The Evolution of Exam Patterns in Medical Entrance Examination

Over the years, the technology has infiltrated every part of our life. From ordering food, we rely heavily on technology. As the population increase, the importance of technology to cater to the large crowd became imperative. With the growing population, the number of aspirants taking exams also increased. The task of physically grading every paper became an immense difficulty and burden for the examination officers.

Medical entrance exams moved from the traditional concept of paper-based exams where students appear at the center to write answers and teachers spend countless hours grading through every paper. There were several downsides to this system including.,

  • Consumption of time
  • Human error
  • Loss of paper due to improper handle

 The evolution of technology with the ability to minimise human effort has made this mammoth task easier by introducing computer-based examination. Earlier, aspirants had to clear All India Pre Medical Test, a two-tier examination process. This system was later replaced by National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), a nation-wide test conducted for MBBS and BDS courses.

NEET has successfully entered the technology-driven system of examination where students appear for online tests. Online tests refer to the system based process of taking examination where student answer without the need for lengthy answers. The questions are asked in such a way that the answers can be given by selecting one of the choices from the given set answers.

Using OMR, Optical mark recognition system, the process of grading papers has replaced the traditional methods. OMR captures marked data based on human-marked data. The data is collected in different forms including multiple choice examination peers in the form of shaded areas or lines. Initially, OMR used transoptic paper that was passed through a scanner to ascertain scores/data. Over time, OMR software took over this process to be more cost-effective.

Some of the critical reasons why OMR became the most popular choice for examination includes.

1.Minimal human intervention

Since everything in the examination is binary based entirely on paper quality and coloring, the need for humans to understand the answers and grade them reduced. This in-turn cut the possibility of human error while grading the exams.

2.Less time consumption

The software used in the grading process scans only for highlights across the page thus reducing the time consumed to evaluate each answer. Owing to the ease of the process, the number of papers that can be graded in day increases. This software also ensures that there is ambiguity in the scores awarded thus keeping the process clear.

3.No misplacement of data

All the graded data gets collected in the software. Hence, students can be assured that there will be no loss of data. This ensures a smooth result announcement process for both the examination body and students. Reviewers can easily pick and identify roll numbers in case of re-evaluation or cross verification.