Set up iPad and Mac to give tests and assessments

Apps by approved developers can use Assessment Mode (formerly known as Automatic Assessment Configuration) to lock and configure iPad or Mac automatically for online assessments.

With Assessment Mode, assessment apps can disable certain hardware and software features to meet the requirements for a secure test environment, and prevent a test taker from using other apps and invalidating test results.

Use an app with Assessment Mode built in

Securing iPad or Mac for testing with a supported app requires no additional setup or management, such as Mobile Device Management (MDM). Apps with Assessment Mode lock iPad or Mac into the single app automatically, which means that while Assessment Mode is active, users can't switch to another app.

Check with your assessment provider to make sure that their app uses Assessment Mode. 

Assessment Mode in iOS

Assessment Mode is supported in iOS 9.3.2 or later. When Assessment Mode is active in iOS, these features are disabled:

  • Autocorrect and spell checker
  • Predictive keyboard
  • Dictionary definition lookup
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Sharing
  • Universal Clipboard
  • Dictation
  • Remote observation with Classroom
  • Screen recording
  • Speak selected text
  • Auto-capitalization, character preview, and smart punctuation
  • Siri

If you turn on Single App Mode or Guided Access in iOS, that feature supersedes Assessment Mode restrictions.

Assessment Mode on macOS

Assessment Mode is supported on macOS Catalina 10.15.4 or later. When Assessment Mode is active on macOS, these features are disabled:

  • Dock
  • Menu bar
  • Exposé and Spaces
  • Mission Control
  • Application launches from function keys
  • Notification Center and notifications
  • Music app (formerly iTunes)
  • Handoff
  • Universal Clipboard
  • Continuity Camera
  • Screen sharing and mirroring
  • Screen capturing and screenshots
  • Remote Login
  • Siri
  • Dictation
  • Emoji keyboard
  • Trackpad lookup gesture

Autocorrect and spell check aren't restricted on macOS automatically. They can be controlled through restrictive attributes on web content.

Lock iPad in to a single testing app with Single App Mode

If your app doesn't support Assessment Mode, or you use an app for diagnostic, classroom, or formative assessment purposes, you can use MDM software to set up your iPad for Single App Mode. Your MDM software installs a profile that identifies the selected app and forces it to open on the device, preventing students from using other apps. In the profile, you can specify additional features that you don't want students to use.

If you want to restrict keyboard and dictionary functions, you must restrict those features separately. Learn more about restricting keyboard and dictionary functions.

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