What are the best online exam portals, and how can they help with learning and school management?
Teachers nowadays consider online test management an essential school or class management feature. Since virtual classes became more commonplace than face-to-face classes, the need for online exam portals has risen significantly.
Before learning about the best exam portal in the market, you might want to know more about exam portals in general. This comprehensive guide will help you with everything related to online test portals.
Online Exam Portals: What Are They?
An online exam portal is a platform that allows examiners to conduct tests online. Most exam portals are web-based and do not require test takers to download an app or a program to take an exam.
Online exam portals are also known as computer-based assessments, test portals, examination software, and exam systems, among others.
Back then, the main purpose of online exam portals was to reduce the time it takes to make, administer, and take exams. These days, online exam portals have become the most reasonable way for examiners to conduct tests.
Education technology investments were already high at US$18.6 billion pre-pandemic. But, the online education market is projected to reach US$350 billion by 2025. We’re already seeing a dramatic increase in the demand for video conferencing, virtual tutoring, online learning management, school management systems, and online exam portals.
Community quarantine guidelines had schools and universities close their doors for face-to-face classes. These guidelines also transformed physical classes into virtual ones. Now, students can go to classes and take their exams all from the safety and comfort of their own homes.
Basic Features of Online Examination Software
Online exam systems need to have a range of features that can help educators and examiners conduct online exams that can provide accurate assessments. When you’re looking at different test portals, remember to look for the following basic features:
How many questions per page should the test have? Would you allow test takers to go back to previous questions? Would you allow test stops and, if so, how long could a test stop be? Can your students skip questions, and will they be allowed to round back to the questions they skipped?
Online exams can be very complex, and you’re going to want to set some exam rules if you want your test to be effective. There are so many things to consider when administering an easy-to-use test, and you should work with an online exam portal that lets you do things in a way that proves most effective.
Online tests can come in different forms. You can administer multiple-choice, enumeration, true or false, essay, matching, and other types of online tests.
As shown above, GoSchooler, an all-in-one school management system, offers a Question Bank feature. This feature lets you create and store test items that you can prepare for future exams. It stores all types of exam questions too.
Teachers should be able to use whatever test type that best suits the online courses and their students. Descriptive and objective tests both have their benefits.
When you’re looking at a test portal to try, think of all the types of tests you’re likely to administer. If you’re a school administrator looking at an integrated exam management feature, you might want to get feedback from your teachers about the types of tests they’re using or are planning to use.
Also, consider conducting online training sessions to have a better grasp of how these online learning exam portals work for your institution.
User profiles offer bits of information that can help students and teachers. This is why user management is a basic online exam portal feature.
Students can access their profiles and see which tests they’re supposed to take and when. This allows them to better manage their time and decide which subjects to review first. Their profiles can even show test results.
Teachers can see who is yet to take their tests, and they can send reminders to their students. If a test doesn’t require manual grading, test results may be available as soon as a student finishes a test.
This screenshot from GoSchooler shows how easy it is to keep track of the current status of all assigned online exams.
Test analytics can prove very helpful to teachers in finding out which topics their students are having a hard time with. This data is essential in a learning management system.
Tests should be secure to safeguard against cheating and unauthorized access. Online exam portals should have security measures in place to ensure that individual test environments are safe.
Some test portals record students’ browser activities, especially social media interactions. Some tests may even require students to turn on their cameras, so you can better monitor them during important exams. AI-powered tools can detect suspicious browser activities and lock students out of exams. If you think they’ve been locked out by mistake, you can just let students back in manually.
How to Choose the Best Online Testing Software
Whether you’re looking for an easy-to-use test portal for personal use, or you’re in charge of deciding on an online exam portal for the whole school, there are a few things you should consider.
What factors should you consider in purchasing an online exam portal?
1. Functionality and Compatibility
Can an online exam portal disrupt a school’s workflow? Of course, it can.
Compatibility ensures that the exam portal won’t render your current workflow useless and vice versa.
Do you integrate an exam portal that works with your current workflow? Or do you choose one that will bring about a change in the workflow?
Functionality ensures that teachers and students will be able to use the portal as intended. Pilot programs are great since they allow you to see results without abrupt, large-scale, and sometimes irreversible changes.
2. Value and Cost
Determining your budget allows you to narrow down your choices into only the exam portals you can afford. It allows you to see whether you can get premium features or premium versions of exam portals you’re eyeing.
If the only exam portals you can get are those that aren’t aligned with your goals and required functionalities, it wouldn’t be a sensible purchase even if it’s within your budget.
