Copyright 1989,1990 by Bill Shipley
All rights reserved
This program is distributed as shareware. It may be freely
distributed as long as all files are included. If you like and
use the program please send a $10 registration fee to
798 Blenheim Ct.
Severna Park, Md. 21146
TESTMASTER should run on any ST computer. Version 2.01 runs
in either medium rez on a color monitor or high rez on a
TESTMASTER was written in order to provide a structured study
environment. It can be used to teach general subjects; but the
primary use of the program is preparation for specific tests. A
short test demonstrating a math quiz (VOLUMES.DAT) is provided.
The potential for the teaching of general subjects is
demonstrated by the CAPITOLS.DAT file which is also included.
The most common use would require entering of specific
questions and answers relating to a test for which the student
has to prepare. For an older student, the entering of the data
will be part of the learning process. For a younger child, an
adult may have to enter the data. From personal experience, this
effort is much less painful than attempting to help a child to
study - especially one who has difficulty studying. For simple
subjects, even the younger child may be able to enter the data by
himself since the process of entering data is very easy.
In order to run the program, TESTM201.PRG, either TESTC20.SCR
or TESTM20.SCR (for color or mono monitors respectively) and all
.DAT files should be copied into the same folder on your disk.
Actually, .DAT files can be anywhere; but the File Selector will
initially show the data files in the same directory from which
the TESTM201.PRG file was executed. Double clicking on
TESTM201.PRG will load the program and a title screen will be
presented. Press any key to get to the main menu.
The menu will present the following selections:
Create a test
Select a test
take a Multiple choice test
take a Question and answer test
The appropriate menu item can be selected by clicking the mouse
on the item or by pressing the letter key indicated by the
Before we get into a discussion of the menu selections, I
will describe the features common to data entry throughout the
program. Text is always entered in the insert mode with existing
text pushed to the right of the newly entered character. You can
use the "delete", "backspace", and left and right arrow keys for
editing text. If you are entering or editing text in a question
field, word wrap will be done automatically when you have
finished so don't worry about a word continuing from the first to
the second line. In addition to the normal text characters, the
pi symbol and superscripted 2 and 3 may be entered by pressing
ALT-P, F2 and F3 respectively. The data entry is completed by
pressing the RETURN key or the down arrow key.
CREATE A TEST
Now, back to the menu selections. Select "Create a test" to
enter new test data. The File Selector will appear. You may
either enter a new name or select an existing data file. It is
not necessary to add the .DAT extension. It will be added
automatically if you don't. If the name is already in use, you
will be asked if you want to replace the existing file or add
additional questions and answers to the selected data file.
Next, a prompt will appear asking if you want autosave ON or OFF.
If you select "ON", your data will be saved automatically after
each ten questions and answers. This will prevent any major loss
of data in the event a catastrophe - such as a power loss -
occurs before you have completed your data entry. Just press
RETURN at the prompt if you do not want autosave on. You will
then be asked if you wish to add or modify a header. The header
is simply a single 80 character line which will be displayed on
the line immediately above each question. This could be used as
a title or as a leading phrase common to each question. If you
pick this option you will be allowed to enter a new header or
modify an existing one. Press RETURN or the down arrow when
done. If you answer "no" to the header question, the header will
not be modified if you are adding data to an existing test.
You will then see the data entry screen. If you are creating
a new data file you will be at question #1. If you are adding
data to an existing file you will be placed at the question
number following the last one in the selected file. Data is
entered and edited as described previously. Pressing RETURN or
the down arrow while in the question field will place the cursor
in the answer field. An up arrow keypress while in the answer
field will return you to the question field. Pressing RETURN or
the down arrow in the answer field will take you to the next
question and answer entry screen. When you have finished
entering data, simply press RETURN in both fields without
entering data. The data you have entered will be saved and you
will be returned to the main menu.
The second menu selection is "Join tests." This allows you to
merge two tests into one. If you have, for instance, produced a
series of data files for quizzes in a subject and now want to
combine the data in preparation for a major test, you could
combine the files using this menu item.
After selecting this item, the File Selector will appear
twice in succession. Respond with a first and second test name.
The data contained in the first test will be appended to the data
in the second named test. The resulting combined test will keep
the same name as the second named test. Also, if the second test
had a header defined, it will become the header for the combined
test. The first test will not be deleted. If you want to delete
this file or rename the merged file, use the Desktop.
SELECT A TEST
The next menu item is "Select a test." This can be used to
select a test for subsequent data review or testing operations.
