I. Introduction

Electronic test scoring provides a rapid method of scoring and analyzing an objective test. This guide provides the following information:
  • the procedure to follow in using the test scoring service
  • the guidelines to adhere to when requesting the use of the test scoring service
  • the process the answer sheets undergo
  • the standard information output, as well as additional output that can be requested

As a reminder, Scantron forms completed by students are student records.  As such, you may not make additional marks or remove any existing marks on a Scantron form completed by a student.

About Optical Scanners

Optical scanners read positional marks made by number 2 lead pencils or blue or black pens on an answer sheet. Information represented by these positional marks is then stored on disk. The data is used as input to a computer program which analyzes and grades the tests.

The optical scanner makes a very sensitive check of the response positions for each question; if it is optically able to distinguish between multiple marks (according to the darkness of the mark), the darker mark will be selected. If, however, two or more marks are of the same darkness level, the test will be rejected and the scanner operator will erase both marks so that the test can be graded. In this case, the question would be processed with a blank answer.

The optical scanner reads both sides of the answer sheet at once by reading through the sheet. The black boxes above the solid red line at the top and the timing marks printed along the left-hand edge of each answer sheet are used to synchronize the motion of the answer sheet as it is processed by the optical scanner. Therefore, it is very important that no marks are made on either side of the sheet as these marks could affect the opposite side of the sheet. Also, no marks must be made across the top of the sheet. This could prevent the answer sheet from being read at all.

If the optical scanner finds no errors, the answer sheets will be returned in the same order as they were when they were submitted to the test scoring service. If the optical scanner detects an error, the answer sheet will be fed into a reject hopper while the machine continues to feed the rest of the answer sheets. The scanner operator will edit the rejected form, taking the necessary action to try and process the rejected forms through the scanner (i.e., double marked answers, blank answers, missing user IDs). If the scanner operator cannot correct the error, the rejected answer sheet will be placed on top of the others with a note indicating why the form was not processed.

Possible reasons why an answer sheet cannot be processed:

  • The student used a non-standard pencil or pen
  • The test had a scramble and the student did not fill in the form number.

Note: Any questions concerning the statistical output of the test-scoring program should be directed to Research Computing Support, 310 Laws Hall (rescomp@MiamiOH.edu). Any questions concerning the operation of the test scoring service should be directed to Test Scoring, testscoring@MiamiOH.edu, 513–529–8378 (TEST).

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