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Should students do their exams online?

The use of computers for exams is increasingly being adopted at university, with many assignments also submitted through online platforms.

An increasingly discussed topic is whether secondary school exams should also be taken online, with computers being set up in student halls for candidates to type their answers. This would offer significant benefits, particularly to examiners who struggle to interpret poorly handwritten answers and would make examining much more efficient.

The security and efficiency of the exams officer’s role would also be improved, as the correct exam paper would be uploaded by the exam boards onto the candidates’ screens the day of the exam rather than having exams distributed weeks earlier to all schools. This would eliminate the risk of exam paper theft.

So with the benefits to both examiners and examinees, the question is why are schools not migrating online? The first would be the enormous investment cost to have a computer available to every student taking the exam. The second would be possible technical issues with tens of thousands of students accessing the exam simultaneously. With technological progression, the cost of computers is likely to decrease with data transfer capacity increasing further.

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