Whether you are a corporation running certification programs or
assessing training effectiveness, an awarding body looking to
move away from paper or expand into a new market, a training
company setting up a scalable end-of-course assessment, or a
college modernizing your approach to exams, there are numerous
benefits that arise from making the transition to online
The benefits of online assessment are welcomed by both the exam
candidates themselves, and for the organization providing the
assessment. It also provides benefits to student learning. The
types of benefits gained from an online assessment will depend
on the assessment software used, but one overriding positive
outcome is that organizations greatly reduce the administrative
burden of organizing and running exams. This is not an
exhaustive list, but here are 12 key benefits of online
assessment to consider:
1. Exam Candidates are used to Digital.
Exam candidates can work on a
computer in a way they are familiar with, rather than
using pen and paper. This means that the student
learning process is at a disadvantage if they do not
have access to computer editing tools when writing e.g.
cut and pasting text, or using a spreadsheet for
accounts. It is hard to switch to pen and paper when you
are used to working digitally with an online course, and
it can be very tiring over long periods.
2. Reduced Administrative Burden.
Organizations greatly reduce the
administrative burden of organizing and running exams when
it moves online. Printing and circulating exams on paper and
organizing shipments of completed scripts to markers is a
time-consuming and costly process. Hence, online assessments
and offering students the chance to complete a test online
are more timely and efficient.
3. Quicker to Mark and Issue Results.
It is much quicker to mark online
assessments and candidates welcome receiving results
quickly. With auto-scorable questions, students can attain
immediate feedback as well as ongoing feedback from their
4. Collaborative Question Authoring.
Online learning makes it easier
for the examining body to manage all the tasks involved in
creating exams. For the first time in over a decade,
authoring questions can be done collaboratively, with clear
workflows for review and approval of questions before they
are added to the question bank. This allows the instructor
to add new knowledge and ensure that they are giving
students high-quality ability tests to help each individual
5. Automated Test Assembly Tools.
Once there is an approved bank of
questions, exam papers can be created easily by selecting
questions or by using automated tools e.g. LOFT, or
linear-on-the-fly testing, to create automatic and
randomized papers. You can read more about
linear-on-the-fly testing here.
Moreover, these multiple choice quizzes can efficiently test
the knowledge of students and ensure to enhance their
learning progress, as much as a formative assessment can.
The mix of test tools ensures to enhance inductive logical
thinking and improve student learning. From instant feedback
from these tests, students can give the best impression
through faster improvements.
6. On-Screen Marking Tools.
Marking and moderating exam
results and aptitude tests is streamlined and now, a
systematic process thanks to online learning. Test results
offer quick feedback as are much more secure and
standardized when it is managed online. Read more about
on-screen marking here.
7. It’s More Environmentally Friendly.
The option to test online is much
more environmentally friendly – with less paper, printing,
and transport used overall.
8. Scalable with Worldwide Reach
With online assessment, examining
bodies can offer exams to candidates located over greater
geographical areas, as they are not restricted to offering
exams in physical test centers. This enables development for
student learning across the world, which is the beginning of
mass learning. Ensuring students are not limited to the
tests that they can take, enhances the chance of education
for those that seek further education development and new
9. Increased Security.
Another benefit of online
assessment is greater security, as all online exam papers,
candidate details, marks, and results are digitally stored.
In addition, only the people who should be able to access
online exam information can be granted the appropriate
system access. It is much harder to control access, storage,
and results in management with paper-based exams.
10. Flexibility to Take Exams Anywhere
Remote invigilation, or online proctoring, gives candidates the ability to sit
a secure and invigilated online assessment from the comfort
of their home, which is less stressful and saves time and
money going to a test center. Read more about the
benefits of online proctoring here.
11. Assessment Reporting.
The online assessment facilitates
quick and clear reports on candidate results and progress.
This makes it easier to give useful feedback to candidates
on how they are doing, areas where they are strong, and what
areas of learning require attention.
12. Cost Effectiveness.
Online assessment is more
cost-effective, due to the vast reduction in administrative
time managing the whole exam creation, delivery, and marking
processes. You can read more about other online exam
13. Assessments that are Accessible to All
When you run online assessments,
it is easier to adapt those assessments for candidates who
have disabilities, such as changing font size, background
color etc. It is also easier to add extra time for online
candidates who need special considerations. To learn more
visit this article on
accessibility in assessment.
