Frequently Asked Questions


Free Trial Signup

How does the Free Trial work?

You can register for a free trial by filling out a simple form on our website, which you can get to by clicking on “Free
Trial” on our website. We will then email you a verification link. Once you click on the verification link, you will be logged
into your Free Trial account, and you can set up one or more test packages.

A test package generally corresponds to one or more tests to assess the skills for a particular job description. For example,
you could set up an “Administrative Assistant” test package to include the “Timed Typing”, “Data Entry”, and “Microsoft Word” tests.

You can set up as many test packages as you want.  As you setup each test package, you will assign a test code to it.
Send this test code to each test-taker that you want to test. With the Free Trial account, you can send the test code to up to 3
test-takers for free.

Why do you need my email for the Free Trial? Why can’t I
use my yahoo or hotmail account?

It is our duty to employers to ensure that prospective test-takers do not have the ability to try out the tests by
themselves. We do our best to ensure that only legitimate organizational emails can be used to setup the free trials.

I am unable to use the Free Trial signup form. (OR) I cannot
seem to get the CAPTCHA words right.

Please contact us.

When I signed up, I was supposed to receive an email, but I

The registration email is sent immediately after you click on the submit button for the signup on

If you have not received the email in 2-3 hours, please check in your junk mail folder or with your IT department to make sure that anti-spam filters have not filtered the email. Note that it could take a while to work its way  through the email system and
anti-spam filters.

If you cannot resolve the problem by yourself, please call 1.800.569.7371 (toll free).

My Account

What if I forgot my username or password or both my user name
and password?

Visit and click on “My Account” then select Forgot your Password? Complete the requested information and you will receive an email with a new Password or Username or both.

After my account is setup, how do I get started?

Visit and click on the “My Account” Tab.  Use the  username and password that you used to set up your account. The first thing you need to do is to setup a test package.  A test package typically corresponds to a position or job type, such as “Administrative Assistant II”, and consists of tests that would be relevant to that position – e.g., Data Entry,
Spelling, and Timed Typing. Use the Setup Wizard to setup a test package – it walks you through entering a position name, test code, and the skills you need to test for. Once you have setup a test package, you can give the test code to a test-taker.
The test code should be entered at by the test-taker.  The Distribution Wizard, which is
optional, can be used for distributing the test code to multiple test-takers. You can set up as many test packages as you want.

Can I change or add the names of individuals who should receive
test reports?

Go to My Account Home page and login.  Under Setting & More! click on Testing Settings. You can add or change the email addresses for the individuals who should receive reports.  Separate multiple email addresses with a comma.

What is a package? Why do I need to setup a package? What is
the Setup Wizard?

A test package typically corresponds to a position or job type, such as “Administrative Assistant II”, and consists of tests that would be relevant to that position – e.g., Data Entry, Spelling, and Timed Typing. Use the Setup Wizard to setup a test package – it walks you through entering a position name, test code, and the skills you need to test for.

Why do I need to use the Distribution Wizard?

Once you have setup a test package, you can give the test code to a test-taker. The test code should be entered at by the test-taker.  The Distribution Wizard can be used for distributing the test code to multiple test-takers. You could just as well use email, but you might find it easier to use the Distribution Wizard – whichever is your preference. Note: With a free trial account, the Distribution Wizard is easier.

What is the Trial Wizard? (OR) How could I try out some tests
that I have not purchased?

Free Trial users get to try out any of the various tests we offer for up to 3 times. Paid users have already chosen one or more tests, and will only be able to administer those tests on a regular basis. For paid users, the Trial Wizard offers them the ability to try out tests that they have not purchased for up to 3 times.


Are your tests validated?

People often ask us if our tests are validated. Although this sounds like a question having either a yes or no answer, it is not so simple. Validation studies have been conducted on many TapDance tests, showing them to be valid. However, whether or not any test is valid depends on how it is used. For example, a typing test might be valid for predicting the job performance of an applicant for a secretarial position, but not valid for predicting the job performance of an applicant for the job of filing clerk. TapDance tests are developed according to strict, internationally accepted standards for quality and fairness.  Each of our tests provides a valid, reliable measure of employee skills so you can be certain about one’s ability to perform specific tasks.

TapDance was developed by licensed Industrial/Organizational Psychologists. TapDance tests are certified as content valid within their respective topic areas. TapDance has thousands of customers who have reviewed the test content and deemed it valid for assessing skills for their jobs. The tests are simulations and are content-valid because they replicate what people would be required to do on the job. Customers can take the tests and judge for themselves if the test is a sample of what people do on the job and can then choose the tests most relevant to their jobs. Customers can trial all tests and see it first-hand and determine its relevance to the skills they are assessing.

