Case Studies

Old Maple Learning Center Uses SmartSoft’s Technology to Automate Test Scoring

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Old Maple Learning Center Uses SmartSoft’s Technology to Automate Test Scoring


Overview

Old Maple Learning Center helps students do better in school and achieve higher results to get admitted to college. The organization offers after-school, weekend and holiday programs for high school students, covering a wide variety of subjects and interests, to assist in developing various skills and fill learning gaps.

The Learning center used optical character recognition (OCR) technology from SmartSoft to capture and extract data from test answer sheets to grade the tests automatically.

Case Problems

In the Learning center, high school students can practice the CAT and SAT exams. Old Maple wished to automate the test scoring by recognizing and extracting the data on the score sheets and transferring it to their existing Excel model for grading.

The questions in the tests are numbered and the suggested answers are lettered. Standard test answer grids are used, with rows of ovals that are numbered to match the questions in the tests. The ovals in the rows contain the letters for the suggested answers. The students fill in the correct answers by marking the letter that corresponds to the answer they have selected using a soft lead pencil. They also put in their names in hand print.

With the growing number of students, Old Maple Learning Center was looking to use OCR to automate the process of scoring the tests.

Solutions

The answer grids were scanned and then sent for optical character recognition processing. The custom-created solution provided by SmartSoft was based on OCR/ICR technology to correctly recognize the answer sheets, extract the data and transfer it to the learning center’s existing Excel model. Then the answer sheets were analyzed, graded according to the predefined formula, and matched against the appropriate student’s name in the learning center database.

In this way, the whole process was automated – the answer sheets were scanned, recognized, converted and graded with minimum involvement of teachers.

Results

Thanks to SmartSoft’s solution, Old Maple managed to significantly reduce time for test scoring and minimize error rates. “We are very happy with our new test scoring system”, said Caroline Morrey, founder of Old Maple Learning Center. “It is not only way faster but also very accurate. It is going to save us tons of manual work.”