Most of the professional certification exams students take today are administered on computers. The shift to computer-based testing for professional exams came about for several reasons. Computer-based testing can provide greater security, bring down costs, and simplify grading. Computers are also playing an increased role in many of the professional fields these exams represent; so computer-based testing is an obvious choice for most exam boards.
Familiarity Means Less Stress
Students are already using computers for studying, completing homework assignments, and many other activities. Taking a test on a computer feels more natural than writing a test out by hand.
If students go into their exams with little familiarity using computers for testing, the experience is likely to be more intimidating. For a professional exam, every little thing that can help improve students’ chances is important.
If a decision made early on by a school can decrease the stress students are likely to experience on the big day, it’s worth serious consideration. Students who find computer-based testing as natural as turning to their phones to perform a Google search will feel more comfortable in the testing setting when it really counts.
Better Feedback Means Better Prep
Computer-based testing gives faculty the ability to turn each test into an opportunity for data collection. Professional exams cover a certain set of knowledge categories and competencies. If you tag the questions on every test based on the things students must know for their professional exams, you’ll gain insight into the areas they need the most work in.
A law student falling behind in contract law benefits from knowing that information long before it comes time to take the bar exam. The student can focus on the areas that his or her tests show need improvement and go into the official exam better prepared.
Trying to provide the same level of feedback with paper tests would be time consuming and unwieldy. With computer-based testing, as long as the questions are properly tagged, the data is produced automatically and delivered to students in an easy-to-understand format.
No school wants to see its students fail on professional exams. Any extra help you can give your students increases the chances that they’ll pass.