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Online examination, also known as e-examination, enables examiners to conduct exams using the internet or a company-wide intranet for remote candidates. It requires candidates to answer questions within a pre-decided timeframe. The test window collapses once the exam is over, and institutes get real-time reports. Evaluators then assess the answers and grade accordingly. The fully automated system supports objective evaluation and helps generate results faster than in a traditional exam format.
Most online exams include answer processing modules, allowing evaluators to issue results moments after the candidates complete the test. However, evaluators assess the answers in-person for long-answer-type questions where results are not automated. The result of online exams is then conveyed to the candidates via email or published on the institute’s website.
With advanced proctoring and custom exam solutions, it is now possible to host a variety of exams using the online mode. A few of the prominent online exam types include:
The advent of technology has steadily digitized all services and offerings, taking them to the online platform, and education has been no exception. With the ubiquitous high-speed internet and laptops, the pervasiveness of technology has enabled a seamless transition to the online ecosystem.
Universities, schools and various educational institutions have progressed and adapted to Learning Management Systems (LMSs), where software applications track, report, administer and document materials that are shared with students. This teaching and evaluation system facilitates a balanced approach toward imparting knowledge and easy grading of the candidates.
Online exams aim to ensure that assessment givers can undertake the paradigm shift from offline to online processes. The online exam software industry is snowballing, and factors such as convenience, scalability, increased reach, and customization are shaping its adoption. Hence, established evaluation techniques are now nearing saturation and will soon become obsolete. In the following section, we discuss the extent of the spread of online exams in the education sector.
“Computer-based test” is an umbrella term covering any test given and taken using computers, with or without using the internet. Therefore, online exams are a subset of computer-based tests (CBTs). The benefits of CBTs include:
CBTs are helpful for academic assessment and conducting certification programs.
AI’s (Artificial Intelligence) infusion in the education ecosystem has revolutionized higher education. Universities have wholeheartedly embraced the change as AI-based exam technology enables them to:
a. Advance their curriculum
b. Offer students greater flexibility in taking exams
c. Improve the examination experience for both evaluators and test-takers
AI-based exams, also known as AI-proctored tests, eliminate the need for deploying onsite invigilators and provide a cheating-free environment. The AI proctoring software monitors the live feed through the candidate’s webcam and flags or reports any suspicious movement during the exam. Furthermore, AI-based exams make it easy to monitor many candidates simultaneously.
AI-based exam software also equips institutions with advanced solutions like:
The education sector has steadily realized the need to shift to the online ecosystem. The success stories of renowned institutions such as the Indian School of Business and Howard University further underline the importance of online examinations.
Online exams help overcome the challenge of setting up physical test centers, minimizing resource requirements – time, cost of setting up, and the need for human proctors – speeding up the examination process. Online exams accelerate the admission process in universities, where applications can be screened with minimal resources. The idea of conducting semester exams and various assessments online lends ease and seamlessness to the entire process.
Online exams have broken geographical barriers and enabled wider reach and participation. Global assessment solutions train universities and education sectors, allowing them to efficiently conduct assessments. In addition, institutions and students can enjoy incredible accessibility and reach with only an internet connection and devices.
Online exams can cater to a broad audience and easily manage vast content. Considering this feature, educational institutions facing a scarcity of time would find it highly convenient to conduct examinations with the least bandwidth wastage. Merely a computer with an active connection and a webcam to take tests makes this possible.
Online exams range from MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions), fill-in-the-blanks, checkboxes to short answers, long answers (that need to be evaluated by the teacher separately), coding simulators, case studies, etc. In addition, online examination platforms support a host of knowledge and application-based questions, enabling examiners to prepare a questionnaire with multiple question types.
Advanced online examination test platforms have an exhaustive library of competencies and sub-competencies, carefully mapped to relevant questions. For ease of use, examiners can choose the relevant skills they wish to test via the exam to frame the questionnaire. This saves examiners’ time and effort.
Automated reports do away with human intervention and save notable working hours. A report is a comprehensive approach to a candidate’s performance, with a question-wise and section-wise summary of the attempt, time taken and the difficulty level. Detailed reports are also helpful for students seeking career guidance. With the reports, they better understand their competencies.
|The era of pen-and-paper exams||The age of online exams|
|High logistical cost||Cost-effective virtual solutions|
|Geographical limitations||Wider reach and scalability|
|Significant turnaround time||Real-time analytical reports|
|Requirement of multiple invigilators to curb cheating||AI-based proctoring technology to prevent cheating|
The online test process usually includes five steps.
