Classroom Exam Scoring


Test Scoring Services

Testing and Evaluation Services offers test scoring, course evaluation and questionnaire processing, consulting services, external testing services, data entry via scanning technology, and placement testing. T&E offices are open during normal working hours, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. T&E offices remain open during the noon hour and extended hours are offered during final exams if the need arises.

For most test scoring, the results will be available 24 hours after the answer sheets have been brought to T&E. Processing may be completed sooner if arrangements are made at least 1 week in advance.

Most of the instructional services of T&E, such as normal test scoring and course evaluation processing are available to faculty, staff and teaching assistants at no charge. If charges are applicable, T&E staff will inform you prior to processing your job.


Answer Sheets

Machine-readable answer sheets providing 5-choices or 10-choices per question are available from T&E. (For quantities over 1,000, please call ahead. T&E would also be happy to ship large quantities via campus trucking service to your department.) Only one answer sheet can be scored for each examinee for any one test. This should not be a problem for most examinations as the 5-choice answer sheet allows for up to 240 questions and the 10-choice answer sheet allows for up to 160 questions.

Data Quality

The instructor is responsible for ensuring that students properly fill out their answer sheets. T&E staff will only correct those errors which prevent an answer sheet from being read through the optical scanner. For example, improper erasures are not corrected. Once sheets have been scanned, such errors are normally treated as omissions (i.e., as wrong answers) by our scoring programs. Students should, therefore, be encouraged to use care in erasing and to refrain from making stray marks on their answer sheets.

Test Characteristics

Tests must conform to the following standards to be processed.

  • Our scoring software accepts more than one response as correct for each question. A student can only give one answer to a question, but you can identify several choices for some or all items on an answer key as being correct answers.

  • Up to 20 part scores (subtests) may be provided. Test questions may be allocated to any or all of these part scores plus the total test score. Any item allocated to more than one part score will be represented more than once in the total score. This might be useful when one question is designed to test learning on an area of content which is also included in a more general classification of the content. Any of these subtests could have some, or even all, items in common.
  • Individual part scores may also be weighted 99.99. These weights are included when the total test score is computed. That is, the total test score is computed as the sum of all weighted (and unweighted) part scores.
  • The data may be broken into smaller groups, such as course sections, by using the Special Codes section of the answer sheet to identify the section number. Up to 999 such sections may be requested.
  • Scrambled test forms may be used to help reduce the possibility of copying someone else's answers during an examination. The instructor is responsible for providing an accurate answer key for each form of the exam, as well as for providing a master "scramble sheet" that indicates where each item is located on each scrambled form of the test. Answer options cannot be scrambled. If this occurs, each such scrambled form will have to be treated as a separate examination.
  • It is often desirable to use different forms of the same test for a particular examination. For example, some students may need to take a make-up examination at a time different from the regular examination time; or the various sections of a course may have to be tested at different times or on different days. To reduce the likelihood that students in a later group or those taking a make-up will benefit by finding out what was asked on the test, an instructor may want to use different forms of the test with some or all of the questions being different.


A score roster in either alphabetic order (ordered by last name then first name), ID number, or rank order based on total test score is provided. A roster may be requested for each section of a course, if they have been identified, as well as for all sections combined.

Summary Statistics

Summary statistics are given for the total score or for each part score, if requested. These statistics include the mean total and/or part score, standard deviation, reliability, standard error, minimum and maximum number correct scores attained, and mean item difficulty.

Frequency Distributions

A frequency distribution is given for each total score (and part score, if requested). Included are a frequency histogram of scores, a percentile rank and a standard score for each test score.

The frequency distribution provides the full range of scores when the difference between the highest score attained and the lowest score attained (i.e., the score range) is 600 points or less. When the range is more than 600 points, the range is divided into 100 equally sized score intervals.

Item Analysis

An item analysis is a specialized report which details the responses students made to each question option for each question on the examination. This report is very useful in understanding how students responded to the test.

The item analysis includes the following information for each test question:

  • A quintile table of examinees based on the number test score used as the criterion for the item analysis. Normally, the criterion is the number correct score on the test.
  • A graph of the responses made to the correct choice for each question.
  • The frequencies of examinees by score groups responding to the item.
  • The proportions of examinees selecting each response option.
  • The point biserial correlation (RPBI) for each response option. For the correct answer to a question, this statistic is defined as the item discrimination index: an index of the correlation between the correct answer and the score on the criterion used for the item analysis. T&E provides a corrected RPBI which removes the item being studied from the criterion score. The number correct score on the test is the standard criterion. The score on the parts on which the item appears may also be used as a criterion. If an item analysis by part score is requested, each part score will generate a completely separate item analysis.
  • A summary of the results of the item analysis information is also printed.

Error List

This report provides a printout for each student giving the correct answer and the errors the student made on the test. It is designed to be handed to the students so that they can see what their mistakes were. It is generated alphabetically by course or, if requested, alphabetically by each section of the course.

Item String

When requested, a copy will be provided of the numeric representations of examinees' responses to each of the test questions. This listing is alphabetical.

Copy of the Data

A copy of the data can be provided on the following media: 3.5 inch floppy diskette for IBM PC's or compatibles, CD, or a disk file sent to an e-mail address. There will be no charge for the diskette if provided by the user. A hard copy record layout sheet is also provided.


Customized Scoring Services


These services include all processing for which T&E has not yet written software. Covered under this category are those services which are designed to meet specific processing requirements of the individual user. Nominal fees are normally charged for these services. Examples of jobs that would be considered as custom services include the following:

Test Characteristics - Multiple answer sheets per examinee.

Special Editing - Special edits can be used to clean data; e.g., "field x and field y need to be less than value z."

Special Rosters - Rosters ordered by fields other than name, total test score, special code or ID fields information (e.g., rosters ranked by part scores) or information included on the roster that does not come from the answer sheet being scanned.