Since it became possible to administer online exams as we’ve seen in the last couple of years, conventional mode of examination has become outdated. And the reason for the massive decline is not far-fetched. Compared to online assessment tools, paper-based exam is time consuming, expensive and often leaves a lot of room for error. This is why many organizations and institutions are making the transition. The introduction of online examination software has completely changed the manner in which exams are conducted, especially in the arrangements and pattern. The traditional approach of buying study materials, collecting notes, looking for exam venues, or hiring proctors or invigilators, as well as analyzing candidates’ records and scripts manually are no longer necessary.
The term “online examination software” simply refers to any software platform or tool used to conduct test or examinations on the web. Most of the time, this software is also referred to as computer based test (CBT) software. Up till date, there are basically two types of CBT – Online Exam and Offline Exam. The online exam is mainly facilitated by the internet, while the offline exam is usually organized within an intranet facility, such as a school or company network. Online examination software does not only serve as a modernized method of taking exams, but also magnificent platform for learning, where students and candidates can easily have access to useful information and latest update with regards to test and exams, as well as other benefits. When choosing the online assessment software for your organization, it’s always advisable to go for the latest solutions that come with more sophisticated features and security concern. Here are some of the advantages of an online examination system.
Security and confidentiality are two areas that must be strongly addressed when organizing any type of exam in order to maintain the integrity of the system, as well as the importance of the exam. After preparation, the examination must be kept away in a safe place, as any “leak” of information can easily lead to the cancellation or retake of the exam. All these challenges can be easily addressed through the agency of online exam software as they use databases to store information away safely and only permit authorized access. Online examination software also comes with several features that help to greatly reduce the chance of cheating by candidates. This is because they make it very easy to assign each candidate with different set of questions. While this is also possible with paper-based exams, implementation can be very difficult. Some online exam software also makes it possible to take photos and video record of candidates to ensure proper exam conduct and reduce the chance of copying. In many cases, such exams are conducted without the need for a physical proctor or invigilator. Instead an online invigilator may be employed to monitor the exam from a remote system through sounds, pictures, videos and live links which are all enabled by an online system.
You will agree that the traditional approach of conducting and evaluating tests and exams can be really burdensome. Luckily, you can save yourself the time and stress by adopting a good online assessment facility. By using this software, you can rid your organization of lengthy formalities that include creating question papers, registering candidates, hiring invigilators, evaluating candidates’ scripts and records and so on. In essence, you will be saving yourself a lot of time. As indicated, no need for examiners to spend a lot of time evaluating answers and preparing candidates’ results. With online exam software, the process is automatic. Answers are instantly evaluated online, while results are either displayed immediately on the website or sent to candidates’ email. Apart from your end, candidates also get to benefit from this advantage. Since it is possible to take exam online from any location, they don’t need to travel miles to an exam venue. This tends to be even more convenient for them and may help to boost their confidence.
Online exam systems come with a lot of features that makes them highly efficient. Interestingly, more of these features are being added daily to make them even more efficient. Utilizing an online assessment tool makes it very easy to control an entire exam process. It also simplifies each step you have to pass through, right from conducting the exams to process of evaluation or analysis. Given the fact that everything is done online, the chances of making mistakes or errors is usually very slim. Additional, online system helps you to overcome the challenge of “paper leak”, which is a frequent occurrence with traditional paper-based exams. In this case, no need to publish question papers at designated centers where it could be easily leaked.
Another important benefit of online examination software is that it can be executed anywhere. Candidates no longer need to travel long distances to an exam venue. As long as they have a personal computer and a strong internet connection, they can access the online exam from anywhere. This gives the student or applicant more time to relax before the exam or test. We’ve already heard stories of candidates who lost their lives in a plane crash or some other accident in the process of trying to reach their exam centers. In the same vein, invigilators do not have to go through the long tedious process of tagging exams every time as this is taken care of by the system. Depending on the software, candidates can take their exams and see their results at the end of the assessment. Also, applicants don’t need to take the exam at the same time, especially when using multiple test questions. With 24/7 access, exams can be taken at the individual’s convenience and comfort.
Compared to traditional pen and paper method of testing, online assessment tools tend to be more cost-effective. The logistics cost associated with printing question papers, renting exam venues, hiring invigilators/proctors and so on, is greatly reduced when using online infrastructure. In fact the cost saved on paper printing alone is remarkable and sometimes some of these costs are non-existence. A good example is the renting of exam venues. With some online systems, candidates can take exams from wherever they are without travelling long miles to a designed location to participate in the exercise. However, it’s also important to note that even though the cost of operating an online assessment tool is significantly lower as compared to the many advantages it offers, you may need to make some initial investment on some IT facilities depending on whether you opt for in-house or outsourcing. The Bottom Line Even though online exam systems are incredible solutions for taking exams, they still have their downsides. For instance their exam options are limited – they are largely not suitable for exams that involve drawings and diagrams. Also the initial cost of setting up the technology often required for the exams can be huge. But there’s ongoing work to find suitable solutions to these challenges. But even in its current state, online examination software is a far better option to paper-based exams. And as seen above, its benefits far outweigh its disadvantages.