testing” (11719)?

There are a few reasons why a student may see this error message when using the secure browser: Check the Session ID

  • All practice and training test session IDs begin with "TRAIN" (example, "TRAIN-E6BC-1", see screenshot). Make sure the Session ID matches the proctor's session ID.

If a student has a session ID that starts with "SD" (example, SD-1111-1), this means that the proctor started an operational session, not a practice test session. Restart the session in the Training Site and share the new session ID. Check the Secure Browser

  • If your students are using the practice/training tests with the secure browser, direct them to select, Click here to go to the Practice and Training Test Site. Note: You can also visually check to see if they are still on the operational secure browser page if you see "Student Testing Site" about the sign in form.
  • After they click the link, they will be directed to the Student Training Test page.
  •  Direct the student to uncheck Guest User and Guest Session to enter the first name, SSID, and Session ID (example: TRAIN-E68C-1) to join the practice or training session.

What is the Text-to-Speech availability on the South Dakota assessments?

Text-to-speech (TTS) is available as a designated support or accommodation to all students for whom an adult or team has indicated it is needed.  When using TTS, text is read aloud to the student via embedded text-to-speech technology.


Embedded Supports



Items & Passages*

ELA Performance Task


Items & Passages



Items & Stimuli


Items**/Items & Stimuli

*Text-to-speech for ELA Passages is an accommodation for students whose need is documented in an IEP or 504 plan./** Text-to-speech is not available for inline choice dropdown menu options (example item one on Grade 8 Science Practice Test).  TTS will read the surrounding text but not the text inside of the dropdown.