Test Scoring and Frequency Scanning


Where to find test scoring and frequency scanning
Test Scoring and Frequency Scanning: Instructions
Common Problems
Other Resources

What is test scoring?

The computerized Test Scoring program is used to grade multiple choice examinations. This program compares student answers to answers on an Instructor Control form and produces scoring information. The program processes the following standard optical scanner forms used at the University of Delaware:

  • A brown student response form allows for 160 answers from A to E.
  • A blue instructor control form is used for the answer key and to request special options.


What is frequency scanning?

Three Frequency Scanning programs are available, identified by three different colored scan forms (bubble sheets). These programs are used to generate frequency counts of responses (commonly used for course evaluations) or to enter data in a file to be used on a central UNIX system account. The standard form choices include the following:

  • The pink form (used with the frequency pink program) allows up to 28 questions with 5 responses each (A to E).
  • The teal form (used with the frequency teal program) allows up to 150 questions with 10 responses each (0 to 9).
  • The brown form (used with the frequency brown program) allows up to 160 questions with 5 responses each (A to E).


Where to find test scoring and frequency scanning

The Test Scoring and Frequency Scanning programs reside on the central UNIX systems and are operator controlled (not self-service). They are used in conjunction with data read from standard scan forms (bubble sheets) by an optical mark reader. To request a Scan job for either program, submit your completed forms to the Smith Service Desk located in room 004 Smith Hall.

Test scoring scan forms are available for purchase from:

WB Mason

  • Blue instructor control form (SCAN410711)
  • Brown student response form (SCAN410691)


Test scoring and frequency scanning: instructions


Test scoring and frequency scanning: common problems and questions

This page contains answers to some of the questions more commonly asked about Test Scoring and Frequency Scanning.

Q: What do I need to submit a scan job?

Test Scoring jobs must include brown Student Response forms; a properly filled in Blue Instructor control form; and a Test Scoring request card, including your UDelNet ID.

Frequency Scan jobs must include brown, pink, or teal Response forms; a properly filled in Processing Control form (a teal Control form for teal scan jobs, a pink Control form for pink scan jobs, and a blue Control form for brown scan jobs); and a Frequency Scan Request Card including your UDelNet ID.

Q: How do I fill out the Control form to do basic scoring?

On the blue Instructor Control form in the area designated FOR INSTRUCTOR USE ONLY, fill in the following with a #2 pencil:

  1. Control and Key bubble

  2. First Section bubble

  3. Last Number Used bubble (e.g., fill in 50 as 050)

Q: I have selected Standard Option x (1-11) on the Control form, but I only get basic scoring output. What am I doing wrong?

If you are trying to use some of the Standard Options, you should make sure that the Standard Scoring (no options) bubble IS NOT filled in. If it is, all of your "Standard Options" marks will be ignored.

Q: When I picked up my scan sheets from the Smith Service Desk, an error sheet indicated: "NUMBER USED IS OUT OF BOUNDS." What does this mean?

This means that you forgot to fill in the Last Number Used bubble. To remedy the problem, fill in the Last Number Used bubble on the Control form (right justify the number; e.g., 50 should be 050) and resubmit the job.

Q: Can I get a grade file?

Yes. On the Instructor Control form, fill in choice 1 in column 5 (Standard Option 5). This tells the Test Scoring program to create a file which contains the file identifier, the section numbers, the student names, ID numbers, raw scores, and scores. The file will be available in the UD Dropbox.

Q: How do I get a list of the student grades by Student ID number so I can post them?

On the Instructor Control form, fill in the Control and Key and First Section bubbles. Fill in Additional Section instead of First Section when appropriate. Also, fill in the Last Number Used bubble. In the Standard Options section, fill in choice 3 in column 4 (Standard Option 4). Before this will work correctly, each student must fill in choice 1 under the EXTRA OPTIONS column 3 on his/her brown student response form . By filling in that choice, students are giving permission to post their grades.

Note: if you plan to post grades with a student's identifying number, the student should not use his or her regular Student ID. Rather, you should provide the students with substitute numbers which provide the students with anonymity. Client Support & Services staff can help you to devise these substitute ID numbers.

Q: I didn't get any output when I submitted my scanning job, but an error indicates: "FIRST SHEET IS NOT MARKED IN THE CONTROL AND KEY POSITION." What am I doing wrong?

This simply means that the CONTROL and KEY bubble on the Control form wasn't filled in. To correct the problem, fill in the bubble and resubmit the job.

Q: On my Control form, I requested that a grade file be saved (Standard Option 5), but it has not shown up yet. What's the problem?

It could be one of several things:

  • You may not have supplied your correct UDelNet ID on the test scoring request card. Contact the IT Support Center to report the problem.
  • You may have filled in the Standard Scoring bubble. In this case, the program ignores any Standard Options you may have chosen. Erase the Standard Scoring bubble and resubmit.
  • You may be looking in your email rather than in the UD Dropbox.

Q: Is there any way to tell the test scoring program that the maximum score is not equal to 100?

Yes. You can tell the program that the maximum score is not equal to 100 by marking 1 in the Standard Options 10 bubble. You must also tell the program what the maximum score is by marking it in Extra Options, columns 7-9 (right justify the number, e.g., enter 75 as 075).

Q: Can I designate two correct answers for a given question?

You can designate two correct answers by using an Alternate Key sheet. To use an Alternate Key sheet, place another blue control form behind the main blue Instructor Control form and Weight Sheet (if there is one) and fill in the Alternate Key bubble. Fill in one of the correct answers on the main Instructor Control form and the alternate answer on the Alternate Key sheet. Do not fill in answers on the Alternate Key sheet for questions that have only one correct answer.

Q: Can I make some questions worth more than others?

You can make some questions worth more than others by using a Weight Sheet. To use a Weight Sheet, place another blue sheet behind the Control form. If you are using an Alternate Key Sheet, place the Weight Sheet between the Control and Alternate Key Sheets. On the Weight Sheet, fill in the Weight bubble in the section designated For Instructor Use Only and assign a weight between 1 and 5 (a=1, b=2,c=3, d=4, e=5) for each question. Items you leave blank will be given a weight of 0 and no points will be given for the correct answer to the question.

Q: How do I give credit to all my students for a particular question?

To give credit to all students, you must leave the answer blank in the scoring key on the Instructor Control form. However, if a student leaves the answer blank on his/her response sheet, he/she will not be given credit for the question. Also, this option cannot be used in conjunction with Standard Option 6 (request that questions be deleted).

Q: Where does a department get scan forms for use in Test Scoring and Frequency Scans?

Forms can be purchased through WB Mason.


Other resources

For information on programs related to computerized Test Scoring, please select one of the following:



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