Frequently Asked Questions

 Is this site run by the government?

Exambank has always been a private venture, though the education system is well aware of the service and supports the initiative. "" was initially created by a teacher to help her students practice for exams in an online environment. It has since become a commercial venture with Syzygy Research and Technology, as the only viable solution to keep the site running during periods of immense Internet traffic. For a few weeks in June, corresponding to the peak exam preparation season, ExamBank is one of the busiest web sites in Canada. Though initially offered for free to Alberta students, this project has outgrown all the volunteer hours and costs that can be maintained on a teacher's salary.

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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 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 now have a sample available for you to use as a starting point in Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF).

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

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 Why do I need to pick two passwords for my username?

The exam password is the password you use 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 your account and determine how many logins still remain unused, as well as change passwords and other details of your account.

Many families prefer to set both passwords to be the same so there is less to remember. However, for account security, schools and school districts are required to use a different password for each area.

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 What practice tests can be used with my account?

This depends on how your account is set up. When an ExamBank account is first created, it has access to all of the exams available on the site. 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 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 curriculum. In addition to assessment tests and Diploma Exam preparation tests we also have practice exams available for most academic subject areas for all the intermediate grades as well, so there are practice resources available for all students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. 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 online tests be printed, photocopied, and handed out to students?

Exam Bank is continually striving to keep the costs for using the 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.

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. If you are in such a situation, we do not mind if you print the exams, however since the questions are delivered in a format intended for online delivery and marking, we can't offer technical support for printing exams if you run into problems.

If you are printing an exam and wish to print the answer key as well, you will need to go through the test to select an answer for each question, hit the submit button for it to be marked, and then print the results and summary page as your answer key.

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. 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.

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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. 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 security-related 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 at 1-866-961-2269 (toll-free).

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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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 Who is Syzygy Research and Technology?

Syzygy Research and Technology is an Alberta-based company which is involved in a wide variety of computer projects. In addition to operating ExamBank, we also develop custom software and corporate databases, as well as provide web hosting and authoring services.

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