Just use the File Selector when it appears as you normally would
- use the mouse or type in a name. The program will
automatically prompt you for a selection if you try to review
data or generate a test before selecting a data file. Once
selected, a data file will continue to be used until another
selection is made.
The "Review data" menu item allows you to review and modify
the data in an existing test data file. Operations available in
this mode are Forward, Reverse, Menu, change Question, change
Answer, and Delete. All of these operations may be chosen by
either clicking on the command with the left mouse button or by
pressing the key indicated by the capitalized letter.
The Forward command will cause the question and answer number
to be incremented by one. The question number will continue to
be incremented until the mouse button or the "F" key is released.
The Reverse command operates in the same way as the Forward
command except that the question number is decremented. These
operations will allow you to quickly move around in the data
The Menu command will take you back to the main menu. Any
modifications made to the file will be saved to disk.
Selecting change Question or change Answer will place a
cursor in the appropriate field where you may edit the currently
displayed data. Press RETURN or the down arrow when finished.
The Delete command will cause the current question and answer
to be marked for deletion after confirmation. The marked
question will not be shown during subsequent moves through the
data. It will erased and the data file will be repacked when you
return to the main menu. Any number of questions may be marked
TAKE A MULTIPLE CHOICE TEST
We are finally getting to the heart of the program. The
"take a Multiple choice test" selection will present on screen a
multiple choice test based on the currently selected data file.
Questions will be asked in random order. Answer choices, in
addition to the correct answer, will be randomly selected from
the rest of the answers in the data file being used. Each
question will be displayed along with the header, if used. A
list of four possible answers will also appear on screen. The
"answer" is selected by clicking on the appropriate answer line
with the left mouse button. You will get a CORRECT!! message if
you pick the right answer. If you select a wrong answer, a bell
will ring and an INCORRECT!! message will appear. You will also
be shown the correct answer. Pressing the right mouse button
will cause the test to continue with another question and answer
set. Pressing the ESC key instead of the right button will abort
the test. The question number and percentage correct will be
continually displayed in a status bar at the top of the screen.
After the test has been completed, you will be told the number of
questions answered correctly and a percentage score. You will
then be given the option to return to the main menu or retake the
test. This test may be sufficient in itself, but it is also good
preparation for the Question and Answer test.
TAKE A QUESTION AND ANSWER TEST
After selecting the "take a Question and answer test" option,
you will be asked if you want the answers checked for
capitalization. If you select the "YES" button, answer
verification will be "case sensitive." If you select "NO" (the
default), the answer will be considered correct regardless of
When this test is selected, questions will be displayed in
random order and you will be prompted to give an answer. After
typing in the answer - you can edit your input with the usual
editing keys - press RETURN or the down arrow. Your answer will
then be checked for exact spelling. You will be informed if your
answer is CORRECT!! or INCORRECT!!, and you will be shown the
correct answer if you were wrong. If you feel that your answer
was close enough to be considered correct, even though it did not
match the stored answer exactly, you can override the computer by
pressing CTRL-O at the "press any key to continue" prompt. You
can also abort the test by pressing the ESC key at this prompt.
As with the multiple choice test, the question number and
percentage correct will be continually be displayed in a status
bar at the top of the screen. After the test has been completed,
you will be told the number of questions answered correctly and
the percentage score. After pressing a key to continue, you will
then be given the option to, (1) take the Entire test again,
(2) test on Incorrect responses, or (3) return to the Main menu.
The 2nd option will not be presented if you have correctly
answered all questions. These options can be selected with the
mouse or by pressing the appropriate letter key.
If you select option (1), the entire set of questions in the
selected test will be asked again. Selecting option (2) will
cause only those questions not previously answered correctly to
be asked again. This feature allows you to repeatedly take a
given test until all questions have been answered successfully,
without having to repeat questions that you know.
Option (3) will return you to the main menu.
The final main menu selection, "eXit program" will return you
to the desktop.
To sum up, the following steps would normally be taken in
preparation for a test.
1.) The test would be created. Questions and answers would be
entered - hopefully by the student, but more likely by a helpful
adult if the test is for a younger child.
2.) If necessary, the data would be reviewed and any necessary
3.) A multiple choice test would be taken to familiarize the
student with the material. This can be taken as often as
4.) If necessary, the student would proceed to the Question and
Answer test. This test could be repeated until all answers have
been given correctly given. To be absolutely sure, the entire
test would then be retaken.
After going through the above steps, the student should be
thoroughly prepared. This sequence, at least after the first
step, can be accomplished by the student entirely on his own.
TESTMASTER was written and compiled using HiSoft BASIC.