[IPAC-List] Experience Transitioning from Paper/Written Exams to Computer Based Testing (CBT) for Entry Level & Promotional Pre-Employment Testing

Reindl, Kevin K1RQ at pge.com
Tue Dec 6 14:56:42 EST 2016

Hi Brandi,

We transitioned from paper-based to computer-based testing a few years back. However, we also moved from proctored to unproctored testing...so not completely apples to apples. In any case, some of the pro's and cons are still applicable if you still plan to proctor. Just a few off the top of my head include:


*         Accuracy and Reliability - fewer errors (vs. scanning/manual scoring)

*         Efficiency - shortened cycle time from testing to results (no manual scoring or scanning involved); results can be instantaneous

*         Security - all test content is maintained in system rather than paper that can be "misplaced" (this assumes you have tight controls in place for your electronic systems)

*         Environmental - paper waste reduced

*         Consistency - testing experience can be more consistent, as you can build instructions, timing, etc. into the test itself (rather than relying on test proctors to keep track)

*         Improved reputation - this may be important to some organizations (e.g., high tech company may lose credibility if still using paper-based tests, but may not be as big of an issue for other orgs?)

*         Centralized content - all testing content is centralized and easier to update, change, alternate forms, etc.


*         Higher costs - this may depend a lot on what systems and hardware you use, but you may have to invest in more infrastructure (computers, software, etc.) that can actually increase your costs

*         Change management - may be a barrier for some who are not used to using computers (probably less of an issue today)

*         More I.T. support needed - you will need more support for your test proctors if systems go down

*         More vulnerable to hacking/software bugs/computer crashing/etc.

*         Testing locations are limited to those with computers (this may not be as big of an issue if you are also web-based, since you will not have to rely on local software to be loaded on computers). Laptops/mobile devices may offer more flexibility.

Let me know if you have questions.

Kevin Reindl
Pacific Gas & Electric
Human Resources
Assessments and Organizational Insights
245 Market Street, N2J
San Francisco, CA 94105
Office: 415-973-7013
Mobile: 619-322-3368
k1rq at pge.com<mailto:k1rq at pge.com> or kevin.reindl at pge.com<mailto:kevin.reindl at pge.com>

From: IPAC-List [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Richmond, Brandi
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2016 7:09 AM
To: 'ipac-list at ipacweb.org'
Subject: [IPAC-List] Experience Transitioning from Paper/Written Exams to Computer Based Testing (CBT) for Entry Level & Promotional Pre-Employment Testing

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Good Day:

Have you transitioned from administering paper/written entry level and promotional exams to Computer Based Testing (CBT)?  If yes, what were some of the pro's/con's?

Thank you for your reply.

Brandi Richmond, SHRM-CP
Recruitment & Talent Acquisition Specialist III
City of Baltimore Department of Human Resources

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