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5 essential tips when choosing an online exam software

Online exam software are becoming one of the most effective ways in conducting tests to students. For some it has become an additional source of revenue as well as a new way of marketing to attract more leads.

But there is always a doubt on which software to use. To simplify this process, here are 5 tips which can help you analyze and choose the best online examination software.

Usability

Usability is the first and foremost concern for many institutes. The best design should be self explanatory. A thumb rule in identifying usability in an online exam software is do you need external help to understand its usage. If yes, then the design is not user friendly. Following are the points to ask when deciding about usability.

  • Check if it is simple and easy to understand. The user interface shouldn’t be cluttered with features you would never use.
  • Does the software help your students? Check whether it can offer customized templates to suit your area of examination. For example, if you are a banking coaching institute, see if the software offers exam in the same template as that of IBPS online exam pattern.
  • Can your users access the software from anywhere? Is it web based?

Analysis

A good online software should help you ease your manual work. This means it should analyze and provide reports of your students. It should do the hard work of correcting and categorizing the answers and inform you about weakness areas of your students.

  • Does it correct the answers automatically? Check whether students are able to review their results.
  • Check if it can provide an easy way to export the results? Ability to download the data in excel format can help you make decisions effectively.

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Reliability

For big institutes involving thousands of students, scalability and reliability are key factors to consider. Many vendors offer custom hosted software which doesn’t scale as they are not in the cloud. Also custom written softwares lack credibility because the stakes are less.

  • Check if the software vendor has existing customers using it? This gives a credibility factor to the same.
  • Ask if the software runs on the cloud? Cloud based software are scalable which means they can handle lots and lots of load concurrently. Self hosting solutions offer poor scalability and are prone to failures.

Support

In spite of the ease of usability, there may be initial hiccups in effectively using and conducting online exams. Many time human guidance will be required to help on the same.

  • Telephonic or mail support should be provided instead of complex
    ticket raising methods. Is the vendor accessible by phone?
  • How fast are the features being updated and issues fixed technically. You shouldn’t buy one which is never updated and full of
    bugs.

Cost effective

A very important constraint for many institutes is how cost effective the software is. Given the uncertainty in the number of users, a fixed of payment might not always be the right pricing for everybody.

  • Check whether the pricing is flexible.
  • Are they ready to give it free for conducting free mock tests? This can help you test the software before investing on the same.
  • Sometimes prepaid model for varying number of users might be cost effective instead of bulk payment for a fixed number of users.
  • You can also consider to use it as a tool to sell your online exams with zero investment.

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