Classmarker 101: Bible Bee Edition

4:39 PM

As every Bible Bee-er knows, the local Bible Bee test will be completely online this year. And if you're anything like me, you are having nightmares where the power goes out, the computer is stolen, the house burns down right before (or--horrors!--during) the get my drift.

Thankfully, Bible Bee Headquarters is offering practice tests all next week to help us familiarize ourselves with the Classmarker format. In other words, now the butterflies in your stomach on test day will all be related to how you feel about John 1-6 and not worries about Classmarker. The practice tests are not on the material you have covered this summer (that would be too much like the real test) but they are the next best thing--the real, live, honest-to-goodness tests on Jonah from last year. I really liked last year's test and had a fun time reliving it without the pressure of trying to get a good score.

So, I took the “practice” (i.e. Jonah) test and spent the first thirty minutes or so playing around on it.  Obviously, I did not score as well as I did in 2014--but I think I figured out how to make the test-taking process as speedy as possible.  In fact, I was able to read and answer 150 questions in the last thirty minutes of my time using the things I’d learned!

To cement them into my own mind (and to save you from spending half of your test time on THE DAY doing what I did on Saturday) I thought I’d share them with you.

Classmarker Tips and Tricks

The login process:

  1. You will have to sign in with your BB ID number and password, and also your host’s name and city.  Your proctor will have to put in some information as well (driver’s licence number and name, I think).  For the practice test you do not need a proctor; just put “n/a” in any of the boxes relating to them.  THE SIGN-IN PROCESS IS NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR TEST TIME!
  2. As part of your sign-in you will need to specify whether or not you completed the oral recitation requirement. Again, you can answer "n/a" to this, but on August 1st you will have to answer yes or no.  Presumably, this means that this question will not be included in the actual test this year.
  3. Click “Start Test” (or something to that effect) to begin.

The test:

  1. Once the test begins your page will display ten questions at a time.  At the top of the page will be a countdown (minutes and seconds) and a bar indicating how much you’ve done.  If you’re anything like me, this may stress you out, but all you have to do is scroll down to hide the countdown.
  2. Your questions will have four options (A, B, C, and D) as well as a line below it that says “Clear selection” if you don’t want to answer the question at all.  I do not recommend this, as it is better to have a 25% chance of being correct than no chance at all. There is no penalty for an incorrect guess.
  3. At the bottom of the page you will see two buttons, “Previous” and “Next”.  Obviously, you would click whichever you want, depending on if you’re going backwards or forwards. It's like flipping pages in the test booklet from past years.
  4. If you want to go back to a specific question, there is a special link for that under “Previous”.  It says something along the lines of, “Previously viewed questions”.  Click that and a list of all the questions ( but not the answer options) you have viewed so far will come up at the bottom of the page.  Click on the number next to the question to go back to the page that that question was on.
  5. Be aware that the answer options will be scrambled.  In other words, if you had planned to go back to #23 and choose either B or C, it won’t mean anything.
  6. Speaking of going back to questions, I emailed BBHQ and they said that you can use a piece of scratch paper and a pencil to write down the numbers of which questions you need to double-check or change.

Keyboard shortcuts:

Note: I have a Windows laptop; so this may be slightly different for you (e.g., one person told me that the "CMND" key on a Mac works the same as "CTRL" on Windows).

  1. “Tab” (that key with the arrows going both directions) will take you down the page from question to question without having to click each one.  Press “Tab” once to go from your question to “Clear selection”; press it twice to go to the next question.
  2. Conversely, “Tab” + “Shift” will take you back up the page.
  3. To go from A to B, etc., use the up and down arrow buttons.
  4. Once you get to the option of your choice, press “Enter”.  Be aware that if this is A you have to press “Enter”, then the down arrow to B and the up arrow to A again (I'm not sure why, but that's the way it is).  Once you have selected one option, you can still change your answer using the arrow keys to move to a different letter.
  5. If you finish a question and cannot see the entire one following it, stay on “Clear selection” and press the down arrow until the next question comes into view.  Then press “Tab” to go to that one.
  6. When you get to the end of a page, click “tab” to highlight “Previous” and then again for “Next”.  When you get to “Next”, press “Enter”.

Finishing the test:

  1. When you finish the test, you can go back and check your answers (see "The test" section for tips on how to do that) until either the time runs out or you decide to submit the test.
  2. If, after checking your answers, you decide to submit the test, there’s a shorter way than just clicking “Next” at the bottom of every page until you reach the end.  Go to “previously viewed questions” and click the last question.  For me, this would be #200; for Juniors or Primaries this will be #150 and #100, respectively.
  3. Click “Finish Test” to submit the test.  If you accidentally click it, don’t worry--they’ll have you click it again to confirm it
  4. If you want to just let the time run out, that’s pretty self-explanatory.  When the time is up, they’ll simply take you to your final score, along with a note that says that your time ran out.  You can choose to submit your test or just let your time run out--it’s completely up to you.
  5. As you may have guessed from above, you can see your score as soon as you finish, but you cannot see how you did on individual questions.  You will also get an email with your score.

And there you have it, the Classmarker 101: Bible Bee Edition. Don't be confused by the long list of shortcuts; it's actually quite simple when you get down to it. I highly recommend taking the practice test sometime next week if you can to practice all this and to figure it out on you own.

Hope this helps!

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