Examiners or admins set up the testing environment and upload questions to the online exam platform. LMS integration and result configuration also happen at this stage.
Examiners upload bulk candidate data to the platform, select time slots and share the test link with students via email.
Test-takers use the link to login and attempt the test via three-step authentication. The tests are usually recorded and can be proctored for high-stakes examinations via AI-based or human proctors.
Once the user submits the test, it is auto-evaluated for real-time report generation. The results can be customized and shared in PDF or HTML formats.
An in-depth analysis of the overall online examination test can be done in the form of group-level analysis and can be customized as needed.
Online exams are monitored via proctoring technology and classified into three categories.
A live proctor invigilates test-taking candidates on an online platform for the test’s duration. A proctor can immediately disable the test if a candidate cheats on the exam.
Candidates’ audio-visuals and screen-sharing feeds are recorded throughout the test. Proctors review the recorded test, playback, fast-forward, and red flag suspicious activities using annotations.
An automated proctoring system monitors the recorded feeds using advanced audio-video analytics to detect suspicious activities.
An online exam software, sometimes also debatably known as an online examination platform, enables educational institutions to offer assessments using the virtual mode. Universities, colleges and schools assess students’ learning and knowledge, appearing for their tests using computers and the internet. The examination process remains like the offline mode, barring the fact that the entire exam-giving and taking process moves online rather than given at physical centers.
The first step to choosing the right online examination software involves outlining your specific requirements. That makes it easier to select the software that best suits you. There are several options to explore, but before choosing a vendor, you should consider the following aspects.
It is ideal to choose an online exam platform that promises the following.
Mercer | Mettl’s online examination platform helps securely conduct high-stakes assessments using advanced online proctoring features. In addition, the tool enables end-users to manage the end-to-end online assessment process. From online registration and test creation to center management, and real-time reporting, the entire process is centered on assisting clients in conducting assessments with the utmost ease.
The platform eliminates any impersonation risk using multi-factor authentication using OTP, Aadhar/biometric or IP, followed by ID authentication. It also involves facial recognition by taking the candidates’ pictures and ID proof to avoid impersonation.
Mercer | Mettl’s Safe Exam Browser prevents candidates from accessing the internet. Once enabled, this feature detects and ends the test for the examinees who browse away from the test window and open multiple tabs on the browser.
It enables monitoring of candidates’ behavior and actions for suspicious activities. With cheating prediction abilities as high as 95%, Mercer | Mettl’s proctoring technologies combine the latest advances in AI-based and remote live proctoring to eliminate the risk of cheating.
Online tests unquestionably become a more efficient medium of assessing candidates’ knowledge and aptitude. They allow flexibility to educational institutes to create, manage and evaluate examinees effortlessly. With quick assessment and real-time report generation, results can be declared immediately after the students have completed the test. Online examinations have revolutionized the education industry by automating in-person, tedious and cumbersome processes.
Educational institutions install an online proctoring software that tracks candidates’ test activity using their computer screens in an online exam. It utilizes webcams to record every detail and harnesses AI to analyze their activities. The online proctoring software data is used to validate the examinee’s identity and maintain the testing environment’s integrity. Remote proctoring ensures a controlled environment where the candidates are under continual surveillance, reducing their ability to cheat. Online proctored examination solves two purposes: eradicating malpractices and reducing the need for many invigilators. The webcam monitors the candidates continually, behavioral alerts notify the proctor of suspicious activities, web browsing tolerance prevents them from switching screens, and a recorded video of the examination is saved for future reference.
You can do an online exam by clicking on the test link sent by your university. You can select a time slot as per your availability, given an option. You must keep your ID card ready for authentication before beginning the test. Once your registration is approved, you can take your online exam. The minimum upload speed required for:Webcam proctored test: 512 kbps Non-webcam test: 256 kbpsYou can find the internet speed on the following sites:1. Bandwidthplace.com 2. www.speedtest.net
You can write an online exam using an online examination test platform that allows you to seamlessly take your exam. You must follow the instructions, such as clicking your image and verifying it against an ID and OTP, before beginning the test. The online exam occurs in a secure environment. Therefore, you must close all the background websites or applications and enable your webcam for proctoring. Please contact the support team for issues during the online exam.
Originally published March 26 2020, Updated August 3 2022
Online examination, also known as virtual examination, is conducted remotely on a computer with high-speed internet. Like a classroom exam, it is time-bound and usually supervised through a webcam and proctor, making it cheating-free, secure and easily scalable.
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