When taking an exam, it is important that the candidate is able to concentrate well and is not distracted. In short, that the exam is taken under optimal conditions. Distractions, in whatever form, can lead to cognitive strain, which is not conducive to exam performance. A good digital testing system offers convenience and a clear structure that makes it easier for candidates to concentrate. A candidate can therefore fully focus on the main issue: achieving a good result. In addition, a digital test-taking system has enormous advantages for people with dyslexia or poor eyesight, allowing everyone equal opportunities.
When it comes to convenience and a clear structure, with the aim of achieving an optimum result, a testing system offers a number of practical advantages:
Are these practical advantages just convenient or do they actually serve the purpose of the exam? After all, a good test measures what it is supposed to measure (validity). The use of a digital testing system reduces the chance that you measure something else than intended. This results in very targeted tests. With a digital testing system there is less risk of measuring things that are not directly part of the test, but which may influence the candidate’s performance.
A number of skills which in general are not part of the test can influence the performance of candidates. Obviously you want to keep this to a minimum. The right testing system can help here. Some examples:
Suppose you are working with a paper-based version of the exam, then it can be difficult to browse through the exam and keep the papers in order. A testing system, however, presents the exam in a well-organised manner and at the same time provides insight into the number of unanswered questions in relation to the time available.
It can happen with paper exams that you accidentally put the right answer alongside the wrong question or unintentionally skip questions. How wonderful would it be if the testing system prevented you from making these mistakes? It is also not inconceivable that sloppy handwriting can have a negative impact on the evaluator’s assessment. This too is no longer a problem when using an assessment system.
If you have reading difficulties, you are generally at a disadvantage in theory tests. In order to mitigate this disadvantage, having the exam read out to you (interpretation) is an interesting option. Digital examination systems generally offer the possibility of reading out the exams. This increases concentration, compared to reading the exam yourself or having someone else read it to you. If you have difficulty with spelling, the built-in spell checker offers a solution. Moreover, it is often easier and therefore more reliable to assess the work you have done. A dyslexia statement is generally compulsory for such facilities.
Poor eyesight can be an obstacle to testing. In this case, too, reading out offer a solution. Sometimes, however, it is sufficient to set a larger font or choose an alternative colour combination of the screen. The target group that benefits from a larger font may be larger than you initially think. If you do not have computer or reading glasses with you, but you do need them, this can be so bothersome that it negatively affects your results. The possibilities of a digital testing system offer an absolute solution. This in turn improves the perception of validity: possible bad results are not due to forgetting your reading or computer glasses.
A digital testing system contributes to the optimal and valid taking of exams with equal opportunities for everyone. The influence of skills that are not part of the test but that can have a negative effect on the result can be limited to a minimum with an (extensive) testing system. In short: a good testing system makes examinations better.
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