Benefits of Computer-Based Tests

A Detailed Analysis
Computer-based tests|Parakh Online Pvt. Ltd.

With the technological advancements in every sector of the economy, education is not far behind. Most educational institutes and exam conducting bodies have started taking exams through computers to assess the knowledge, skill and aptitude of the candidates.

Because of the immense advantages of computer-based examinations, JEE Mains, BITSAT and CAT exams also have shifted their mode of exam to a computer-based exam.

What is a Computer Based Test?

In a computer-based test, candidates use a computer screen, and a mouse to answer questions. Questions appear on the screen one by one and candidates solve the problems in a rough paper, and choose the correct answer on the screen. Most of the time, 3-4 questions sets are prepared for computer-based tests and question sets are randomly allocated to the candidates.

Considering computer-based tests are here to stay, let us see some of the advantages and disadvantages of CBT tests for both the students and the exam conducting bodies.

Advantages of Computer-Based Tests

  • Location Independent: Computer-based tests can be taken at any time from any place, given that there is a stable internet connection. The students can appear for the exam at a suitable time and from a convenient location. They do not need to go to a test centre to take exams. It enables the students from remote areas to take up exams at their own time as well. For example, GMAT aspirants in India can choose their place and date of examination as per their convenience.
  • Reduces Time: Paper-based exams take a lot of time to set up. But in computer-based exams, the question papers are distributed virtually. The candidate gets a set time to give the examination; after the time, the candidates' answers automatically get submitted. It saves the time and effort of collecting answer sheets from the candidates one by one.
  • Increases Security: In a computer-based examination, multiple sets of question papers are created within similar questions and difficulty. And these question papers are given to the candidates randomly; it lowers the risk of cheating in examination.
  • Immediate Grading: For internal tests or class tests, CBT technology can assess students’ grades immediately, and help them assess their own performance.This immediate grading system can guide students on what needs to be done to improve their studies.
  • Help Students with Disabilities: Computer-based tests can be modified easily for physically disabled candidates. Screen reader applications can read the questions to the students if needed. Magnification tools can magnify the problems for visually impaired students. Braille keyboards can help visually disabled candidates type their answers on the screen.

    These kinds of technologies will help students with visual, auditory and motor impairments and will help them go through their education.
  • Dynamic and Individualized Assessment: Computer-based tests can be personalized and precisely tailored to individual students. The difficulty level of each question can be higher or lower, depending on the candidate's previous responses. It will help students learn at their own pace without being discouraged by other students.

Above mentioned points are some of the significant benefits of the CBT examinations. There are a few other advantages of CBT exams too. CBT is a cost-effective exam model. Because there is no paper used, there are not many expenses in terms of paper management, or logistics of bringing question papers. Also, the evaluation of the exams becomes more comfortable with computer-based examinations.

Disadvantages of CBT Exams:

With all the advantages mentioned above, CBT exams have some disadvantages as well. Let's look at the few of the disadvantages of CBT Exams:

  • The initial cost of acquiring the CBT technologies is expensive. That is what deter many governments and private organizations from integrating it into the education system.
  • CBT exams have it's limitations. It can be affected by external factors like a technical glitch, power problem, internet problem or other system failures.
  • In India, not a lot of test centres are equipped with infrastructure that can conduct computer-based examinations at scale.


Computer-based assessment is a tool to measure students' progress. If not used appropriately, it will not produce the desired outcomes. Technology offers a multitude of benefits to assessment. But successful assessment depends on the appropriate use of technology so they can fulfil their purpose.

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