Enhancing Assessment Experience: The Role of Drag-and-Drop Questions

The evolving assessment landscape With technological advancements, exams have transformed in recent years. The days when assessments were limited to paper-based multiple-choice questions and essay responses are gone. As technology has progressed, online exams have evolved with a broader range of question styles that extend beyond traditional multiple-choice. Exam administrators have a range of interactive […]

Elevate your exams with advanced question styles

The benefit of diverse questions An assessment’s effectiveness is fundamentally determined by its questions. Having a broad range of question styles allows you to cater to various learning objectives. It allows measurement of factual recall, application of knowledge, problem-solving skills and the capacity for nuanced understanding. With our eSystem exam software, we have a diverse […]

Single Sign-On: Creating a Seamless Exam Experience

In today’s digital age, using software to manage various aspects of the education landscape is an integral part of many higher education institutions. It’s possible to use platforms that manage course content, allow progress checking, have discussion boards as well as deliver exams online. Navigating through these various systems, each with unique login credentials can […]

Student taking an OSCE exam. With an examiner and patient

What is an OSCE? – An essential guide

If you’re pursuing a career in healthcare or a related field, chances are you’ve come across the term “OSCE” at some point. OSCE stands for Objective Structured Clinical Examination, and it’s a vital component of many medical and healthcare education programs worldwide. Whether you’re a medical student, nursing student, or a professional seeking to refresh […]

Is your question bank working hard enough for you?

Comparing Speedwell’s legacy Question Bank with the newer eSystem Question Bank. When it comes to managing questions, no doubt doing so via a dedicated Question Bank makes things exponentially easier. However, not all Question Banks are created equal, and if you haven’t reviewed your system for a while, you’re likely missing out on the benefits […]

Beyond the basics – the unexpected benefits of a good question bank

A well-structured and ordered question bank brings the benefits of better organisation, greater insight and efficiency to your institution. However, that’s not all it offers. Here we explore some of the other lesser-known benefits of having a good question bank system. Consistency and Standardisation In the absence of using question bank software, it’s common for […]

Online assessments - prepping for the exam

Online Assessment – providing all the support you need

Recognising concerns over moving to online assessments. Online Assessments may have been on the agenda for your institution for a while. There might be several reasons why the time has not been right to change your exam processes. Time constraints, budget concerns and internal resistance are commonly cited reasons for staying with the status quo. […]

girl at a pc she could be creating a multiple short answer question exam

Creating multiple short answer questions

What is a multiple short answer (MSA) question? Multiple short answer (MSA) questions can be a useful question style, particularly when assessors want to test the depth of a candidate’s knowledge. They differ from short answer questions because they have a number of linked sub-questions. This is similar to extended matching questions (EMQ). However, unlike […]

Online marking – a marked improvement

Online marking – Essay & SAQ questions Whilst electronic marking of online MCQs is commonplace, it’s more difficult for short answer question (SAQ) or essay-style exams. It’s no secret that for these exams, marking is one of the most laborious and time-consuming tasks. Historically, these exam papers were marked manually by the examiner or examiners, […]

Do students prefer online exams?

Exploring student perspectives on online exams In the ever-evolving landscape of education, the shift to online exams is more than a temporary response to the challenges of the pandemic; it’s emerged as a more permanent presence in higher education. For most institutions, student satisfaction remains a top priority, and their attitudes to online exams are […]

Live video exams – save time, money and the environment

Run Live Video exams from anywhere* with our eSystem exam software It’s widely recognised Covid-19 was a catalyst for many to run online exams for the first time. However, it’s also driven a need to find a secure, robust solution that allows video use in high stakes remote exams. Video being the next best option […]

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Running practical exams remotely

Running remote OSCEs – An online alternative to in-person exams Practical examinations play an important role for many university departments. This is particularly true for Life Science and Medical courses where the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) is often seen as the gold standard in assessing candidates’ practical knowledge. With multiple stations, circuits, sessions, simulated […]

Improving student exam experience when sitting online exams

Student online exam experience As the pandemic continues, institutions are increasingly evaluating and implementing systems to run online exams. Even for exams where paper delivery is the preference, the contingency to run remote online exams undoubtedly has a greater focus in business continuity planning than in pre-Covid times. We’ve seen many institutions switching exams to […]

5 ways to improve exam efficiency

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 […]

Exam Report

Online exams vs paper: Why the time for change is now

From paper to online exams The Covid-19 pandemic saw exams cancelled across the globe; it caused turmoil for institutions and uncertainty for students about when or even if they’ll be able to take the exams they’ve worked hard for. This led to many institutions accelerating their plans for online exams and we saw drastic growth […]


How to simplify remote question authoring

Challenges of remote question authoring When it comes to authoring questions for exams, we often hear how authors are working remotely and questions are co-ordinated via a collection of word documents. Presenting an administrative nightmare and making it hard to keep track of changes and versions. Especially in a situation where more than one person […]

Exam Report

Speedwell exam software helps UCL graduate 300 new doctors

Speedwell’s eSystem exam software has helped UCL graduate its latest cohort of new doctors – allowing them to apply to the GMC to become Foundation Interim Year 1 doctors (FIY1). Once their registration is completed, it will allow them to formally join the NHS and assist with the coronavirus effort. Gaynor Jones, Head of MBBS […]

