Successfully combining digital and written exams

Conducting digital assessments alongside written exams can be extremely successful. Especially when the same techniques used for digital assessment are also applied to written exams. This entails, among other things, that written exams and digital assessments are compiled from the same database. In addition, the marks for and results of written exams are digitally processed and analysed.

The advantages of using digital techniques with written exams

There are three main advantages that improve the quality of exams and the service level for candidates:

  1. (Quality.) In this way, each exam is unique and does not have to be compiled manually. The system does this automatically on the basis of the exam matrix. Because each exam is unique, the risk of fraud decreases, and, because no student is given the same exam, the chance of them knowing the answers to questions in advance is much smaller.
  2. (Quality.) Multiple-choice questions are used in the digital assessments and the written equivalents thereof. After candidates have taken a written exam, their answers are scanned. In this way, another advantage of digital assessment can be exploited: the assessment software is used to analyse the questions, which means that there is continuous quality control.
  3. (Service.) There is no need to know who will turn up to take an exam in advance, which gives candidates flexibility. Even if unregistered candidates want to take an exam, they are able to do so because additional written copies are always available. Candidate’s names only have to be linked to their results after completing the exam.

Combination of written and digital exams

By using both written and digital exams, the organisation has a large amount of flexibility with regard to when and where exams can be taken by candidates. Digital exams require facilities, such as laptop computers and a reliable internet connection, that are not needed when conducting written exams.

The combined use of written and digital exams means locations can be spread further apart, which also improves the service level given to candidates and trainers.

Consistent exams and exam location quality

Because the exams are generated by a matrix, the content is weighted and, although each exam is unique, there are no differences in difficulty level (between written or digital versions). The use of different locations for conducting exams is also subject to quality standards. The quality of the written exams is also monitored by freelance invigilators and administrators. Both exam forms are also externally supervised to ensure that set procedures are followed.

The advantages and a key focus point of digital assessment

Taking an exam on a computer is a pleasant experience for candidates: it avoids writer’s cramp when answering open questions, improves legibility for markers and candidates can also easily change their answers during the exam. Lastly, the answers are stored centrally so they are always available. Human error is also automatically prevented in processing the answers. Information security is a key focus point when conducting digital assessments. Its importance should not be underestimated and given the highest priority.


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