Prepona® pioneered the building and delivering of computer-based tests (CBT) in Brazil and is the market leader in professional certification programmes. We also work closely with corporate clients as their platform of choice for medium- and large-scale T&A programmes. We have a great deal of experience in item calibration using Item Response Theory (IRT), as well as other statistical analyses and these services help to ensure our clients offer the highest possible quality exams. We can deliver online tests en masse as well as offline ones at over 100 accredited test centres around Brazil.
We carried out our first major item calibration in the year our company was founded and this project enabled us to speed up the launch of our first CAT test. We also started to build our first T&A management system that very same year.
We launched our CAT test in order to meet the language T&A demands of multinationals operating in Brazil. Our tests fed results into our assessment system that allowed HR staff to manage their training and education programmes. Our system was one of the first in Brazil to produce a learning gap for all programme participants according to their area of study, thus allowing for better class grouping. Our first CBT essay-writing test – The same year we launched our CAT test saw us providing clients with a true CBT solution for candidates to receive their tasks and write their essays all in the same package. This was considered quite revolutionary at the time and is still a technology that few have mastered in Brazil. Our CBT discursive writing test system also provided examiners with the wherewithal to efficiently generate markers’ comments along with the score, thereby producing a much richer feedback for those being tested – i.e., those learning. CBT in oral assessments – In order to fully meet the market’s needs, we also launched that year a version of our essay-writing test technology for use in oral assessments and interviews. This solution also made use of the same tools for generating examiner comments.
Come 2004 the financial sector had been forced to set up a professional certification programme for staff working in bank branches and we were hired to provide CBT tests for one of the certifying bodies. We now serve nearly all the certifying bodies in that sector.
In 2007 we signed a contract with a large certifying body that wanted to move from P&P testing over to CBT. That client already had a good-sized pool of calibrated items, which allowed us to build an exam with multiple forms and a minimum of overlap, thereby minimizing item exposure whilst at the same time greatly increasing the combinations of tests delivered. This was important, as it was the first case of a large-scale certification programme migrating to CBT in Brazil.
We came out with our new system for test building and delivery that also processed results and statistics with secure access for clients and partners. The sophistication of this new system enabled us to stay lean and dedicate more time to our clients and their needs, so we could always carry on developing our systems and improving our services. The launch of our new integrated test management system was another large step forward for us. It gives TC staff and proctors upgraded tools for managing test distribution, as well as receiving and invigilating candidates. It also comes with reinforced systems for protecting test integrity and risk mitigation.
In order to meet the needs of an increasingly sophisticated and demanding market, we designed and launched our own LOFT test in 2011. This form of testing has proved very successful in one of the largest certification programmes in Brazil and is being used by more and more clients.
Our clients and their content providers can now count on a secure and robust system for remote test content management, no matter where they are. This enables clients to work with their partners without the cost and hassle of having to meet in the same place. Clients can also handle all appeals against specific test items whenever filed by candidates at the end of their exams. New grading system for essay tests and oral assessments – Clients now enjoy internet access to our upgraded system for essay marking. Parameters can be set to match the most sophisticated structures clients may have for essay marking and mediation. The same grading system can be used for mediation and quality control of oral assessments given anywhere in the world, keeping on file all interview recordings. System for giving large-volume online LOFT tests – In 2013 we developed an online LOFT test delivery system in order to meet the demands of a client who faced the challenge of having to assess large numbers of candidates in a short period of time and who were spread across this vast country – often in remote areas.
The launch of our third generation platform means we can now offer our clients and partners a full end-to-end service – from candidate enrolment to test payment and booking, as well test result and digital certificate publication. The new platform also allows clients many more reports in real time, including geographical and hierarchical comparisons, on top of more complete metrics.
Launch of our multi-language feature that allows clients to build tests in diverse languages, as well as view all parts of the platform in the language of their choice. Clients with a global reach can now include include participants from many more countries.
Launch of many new test features especially those for helping people with impaired vision, as well as Speech-To-Text/Text-To-Speech function for the blind. With our new Apps tests can be taken on- or offline on tablets as well as desk and laptops.