Better exams with the right testing system

Better exams with the right testing system

In any exam administration, it is important that the candidate be able to concentrate well and not be distracted. In short, take an exam under optimal conditions. Indeed, distraction, in any form, can lead to cognitive strain, which is not conducive to performance during the exam.

Digital test-taking

A good digital testing system helps candidates concentrate through convenience and overview. This allows a candidate to focus fully on the essentials: getting a good result. In addition, digital test-taking has huge advantages for people with dyslexia or low vision, giving everyone an equal opportunity. Also read more: how to choose the right testing software.

Practical advantages

When it comes to convenience and overview, with the goal of achieving optimal results, a testing system offers a number of practical advantages:

  • You easily “flip” through the exam.
  • You can see at a glance which questions are still unanswered so you don’t accidentally skip a question.
  • The layout is very clear: one question at a time on the screen.
  • You can use automatic spell check.
  • Important sections of text can be highlighted with a color using the highlight function.
  • The testing system offers several practical tools, such as a calculator, a clock (you can turn it on or off) and a digital notepad.
  • Comprehensive testing systems provide additional options for a customized exam. Consider, for example, a larger font, the color of the screen that can be changed to the user’s liking, or even the formatting (horizontal or vertical presentation of the question).
  • A good testing system is well suited for administration to different target groups, such as the blind and visually impaired or people with dyslexia. For example, such a system offers the ability to “sound out” an entire exam. This means that the exam is read at a desired pace. In addition, extra time can be granted automatically.

Valid examination

Are these practical benefits just convenient or do they actually serve the purpose of examination? After all, a good test measures what it is intended to measure (validity). Using a digital testing system reduces the chances of measuring something different than intended. This results in highly focused tests. Thus, with a digital testing system, you run less risk of measuring things that are not directly part of the test, but that may affect candidate performance.

Additional skills affecting test result

A number of skills that are not generally part of the exam can, however, affect candidates’ performance. Obviously, you want to keep this to a minimum. The right testing system provides the solution. Some examples:

1. Keeping an overview and time management

Suppose you are working with a paper exam version, it may take effort to flip through the exam and keep papers in order. However, a testing system presents the exam in an orderly manner while providing insight into the number of unanswered questions in relation to the time available.

2. Working Accurately

It can happen with paper exams that you accidentally put the right answer to the wrong question or unintentionally skip questions. How nice is it if the testing system prevents you from making these mistakes? Also, it is not even inconceivable that sloppy handwriting can negatively affect the evaluator’s assessment. Again, you no longer suffer from this when using a key system.

3. Reading and language skills

If you have difficulty reading, you are generally at a disadvantage on theory tests. To mitigate that disadvantage, having the exam read aloud (narration) is an interesting option. Digital testing systems generally offer the ability to narrate exams. Concentration increases in the process, compared to reading yourself or having another person read to you. If you have trouble spelling, the built-in spell checker offers help. Moreover, grading the work done is then often easier and thus more reliable as well. However, a dyslexia statement is generally required for such facilities.

4. Vision

Impaired vision can be a barrier to testing. In this case, too, declension offers a solution. However, sometimes it is enough to set a larger font size or choose an alternative color combination of the screen. The target audience that benefits from a larger font, by the way, may be larger than you initially think. Not carrying computer or reading glasses, but needing them, can be so inconvenient that it negatively affects your results. The possibilities of a digital testing system then definitely offer a solution. This again benefits the perception of validity: any poor results are not due to forgetting your reading or computer glasses.


A digital testing system contributes to optimal exam administration and valid examinations with equal opportunities for all. You can minimize the influence of skills that are not the subject of the test, but may have a negative effect on the outcome, with a (comprehensive) testing system. In short, a good testing system makes examination better.