The ongoing COVID-19-induced disruption, and the ensuing social distancing and prolonged closures, have forced educationalists across the globe to recalibrate their examinations and academic strategy. Numerous unprecedented challenges in conducting examinations have underlined the criticality of online exam software for maintaining continuity in their established exam schedules without concerns on their viability.
Several prestigious institutions have already undertaken competitive exams by adopting online examination software, thus upholding the sanctity of the process. They were able to mitigate the adverse impacts of lockdown with enhanced accessibility and infusing flexibility to the process of giving and taking exams.
However, employing an online examination solution is still a consideration for many centers of education. The lack of awareness on what to expect from an online examination platform is a significant bottleneck. Concurrently, those willing and on the lookout for a viable solution have pertinent questions on scalability, question paper formats, technical adaptability, accessibility, online exam software price, and various anti-cheating methods.
What is the best online testing platform?
There has been considerable proliferation of online exam service providers. From those who help conduct virtual examinations to those who help set up the online environment, there are many vendors on either side of the spectrum. Hence, with numerous viable online exam system providers on the market, it’s essential to know about reliable vendors that can enable you to seamlessly maintain the integrity of high-stakes exams. Other factors must be considered, such as who these foremost service providers are and on what basis should one shortlist them. You must ascertain the vendor’s levels of experience, their clientele across sectors, and the range of offerings on new-age online exam solutions. You must also consider whether the solution’s offerings meet your institute’s or university’s requirements.
How do I choose the best online exam software provider?
We believe that the best online examination software enables you to implement innovative, context-appropriate solutions. It is leveraged by low bandwidth and can be pressed into service irrespective of your exposure to using technology.
A host of futuristic anti-cheating methods and remote proctoring features lend excellent levels of authenticity to the exams. This assures the faculty of the validity of certificates and grades, giving them the confidence to embrace the digital way. The best online examination platform won’t compromise the rigor of the assessment or the delivery of the product as they are directly linked to preserving academic integrity.
Online exam providers are technology service providers that offer web-based assessment software solutions for conducting educational assessment, campus and lateral recruitment, promotion and appraisal, and training and certification. These examination software solutions play a pivotal role in many universities, colleges, schools, examination bodies, and organizations, enabling them to conduct tests timely and effectively.
In this blog, we would assess the industry’s top five online exam system providers. We deep-dived into their background to help you explore each vendor’s most important offerings. This includes their market experience, the provision of futuristic features in their online exam platforms, their scalability, safety features, security protocol, clientele base, and much more.
MeritTrac, a 100% subsidiary of Manipal Global Education (MaGE), offers assessment services and examination management services to corporate organizations, educational institutes, and government agencies. Established in 2000, MeritTrac’s online examination platform ‘Pariksha’ helps streamline the administration and management of online exams. It includes registration, application processing, online test booking, test center management, test creation, and tabulation of the results.
Founded in 2010, Mercer | Mettl is a leading technology company that provides a sophisticated range of online assessment software, competency-based customized skill assessment tools, result analytics, and proctoring services to a diverse set of clientele across industries and sectors. Mercer | Mettl has an undisputed reputation in building innovative yet straightforward solutions on the cloud, empowering global markets. It is the only Indian company to have been featured in Gartner’s Global Market Guide for Top Proctoring Vendors in the World.
Mercer | Mettl’s online examination platform ‘Examine’ is an end-to-end, user-friendly, and easy-to-navigate platform. It ensures hands-on expertise without technical adaptability. Most recently, Mettl accomplished a noteworthy feat of conducting over one lakh proctored assessments in a day, simultaneously hosting multiple universities and students. The company’s impressive load testing data further highlights its volume proficiency. In a 60-minute time slot, it successfully hosted a pool of 1000 candidates joining in simultaneously, every minute of the hour.
Launched in 2017, Talview is a comparatively new platform to screen, interview, and test students. Talview’s online exam software is an easily customizable tool for course examinations. It swiftly assesses candidates’ reading and writing skills during the exam-taking process. In a secure environment, it eliminates repetitive tasks and enables clients to focus on achieving testing results.