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Run secure exams with remote proctoring

How to proctor remote exams is a dilemma that many are considering for the first time amid the Coronavirus pandemic. As institutions implement plans to move exams online, thoughts naturally turn to how to maintain assessment security and integrity in these extraordinary circumstances. This is where remote proctoring services can help. What is remote proctoring […]

How to run secure exams remotely

Run secure exams remotely Whilst many institutions already successfully run secure exams remotely, for others, moving exams online hasn’t been a priority. With tried and tested exam processes working well, online exams were a consideration for the future, for a time when both time and resources allowed. However,  we presently find ourselves in unprecedented circumstances. […]

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Online exam software for medical education

Online Exam Software in Medical Education It’s no secret that the use of online exam software continues to grow. However, in medical education, there are many complexities and considerations to make before deciding on the right software. When it comes to teaching and assessing our future doctors, the stakes are particularly high. To ensure they’re […]

OMR sheet or DRS sheet being filled out

Run efficient paper-based exams with OMR Sheets

Whilst there’s much talk about the efficiencies of digital exams, for many, paper exam delivery is still a significant and integral part of their exam operations. If you’re responsible for the day-to-day administration and delivery of these exams, streamlining the process is high on the agenda. So, what are the ‘must-haves’ for running efficient paper-based […]

SBA questions or VSA questions? picture of a red apple and a green apple to symbolise the different, but similar question types.

To SBA or VSA?…

…That is the question. In medical education, there are a variety of assessment methods available for testing students. Historically, a popular approach is  to use Single Best Answer (SBA) exam questions, which have been used successfully in medical examinations for many years. However, recently we’ve seen a growing demand from customers for the Very Short […]

Man using eSystem exam software on a laptop

Add VSA and Hot Spot questions to your medical exams

Very Short Answer Questions Very Short Answer (VSA) and Hot Spot question styles have been added to the eSystem. So, you can now add these question types to your medical examinations. Very Short Answer questions have been growing in popularity, with some institutions choosing these as an alternative to Single Best Answer (SBA). (Read more […]

ARU's New School of Medicine

Speedwell’s eSystem Exam Software is first choice for new Medical Schools

Speedwell’s eSystem exam software has been chosen by two new Medical Schools. Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) School of Medicine and Sunderland Medical School – the first of five new medical schools to open under the government initiative to boost the numbers of doctors training across England – have both chosen Speedwell to help with their […]

Can exam feedback reports impact student satisfaction?

The emphasis on student satisfaction If you work in higher education, you’ll know that student satisfaction is high up on the agenda for any university. It’s not only important for your reputation, but also for student retention. It’s encouraging that the recent national student survey [1] showed that 84% of UK students are satisfied with […]

OMR Sheet to be used with OMR Scanners

OMR Scanners – How to ensure seamless scanning

With the time that’s invested in preparing and setting up exams, it’s a relief when they’re over and have run smoothly. However, the task of processing the exam papers still lies ahead. With Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) scanners and software, then it should be as simple as scanning the sheets in. And with scanners capable […]

Lady on laptop using emq questions

OSCE Assessment software – Improve your OSCEs

If you run OSCE assessments, then there is a good chance that using digital OSCE software can improve and bring efficiencies to your OSCE assessment processes. However, changing the way you administer your OSCEs may be a daunting prospect.  Speedwell’s eSystem exam software can help to make moving to digital OSCEs as easy and pain-free […]

Photo showing laptop running eSystem exam software.

World-class exam software for medical schools

All the tools you need to run world-class medical exams We’ve been supplying exam software to Royal Colleges and Medical Schools for over 30 years. We understand what’s needed to ensure your MCQ and OSCE exams run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Today’s Medical Schools are facing increasing pressures on budgets, time and resources. […]

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What is blueprinting for exams? – a closer look

Our market-leading eSystem exam software is designed to make exam creation as intuitive and streamlined as possible. In this blog post we’re taking a closer look at exam blueprinting and how it can benefit you when building exams. What is exam blueprinting? Blueprinting is a method used in creating exams that allows the administrator to […]

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What is borderline regression?

Here at Speedwell, we aim to make life as easy as possible for our clients when preparing examinations and systems of assessment.

Feedback written on a blackboard. Linked to an article about student feedback report after exams.

Improve exam experience with a timely student feedback report

Anyone who has taken exams understands the desire for prompt results. However, today’s students increasingly demand more. They’re looking for constructive and detailed feedback that not only assists with their learning but also helps to improve future performance. If your existing exam processes make it difficult and labour intensive to provide student feedback, then it […]

Cloud Hosting Exam Software

Benefits of cloud hosting exam software

With Speedwell’s eSystem exam software, there are two options when it comes to hosting; Cloud hosting, where we host it for you in the Cloud or you can host locally on your own network. The eSystem is available to purchase as a software as a service (SaaS) solution. Which allows you to operate the software […]

exam software, Online exams

Delivering world class exam software for 30 years

 30 years of delivering world class exam software Speedwell Software was founded in 1988 and has been building world class exam software for over 30 years.  We quickly established ourselves as an innovation focussed, PC-based ‘in-house’ solution using OMR scanning and sheets for clients and examination boards needing automated data capture. The system was a […]

How can exam bureau services help you gain efficiencies?