Another measure is technical validity.  A test is reliable if a person takes the test multiple times and gets a similar score. An employer, in deciding to use TapDance (or any other test), should determine if the test being administered measures skills actually needed for success on the job. There are two main ways of doing this with tests such as TapDance. The first is to examine the content of the test to determine whether the tasks required in the test are similar to the tasks required on the
job. If they are quite similar, the test is said to be content valid. The second is to give the test to a variety of people currently in the job for which applicants are to be tested- Before having them take the test, you should rate them according to current job performance. After they have taken the test, check to see if those employees who scored well on the test are generally those who perform their jobs well, and those who did not score well are generally those who are not performing well. If this
relationship exists, the test is said to be criterion valid. You can investigate the criterion validity of a test informally by
following the steps mentioned above.

A more formal analysis requires calculating a correlation between test score and job performance, and checking to see if that correlation is “statistically significant”. You should also examine the issue of reliability, that is, the tendency for the test to produce similar results when taken by the same group of people several times. The authoritative source of information about employment testing from the standpoint of government regulation is 41 CFR Part 60-3, the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures.

Does the test-taker have to enter their email address in the
screen?  (OR) Can we ask them to enter other
information, such as an applicant ID, on the sign-in screen?

When a test-taker enters the test code into the website, the first screen they see is called the
“Demographics Entry Screen”.  The first name and last name of the test-taker are always requested. What else you would like to collect is under your control as the administrator. Here is how you control it: Log in to “My Account” using the user name and password you received when you signed up for the your account.  Click on “Testing Settings”.  Scroll down the screen to where you see “Demographic Variables”. You will see checkboxes next to a number of pre-defined fields such as Job Title, Test ID,
Occupation, Age, Gender, and so on.  Check all that you want.  Click on “Submit Changes”.

Can the Demographics screen be modified to use a company logo?

If you can create an image of your logo that is exactly 408×30 pixels in size, you can use the “skinning” feature.  Log in to “My Account” using the user name and password you received when you signed up for the your account.  Click on “Testing Settings”.  Click on “Choose File” next to the Skinning Image label and upload the image. Then click on “Submit Changes”. Be
sure to take a test and verify that the logo is appearing properly in the Demographics screen. Unfortunately, we are not able to
provide any assistance with creating the image.

Can the Microsoft Word and Excel tests be customized?

It is possible to customize but not advisable. The tests were developed using the Microsoft competency certification model. That model defines very specifically the skills that should be mastered/acquired at various levels of expertise. Secondly we built
the exam questions using construct validation and subject matter experts who defined what was necessary to perform the requirements of the various jobs in organizations at various levels of responsibility.  We then cross referenced the results of the
model with the job relevance data and then constructed the test items.  This process meets the requirements and guidelines of
various professional and governmental agencies particularly because our customer base uses the tests for pre-employment screening. We could modify and customize the tests at a cost that would be high in comparison to our regular pricing model – if you are interested, please contact us.  We would suggest that you set up a no cost Trial Account and see how close the tests are to what you are looking for.


Can you explain how to interpret your test reports? (OR) How do
you compute percentiles? (OR) How do you standardize scores?

TapDance offers a variety of tests.  Although the scoring and interpretation of each type of test has its nuances, the following
outlines the general principles. For more information about a specific test, please contact us. Each question in the test is
worth one point, which contributes to the raw score for that question. The raw score for a competency is the sum total of the
raw scores for all questions in that competency.  All questions are of equal weight and bias in this calculation. The Microsoft Office tests and the Timed Typing Overall Skill Level are the only tests that are based on Standard Scores and Percentiles.  All other tests are based on a simple percentage correct. The standard score is calculated using industry-standard statistical methods, by first calculating the Z-score and deriving the T-score from it. The Z-score is calculated using the following formula:

Z-score = (Raw Score – Mean)/(Standard Deviation)
T-score = (Z-score*10)/50

A percentile is a score that indicates the rank of the test-taker compared to others who took the test. Percentiles are calculated by using the Normal Distribution function, which is sometimes referred to as the Bell Shaped Curve. Using this function,  Z scores are converted into Percentile Scores. A test-taker with a percentile score of 25, for example, performed equally or better
than 25 out of 100 test-takers. This score is presented for historical reasons; standard scores, described below, should be
preferred to compare one candidate with another. Percentiles, mean, and standard deviation are derived from raw scores using the norms obtained from testing a large population when the test was first developed. Instead of reflecting a student’s rank compared to others, a standard score indicates how far above or below the average (the “mean”) an individual score falls, using a common scale, such as one with an “average” of 100. Standard scores also take “variance” into account, or the degree to which scores typically will deviate from the average score. Standard scores can be used to compare individuals of different capabilities or age groups because all scores are converted to the same numerical scale. The Z-score is an industry-standard way of computing the standard score as described above. The T-score is also an industry-standard way of normalizing the Z-score to a scale where negative numbers are not possible.

