AIPMT 2015 was tough for medical aspirants. First the paper leak, then supreme court canceled the AIPMT exam and asked CBSE to reconduct the exam. The paper leak also affected the moral of the students.
The question is, Could AIPMT 2015 leak have been averted?
Yes it could have been possible, if the AIPMT was conducted in online mode.
Everywhere in the world, online tests are conducted for majority of examinations, but we failed to embrace the technology for our entrance examinations. It’s the collective failure of HRD ministry, CBSE and the government.
It’s not that we can’t conduct online test successfully. CAT, the most prestigious examination for MBA, have been successfully conducted in online mode from year 2009. Most of the banking exams for Bank PO and other posts are happening online. Even JEE Main have online mode option for candidates, but it’s not compulsory.
Update : JEE Main is completely online from 2019.
Today, it’s AIPMT (NEET), tomorrow, it can be JEE Advanced. It’s hard to understand when the exam is an objective (multiple choice) type, where a student just need to mark the correct answer, then what is the problem with conducting online tests.
Update : JEE Advanced is completely online from 2018.
How Online Mode of Entrance Examination can Stop the Paper Leaks?
Currently, in the current system of reaching the question papers to the examination centres, there are a large number of people involved – right from those in the printing press, those in logistics of the delivery, officials in treasury offices and to centres where the papers are stored. The risk of leakage increases with every step of the process.
An online or computer based test avoid all these processes. The tests are always stored on secure servers which are available only at the scheduled time of the examination.
It’s not just security and prevention of paper leaks, online tests process faster results. With limited human intervention, they also offer error free results.
Note: For exams which are not objective type, like school board exams, it’s only the question paper the student will see on the computer. Rest, the way of giving answers and everything can be same as what we have in the offline system.
What’s the data showing? Are students and institutes in favor of online tests?
In 2010, a research administered by MeritTrac in association with EDGE and Value Notes evaluated the perception of Computer Based Test (CBT) among the stakeholders in India. 68% of respondents confirmed that they had plans to introduce CBT. The survey revealed that an overwhelming majority of students (95%) were aware of online assessments. 46% students considered the online process to be more secure, compared to traditional methods.
This survey is from 2010. There is no doubt that after 8 years, in 2018, the numbers would be pretty high in favor of online examinations.
One counter question is, what if someone hacks the system? The paper can still be out before the examination. In that case, can’t we take the help of our brilliant IT professionals to make the system super secure?
By not adopting the technology and innovations for our examinations, we are not just denying the benefits to the students but also tarnishing the credibility of entrance tests.