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Assessments as a means of selection have been around for a really long time. Pen-and-paper-based test has been the norm before the advent of computers. With computers and other digital gadgets sweeping over every aspect of our lives, can assessments be far behind! Computer-based test, or CBT in short, comes with huge potential benefits when compared to traditional assessment methods. Though there is a lot of concern about accuracy, validity, security, integrity and quality of CBT tests,  a closer look will clear the doubts and bring forth the numerous benefits.

A computer-based test offers a host of benefits in every sector it is used, including education, government and corporate sector. It is also beneficial to all the parties involved such as the candidates, administrators, assessors, proctors, selectors and so on.

The corporate sector has been quite enthusiastic and forthcoming in embracing computer-based test as a means of selecting candidates for open job positions. It acts as a first level of screening when there are a huge number of applicants. The assessment also helps shortlist candidates with the right talent and skills eligible for a face-to-face interview.

A CBT test is delivered using computers and can also be delivered via the Internet on specific assessment platforms. It allows for location and time flexibility both to the candidates as well as examination bodies, thereby bringing down the cost, time, effort and expense involved in the examination process.

Advantages of Using Computer Based Tests

Let us take a closer look at the advantages of these tests:

  • Flexibility in test delivery: administration and distribution of a computer-based test can be managed to suit the unique testing needs of the examination board. It may be a one-day test distribution, any time test distribution or anything in between, depending upon the administrative approach and testing strategy.
  • Improved candidate reach: Delivered via the Internet or a specific computer, a CBT test online helps remove the geographical barriers and reach more candidates. Thus, the online test saves time, money and effort of the candidates as well as the examining authority.
  • Enriched results analysis: Unlike pen-and-paper testing that captures only the candidate’s responses, a computer-based test can gather plenty of valuable information. Data such as start and end time, break periods, time spent on each item, group, section and on the overall test, the sequence of questions answered and of course, the candidate responses are readily available. This information helps in arriving at a better judgement about the candidate.
  • Streamlined process: Paper-based testing involves a lot of preparation starting months prior to the exam date to ensure smooth conduct. Tasks such as securing facilities, hiring invigilators, designing and printing of the test papers and ensuring their security and storage to maintain the exam integrity keep the exam administrators on their toes before the exam. Once the exam is over, retrieval, scanning and marking of the test papers, analyzing, preparing and delivering the result occupy the entirety of the exam bodies. Many of these tasks can be automated and the processes improved to free up the administrators to concentrate on important tasks.    
  • Quick delivery of results: The possibility of instant scoring, especially in the case of multiple-choice question-based exams, help the exam body prepare and deliver results quickly.
  • Test integrity: Remote proctoring and other security features make computer-based testing extremely secure allowing for the test integrity to be maintained.
  • Helpful for candidates with disability: Screen readers, magnification tools, text-to-voice and voice-to-text applications, Braille keyboards and other such tools help the differently-abled candidates to take up the tests more conveniently as compared to a pen-and-paper test.

Applications of Computer Based Tests

Computer-based tests can be used for any examinations or during a mass recruitment process that has examinations as one of the rounds or an elimination / screening process. They help keep the candidate pool manageable and significantly improve the quality of assessments.

For Corporates, these tests can also be used by the management to help in employee career progression. By identifying employee strengths and weaknesses, the L&D department can produce suitable training programs for workforce development. An up-to-date workforce keeps the company future-ready.

MeritTrac Platforms for Computer Tests

MeritTrac is a leader in the field of designing and administering computer-based tests. CodeTrac, SmartTest, Pariksha, SpeechTrac, Learning Branch, SSPQ and MSP are a few of our assessment platforms that can be used across the sectors. They come with several common and specific features to make assessments convenient, quick, efficient and precise. Adaptable test catalogues, remote assessment administration, remote proctoring, complete analysis, precise reporting, mobile and cloud readiness and plug and play are features shared across the platforms.



1. What is a computer based test?

A. The use of computers as a medium to deliver the tests as opposed to pen and paper is called a computer-based test. These tests can be delivered online via the internet or using specific computer systems in a facility.

2. What are the applications of a computer-based test in the corporate sector?

A. A computer-based test is used during the recruitment process as well as for workforce development in the corporate sector.

3. How does a CBT test help in the hiring and recruitment process?

A. Companies use a computer-based test to assess and select candidates for open job positions. The test acts as an effective first level of screening, especially in case of huge number of applicants and helps select candidates with the right talent and skills for a face-to-face interview.

4. What are the advantages of conducting a CBT test online during hiring and recruitment?

A. A CBT test online allows a company to reach candidates anywhere across geographical locations. By shortlisting candidates with the right skills and talent, the online test saves the time, effort and expense involved for both the parties.

5. What is the role of such a test in workforce development?

A. A computer-based test can be used by the L&D department to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the workforce in general as well as for individual employees. The findings can then be used to develop suitable training programs and help with employee career progression.