Benefits of Online Assessment with TestReach
Watch this video to understand more about the TestReach
solution, and understand the types of benefits it brings to
organizations running various online assessments and
There are significant cost reductions when compared with
running face-to-face exams. In-person exams can be very
expensive as there are substantial fees associated with
factors such as hiring a test hall, supplying or hiring
invigilators, securely couriering exam papers and answer
sheets, printing exam papers, scanning and correcting
solutions, securely storing and disposing of exam papers and
scripts, staff overheads to manage the process and logistics,
and dealing with re-sits. TestReach removes all of these costs
and introduces a standard fee per candidate, irrespective of
their location. With TestReach there are no up-front
configuration or site-license charges as our license fees are
purely based on usage. TestReach is extremely cost-effective
even for small numbers of users that use online assessments.
Flexibility for Candidates
For the vast majority of exam candidates, time is precious.
TestReach provides exam candidates full flexibility to take the
online assessment in a location of their own choice and there is
the option to offer an exam window, where online candidates also
have the flexibility to select a suitable date and time. This
capability can be a very significant competitive advantage,
particularly for candidates in full-time employment.
Easy for Candidates to Use
Within TestReach, there is a very high priority placed on design
and the online system is both intuitive and easy to use, even
for less tech-savvy candidates. The online candidate experience
from the initial enrolment email through to submitting their
test on exam day is very straightforward, with multiple
resources made available to fully explain the process. Within
the online system, options are easily identified and accessed,
with all candidates having access to a “test tutorial” in
advance, which can be taken multiple times and allows the online
candidates to become familiar with the system. Our whole focus
is to ensure that on exam day exam-takers need only be concerned
with their exam and not how to use a new system.
Online candidates also have the benefit of sitting their exam in
a way that is in line with standard practices, where written
answers can be easily edited and numerical analysis is carried
out via a spreadsheet as opposed to on paper. Plus there is the
added advantage of not having to write for long periods of time
online, which can cause a lot of problems for certain categories
Maintaining the Integrity of the Exam
When running exams across multiple geographies it can be very
difficult to ensure that the same high levels of exam integrity
apply in each region, particularly when relying on local
partners or external venues. TestReach offers a level playing
field to all candidates and ensures that the integrity of the
exam is preserved irrespective of location. There is also full
control over each exam paper, so the examining body decides
exactly when and who sees the paper, plus all access is fully
Create Better Assessments
TestReach offers the potential for a very rich user experience.
With question types ranging from recording your voice through to
plotting graphs, the whole testing experience is much more
interactive and interesting. This can have a very significant
impact on the effectiveness of your tests, where you can use
TestReach’s 50+ question-types to assess the candidate’s ability
to apply their knowledge, as opposed to just testing their
knowledge levels at a particular point in time. It can also
improve how your brand is perceived by your candidates and the
quality of service that you offer. Even if most of your testing
is currently based on text-only or MCQ-type questions, you have
the option to easily expand this to include more comprehensive
question types in the future.
There is also the option to turn on confidence-ratings and
associate questions with one or more learning outcomes. Both of
these features can allow you to better asses the quality of your
training and education service. If most candidates answer
questions on a particular learning outcome correctly but were
not confident in their answer, they were effectively guessing,
which raises questions about how the course material was
Significantly Reduced Administration Overhead
There is enormous administration overhead associated with
sourcing and managing test centres, particularly across multiple
countries. There is then the additional effort associated with
actually scheduling exams and managing candidate attendance,
cancellations and re-schedules, which becomes all the more
complex when test centres are in different time zones. TestReach
completely removes this overhead and allows all exams to be
scheduled centrally with fully automated candidate notifications
There is also the capability to set up affiliates or training
centre partners, who can manage the enrolment process for their
own specific candidate base, without having access to any of
your actual exam papers. This decentralizes the administration
process and can be very effective if you work with third parties
who enrol candidates into your tests.
