Classroom Exam Scanning & Scoring

The UPTC provides classroom exam scoring analyses of multiple choice exams given in University of Pittsburgh courses. Pitt uses the Apperson DataLink Scanning System for exam processing and results are delivered within 24 hours of drop-off (excluding weekends). Please watch the following tutorial on the process for dropping off exams at the Ground Floor, G33 Cathedral of Learning.

* To drop off exams for scoring, you must have the following:

Browse helpful tips to ensure a successful experience using the scanning and scoring device
  • Remind students to bubble in their PeopleSoft numbers and write their names on their answer sheets. *Scores will not be paired with student names if they do not bubble in their PeopleSoft number.*
  • A separate, new key must be provided with each scanning request unless a key has been previously saved. In this case, you must provide the name and date of the key to be used.
  • *All exams will be kept on site for one month, then they will be stored off-site for one year.* After one year, the exams are destroyed in accordance with the University’s General Records Retention Schedule.
  • If you feel there are discrepancies on the results, you are welcome to visit our office to review the sheets. Once the exams are moved off site, we’ll request that they be returned and will contact you when they’re available for review.
  • Tests can be rescored without rescanning the student answer sheets. *Simply reply to the results email with the subject reading “rescore”.* Turn-around is based on the time the e-mail rescore request is received by the UPTC staff.
  • Each scan produces summary statistics and item analysis data.
  • Faculty, staff, and students involved in survey research can also utilize the answer sheets and optical scanning services.
  • *The UPTC will not return exams via mail or courier service.*

Our scanning service will produce the most accurate reporting possible but we highly encourage faculty to review the results carefully, just to ensure that no errors occurred. It is ultimately the responsibility of the instructor to check for accuracy on any report issued by UPTC before submitting student grades. If you have questions please e-mail or call 412-624-6146

The FAQs below provide additional details about the scanning and scoring service.

What does ‘Scan Ready’ Mean?
Once you’ve collected your exams in class and are preparing to drop them off at the UPTC, please prepare your exams as if you were going to scan them yourselves. This includes a completed Scanning Request Form, which contains critical information to complete your scan correctly, on top of the pile, with all answer keys facing the same way and ready for drop-off.
Why do I have to complete a Scanning Request Form and then still sign in when I arrive?
The Scanning Request Form gives the UPTC critical information about your scanning job. When you sign-in, this creates a scanning job number and gives us a timestamp to ensure that we process your exams within 24 hours. The scanning job number will be emailed to you for your reference.
What does a completed answer key look like?
When completed, the Blue (B2114) and Gold (B2115) Answer Keys will look similar; but the Red (B2122) Answer Key will look slightly different. Click on the Answer Keys below to see a sample. Remember: ALWAYS use a #2 pencil when completing an Answer Key! Sample: Blue and Gold Answer Key Sample: Red Answer Key
Do students really have to put their PeopleSoft numbers on the bubble forms?
Yes! In order to produce accurate reporting, students must fill in their 7-digit PeopleSoft number completely and correctly in the Student ID number grid. The optical scanner can only read what is coded in the bubbles. Please ask students to fill out their PeopleSoft number entirely. Students can easily access their PeopleSoft number through the My.Pitt.Edu portal ahead of time. We also recommend that students write their names and any other identifying information (like the instructor name, course name or section) on the form. If students need assistance finding their PeopleSoft ID, the Student System ID Number directions can assist.
What happens if a student doesn’t complete his/her PeopleSoft number on the bubble sheet?
When students do not complete the 7-digit PeopleSoft number, this causes a delay to the turnaround of your scanning job. We’ll contact you to let you know that students haven’t completed the forms correctly, and the 24-hour turnaround resets when the correct information has been received. Additionally, even if scored, the student’s name will not appear on the Class Roster report. Please remind students at the time of the exam that they must fill in their 7-digit PeopleSoft number completely and correctly in the Student ID number grid.
What do the bubble sheets look like?
The UPTC has three different types of bubble sheets available for distribution:

Form B2114 (Blue)       Form B2115 (Gold)   Form B2122 (Red)
150 items 75 items 100 items
5 responses per item 10 responses per item 5 responses per item
5-point scale items 10-point scale items 5-point scale items
Merged Item Analysis Merged Item Analysis Verify Option
Rescore possible Rescore possible Rescore possible

Sample: Bubble Sheets

Where can I get blank bubble sheets?
Bubble sheets are available for pick up at the UPTC: Ground Floor, G-33 Cathedral of Learning.
What does a completed student answer key look like? What should I do before I drop them off?
A completed student answer key will have the following elements coded on the bubble form:

  • The student’s name
  • The 7-digit PeopleSoft ID number (it’s VERY important that this section is filled out completely and correctly).
  • Dark and complete marks in the answer fields, clearly indicating the selected response.
  • Changed answered must be erased completely.
  • No stray marks anywhere on the form.

