Organizing Competitive Exams: The Biggest Test

Posted in Operations & IT Articles, Total Reads: 5509 , Published on 24 February 2011
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Every year, millions of engineers, management graduates (MBA) , doctors etc come in the market and millions of students across the world appear for entrance exams for taking admissions for the same. This annual admission cycle allows children to take admission in their field of choice via a competitive exam. For a single competitive exam, thousands of people participate. But there is one test which is even bigger than this. It is managing and organizing the competitive exam at such a vast scale.

 

Exam Operations

 

In India, UPSC (Union Public Services Commission) exam, CAT (Common Admission Test), AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Exam), GATE, IELTS, Medical Entrance Test are a few of the exams for which millions of students appear every year with an ambition of studying engineering, management, medicine or becoming bureaucrats. A large number of people appear for such exams and having a systematic process for the smooth execution for the same is essential.

 

The processes involving the execution of any competitive exam have to be well coordinated, need to have responsibility at every level and should be a transparent process. The process of organizing any competitive exam can be broken down into simpler functional processes namely candidate application, main examination, declaration of results and final admissions. But all these processes are interlinked and have to well coordinated by the final authority.

 

The first stage of application is a huge step as it requires advertising for the examination, evaluating suitable time period & dates, gathering student information and filtering the students who are eligible for the examination. Furthermore, allotment of unique exam ids and exam centres depending on location preference is done. These days, most of the organisations conducting an exam, have the application processes online so that it is an interactive user interface, and also all data is available to the organizing committee.

 

Conducting the main exam requires tremendous coordination and confidentiality. Sealed question papers and answers sheets have to reach the exam centres just a few days before the exam so as to avoid any paper leaks. Apart from that every exam centre has to be briefed about the examination rules. Also, if the test itself is online like CAT nowadays, then thorough load testing and debugging is done as a part of operational testing. Companies like Prometric and Peason Vue have a huge task on hand regarding online tests in a huge base like India.

 

The final stage of showing results and admission procedure is another task as, like every stage, this stage also needs to have transparency and an option for candidate grievance system. The results are most declared through the official website with the mark sheets being sent out at the candidate’s postal address. Thus, there has to exist a systematic and well synchronized operational procedure at every step.

 

Candidates appearing for a competitive exam have to slog it out day and night for being prepared to take the big test which would help them make a career in their respective. But as far as the organizing committee is concerned, the biggest test is managing and coordinating the test itself.

 


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