Prometric provides center-based testing and assessment solutions to several organizations, academic institutions, and government agencies. Its expertise in developing and deploying innovative solutions have helped test owners to advance their credentialing programs through a secure and consistent testing infrastructure. The company is relatively new to the technology-enabled virtual assessment category and is yet exploring various advanced and engaging features.
TCS iON is a strategic unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), focused on manufacturing industries (SMB), educational institutions, and examination boards. This relatively new player in the market helps configure and schedule online examinations. With a host of features, iON digital assessment solution simplifies the assessment process, starting from applicant registration to publishing results.
Now that we have discussed in detail the most prominent online examination platform players in the industry, you must assess your specific requirements. Make an informed decision by understanding the potential of each online exam service provider’s examination platform. Several critical factors must be evaluated comprehensively before choosing the right online examinations vendor. These factors include staying abreast with methods of global examinations and being in-sync with academia’s blended learning environment. They also include the platform’s user-friendliness for examinees and examiners and the provision of customized solutions that cater to specific requirements.
The online exam platform chosen by you must be able to host a sizable number of students simultaneously, without a glitch. A robust system should also complement the institute’s/university’s value and stakes with efficient operation and performance. Additionally, it must equally address the diverse needs of candidates, teachers and the university.
The best online examination platform must support multiple exam-takers at various locations, across the globe, with minimal internet bandwidth. Every applicant, even at the remotest corners, should be able to access the platform in a hassle-free manner.
A dynamic end-to-end examination platform should offer to create exam papers, considering distinct exam patterns and academia’s user requirements. It should also feature an easy-to-navigate interface, ensuring seamless navigation and adaptability for even the senior-most faculty with no prior technical knowledge. From maximum options for conducting a variety of exams without technical complexities to possessing a rich repository of question formats, the platform must offer flexibility while meeting diverse user requirements.
Whether it is enabling human proctoring in an online exam or deterring students’ attempts at cheating by employing high-tech and innovative means, an online examination platform should feature a robust invigilation mechanism to ensure test-takers do not resort to any illicit means. Its dynamic set of anti-cheating features should lend fairness, ethics and progressiveness to internet-based exams.
An online exam service provider must provide unmatched customer support. Top-notch customer service, including round-the-clock availability and hands-on assistance, would ensure that there are no hindrances to undertaking the examination drive. The customer service must be prompt at solving queries and exhibit patience when explaining the product’s intricacies. The quality of support provided by an excellent online exam service provider demonstrates the customer’s value for the company.
Data breach, unauthorized access, and privacy risk are global concerns. These issues have gained more traction as individuals and policymakers are increasingly stressing privacy and data security, which have been reflected by legislations. Such apprehensions prompt a focused approach to strengthen data privacy. Irrespective of your online exam service provider, it must offer a stringent security protocol to safeguard both candidates’ and clients’ data at every stage of the examination/assessment process. The service provider should be committed to making online exams secure, credible and scalable.
Based on the parameters mentioned above, here is an insightful checklist with the most sought-after features in an online examination platform by educational institutes and academia. The list of vendors providing these features follows the checklist.
However, the features mentioned above would lack clarity if an online exam service provider lacks experience. Experience is an invaluable winning formula when coupled with knowledge and insights to deliver you a successful drive. An experienced online exam service provider can efficiently pinpoint loopholes and develop a potential solution. It would have the requisite experience of ironing out glitches of diverse kinds. Therefore, expertise can be a significant differentiator in selecting a vendor with a competitive advantage.
Online examinations are a global revolution. The recent and ongoing disruption has only expedited the transition and accelerated its acceptance among the education industry stakeholders. Consequently, several online examination service providers have propped up. They are offering progressive solutions at an affordable online exam software price. While every educator will have distinct examination needs, you must base your decision to choose your examination platform by focussing on the platform’s ability to host exams at scale. You must equally focus on its flexibility to organize the exams, pedagogically suitable design and the limit to which it eases grading and evaluation, besides the host of anti-cheating and state-of-the-art remote proctoring mechanisms being offered. The best online exam platform will never deter academia or students from adopting the digital ecosystem. It will instead find concrete solutions to bottlenecks by increasing online competency, apart from providing seamless advantages compared to traditional methods.
