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

Patrick McCoy Patrick.McCoy at cfp-psc.gc.ca
Wed Dec 7 08:46:47 EST 2016

Nice list Kevin!
A few other potential cons
- Differences in computers (speed, screen size, graphic capabilities,
etc), which may or may not be a problem depending on the nature of the
- Differences in keyboards, with the result that candidates might be on
one that is different for them; That can be a problem in Canada, where
we have French, English, and I believe, International keyboards.
Pat McCoy,
Ottawa Canada

>>> "Reindl, Kevin" <K1RQ at pge.com> 2016/12/06 2:56 PM >>>

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
·		 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
·		 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
·		 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 or 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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