How do I get reports emailed to someone else?

Log in to “My Account” using the user name and password you received when you signed up for the your account.  Click on
“Testing Settings”.  Enter the email address of the person you wish to receive reports into “Address to email”. If more than one administrator should receive email, separate multiple email addresses by a comma.

How do I prevent the test-taker from receiving reports?

Log in to “My Account” using the user name and password you received when you signed up for the your account.  Click on
“Testing Settings”.  Choose “No” in the “Receive Reports” dropdown box. Click on “Submit Changes”.

Is it possible to increase the font sizes for the tests?

No.  You could change the screen resolution and this should not have an negative impact on the administration and scoring of
the test as long as the full test is visible in that resolution.

How long is each practice test?

Practice tests are not generally timed. It depends on the test. The practice exam for the Word and Excel tests contains exactly one question.

Do test-takers have to answer each question?

No.   On the Microsoft Office tests the test-taker has two attempts to answer a question and there is a button allowing one to ‘skip’ a question.  If time permits at the end of the test, these questions will be re-administered for a second time.  Only two
attempts are allowed.  Wrong answers on the first attempt are not re-administered.  The 97-03 versions of the Word tests
operate slightly different on the second attempt.  One is not allowed to skip the question on the second attempt.  The test
taker has to provide an answer before the system moves on to the next skipped question (if more than one question was skipped). On the clerical tests (filing, coding spelling, etc) the test-taker is able to go to the next screen or return to the previous screen by clicking on the appropriate buttons.  The timer continues if a person goes back and ends the test and the end of the allotted time.

How is scoring computed if a person skips every question?

Do they have to answer every question? What if an applicant doesn’t want to answer a question? An unanswered question is considered to have an incorrect response. If every question is skipped, the system will display a “No Response” on page 2 of the report. If less than 40% of the questions are answered on the basic skills tests then the report is marked as INVALID.

How many minutes does it take for a question to time out before
they can go to the next question?

It depends on the test.  For the Microsoft tests, the timing varies between 30 seconds and 1 minute depending on the complexity of the answer.


Is there anything I need to download?

TapDance Live! is a completely web-based service. There is nothing to download. Our earlier version (called just TapDance without the Live! suffix) was a downloaded and locally installed piece of software for Windows XP systems. We no longer sell or
support that version.

What browsers are supported?

If you are running only the clerical tests, any browser will work. The Microsoft Word and Excel tests require the latest versions of browsers.  If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, you will need version 8.0 or above. Google Chrome is our preferred browser because it runs our tests the best.  Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox also run the tests really well.  Opera also is generally faster than Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 or 9.0.

How do I know if my Internet connection is good enough to run
your tests? (OR) What kind of bandwidth is needed to run your

If you are running only the clerical tests, bandwidth and speed are usually not a consideration, although a reliable
connection is still required. For the Microsoft Word and Excel tests, each test taker will need to have at least 100 Kbps
bandwidth – especially during test loading.  You can run a bandwidth test by clicking on the following link:

When you have a large number of simultaneous test-takers, bandwidth is a serious consideration.  When a test is loading, multiple megabytes of data will load into your browser. Multiply that number by the number of test-takers, and you could choke your network temporarily unless it is a robust network connection. If your network connection seems to be unreliable under load, we ask that you seriously consider staggering the test-takers.  Even if they start a minute apart it could make a big difference in your overall bandwidth consumption.  Test-takers are timed automatically by the system, so it won’t affect the scoring or reporting to stagger the tests. Our website is able to operate under a heavy load, so the consideration is on your side of the network.

I can’t seem to get to

Is your organization is using a proxy server that may prevent access to

DNS: It is possible that the browser is unable to translate to an IP address because the domain name server is not translating the name to an IP address.

Firewall or Anti-Virus: One of these pieces of software could be blocking the access to

Can the tests be administered remotely or in an uncontrolled

It should be possible to take the tests from anywhere so long as there is a good working computer and Internet connection.  For administering clerical tests only, there should generally not be any technical issues. The issue is with taking the Word or Excel tests in an “uncontrolled” setting – i.e., one that the employer does not know as working well. These tests do require very good Internet connection speeds and a modern browser to work correctly. It is not possible to guarantee a good outcome under any setting – particularly public libraries – and even more so in rural environments where the bandwidth is not going to be great.  Such tests should only be administered at the employer’s location itself, where the environment is well set up and understood.  Perhaps the other tests could be used for screening candidates and once they appear in person, the Word and/or Excel tests could be administered.