The most proficient online exam software will offer a genuine pull for the education industry stakeholders to shift to an online examination platform. You must make the shift because of its ability to lend incredible seamlessness to the examination process for you, your faculty, and your applicants. After all, adopting innovative and flexible solutions to ensure examination continuity is a viable way to insulate the sector from more such unforeseen disruptions.
Before you call it a day, below are the answers to some underlying concerns institutes and universities tend to have with regards to conducting online exams when using an online exam platform.
An online exam is possible if you an internet access and a computer to take the test from anywhere in the world. Add to that a proctoring solution and it makes the whole examination process efficient and effective with its robust anti-cheating features and an automated testing process.
The online examination system is a software solution that manages all your end-to-end examination needs by allowing any institute or industry to plan, organize, and administer examinations through the internet/intranet and Local Area Network (LAN) environments. The online examination system is a scalable, credible and secure solution that allows you to conduct exams in the remotest of place without any hassles.
Creating an online examination system begins with 1.choosing a vendor that provides a platform and proctoring technology. 2. Training everybody and gaining familiarity of the new technology. 3. Building purposeful tests question papers and uploading it into the system. 4. Creating the test links and calling students through links on email who simply have to click on it, and the test will begin.
Students can write via various editors that allow using mathematical formulae, graphs etc. digitally. The second method is to write on page and upload into the system.
Mercer | Mettl’s powerful online examination platform enables students to take tests seamlessly from any part of the world. All they need is a webcam supported computer and minimum internet bandwidth of 512kpbs.
Yes, they can. Depending on the online examination service provider, one has to attest to the kind of anti-cheating mechanisms they have in place. Every online exam software will have its tool to prevent students from indulging in any unsavory activity.
Mercer | Mettl has acquired a pole-position in the assessment ecosystem, enabling numerous clients across industries and verticals to conduct their examinations and assessments with the highest industry standards. It’s a trusted partner for corporates in hiring, developing, and engaging the right talent as well as global education institutes offering diverse courses. The company’s clientele list includes major global and Indian institutions, corporations, and startups. Mercer | Mettl’s suite of advanced proctoring technologies, research-backed assessments, efficient cloud platform, customized assessment creation, and in-depth analytics help deliver transformative results for its clients.
Mercer | Mettl’s online platform, to date, has conducted more than 20 million online tests, and the numbers continue to grow. The robust technology has a proven track record of delivering results at all levels. Most recently, it accomplished a noteworthy feat of conducting over one lakh proctored assessments in a day, along with hosting multiple universities and students simultaneously. Our impressive load testing data further shows our volume proficiency- In a 60-minute time slot, we’ve successfully hosted a pool of 1000 candidates joining in at the same time, every minute of the hour. Forty thousand students have successfully given the Christ University Entrance Exams online using our platform without a glitch. In the past, Mercer | Mettl has aided IIMB to scale the exams of its digital courses beyond the traditional realm by managing 1.2 million learners spread across 190 countries.
Academic integrity during high-stakes exams holds supreme importance. Hence, our cheating prediction abilities are as high as 95%. Our state-of-the-art proctoring technologies, combined with the latest advances in AI-based and remote live proctoring, eliminate a myriad of unsavory instances associated with online entrance exams. A stellar combination of AI flags, human proctoring ability, and applicants’ authentication ensure accurate cheating detection.
Our prestigious academic partnerships validate the credibility and proficiency of Mercer | Mettl’s services. Institutes like Cambridge Assessment, Christ University-Bangalore, Disha, IIM Bangalore, SP Jain, ISB, XLRI, to name a few, have already replaced traditional examinations with our online examination system to maintain their academic calendar and schedule. Most recently, Mercer | Mettl has partnered with AIMA to conduct MAT online exams across India to ensure the continuity and sustainability of their exam process.
To showcase complete transparency associated with both administering and grading of MAT, Mercer | Mettl had become RTI compliant. It empowers the academia and the applicants to navigate through the process without any ambiguity.
Originally published July 10 2020, Updated October 4 2021
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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.