How OMR Forms Prevent Cheating

At Precision Data Products, we specialize in selling OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) forms that are functionally identical to the popular Scantron® sheets that are widely used and popular in the education sector. OMR forms, for most teachers, have been the go-to solution for testing for years. The most popular OMR form, the Scantron® 882-E, is a sheet that every single student has probably had to use at some point in their academic career (and likely much more than that).

There is a reason for this — OMR forms are notoriously hard to cheat with. OMR forms, in addition to making the lives of educators easier, also have a variety of anti-cheating measures, making them the most effective solution for multiple choice tests on the market. Here are some reasons why it is difficult, if not impossible, to cheat with an OMR testing sheet, 882-E or otherwise.

Grading Machines Only Accept One Type of Answer

When it comes to basically any class across any grade of the public school system, you’re more than likely to encounter at least a couple of wise guys who think they can game the system by marking their answers with dubious imprecision, somehow hoping that the educator or teacher won’t be completely sure what their intended answer is, and mark the right answer correct. An example of this would be marking two answers at once and leaving both of them looking like they may or may not have been erased in favor of the other.

While this isn’t a very effective strategy even when OMR forms aren’t being used, it’s not even viable one bit with them. Our Scantron® compatible OMR forms are designed to accept only one type of answer — one that has been completely filled in by a #2 pencil.

The machines are exceptionally good at this, so when a devious student tries to blur an answer, confuse the machine with ambiguous eraser marks, or color in multiple answers, it’s going to backfire on them every time.

You Can Easily Create Multiple Answer Keys

While answer keys are possible with any kind of testing situation, it’s generally more effort for the teacher to do it with normal tests, because they have to manually grade the tests. Any teacher knows how tedious grading can be, and it’s certainly easier (and faster) when you have a uniform answer key that allows you to shuffle through tests easily.

With Scantron® Compatible testing sheets like the ones that Precision Data Products offers, you can easily create multiple answer keys, which can all be run through machines to be instantaneously graded. This prevents students from cheating by looking at each others’ papers, which is always a plus in a testing setting.
It’s Hard to Copy From Your Neighbor

Even if you don’t elect to use different answer keys for your tests, Scantron® compatible testing sheets are still much harder to cheat from due to their size and the nature of their layout.

As an educator or student, you’ll know how tiny the answer boxes are on these sheets, and how tightly they’re compacted together. This makes it very hard to copy from a neighboring student since you’d have to be looking pretty closely to discern exactly what question they’re on. Unless you have better-than-perfect eyesight or you’re extremely good at looking inconspicuous, you’re going to have a bad time trying to copy from your companions on a Scantron® compatible 882-E form (designated in our system as the PDP 100).

It’s Multiple Choice

On free-response tests, grading is often subjective. For example, a writing prompt is often graded on the quality of writing, which ultimately is determined by the teacher. Similarly, a lot of open-ended questions, even if they have specific answers, can be tackled by a clever wordsmith student.

While not cheating per-se, subjective tests have the problem of grader bias and subjective opinion. This means that students can’t just talk their way out of a question, or into a cleverly worded non-answer that will give them partial credit. It’s all or nothing with OMR forms, which is a good measure against cheating.

It’s Graded By a Machine

While teachers have a duty and responsibility to be neutral in their grading, there are some teachers who break this rule or leave grading to their aides, who might secretly be helping out certain students. Whether the bias is consciously known, or a troubling subconscious habit that the grader is not aware of, it’s nonetheless a problem that needs to be fixed.

Scantron® compatible OMR forms avoid the problem of biased educators, because a machine grades the results every time. There is no margin of error in the way the machine grades, nor an affinity for any one student or group of students. That means, if for some reason you have a biased teacher or grader, they still can’t help out certain students, and if they did, their mistake could easily fact-checked by anyone who has the testing forms.

Shop Our Testing Forms Today

So there you have it — if you weren’t convinced on the efficacy of OMR testing forms, perhaps these anti-cheating measures will help you. Whether you need an PDP 100 (882 E) form, or another Scantron® compatible sheet, contact us today, and browse our online store!