Scanning high stakes exam papers

After an exam, candidate scripts are scanned and converted into high quality digital files using eScan.

Accessible by web browser, eScan provides users with scanning, reconciliation, error rectification and transmission of scanned images into the portal for onward processing and on screen marking of scanned paper scripts.

How it works

Once launched, the user can select a scanner before capturing the examination scripts and converting them into a digital image.

The image will be subjected to real-time tests during the scanning phase; examples of which are shown below:

  • Confirm the page size and resolution for data extraction
  • Validate the image is black and white for best use of available bandwidth
  • Apply custom rules to batches such as ensuring certain form types are mixed within a batch
  • Remove any blank or invalid pages
  • Review presence and readability of barcodes
  • Check orientation and rotate if necessary
  • Confirm presence of cornerstones
  • Review variable shade bar for expected thresholds to confirm scanner brightness settings
  • Check the batch for duplicate pages
  • Confirm no partial forms with missing pages are present

A traffic light colour system alerts users to problems with warnings (orange) classified as user acceptable but errors (red) will prevent batch upload until the issue is fixed.

  • Traffic lights warning system
    eScan - traffic lights warning system
  • Candidate script
    eScan - candidate script

Key benefits

  • Reduce lead-out times - by scanning exam scripts at source, you remove the hassle and delay of return shipping to scanning bureaus and commence marking immediately after the examination
  • Increased visibility and transparency with dashboard reports detailing the status of scanned scripts. With physical script return, it is only when the scripts are late that a problem is apparent
  • Eliminate risk of lost scripts in transit
  • Release valuable floor space and end reliance on third-party archiving as paper storage is replaced by digital content
  • Delegate responsibility for re-scans and reconciliation to local centres
  • Images are queued for upload in the background
  • Launch the eScan scanning application with instant online client installation
  • Enforce scan settings to ensure quality images
  • Real-time image-to-candidate booking reconciliation with issues highlighted during scanning.

Once the user has finished scanning and no errors are reported, the eAssessment software queues the images for upload in the background with the user able to scan further batches.

In addition, the list of results can be filtered by status. The scanned exam papers are assigned statuses to indicate where they are in the process. For example, a status of ‘Not received’ will be allocated to exam papers to be scanned. ‘Received OK’ indicates the script is available for marking and ‘Finished’ confirms the exam paper has been received and marked. This allows internal employees and centre staff to identify missing papers or problems and resolve them efficiently.

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Related links

ePC automate paper based assessment for Cambridge English with OMR exam processing system

Seeking to make efficiencies in distributing and capturing responses from exam scripts, Cambridge English approached ePC to develop an exam processing system for their flagship qualifications.

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Civica teams up with ePC to capture and process IELTS 'pen and paper' tests on behalf of the British Council

Following a OJEU tender process, the British Council commissioned Civica as the prime contractor to deliver an on-screen marking (OSM) solution to mark up to 2.25 million ‘pen and paper’ IELTS tests each year.

As part of the agreement, Civica appointed ePC as its sub-contractor for the script capture, processing and verification work.