In education, certification and many other such fields, a test or an exam (short form for examination)
is a tool or technique used to measure a student's subject knowledge, skills and/or abilities. An examination
has more questions of greater difficulty and requires more time for completion.
Examinations, usually written tests, are aimed to determine the ability of a student. They vary greatly in structure, content and difficulty depending on the subject, the age group of the tested persons and the profession. A person who passes an examination receives a certificate, a diploma or a professional licence, depending on the examination's objectives.
Examinations can be classified into competitive examinations and comprehensive examinations.
A competitive examination is an examination where applicants compete for a limited number of positions/seats. In a competitive examination, candidates are usually ranked according to their grades. The seats are allotted according to the merit and candidates who top the exam get the first priority and so on. Once the seats are full, the others are rejected.
Most of the countries follow the method of competitive examinations for admissions to colleges or for positions in the civil service. They are considered an egalitarian way of choosing worthy applicants without risking influence peddling, favoritism or other concerns.
A comprehensive examination is a specific type of exam that must be completed by graduate students in some disciplines and courses of study. The examination may be written or oral, but is most often written and sometimes comprises an oral section. The form and general requirements for the comprehensive exam varies according to the faculty or department, degree sought, university, and country, but typically tests general knowledge of the subject area.
Comprehensive examinations are typically based on a reading list agreed upon by the student and his/her committee, which is staffed by the primary supervisor and several advisors, normally professors at the university, but not necessarily in the same faculty. This reading list may comprise dozens of books and other works. The student must make thoroughly familiar with the works on the reading list; in the examination, which often lasts three or more hours and during which the student may usually not consult any texts, the student must refer to the works on the reading list by author and title.
In an academic scenario, the final outcome of an examination, whether competitive or comprehensive, is called 'the result of the examination'. A particular date will be announced by the conductors of the examination on which the examination results will be published. The candidates/students can know their merit position they achieved in the exam from this date onwards. The candidates can call directly to the office or can visit the concerned website to know the results. In some countries, the exam results will be available through the daily newspapers also.
In the case of a country-wide competitive examination, sufficient personnel should be made available at the office to attend the phone calls flowing in from all parts of the country to know the results. In a country like India, linguistic problems may also arise. The caller may know one or two languages but the attending person will have the knowledge of the other two or three. Secondly, the efficiency of a person will not be the same when he/she attends the first call of the day and the hundredth call. Another major aspect to be considered here is the call cost. When there are linguistic problems, the chances of lengthy talks are very high. This will not only increase the call cost but also makes that particular line unavailable for others for that length of time.
The problems faced in the present scenario can be solved by the deployment of an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) to automate entrance examination application methods. This can replace labour-intensive manual activities. The new system can streamline and standardise the test/exam application process at a substantial cost savings, can protect sensitive application information and can reduce the cycle time between the application and the exam.
IVR based automated result announcement systems using ordinary phones are becoming very popular and affordable these days. Instead of relying on word of mouth or publications which are quickly out of date and expensive, automatic phone messaging lets you contact the right point and most accurate information instantly!
An IVR system can be used to provide the information on examination results. A candidate/student can get the results by keying in some numbers through an ordinary telephone. Examinations result announcement can now be accomplished quickly, efficiently and cost effectively using the latest and most modern IVR technology from Xtend Technologies.
Examination result announcements can be automated in two ways.
One, the examination result announcements can be automatically sent out in phone messages to all or selected set of students from a large database. A message can be played to an individual or left on an answering machine.
Two, the result can be made available to a caller who can retrieve the information using an IVR system. When a person dials the number, he is automatically taken into the IVR system because the telephone line is connected directly to it. After the welcome message, the system will ask the caller to enter the date of exam and then the examination/hall ticket number. If the candidate has passed the exam, the caller will get a message that he has passed the exam and the concerned rank. Otherwise, it will say that the caller has failed to qualify. This is a typical example of an IVR based automated examination result announcement system. The automation can be customised according to the needs of the examination board/university/institution. Linguistic problems can be solved by adding the multi-lingual features.