Frequently Asked Questions

 Is this site run by the government?

The Ontario Ministry of Education is committed to improving student success by creating strategies to bring about partnerships in education. One project that is being built to meet the needs of the province is this web site - the Ontario ExamBank. Though we share common goals, this web site is privately operated without direct government involvement.

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 What if I want to try it out first?

If you have never used ExamBank before and would like to try it out before purchasing an account, feel free to access our Demo Test free of charge. The demo test is generated from a random selection of questions from all grade levels and subject areas, in one test. Naturally, with a real account, you can access the specific grade level and subject area that you wish to practice, or even narrow down on a single unit of a particular subject.

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 What if nothing happens when I click on a "Start Test" button?

You likely have a pop-up window blocker installed on your computer, and rather than have it configured to just block windows that pop up automatically, it is configured to stop any new windows from opening. Exambank tries to open a new window every time you click on a "Start Test" button. If you click on "Start Test" and nothing appears to happen, simply add ontario.exambank.com to your pop-up blockers trusted sites list.

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 Do you have a description of ExamBank that we can use for our school newsletter?

Every year, we receive countless requests from schools that are looking for a brief writeup about ExamBank they can include in school newsletters. We have now made a sample available that you can use as a starting point. It is available in either Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF) or Microsoft Word format.

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 Can my username and password be shared with my friends?

Yes! When you purchase your username and password, you are purchasing a certain quota for your account. If you choose to share this password with friends or fellow students, then you will be sharing your quota. Once the quota is used up by writing practice exams, you will have to purchase more if you wish to continue studying with ExamBank. So be careful who you share your account information with!

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 Is there a quick information sheet I can obtain summarizing ExamBank?

If you would like a quick summary of ExamBank (intended for schools), you can retrieve this document in PDF format.

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 Where do the questions come from?

We work directly with Ontario teachers to provide questions and ensure that all resources available on our web site pertain directly to the Ontario curriculum. All questions have been developed specifically for ExamBank and do not appear anywhere else.

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 Why do schools need to set up two different passwords for their account?

The exam password is the password used when logging into the system to retrieve a practice exam. The admin password is used to enter the "Account Administration" area of the site. This area allows a teacher, parent, or administrator the option to control access to the account by grade level, time of day, or IP address of the accessing computer. In addition, the administration area allows you to view the past activity of an account and determine how many logins still remain unused, as well as change passwords and other details of your account.

Though personal accounts are often set up with the same password for both areas, for account security, schools and school districts are required to use a different password for each area. If you'd prefer to have separate passwords for personal accounts as well, you can set them up from the Account Administration area of the web site.

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 Which practice tests can be used with my account?

This depends on how your account is set up. When an account is first created, it has access to all of the exams available on Ontario ExamBank. However, schools in particular may want to restrict access to just the grade levels that they teach. If you need to restrict access to just certain grade levels, this can be done from the "Account Administration" area of ExamBank.

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 How can the payment for an account be made?

For personal accounts, Syzygy can accept payment on our web site or over the phone with a valid Visa or Mastercard. If you do not wish to pay by credit card, you can fill out the order form online, and send us a cheque or money order. However, be aware that we wait for payment to be received before setting up an account - this means that accounts paid by cheque can take a week or so to be created (depending on how long it takes Canada Post to deliver), unlike credit card orders which are set up instantly.

For schools and school districts, in addition to payment by credit card, we can also invoice you for the account, with or without a purchase order number - it's up to you. In some cases, we may contact your school for confirmation before setting up a new account.

Cheques should be made out to:

Syzygy Research & Technology
Box 83
Legal, AB T0G 1L0

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 Can a username and password be given to an entire school population?

Yes - that's the intent of a school account! School accounts provide access for your entire student population with a single username and password. There is no limit to how many times the account can be used concurrently, as long as the remaining quota on your account is sufficient. You can have a lab of 30 or more students all preparing for their exams online at ExamBank at the same time, all using the same account.

Ensure that students are provided with the exam password, and not the admin password. The admin password allows school administrators to monitor usage of the account and restrict access to the account if desired. If you like, your account can be accessible only during certain times of day (such as school hours), or only from computers in your school. You control the access to your own account through the "Account Administration" area of the site.

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 Are usernames and passwords case sensitive?

No - ExamBank doesn't care whether you use upper or lower case characters when entering your username and password.

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 Are more questions going to be added to the site?

We are constantly adding more questions and exams to the site, while ensuring that the questions we have available are appropriate for what is required by the ever-changing Ontario curriculum. Check back often!

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 How long will my username and password be active on the site?

Accounts will be active until the quota purchased has been used up - there is no expiry date set on an account. Once the quota has been depleted, the account may be renewed by adding more logins to it. If you do not use your full quota in one year, you will be able to continue to use your account in the following years.

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 Can the questions in the online tests be printed, photocopied, or otherwise redistributed?

ExamBank is continually striving to keep the costs for using our online service lower than photocopying. In addition, the tests are all self-marking and randomized. This helps keep students more interested in preparing for exams than traditional paper methods, while at the same time reducing teacher workload.

But with that said, we understand that in some instances it isn't practical to have students do the exams in front of the computer. Or perhaps, as a teacher, you would like to go over a single exam with the whole class. If you are in such a situation, we do not mind if you print the exams for use within a single classroom, or display them on an interactive whiteboard through "live" (not cached) delivery directly from the ExamBank web site. However, creating electronic copies of our questions or derivative works based on those questions, in any format, is strictly prohibited and in violation of copyright.

If you print copies of an exam, your use is restricted to a single classroom, and such use is limited to a period of 10 months from the date that the exam is printed. Since the questions are delivered in a format intended for online delivery and marking directly through the ExamBank web site, we can't offer technical support for printing exams if you run into problems.

As a reminder, each exam is randomly generated, so make sure you print the answer key at the same time you print the exam itself (obtained by answering all the questions and submitting your test for online marking). If you fail to do this and go back into the exam to print the key, another randomly generated test will appear with a different answer key.

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 What happens when my quota runs out?

When you finally deplete the quota you have purchased, you will receive a message when you attempt to log in that tells you that your quota has been depleted. You do not have to worry about exceeding your purchased quota of practice tests. If your quota has been depleted, you can always renew your account by adding more logins. If you are a school or district, you may want to look into our unlimited account options, which provide unrestricted access for one calendar year.

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 Is it safe to enter my credit card number in the order form?

Syzygy has set up a secure online order form to process credit card transactions safely. When you submit this form, the information is encrypted during all stages of the transaction, with a method approved by Visa and Mastercard to safeguard your information (PCI-DSS for the technically inclined). As a result, it is actually safer than using your credit card in person at places like a restaurant or gas station. We have been processing online credit card transactions since 1995 without any incidents. Of course, if you would like more specific details on how we handle the security of your credit card information, please feel free to contact us.

But of course, we realize that sometimes people just aren't comfortable with the idea of providing credit card information online. So if you prefer, you can call us to provide your payment details or set up an account. We can be reached toll-free at 1-866-961-2269.

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 What are the terms and conditions for using ExamBank?

Our terms and conditions are can be found at our Terms and Conditions web page.

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