It’s no secret to those of us who work in the industry, that running exams and the associated processes can be time-consuming, complicated and often expensive. Whilst our eSystem online exam software can help streamline both online and paper-based assessments, we realise that this may not be the solution for everyone. You may not be […]

Five ways to combat exam stress

With exam season well and truly upon us, there’s a lot of focus on exam stress for students. On the internet and in social media you will find a plethora of tips and advice on how to minimise stress in order to give the best performance on the day.  From getting organised and having a […]

Lady on laptop using emq questions

EMQ questions: new question style enhances exams

EMQ questions – (Extended Matching Questions) are now available in eSystem – Speedwell’s exam software. This specific type of multiple choice question allows a question to have multiple variables or scenarios all linked to a common set of answers. Often used in medical exams, EMQ questions offer the ability to demonstrate and assess diagnostic reasoning […]

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Can timely student exam feedback improve results?

Students entering the University system today have grown up with technology. They are the first generation for whom the internet has always been there and they don’t know (and perhaps can’t imagine) a world without it. This group, known as Generation Z, are often described as Digital Natives. The use of smart phones, tablets, social […]

Improving the cost effectiveness of OSCEs

The value of using the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) as a determinant of clinical skills is widely agreed. It is the preferred way to assess clinical skills across a variety of programmes, such as medical, pharmacy, veterinary and so on and as such, is considered a more robust approach to clinical skills assessment in […]

How to free-up time when preparing and running veterinary exams

The time, effort and associated costs dedicated to running multiple choice and OSCE exams within veterinary schools is high. To stage these assessments extensive time and input is needed from a skilled team of administrators, question authors, course assessors and so on.  Traditionally the costs associated with running veterinary exams has been accepted unconditionally – […]

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Enabling a positive user experience when sitting exams

Sitting exams is a regular part of the university calendar. And as universities and institutions fill up with digital natives, the usability and user experience of any online exam system used to run summative exams is likely to come under more scrutiny. It was important to us when we were developing our online exam software […]

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Evaluating practical competence across assessment types

Many institutions and medical schools run practical  assessments called Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) as a fair and accurate way to assess competence. However, there are plenty of organisations that run other formats of practical assessments – whether they be multiple mini interviews, Objective Structured Practical Exams (OSPEs), Integrated Structured Clinical Exams (ISCEs), oral examinations […]

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Question bank groups and learning outcomes go hand-in-hand

Here we explore how using question bank groups aligned with your learning outcomes can help ensure your exams meet your required criteria. The outcome based education model has been widely adopted throughout many university departments – from maths, economics and engineering to medicine and science. Essentially it involves the clear specification of the end product […]

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Future proofing exam software investments

When considering investing in exam software, there are a number of considerations specific to exam tech that you may wish to consider upfront. After all, the software you select is likely to be used for a number of years and will be used by a large number of students and assessors alike – and the […]

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Are students disadvantaged when they sit paper exams?

Walking around a university campus recently – and poking my head into the odd lecture hall – I was struck by how much technology has taken over from pen and paper for the vast majority of students.  Students no longer make notes in exercise books, like I did as a student. Some students barely attend lectures, […]

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Five tips to get the most out of your question bank system

It takes significant amounts of time to prepare, collate and review examination questions. And finding out after your students have sat the exam that your questions have not performed as expected is disappointing.

BYOD - Photo of man using phone.

BYOD – Should students be left to their own devices?

Universities are probably the biggest users of bring your own device (BYOD) in the world, since nowadays most students bring their own laptops or tablets to lectures.

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Paper versus Online Exams

For several years now computers have been heralded to replace the traditional pen and paper exam format, however the rate of adoption has been varied at best!

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Writing a good exam question

For any exam, it is essential that your questions test the right content as determined by your learning objectives and have the appropriate degree of difficulty.

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Speedwell Celebrates its 26th Anniversary

At Speedwell, we are very excited about 2015. It should prove to be a busy year as we celebrate our 26th anniversary, a year that will see the launch of our new eSystem, an online exam software.

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5 Best practices to optimise your MCQ exams

Multiple choice exams are a reliable means of measuring knowledge and understanding at various levels of learning, as well as enabling large amounts of material to be covered efficiently.

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eSystem Question Bank – How to raise your exam standards

In this blog piece we are going to explore what is QuestionBank and why it can play a pivotal role in raising your exam standards.

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Cliniquest: Box Whisker Plot

The box whisker plot report in CliniQuest is a useful way to see how your examiners are scoring your candidates, and also how the distribution of scores varies between examiners.

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MultiQuest – Withdrawing Questions

Occasionally, a question might not have performed well in one of your exams.

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New Feature: Portable Examinations (CliniQuest)

We have now added the ability to export and import examinations both to and from a file in CliniQuest.

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25 years of customer service excellence

Speedwell began twenty-five years ago, when the world was a very different place.