Online test: what is it and how does it work

The online test has become a handy tool for validating and accrediting the knowledge of students and candidates in specific...
12 July 2022

The online test has become a handy tool for validating and accrediting the knowledge of students and candidates in specific subjects. 

A series of applications and tools have emerged for an online exam to obtain the same security and reliability guarantees as a face-to-face exam. SMOWL stands out thanks to its on-demand services and competitive prices. 

We invite you to read on so you can have a complete overview of what an online exam is and all that it entails, as well as its advantages and disadvantages. 

What is an online test or exam?

An online exam is a test that students and candidates can take online to measure their knowledge or understanding of a subject. 

The figure of the examinee covers different profiles and thus may be: a student, a job candidate, an employee seeking training and certification, etc.

The online exams, like the face-to-face ones, may consist of theoretical or practical tests (although these, in some cases, have a series of limitations when the test modality is online). 

The most obvious example is the practical driving tests, which the examinee must take in person. Another clear example is the scientific or chemical tests carried out in laboratories with specialized equipment.

Once the student test has completed the text, the examinees may receive a certificate or diploma accrediting their correct performance in the subject matter, with the examiner in charge of scoring such performance. 

How does an online test work?

The online test is also known as a digital exam. This is because they require remote access via the Internet or a corporate intranet that allows the candidate to take an online test through the platform or the device that will serve as the test vehicle.

A large part of online exams is designed using quick question processing modules. This ‘system’ allows examiners to quickly correct the results, which are ready almost as soon as the test is over. 

However, an online test can also be designed to give open and multiple choice answers.

Some online tests also include a time limit component, blocking the option of new answers once the established time has expired. 

Finally, the examinees can receive their results by e-mail or accessing this information on the examining organization’s website, virtual campus, or provided software.

Online test, definition, develop, advantages

What are the advantages and disadvantages of online tests?

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of online exams will allow you to decide when to implement this type of assessment in your process. 

Awareness of the disadvantages of online exams can also be the best way to neutralize them and find solutions or alternatives.

Advantages of taking an online test

The digital transformation that has taken place in most companies and educational centers -both public and private- has brought solutions and advantages never seen before.

Proctoring guarantees control and safety

One main disadvantage of online exams is the lack of security and control systems around this type of testing. 

Companies like Smowltech are aware of this handicap. To overcome it, they offer online exam proctoring software solutions that allow their clients to access proctoring systems that ensure proper test performance.

Ubiquity and accessibility

An online exam allows the user to choose where to take it: from home, workplace, etc. 

A computer and an Internet connection are practically the only requirements you need to carry out an online test, which you can even take at the time of your choice (in most cases, examinees must take it at the agreed time). 

Environmentally friendly

Traditional paper-based examinations require indiscriminate felling of trees to convert wood into paper.

This has a huge negative environmental impact compared to the option of taking online exams, where a digital record replaces the printing of documents. 

How online exams work

Time-saving

We live in an immediate world where people seek to optimize their time in the best possible way. 

Time savings from online testing benefit test takers and examiners, including not traveling or reducing waiting times to start the tests. 

Cost reduction

This kind of online qualification also brings a range of financial savings. 

  • Logistical cost reduction: hiring a space to host the exams is unnecessary.
  • Administrative cost reduction: hiring personnel to keep track of registrants and candidates is unnecessary.
  • Human cost reduction: the number of staff associated with the evaluations is lower since the institution doesn’t need in-person monitoring (completed by software monitoring).

Automated evaluations

As mentioned above, the evaluation of an online exam can be automatic and even reflected as soon as the test is completed.

This corrections system is practical and agile and makes it possible to remove possible human scoring errors, which are eliminated thanks to the automatic revisions based on templates with model answers.

Disadvantages of taking an online test

There are two main drawbacks:

  1. A lack of control of examinees could exist if systems are not implemented in this sense. The solution is to use an already existing software on the market that measures, for example, answering time per question.
  2. Greater precision is needed when designing the exam and formulating the questions so the examinee cannot cheat. An excellent professional will overcome this obstacle without any problems by including, for example, long answers that do not allow automatic correction but force the candidate to answer them personally.

If you want to see for yourself what a proctoring tool like SMOWL has to offer, request a demo with us! It’s free and personalized.

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