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Technical Bulletin

April 8, 2016

What is happening?

Oracle's scheduled Java Critical Patch Updates occur quarterly, as indicated on the Oracle Critical Patch Updates schedule. This reminder aims to help you avoid possible interruptions in your online testing due to Java update pop-up notifications, as well as others. 

What does that mean?

Unless disabled, all pop-up notifications during student testing disrupt the TestNav session. Oracle automatically checks your Java version and may send a pop-up notification to immediately accept Java Critical Patch updates.

Upon receiving this pop-up notification, TestNav immediately closes the testing session. To resume testing, an administrator must accept the update. The test monitor must then resume the test-taker’s session in the testing administration platform before testing can resume.

You can avoid these interruptions by using the information below to plan ahead for Java Critical Patch updates.

For information on auto updates and Oracle's end of support, see Java SE At a Glance.

What do I need to do (and how do I do it)?

Check Your Java Version and Configurations

Critical Patch update notifications affect browsers running Java with expiration check enabled.

Expiration check notifies you that your Java version has expired. Java allows you to disable this notification to avoid interruption. To disable expiration check, see Option to disable the “JRE out of date” warning in Oracle’s Update Release Notes.

  • If you do not know your Java version, run TestNav SystemCheck to examine your testing computers for operating system, browser, and Java readiness.
  • With expiration check enabled, Java requires these updates - even during online testing. Update notifications disrupt students’ test sessions as noted above. TestNav (and other java applets) will not run until the update is complete.
  • Oracle requires users that receive the Java notification to update to the latest release of Java.

Critical Patch updates do not affect browsers running: 

  • Java with “JRE out of date” warning disabled.
  • All other Java versions that also pass SystemCheck and TestNav login verification.

For computers not immediately affected by these updates, you can make Java updates after your school completes its online testing sessions.


Related Information

  • TestNav uses the Java plugin to secure browsers during high-stakes assessments. Pearson continually monitors Oracle’s Critical Patch updates and validates TestNav against these updates prior to their release to ensure your testing security. Pearson notifies you so that you can avoid effects to your online testing network.
  • Oracle releases Critical Patch updates on a quarterly basis.
    You should regularly monitor the Java update schedule to establish a plan of action for affected computers and avoid interruption. For Oracle’s Critical Patch update schedule, see Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin.

  • For the Browser/Java versions that TestNav 8 currently supports, see TestNav and Proctor Caching System Requirements.


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