How do I diagnose a problem with a PC having a disconnection
issue to the tests?

To diagnose the problem from one of the PCs that is having a disconnection issue, if you are comfortable doing this, you could run a tool called Fiddler (found at You would install Fiddler, run it, enable logging, and then take a test where you get the disconnection problem. Then save the log and send to us. This would be very helpful to us in figuring out what is happening on that PC that is triggering a premature end to our tests. On occasion, we have found that the Trend Micro antivirus software could cause such issues by meddling with the requests from the browser to our server. If this happens, you should be able to bypass the proxy server through the Trend Micro administration console.

What about physical storage and security of our data?

The data is kept on our servers on the West coast in a secure hosting facility.  We do not request or store sensitive information
like SSNs – only names and email addresses.  During transmission of this information, the data is encrypted using 256-bit SSL.  We retain the data for up to 15 months, after which it is deleted.

Is there a way to lock out the task bar when TapDance is
running, so that the user cannot use any other program other than
TapDance? (OR) How can I operate TapDance like a kiosk?

It is possible to set up the browser to run in “kiosk” mode.  For example, if you are using IE, you can run it by setting up a
shortcut for: “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe” -k Similarly, Chrome can be setup as follows: “c:\path\to\chrome.exe -kiosk

After the test ends, use Alt+F4 to close the browser so the system is ready for the next test taker.  Firefox has a plugin that
allows you to run it in kiosk mode as well.

Is your product compatible with Apple Macintosh computers?


Pricing and Licensing

Please explain your pricing scheme.

We offer a variety of individual test titles such as Timed Typing, Data Entry, Microsoft Word, etc. (See Products for a
complete listing). We offer two pricing models – Subscription Pricing, priced by title or bundle bound by a time period, such as month or year, and the Pay-as-you-go model, where you have access to the complete set of titles, but you choose how many test administrations you want.

In the Pay-as-you-go model, when you buy a ten-pack of test administrations, it means you can administer tests up to 10 times for a fixed fee. Depending on how you use it, that would roughly correspond to 10 candidates.

A test package generally corresponds to one or more tests to assess the skills for a particular job description. For example,
you could set up an “Administrative Assistant” test package to include the “Timed Typing”, “Data Entry”, and “Microsoft Word” tests. You can set up as many test packages as you want.

As you setup each test package, you will assign a test code to it.  Send this test code to each test-taker that you want to

Small businesses and organizations that might only hire a handful of individuals every year might want to consider the Pay-as-you-go Pricing model. On the other hand, if your organization tests candidates on behalf of other organizations, you will also
need to use the Pay-as-you-go Pricing model – please call us.

In the Subscription Pricing model, for example, if you wish to buy just the Timed Typing title for unlimited administrations at one office location by up to 3 managers (administrators), you would pay for a single title (Timed Typing). Customers rarely buy individual titles, because they find it advantageous to buy test bundles.

We offer the clerical skills bundle or the “complete” bundle, which includes clerical skills and office skills.  For less than the price of two individual titles, you can buy the clerical skills bundle or the office skills bundle.

All prices in the Subscription Pricing model are based on a subscription period, whether it is a month or a year. Each license is valid for unlimited test administrations, up to three (3) administrators per license and up to five (5) simultaneous test takers at a time.

Free trial includes up to 3 administrations of all available skills tests.

Special discounts are available for Education, Government and Non-Profit Organizations.

Note: The Subscription Pricing model does NOT apply for organizations that act as service bureaus in regard to the testing. That is, if your organization tests candidates on behalf of other organizations, then you will need to use the Pay-as-you-go Pricing model.

What does “administrator” mean?

A test administrator is an employee who administers the tests to candidate test-takers. Usually, they are also the person who
receives emails of reports upon completion of tests. Each administrator will have the ability to login to the My Account page
with his or her own username and password.

What does “number of concurrent users” mean?

This is the number of simultaneous test-takers. Tests are often administered in a “classroom” setting where a number of
candidates are tested simultaneously on separate systems. The larger the classroom, the more licenses you’ll need.

How many licenses do I need?

In the Subcription Pricing model, the number of licenses you need will be based on (1) the number of administrators (2) the number of concurrent users and (3) the number of office locations. Please call 1.800.569.7371 for a quote.

In the Pay-as-you-go Pricing model, you are simply buying a number of administrations, and other factors don’t apply.