It’s easy to get a trial for an online exam portal free of charge. Most developers offer free trials for online examination software. But, even if you choose a free online exam software, chances are you’re still going to invest time, money, and a lot of effort in implementing the new software system.
Notice, however, that we won’t include pricing details for the best online exam portals in this list. Most online exam software solutions offer free demos, but pricing usually depends on the size of the institution. Some developers charge per exam or per user. Some exam portals, especially the open-sourced ones, won’t offer dedicated support for free users.
3. Credibility and Customer Service
When you’re looking at different test portals, you’re going to come across reviews and testimonials about what makes each test portal better than the others. Reviews are great sources of information about what test portals can offer. They also give you an insight as to what types of organizations are using a specific test portal.
It’s important to work with developers or vendors who can guide you in the installation and implementation of these online testing software programs. They should also be able to handle training if you’re dealing with more complex features or more extensive school management solutions.
But, don’t just look at what an online exam portal can offer. Look at what the developers can offer as well.
What kind of support can they provide? How can you reach them? What is their availability? Customer service is part of a software solution vendor’s job. You can ask them these questions to gauge how good their customer service is.
Benefits of Online Exam Software Solutions
We’ve already given you the list of the best online exam portals. But, you may still be on the fence about investing in an exam software solution. Now, let’s learn more about the benefits of online exam portals to students, teachers, and schools.
- Students only need an internet-connected computer or smart device to register and take online exams. The school won’t need to spend on printing and paper for answer sheets and questionnaires.
- Schools may designate remote proctors and monitors, or just use online exam portals with security features to prevent cheating and malpractice.
- Students may not be required to come to different exam locations to take their exams. Online exams are safer for students, teachers, and their families.
- Teachers and test authors can make tests within minutes instead of hours. Question banks, templates, and re-usable questions make for faster and easier test creation.
- Students who live in areas that experience regular or rotational power interruptions won’t need to worry. Test answers may be backed up or saved in real-time.
- Students, especially those with bad handwriting, may find essay-type questions in pen-and-paper exams quite intimidating. They won’t have to worry about writing legibly in online exams.
- Teachers won’t need to check objective test papers one by one. Online exam portals can automatically generate test results as soon as a student finishes the exam.
- Teachers can use generated reports to modify or improve future tests, lesson plans, and teaching methods.
9 Best Online Exam Portals for Schools
Investing in an online exam portal is a big step towards digitalization in school management. Needless to say, it’s a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly.
Are you ready to find the best examination systems for your school? Here are the best computer-based and online test portals for schools of every size:
If you’re looking for a class test suite, GoSchooler would be one of your best bets. You can make, conduct, and grade different types of exams with GoSchooler’s examination features. You can even print mark sheets, notify students and parents of upcoming exams, and schedule exams for multiple classes at once.
But, GoSchooler isn’t just a test portal; it’s a cloud-based and automation-powered school management software system.
Class management isn’t just about tests, and managing day-to-day classes is what GoSchooler does best. Apart from handling examinations, you can trust GoSchooler to help you with lesson planning, certificate printing and design, scheduling, and student promotions. And this is just within its Learning Management – Academics section.
As a complete, all-in-one school management software solution, GoSchooler can also help you handle school finances, human resources, virtual classes, student information, attendances, communication, transportation, and content management.
2. eTutor Digital
Hallmark Learning Lab’s eTutor uses AI and ML technologies to provide exam software solutions. ETutor makes it easy for educators to make and conduct tests in both school and corporate settings. Students can be allowed to take tests on any smart device. This online exam portal makes test authoring and test-taking hassle-free.
Worried about students cheating? You can jumble question papers and make sure every student gets a unique set of questions. Don’t have time to create a test? You can automate the process and create tests in seconds. Stuck on questions? Make use of eTutor’s Question Bank and choose from more than 50,000 questions created by SMEs.
3. ProProfs Quiz Maker
ProProfs Quiz Maker is a go-to exam software solution when you’re looking for a quick way to create and administer simple tests. With thousands of customizable quizzes and templates, you won’t need to start from scratch whatever the subject may be.
Creating a scored quiz is easy with ProProfs, and you can make a quiz in just five easy steps.
First, you choose a quiz from the 15 different types of quizzes you can make. Next, you decide whether you want to create a quiz from scratch or use a template. Next, you add or modify the quiz questions. Finally, you customize the look of your quiz or manage the quiz settings. You can now choose to share your quiz with your audience wherever they may be.
You can also make custom certificates, prevent cheating, share exams, and create exam reports with ProProfs’ Online Exam Software.
