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Improving exam efficiency is one of the biggest drivers for our customers when considering online exam software. With over 30 years of experience in helping higher education and professional body institutions deliver world-class exams, we have the knowledge and expertise to help.

Below, we outline 5 ways you can make an impact on the efficiency of your exams.

1. Have a question bank that works for you (not against you)

We often hear of exam questions being created and stored in multiple word files, by multiple authors, all saved locally on individual devices. It’s not uncommon for there to be no centralised repository for exam questions.

Making it difficult to organise, track questions and monitor version control. This also carries a greater risk of questions being lost or compromised.

eSystem’s question bank removes these challenges and is a simple way to quickly improve exam processes. Not only does it store a complete history of each question, but it also provides performance insights through the inbuilt statistical tools. Using this knowledge, you can improve exams in the future.

It’s easy to organise and categorise questions, with each question being allocated to as many groups and subgroups as you need. Making it effortless to ensure that all curriculum areas and learning outcomes are covered.

Using the blueprinting feature means building an exam quick and simple. It provides a visual check so it’s possible to see an exam covers all aspects of the syllabus at the appropriate level of difficulty, for example.

The user management and permission features ensure that question authors and administrators only see and edit what they need to. Plus, you get a full audit of any changes so version control can easily be tracked. The remote authoring feature allows question authors to add questions directly to the bank from any location and device.

If you already have a large number of questions stored elsewhere, you can migrate or import them into the bank. With full training and support to ensure a smooth transition, you’ll start seeing the rewards of using eSystem’s question bank in no time. 

2. Promote efficiency and collaboration within your team

For some, creating new exam questions is a lengthy process with delays and bottlenecks along the way. Whilst the team may start with the best intentions, the reality is that other priorities arise. Our medical school customers, for example, have question authors who are also practising doctors. Understandably, it may take time when they’re fitting this around their clinical responsibilities.

For exam administrators, it’s time-consuming to repeatedly chase and check that actions are complete. Creating additional tasks and pressure.

eSystem’s workflow feature offers a solution – aiding exam process efficiency and collaboration between teams. Questions can be authored, set to review, edited and approved. At each stage team members receive e-mail notifications, alerting them to changes or outstanding actions. Removing the responsibility of someone having to project manage, whilst making the process clear to all involved. Having email alerts to highlight changes and prompt users promotes greater responsiveness and means the onus is not on individuals to remember or check.

At the exam level, the workflow feature makes it easy for exam administrators to see exam status and have control over user actions during each part of the lifecycle. For example, locking an exam once it’s moved to approved status to ensure no further changes are made. Useful when you have multiple users working on exams at different stages as it minimises the potential for error and provides extra security.

3. Efficient exam marking – deliver results, quickly

We all know that marking exam papers can be a huge burden on time. Increasingly, expectations are changing and timescales for delivering results are becoming ever shorter.

Running multiple-choice, single best answer and other similar exams online, you have the benefit of automated marking. The results being available immediately as the exam ends.

For the exam team, it means they can immediately review exam and question performance. In turn, it allows results to be fed back to candidates more promptly. Plus, it minimises the potential for bias or human error in the marking process.

For written exams, our customers have found that eSystem’s online marking facility streamlines processes and reduces overall marking time. Newcastle University found that their short answer paper was marked in 2 days online, a reduction from 3+ days on paper. Read the full case study here.

4. Improve exam experience for candidates

Moving exams online improves exams for the benefit of students too. User feedback on the eSystem is that it has an intuitive interface that’s easy to use. Several features benefit candidates, for example, it’s easy to check exam progress and ensure that all questions are answered. Images can be enlarged and zoomed in on – a particularly popular feature that means no more hard to see, grainy prints. There’s are a range of accessibility options and it’s easy to add extra time if required, so catering for additional needs is not an issue.

Post exam, it’s possible for examiners to generate personalised exam feedback reports quickly and easily. Allowing students to see comprehensive information about their results such as performance by question or learning outcome. Furthermore, they can see how they compare against their peers. They’ll not only be impressed (aiding student satisfaction) but will also be equipped with insight into their learning gaps and areas for development.

5. Use insights to improve exams in the future.

Analysing and reporting on exam performance doesn’t have to be laborious. With eSystem it’s possible to instantly see the performance of every question, exam or station (in the case of OSCEs).

At your fingertips, you’ll have a comprehensive set of statistical analysis, including item analysis, question discrimination and exam reliability. You’ll quickly be able to generate absentee, exam and question reports, with longitudinal reporting allowing you to view data over time and identify trends.

Not only will this save valuable time and improve efficiency, but it will provide valuable insights to help shape and improve exams in the future.

You can explore how to maximise exam efficiency for your organisation further, by reading this comprehensive guide.

Get in touch

If you’d like to find out more about eSystem and how it can streamline your processes and improve exam efficiency, talk to us. Call our sales team on +44 (0) 1223 851703 or email

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