Sample: Answer Key Before you drop off your exams at the UPTC, please make sure:

  • That all exams are completed with a #2 pencil.
  • Sheets in each group are all the same color form.
  • None of the bubble forms have stray marks on the left side or top, where the timing marks are (this will effect scoring).
  • Erasures must be as complete and clean as possible.
  • All exams are facing the same direction and are neatly stacked.

Additional tips!

  • You must enter an accurate number of answer sheets in each job on the Scanning Request Form. This number is compared to the Excel results in order to verify the number of sheets scanned. There are instances when sheets stick together and are skipped. This check allows UPTC to verify the correct number of sheets scanned. Do not estimate this number.
  • If your scan job requires an answer key, please darken in the answer key on top of the form with a #2 pencil.
  • Place the key on top of the students’ answer sheets.
  • If the Key has been saved by UPTC, provide the Key Name and date on the Scanning Request Form.
  • Exams must be scan ready when being dropped off at the UPTC.
  • If scanning multiple groups, make sure to separate the groups and to have a key and request form for each group.
  • Do NOT include a hard copy of the actual paper test.
How can I verify the answers on a student’s answer key?
If you want to Verify the answers on a student’s answer key, you must use the Red form ONLY.

  • If the Verify bubble is filled in, the correct answer will appear next to any incorrect answer.
  • If the Verify bubble is left blank, a red dash will appear next to any incorrect answer.

Important Note: The Verify option is NOT available on the Blue or Gold form.

How can I have an exam rescored?
By request only, it is possible for tests to be rescored without rescanning the original student answer keys. To request rescoring or if you have questions about this procedure, contact us at and type “Rescore” in the subject line. Please include the question number(s) and the correct answer. Changes will be reflected on the reports. The 24-hour turn-around is based upon the time the e-mail request, pending weekends or holiday observances.
How does the UPTC ensure integrity of the exams after I drop them off?
Staff at the UPTC:

  • will not adjust, delete, or modify in any way the information on an instructor or student answer key.
  • are not permitted for any reason to place marks (i.e. add, change, or erase) on scanner forms.
  • secure all examinations in a locked area of the UPTC for 28 days.
  • will only give exams to the faculty of record or a representative of the faculty of record for any course. The scanning job is required at the time of pick up. Please notify the UPTC in advance if you are sending a representative to pick up exams.
How do I get the results of the scanning and scoring, and what are the reports?
All reports and raw data will be sent electronically to the e-mail address provided on the Scanning Request Form. By default, the Datalink scanning program assigns one correct answer per item.  If credit is wanted for an “Either/Or” answer or for a question with two or more correct responses, please note this on the Scanning Request Form, in the Special Instructions section of the form. You will receive several reports once your exams are processed:

  • Test Results: PDF form that provides an individual report of each student’s response for each item with the corresponding correct answer, the total possible points, the student’s score and percentage correct, the class average, and the highest and lowest scores.
  • Item Analysis: PDF form that provides frequency counts and percentages for each response for all test items, point by serial correlation (index of item discrimination), and frequency count and percentage correct for each test item along with percentage incorrect.  Click Item Analysis Definitions for a full list of terms . This report is included in the excel Full Report on a separate tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet.
  • Excel Spreadsheet: You will also receive the an Excel spreadsheet that contains the following reports:
    • Results Grid (Raw Data)
    • Class Roster
    • Item Analysis
    • Detailed Item Analysis

If you have questions about the results or would like to review the originals, feel free to visit the UPTC during normal business hours.

How quickly will I get my results?
The UPTC will deliver the results of your classroom exams within 24 hours of your drop-off, barring weekends or holiday observances. The exact turnaround time for a scan depends on the number of forms and on the number of scan jobs in the queue.  Course-related tests take precedence over other jobs.
How much does the scanning and scoring service cost?
The scanning and scoring service, including forms, is free for all University of Pittsburgh instructors conducting classroom tests; and for faculty, staff, and students conducting survey research.
How can I upload my scanned results into CourseWeb?
The Educational Technology Center (ETC) is available to assist with uploading results into your CourseWeb classes. You can upload or download grade center items for working offline, and directions are available in the Faculty Knowledge Base.