The testing industry currently faces some serious challenges. Rampant fraud, the effects of testwiseness, and an uneven and often unfair playing field. The SmartItem is the solution. This simple but significant innovation yields un-stealable tests that last virtually forever, saving money and cranking up the fairness factor. Buckle up.


A SmartItem uses special technology during development and delivery so that the item renders differently each time it is given on a test. Translation—no two examinees see the same thing during testing, so “stealing answers” to gain an advantage is pointless. To encourage proper studying and instruction, the SmartItem is coded to completely cover the target standard or competency. No more “teaching to the test.”

It's Expansive

One well-designed SmartItem can render in thousands—even millions—of ways, select variable changes in real time, and present different versions of itself to each test taker.

It Prevents Cheating

With so many renderings of each question, you can no longer cheat by sharing content, buying questions and answers, or asking a friend to take the test and tell you what they saw.

It Can't be Stolen

Well, it can, but it won’t matter. A SmartItem covers the entire breadth and depth of a skill. So, memorizing a SmartItem answer key would benefit no one, pulling the rug out from under cheaters and braindump sites.

It Promotes Fairness

A SmartItem goes a long way to enhance the fairness of your exams and level the playing field for your test takers. It eliminates the two largest sources of unfairness: testwiseness and cheating.

It Mitigates Testwiseness

A test taker’s success on an exam should depend on the depth of their knowledge, not their ability to take tests in a strategic way. SmartItem technology can be applied to the DOMC™ item format to reduce the effects of testwiseness on your scores.

It Curbs Ballooning Costs

The costs of damage control and development after a security breach or content theft can be financially draining for any program. SmartItem technology ensures an almost infinite lifespan for your tests.

It Works for All Item Types

A SmartItem is not an item type, it’s a treatment for any kind of selected-response item. It doesn’t matter if your existing items are multiple choice, short answer, matching, etc., you can convert them into SmartItems.

It's Proven to Work

Testing programs have already adopted and love SmartItem technology. SmartItems are fun to develop. They’re long-lasting and strong. They’re fair. More importantly, the scientific research results reflect all of that.


What’s it like to take the leap and adopt SmartItem technology?

Phase 1: Sick and Tired

In the first phase of SmartItem adoption, you may not even be familiar with the SmartItem. What you are familiar with is the frustration caused by testwiseness, cheating, and constantly spending time and money rewriting exposed items and tests. This phase ends when you stop being sick and tired and decide to act.

Phase 2: Toes in the Water

By now you know what the SmartItem is, and it’s time to grapple with the reality that it mitigates far more challenges than it poses. Dipping your toe in the water, you quickly learn that SmartItem technology curbs ballooning costs, increases fairness and accessibility, and dramatically improves your test security. The only downside for you is a brief and painless learning curve.

Phase 3: A Few Adjustments

Now things really get moving. You’ve committed to converting to the SmartItem and it’s time to source your technology. Whether you integrate with your current system or you use Caveon Scorpion™, you simply need to train your team how to design a great SmartItem. The tools themselves are very user friendly.

Phase 4: Build an Un-Stealable Exam

Once you and your team are comfortable with building SmartItems, you’re off to the races! Because each SmartItem covers the breadth and depth of a skill and renders to test takers in a vast number of ways, you notice that you no longer need to spend so much time in item development. Look at you, saving your team time and money! Nice job.

Phase 5: Reap all the benefits

You find that you sleep just a little easier knowing that your content isn’t being harvested and used to cheat. Soon after, you notice that your emergency test development budget is suddenly freed up for other priorities. Eventually, you and other SmartItem adopters make the world of testing a more fair and accessible place.


Okay, okay… Which way would you like to get started?

Try it on our platform,

Scorpion, Caveon’s secure development-to-delivery testing platform, was the first to support SmartItem development. Sign up for a free account today and get started designing un-steal-able tests of your very own.

with your own systems,

There’s no need to switch test development tools to harness the benefits of SmartItem technology. Our API will integrate with your existing tools, bringing the power of the SmartItem to whatever system you’re already using.

or try something new!

Interested in doing research using SmartItems? Although the technology that makes the SmartItem possible is patented, we’d love to work with anyone who is interested in trying the innovation on for size. Reach out. We’ll help you adopt with confidence!


Why tell you when we can just show you? See how a SmartItem works with this short video.

Play Video


Don’t just take our word for it:

“SmartItems are invulnerable to cheating and theft, relieving SailPoint of the same security concerns that have plagued every other IT certification program for the past three decades.”

Arthur Altman
Program Manager, Global Education Services
Sailpoint Technologies Holdings

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