Students Perception On Taking Online Or Paper And Pencil Exam

The studies evaluated how students performed using paper and pen versus a computer when completing math and writing sections of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The National Center for Education Statistics (which oversees federal testing) released the study results this month.

In 2001, national samples of 4th- and 8th-grade students took computer-based math tests and computer ability tests, among other measures. Randomly selected students in the 8th grades took the paper-based math test, which contained the exact same questions. The average scores of 8th graders took a computerized exam were 4 points below those who took a paper version. On average, students answered individual questions correctly 5 percent higher on paper than they did on the computer. In both grades, the students’ ability to operate a computer – based on their hands-on input speed or accuracy – predicted their performance in the online exam. The computer-based test scores were similar to those of the paper-based test. In contrast, the students who were better at using computers, after taking into account their previous paper-based writing skills, tended towards higher online scores. NEWS Comparison of Paper and Pencil and Computer-Based Testing by Lynn Olson. The Educational Testing Service in Princeton, N.J., concluded that how students perform in computer-delivered exams depends in part on their familiarity with technology. He said that a large field test would be needed in a traditional NAEP testing environment to confirm this. Mr. Goldstein noted that this was an initial study and the NCES (an arm of U.S. Department of Education) may continue to work on the issue in the future.

There is no difference in reading speed and comprehension for online test takers. Many people think that reading on a screen will be slower. According to recent studies conducted by psychologists Garland Noyes, in 2004, there was no significant difference between reading on a screen or paper. The majority of North American adults are comfortable using computers. This means that test administrators don’t have to worry about affecting their test-takers’ performance.



Reuben Young is a 39-year-old educational blogger and school teacher. He has been teaching in the United States for over 10 years, and has written extensively on educational topics. He is also a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and has been honored with several awards.

You may also like...