Comparing student performance on paper-and-pencil and computer-based-tests

Based on a look at of more than 30,000 primary, center, and excessive school college students conducted in winter 2015-sixteen, researchers determined that fundamental and center faculty students scored decrease on a PC-based totally test that did no longer allow them to return to previous objects than on two comparable checks — paper- or computer primarily based — that allowed them to bypass, evaluation, and trade preceding responses.

Elementary faculty college students scored marginally better on the laptop-based totally examination that allowed them to head lower back to previous solutions than on the paper-based examination, even as there was no widespread distinction for middle school students on those two types of checks.


In the evaluation, excessive faculty college students showed no difference in their overall performance on the 3 types of checks. Likewise, preceding studies has found that the choice to skip, overview, and trade preceding responses additionally had no effect on the check results of college students.

For the examine, exams have been given to students in grades 4-12 that assessed their expertise of energy thru three checking out structures. Instructors elected to manage both the paper-and-pencil check (PPT) or certainly one of two PC-based checks (CBT) based totally on the availability of computers in their classrooms.

One CBT (the usage of TAO, an open source online checking out gadget) allowed college students to pass items and freely move through the test, even as the opposite CBT (using the AAAS assessment website) did not allow college students to return to preceding test items. In addition, at the TAO test, answers were decided on by means of immediately clicking on the text similar to a solution. On the AAAS exam, solutions had been selected extra in a roundabout way, by using clicking on a letter (A, B, C, or D) at the bottom of the display screen corresponding to a solution.

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Gender became located to have little effect on a scholar’s overall performance on PPT or CBT; however, college students whose number one language was not English had lower performances on each CBTs as compared to the PPT. The motive for the difference depending on number one language became uncertain but could have been linguistic challenges that the web surroundings presented or limits on possibilities to use computer systems in non-English-speaking environments.

Overall, the have a look at consequences, along with preceding studies, indicate that being capable of skip, review, and trade previous responses may be useful for younger children in simple and center college, however, haven’t any have an impact on older students in high school and university.

Furthermore, results indicated that marking an answer in an exceptional area on a more than one desired test could be difficult for more youthful students, students with poor organizational abilities, students who have problems with concentration, or college students who’re physically impaired. In addition, having to healthy an answer to a corresponding letter at the lowest of the display screen likely provides an additional level of complexity and cognitive processing.

The researcher’s word that additional observer of CBT solution-choice choice and take a look at navigation capabilities and the way they have an impact on essential and middle college students’ test overall performance is warranted.

The observe changed into supported by means of a furnish from the Institute of Education Sciences.

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