For many years, paper-and-pencil testing was the most popular method of evaluating a candidate, but computer-based testing is quickly becoming the preferred method.
Certification and licensure examinations were developed to assess an individual’s knowledge and skills, determining whether or not they are qualified to practice a specific profession. For many years, paper-and-pencil (P&P) examination was the most popular method of evaluating a candidate. While P&P tests have traditionally met this testing need, computer-based testing (CBT) is quickly becoming the preferred option, owing to the numerous benefits it provides.
CBT has become the de facto norm for large-scale and high-stakes assessments due to the growing demand for flexible, secure, and transparent testing procedures to evaluate applicants. Many test sponsors have moved away from P&P examinations, and prominent test providers are supporting sponsors worldwide in successfully implementing CBT. CBT providers collaborate closely with test sponsors to identify the best testing model for both candidates and the organization.
This current style of evaluation allows test providers to choose new and inventive techniques to assess candidates, resulting in a more authentic assessment. CBT facilitates item response theory (IRT), the most accepted standard for high-stakes assessment, through the use of current psychometric tools. IRT also allows for the use of different test administration models that cannot be employed in P&P testing, considerably improving measurement efficiency.
Greater flexibility and accuracy
CBT allows tests to be taken remotely, reducing the necessity for physical presence at a specific location, which is required for paper-and-pen assessments. Computer-based assessments can also be customized to match the needs of individual test takers. They can change the difficulty level of questions based on the candidates’ responses, allowing for adaptive assessment. This method ensures that each test taker receives a personalised and accurate assessment of their ability.
Adaptive testing algorithms aid in the measurement of an individual’s talents and provide a more exact assessment. The main advantage of adaptive testing is that it identifies the candidate’s skill level with fewer questions than traditional fixed-form tests. Furthermore, computer-based adaptive testing makes it difficult for students to forecast or cheat on the exam. Because the order and difficulty of questions differ for each individual, the likelihood of collaboration and cheating is reduced.
Improved Exam security and uniformity
Because P&P testing entails passing test papers from one person to another involved in administration, the chance of the exam being revealed or leaked is higher. CBT also provides better security measures than P&P examinations. To prevent cheating and ensure the integrity of the testing process, online platforms might apply a variety of security mechanisms. The majority of CBT suppliers employ cutting-edge encryption technology to deliver tests through their secure network. When the test is downloaded to the test center, it is kept in a safe state until the test is delivered. In addition, instead of only a normal ID verification, CBT involves a thorough and multi-layered candidate screening approach, such as the use of biometric technologies to authenticate the candidates’ identities and constant monitoring of the candidates through virtual proctoring.
CBT also provides a professional, standardised, and consistent testing atmosphere, as well as more flexible testing options. CBT enables the development and administration of standardised examinations, guaranteeing that all candidates are given the same set of instructions, test style, and scheduling. This consistency removes inconsistencies that can arise with P&P tests, such as test administration variations, human mistake in grading, or changes in question presentation.
An effective and prompt delivery of results
CBT results are frequently generated soon after the exam is completed.This gives both the test taker and the administrator fast feedback. CBT enables effective data collecting and analysis. Test findings can be kept and structured automatically, allowing for complete data analysis for research or evaluating treatment outcomes. While CBT installation may incur initial expenditures, it might be cost-effective in the long term. Saving money by eliminating the need for paper, printing, and manual scoring. Furthermore, by minimising paper waste, CBT aids to environmental sustainability.
CBT not only provides a considerably greater test experience, but it also provides higher exam legitimacy for test sponsors due to substantial technology developments. With an ever-expanding list of advantages, it’s no surprise that a lot of test sponsors have been successful in making the switch.