ConductExam is a simple, AI-powered test software application. It can be used by schools, universities, colleges, corporations, training centers, and certification providers.
With ConductExam, students can access the exams via web browsers and automatically get results after objective exams. This computer-based testing software can even generate certificates of scores and completion immediately after a test-taker finishes their test.
Test managers can create different types of objective and subjective tests as well. As a test admin, you can create reports to check and analyze exam difficulty based on the time taken per question or section. You can also provide and compare solutions for computations.
PaperShala is an online examination system that allows teachers, educators, and test managers from any background to create tests that work on any smart device. This means that students and test-takers won’t have to worry about finding a laptop or a desktop to use. Their tablets and their smartphones would work just the same.
Students can self-register to the system and get access to their dashboards. This is where they can check exam results, schedules, subject-wise performance, and even class-wise standings. Answers in all PaperShala exams are saved in real-time, so students don’t need to worry about power interruptions and internet connectivity issues.
As a test admin, you will have access to user management, questions, and test management features. You’ll be able to see individual and class profiles, results, and standings. You’ll be able to send out notifications to students through their dashboards, emails, or text as well.
Testofy is a cloud-based exam platform for education and recruitment. It’s a highly scalable exam software solution for big schools and even bigger corporations. It’s also being marketed as a talent evaluation software.
Testofy is a sought-after software solution in the HR industry because it aids in pre-hiring, induction, training, appraisal, lateral hiring, and even exit assessments. In schools, Testofy can help with pre-admission, periodic, course-based, classroom-based, and mock assessments.
With Testofy, you can create tests, schedule assessments, and even proctor tests remotely. Exams can be invite-only, and you can get reports and analytics as soon as the exams are over. You can also use Testofy to create surveys, conduct research, and make polls.
7. Think Exam
Think Exam is an easy-to-use software that simplifies the process of online assessments. The smart and interactive interface allows test authors to create different types of exams without much effort. Its advanced reporting system also allows test administrators to generate instant scorecards and reports for performance analytics.
Teachers can create exams and students can take exams on any mobile device. Test authors can choose from 9 different question variants, but they can create their own question type as they see fit. Formats, images, tags, question banks, and other features make test creation a breeze. They also have a mobile app for Android and Apple devices.
Kaldin is an open-source examination software. This means you can download, use, reprogram, and customize Kaldin for your examination needs. You might need a team of developers to work on Kaldin and make it work for your school, though.
Kaldin also has a paid version where you can get installation support and customer service.
With Kaldin, you can make use of ready-made and customizable questions, and you can divide questions per category. You can also set question paper settings, define passing and failing marks, set question complexity, and more. Once you’re done creating an exam, you can set the exam schedule and invite test-takers via email. You won’t be able to import users with the free version though.
SpeedExam may be like any other exam software solution in the market, but it has a range of features worthy of consideration. For one, SpeedExam can detect cheating during online exams. You can also author tests while offline, or import tests and users from Excel. SpeedExam is also helpful in conducting multi-location and multi-language assessments.
With 10 different question types, SpeedExam makes dynamic test questionnaires. Uncommon ones include drag and match type questions, scenario-based questions, and audio/video questions. Visual reports are available to test managers too, making it easier to decide the future course of lessons and reviews.
Is an online exam better than an offline one?
In terms of practicality and ease of use, online exams are definitely better. These exams are accessible through any device as long as a stable internet connection is available. It’s also easier to evaluate and provide comments for the student’s performance.
What is the scope of an online examination?
Depending on the questions that the test maker can cater to, the scope of online examinations is practically limitless, much like paper and pen tests.
Online exam portals are testing solutions that help teachers, test authors, school administrators, and other test managers create, conduct, and monitor different examinations. They’re an important part of learning and class management, which makes choosing an exam portal an equally important decision.
Choosing an online examination system may be difficult, but you only have to remember the following:
- Online exam portals should be functional and compatible with your current workflow. If not, the exam portal should encourage a change for the better.
- Online exam portals should offer high value at a reasonable cost.
- Online exam portal developers should be credible and provide good customer service.
It’s not just the teachers who can benefit from online exam portals. There are several benefits for the students and the school as a whole too.
The best online exam portals have a considerable range of features that can help improve the process of test creation and learning management. For instance, an online exam portal with analytics and report generation features can help determine test difficulty and set a baseline for future exams. It can also help teachers plan future lessons and see how effective their teaching methods are.
Virtual classes are becoming more commonplace by the day. Digitalized solutions like online exam portals are now necessary tools for learning and class management.