General Questions

Can students use a tablet or smart phone?

Taking the test requires either a computer or a tablet with reliable internet access and a current browser. The test does not work with smart phones.

Is there somplace we can see if the Threshold Achievement web site is operational?

Yes. In the right-hand column of the Information Literacy Assessment blog you will find the Web Site Status which is updated whenever there is an unexpected outage or we are planning to perform web site maintenance.

Is it possible to have our students returned to our web server once they finish the Threshold Achievement test?

Yes, this can be done if you have someone at your location with web programming ability. On the General Test Information form for your test, set Return URL to the URL on your web site to which your students should be sent once they complete the Threshold Achievement test.

The Test Key and Student Key of the student completing the Threshold Achievement test are passed as parameters on this URL. For example, if the specified Return URL is:


the complete URL used to redirect the student once they have completed the Threshold Achievement test would be:


where ABCDEF would be your Test Key and 123456 would be the Student Key of the student completing the test.

NOTE: If you have elected to use a local identifier in place of the standard Student Key, for example your institutional student ID or email address, the value returned on the Student Key parameter will be the encrypted version of local identifier for the student. The local identifier is never stored on the Threshold Achievement web site.

Is it possible to link students directly to the Threshold Achievement test from our web server?

Yes, this can be done if you have someone at your location with web programming ability. Once you have started a test and received your Student Keys from the Threshold Achievement system, you can link your students directly to the test using a URL like this:


where ABCDEF is your Test Key and 123456 is the Student Key for a specific student. You will need to keep track of which Student Keys have been assigned on your web server. This is typically done using a database and a scripting language like PHP or ASP.

You can download a spreadsheet of Student Keys for your administration from the Manager Dashboard. Your test must be started before Student Keys can be generated.

NOTE: If you have elected to use a local identifier in place of the standard Student Key, for example your institutional student ID or email address, you will use this local identifier as the Student Key when creating this URL.

Can students return to the test to complete it?

If a student is unable to complete the Threshold Achievement test in one session, they may return to complete it at a later time by logging in with the same Student Key. Students may return to complete the test until they reach the Finish page. Once completed, no further changes can be made.

How long can a test last?

Tests can be administered throughout the academic year, except for the maintenance period. Testing can occur from June 15 to May 30. You can start or stop a test at any time during this period. All tests must be stopped by June 1. If you do not stop your test, the system will stop it automatically on June 1. The system is offline for system maintenance from June 1 to June 15 each year.

Does an institution have to do any programming to administer the Threshold Achievement test?

The Threshold Achievement test requires no programming. The Threshold Achievement test is administered via the web. It is only necessary that your students have access to a current web browser. Javascript must be enabled but no plug-ins are needed. Students will go directly to the Threshold Achievement web site (https://thresholdachievement.com/test) to take the test.

Is the test customizable? If so, how?

You can customize the test in some ways. You can include your own consent text, if you wish. You can also tailor the lists of academic majors and class standings to fit your institution. In addition, you can create up to 10 demographic-related questions, such as, “Which information literacy class have you taken?” You cannot, however, customize the test questions themselves or modify the length of the test.

How long is the test?

Each module is designed to be completed in 50 minutes or less. This allows a module to be administered during a standard class hour.

Time Needed for Each Module:

Number of test items Average time per module 90% of students finish within
Module 1 Evaluating Process & Authority 30 32.3 minutes 48.4 minutes
Module 2 Strategic Searching 20 20.2 minutes 32 minutes
Module 3 Research & Scholarship 30 30.5 minutes 46.5 minutes
Module 4 The Value of Information 21 24.1 minutes 34.6 minutes