Testing is one of the cornerstones of our education system. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re undeniably a great way to gauge the knowledge of students and measure how well they have digested your curriculum. However, there are many ways to test a student, and if you stick to the same formula every single time you create an exam, you might be missing out on more profound ways to test your students.
At Precision Data Products, we create high-quality Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) testing forms. And while our most popular product is easily the PDP 100 (a functional duplicate of the Scantron® 882-e), if you only stick to that one, you’ll be giving your students multiple-choice exams every single time with little-to-no variation.
Why not shake things up a bit and create some unique exams? Our many testing sheets allow for a variety of different question types, and by employing these, you can make your students think in new ways. The best part? All of our forms are compatible with the grading machine you use for your Scantrons®, so you’ll still be able to automate that process, saving you a lot of valuable time.
Want to shake up your exams a little bit? Here are some of the forms you should consider using. In this first post of this blog series, we’ll be focusing on multiple-choice options, and in part two, we’ll look at forms that offer different question types and other advantages.
The PDP 100
While the point of this blog post is to point out different types of testing forms and their many uses, it’s impossible to write about our forms without mentioning the staple of all testing sheets, the PDP 100. Pretty much every student and educator in the world has had a run-in with this form, whether it’s our own version from Precision Data Products, or its Scantron counterpart, the 882-E. Even if you don’t know the form by name, you surely know it by appearance: this is the familiar half-sheet multiple-choice exam form. It’s got 50 questions on the front, and 50 questions on the back. Simple. Elegant. Reliable.
The PDP-100, of course, is best for good old-fashioned multiple-choice testing. While there are certain drawbacks to creating a multiple-choice exam, the benefits can’t be ignored. For one, it’s a great way to easily measure how much of your curriculum students have memorized. There is a margin for error in the fact that students can guess answers when they don’t know, but as a general rule of thumb, multiple-choice does a great job at measuring what students have and have not learned.
For straightforward facts that have no need for unique human interpretation, multiple-choice is king. Not only that, but a lot of teachers prefer it due to how easy it is to write and grade. If you’re going for a multiple-choice exam, you can’t go wrong using our PDP-100 forms. The best part? We offer several variants in different sizes. A smaller classroom might order a pack of 50 for a single exam, while a school might order packs of 500 to stock up for the long haul. We also offer the PDP-100 in low-viz format, which affords better test security.
The PDP 200
For Jumbo Tests
Before we move on from multiple-choice, we’d be remiss to not mention the undisputed king of giant multiple-choice exams: the PDP 200, which is like the PDP 100, but bigger.
This monster of a test sheet is a full sheet instead of a half sheet, which means it contains double the amount of questions on a PDP 100. If you’re tired of giving your students watered-down exams, give ‘em a whopper of a test on a PDP 200 and be sure to use up every single answer bubble.
In all seriousness, we’re not advocating that you arbitrarily punish your students with gargantuan exams, but the PDP 200 is great when you need a comprehensive test that covers a wide variety of subjects. Teachers often employ the PDP 200 for end-of-course exams where students are comprehensively tested for the entire curriculum.
You won’t have to worry about compatibility issues when you use this form. Just like the aforementioned PDP 100, this OMR testing form is compatible with the grading machines you know and love, its equal being the Scantron® 884-E. Instead of going the clunky route of doubling up on PDP 100s, provide your students with a PDP 200 when you have those giant multiple-choice tests.
The PDP 815
For Those Little Quizzes
There’s a saying that the best way to save money is to spend money, and the PDP 815 is a good argument for that. As an educator, you’re well aware that giant exams are tiring when they happen on a constant basis, both for you and your students. However, it’s also important to make sure they’re understanding the material, and that’s where quizzes come in.
While there’s no technical rule that differentiates quizzes from exams, the general understanding is that quizzes are used to test students on small tidbits of information. They’re the appetizer form of tests — smaller, lighter, but still necessary in their own way.
But, as short and sweet as quizzes are, it can still be tiresome to grade them all by hand, so it’s only natural to turn to OMR testing sheets for them. But one mistake that many teachers make is using their PDP 100 (Scantron® 882-E) forms for tiny little quizzes that only have 10-15 questions. Since PDP 100s are used in just about every school and classroom, why not save those for the bigger tests and have a reserve of PDP 815s on hand for quizzes? These handy little testing forms are a miniaturized version of the PDP 100s, with no more than 15 multiple-choice questions. And, like our other forms, they’re a more affordable alternative to Scantron®, this form being compatible to the Scantron® 815 Quiz.
Bust out these little guys when you have a short quiz. This will save you money, as they’re slightly cheaper than PDP 100s, and it also prevents you from draining your school’s supply of exam testing sheets.
Scantron® Compatible Testing Forms
And that wraps up part one of this blog series. If you want to take a look at forms that provide a more diverse testing experience, read on to part two. In the meantime, be sure to check out our online selection of testing forms — we have a lot more than what we’ve listed in this blog. Happy testing!