A Personalised Service
At TestReach we pride ourselves on the levels of customer
service we provide. We work with our customers as partners and
provide lots of advice, guidance, and best practice based on our
extensive experience. Moving exams online, and/or rolling out
remote invigilation is a big step, which requires planning and
the right approach. Our experienced consultants are on hand to
help you every step of the way, in line with the specific needs
that you have and the approach that you want to take.
A Total Assessment Solution
TestReach covers all your needs by combining the ability to
create online tests with the option of online supervision.
This offers huge flexibility for organizations as you can
run exams or tests in any combination of the following:
Online with Remote Invigilation
– this option effectively recreates the exam hall experience
over the Web. The exam is authored and rolled out on TestReach,
and at exam time our trained supervisors remotely monitor
candidates taking the test via video, audio, and remote screen
share. It is extremely secure and everything is recorded and can
be reviewed at a later time if required.
Online at a Test Centre –
the test is rolled out in an online format where candidates come
to a test center to be supervised by their own in-person
invigilator. Candidates can either bring their own laptop, or
you may provide computers at the venue. Computers can be
locked-down for the duration of the test so that candidates
cannot access any other programs or files on the device.
Paper-Based – TestReach
offers a scan and data entry service for paper-based answer
sheets, for the interim period where organizations are
transitioning to online testing and may want to offer candidates
a choice between online and paper-based exams. This allows
organizations to take a phased approach to the introduction to
Online Without Supervision –
this option allows tests to be rolled out in an online format
but they are not supervised. This could be for practice exams,
ongoing course assessments, simple quizzes, or feedback surveys,
Offline Assessment Portal™
– The TestReach offline solution enables exams to be run at test
centers without the need for internet connectivity. Our Offline
Assessment Portal™ gives test centers the ability to securely
download the TestReach environment, relevant exams, and
candidate information in advance of an exam. Candidates can sit
the exam on any computer on the same network as the Offline
Assessment Portal™ application and neither the candidate machine
nor the Offline Assessment Portal™ requires internet access
during the exam session. On completion of the exam, the test
center securely uploads candidate responses to TestReach. Exam
and candidate data is encrypted so it is extremely secure and
reliably maintains the integrity of the exam.
Assignments – TestReach
provides a number of options and workflows for on-going
assignments that includes the facility for candidates to upload
submissions, marking, and routing. With our comprehensive
question types that include spreadsheet, essay, and drawing
tools, it is also possible to give students the flexibility to
actually create their assignment within TestReach.
All of the above options are offered in one easy-to-use solution
where you can just turn options on and off for each exam, so you
can transition to online assessment at your own pace, taking a
phased approach whereby different cohorts of candidates can take
the same exam in a variety of ways to suit your specific needs.
There is complete flexibility to meet both your current and
future assessment requirements.
Combined Online Assessment and Remote Invigilation
There are some very significant advantages in having a total
solution that has the flexibility to deliver tests in a
variety of modes. Firstly,
there are no integration points. While creating an integration between systems can appear
straightforward, when exceptional or unusual circumstances
arise that have not been anticipated, these can give rise to
problems that may even compromise the integrity of the
you are only dealing with one supplier, so you have one contact point and one supplier with
responsibility for all aspects of your solution. Thirdly, for
remotely invigilated exams,
our supervisors can answer questions about any part of the
solution. Exam candidates are under a lot of pressure at exam time
and often they have multiple questions, e.g. are my answers
being saved?, is the note pad submitted as part of the exam?
etc. Our supervisors are trained to invigilate exams, but our
team is also very knowledgeable about our full solution, so we
can answer any questions that arise. This leads to a far
better candidate experience and removes any frustrations that
may arise if supervisors have no knowledge of the underlying
assessment application. Lastly,
all information relating to your exam is available in one,
easy-to-use dashboard. If during the invigilation process, an infringement has
been raised, you can immediately see everything to do with
that exam in one place. The video recording of the incident,
the notes from the invigilator, the candidate’s score (if
questions were auto-scored), what question the candidate was
on when the incident arose, the answer given to that question,
etc. It allows for a holistic view of the test to be taken,
without having to aggregate data from two separate systems.
Learn more about the benefits of
To read more about the benefits of online assessment in
practice take a look at some TestReach
eassessment case studies here
to see how other organizations have made the transition to
using TestReach for examinations and what the benefits were.