COMPASS® Internet Version Technical Specifications

(Revised November 2011)

Continue with the Initial Login & Workstation Setup once you have verified that your workstation meets these requirements.

Operating System Requirements:

  • Windows 2000 with Service Pack 2, 3, or 4
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1 or 1a
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8

Internet Browser

  • Internet Explorer versions 6 through 10 have been tested and are supported.

Internet Explorer is the only supported browser.

Software Requirements

  • Java 1.5 or above
  • Windows Media Player 9.0 or higher

Additional Requirements for Testing Computer Workstations:

CRITICAL: If you are installing on Microsoft® Windows Vista or Windows 7, you must turn off the Microsoft User Access Control (UAC) and reboot the machine prior to running the CIV Workstation Setup. You may re-enable UAC once the installation is complete.

  • Hard disk space: 200 MB or more of free hard disk space
  • Sound card and headphones with in-line volume control required if ESL testing option is to be used
  • Video card: 8 MB (min.) Resolution: 800 x 600 with a 16-bit high color
  • Video card must be capable of displaying 800 x 600 resolution with 16-bit high color
  • Monitor – 15" SVGA (min.) 800 x 600 with 16-bit color depth
  • 10/100 Mbps Ethernet card
  • Display must be set to 800 x 600 resolution (mandatory)*

*If you are using monitors that do not deliver 800 x 600 resolution, contact the ACT Help Desk for assistance.

Special Note: Please advise all test center proctors that students are not permitted to connect a USB device, insert a CD into a drive, or use a keyboard or mouse with an Internet access key on any workstation while the test is being administered as this may allow an examinee to access the Internet. They should only be able to use a standard keyboard or mouse while testing.

User Permissions and Settings:

The workstation setup process requires a login that has a minimum of Power User rights. Other user rights requirements are defined in the tables below.

Install COMPASS Setup
for All Users
Install COMPASS SetupRun Test Launcher
AdministratorXXX
Power UserXX
UserX

Download
ActiveX Control
(Initial)
ActiveX Controls
(Updates)
Run, Validate,
and Download*
(No Item Updates)
Update Items
with Validate and
Download*
AdministratorXXXX
Power UserXXXX
UserXX

*NOTE: Updating Items will fail if the user does not have read, write, and modify rights on the Item folder.

Browser Settings:

NOTE: Refer to the Supplemental Guide for XP Service Pack 2 if you are running Windows XP.

  • Download signed ActiveX controls (Minimum: set to prompt).
  • Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins (Minimum: set to prompt).
  • Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting (Minimum: set to prompt).
    1. Click on the Tools option in the Internet Explorer menu bar.
    2. From the drop-down menu, click "Internet Options."
    3. Select the Security tab. Under the "Custom" heading, click the Custom Level button.
    4. Click the radio buttons to enable or prompt for the listed ActiveX settings if they have not been set already.
    5. Click OK to save your settings, and click OK to exit the "Tools" menu.
  • Check for newer versions of stored pages set to "automatically."
    1. Click on the Tools option in the Internet Explorer menu bar.
    2. From the drop-down menu, click "Internet Options."
    3. Select the General tab. Under the "Temporary Internet Files" heading, click the Settings button.
    4. Click the radio button for "Automatically" if it has not been selected already.
    5. Click OK to save your settings, and click OK to exit the Tools menu.
  • Text Size setting for Internet Explorer (under the View menu) needs to be set at "Medium."
  • Allow *.act.org as a Trusted Site.
    1. Click on the "Tools" option in the Internet Explorer menu bar.
    2. Click "Internet Options" from the Tools menu.
    3. Select the "Security" tab and click to highlight Trusted Sites
    4. Click the "Sites"" button.
    5. In the box enter *.act.org and click OK.
  • Allow mixed content.
    1. Click on the "Tools" option in the Internet Explorer menu bar.
    2. Click "Internet Options" from the Tools menu.
    3. Select the "Security" tab and click "Custom level."
    4. Scroll down and ensure that Display mixed contend is checked to Enable.

Network Settings:

Participant must provide high-speed (dedicated T1 or above) network access to the Public Internet for the Testing Workstations, and must be capable of supporting a continuous minimum data transfer rate of 500 kbps (kilobits per second) per 25 workstations or approximately 40 kbps per workstation.

For testing environments with more than 15 workstations, please refer to the chart below to help identify the minimum necessary continuous data transfer rates.

Average number of testing workstationsAverage Response (kbytes)Bandwidth Requested (Kbits)
1540 kbytes500 continuous Kbits preferred
2540 kbytes500 continuous Kbits preferred
5040 kbytes1000 continuous Kbits preferred

NOTE: Campus-based bandwidth speed and actual testing performance are highly related to each other and must be optimized for best results. COMPASS Internet Version performance (such as the time between screen presentation, or refreshing) can be negatively impacted by a high volume of campus-based network traffic and/or other factors that may divert true bandwidth from the testing environment.

LAN/PORTS Settings:

COMPASS Internet Version campuses must provide testing workstations configured to operate on the LAN using TCP/IP protocol, with access to Public Internet websites.

  • Ports 80 and 443 are required for standard program operation.

Miscellaneous:

If you are using Deep Freeze™: Before you make changes, a system administrator must "thaw" the protected partition by disabling Deep Freeze, make any needed changes, and then "freeze" it again by re-enabling Deep Freeze. These changes become part of the protected partition and will be maintained after restarts. Other similar products will need to be handled in the same way.

After the COMPASS installation is complete, run through all the tests to verify that all tests have been downloaded on the workstations so that the computer can be considered to be fully updated.