Many universities and colleges around the globe are now using computer based admissions tests. Computer based tests can measure an array of skills and knowledge and provide valuable insight as to the test-taker’s abilities and aptitude. As opposed to paper-based tests, computer based tests are of two types; Linear tests are similar to paper based tests in that the computer selects random questions of varying difficulty levels for test-takers irrespective of their performance level. Computer Adaptive tests actually take the test-taker’s performance into consideration by judging their ability based on their answers to every subsequent question. The computer then generates questions that are best suited for the performance level of the test-taker.
Computer based tests offer a wide range of benefits for both the applicants and the academic institutions. Some of the advantages include:
- Computer based tests are easier and more convenient to take as opposed to paper based tests. The test-taker can take only a specific amount of time to answer every question and cannot go back to change the answers to the previous one whereby reducing the overall time it takes to attempt the test.
- Universities and colleges can get faster test results as all computer based test results are automatically generated. This helps them make speedy decisions regarding admissions or grades.
- Computer based testing is offered year-round in most locations.
- The testing environment is much more comfortable and customized.
- Some tests provide an unofficial viewing of the test-taker’s test results (except essay questions).
- Tests are organized on first come, first serve basis.
- A word processor option is available to attempt essay questions easily.
- The test provides a basic computer test tutorial before the actual one starts so even those who are not familiar with computer based tests can get a pretty good idea of how to take it. Furthermore, tips and tutorials on computer based tests are also available on different testing websites.
- With adaptive computer based tests, test-takers will only be asked questions that suit their caliber and potential. This revolutionary approach to test taking ensures that the test takers are only asked questions that they have the ability to answer. This also means that all test-takers, even the ones taking the test at the same time, will be asked different questions.
If those giving the test are unfamiliar with the format or are used to reading the entire test before answering any questions, they can practice with test preparation software that mimics computer based tests. At the end of the day, automated tests end up saving a lot of time for both the taker and the administered. These tests are well structured so anyone taking the test can dive straight in and start answering questions. There are also fewer chances of confusion since these tests are designed in such a manner. Conversely, the person checking the test can retrieve results within a matter of seconds through a few clicks. This certainly beats going through lengthy conventional tests that are paper-based.