When we talk of drawing a comparison between manual or automated checking, the basic advantages of automation need not be reiterated when the whole world has moved to automated checking since years.
The mere reason of introduction of MCQ based tests in large scale exams is that they have the possibility of being checked automatically.All government selection and recruitment tests even in defence are done on OMR pattern and checked through OMR System.
Except for a handful cases where it is done manually due to some reason like either a test was taken accidentally on non-OMR sheets or maybe the scale was too small to deploy any automation. In all other possibilities.
There are many points in favour of OMR, but below are very few selected points which will create a clear picture of what can happen if MCQ test is not checked through OMR.
– Manual checking at the most can be tried in case of single choice with Positive marks. Not possible in case of negative marking scheme. It is very tedious as all questions have to be checked and prone to miscalculations.
– Sometimes it is revealed at the end of the process that the answerkey was ambiguous for certain questions. Sometimes one question has two answers. Manual checking is highly prone to errors in this case.
– What if the answerkey changes after the manual reading has been done? With software it is possible to recalculate with new answerkey in minutes. Manually the whole process will have to be done again. Sheets might have already been dirtied with manual tick marks, next time tick marks will make them more confusing.
– Specially when candidates come to station for a exam process which has multiple rounds, it is required to give the results fast. With manual checking candidates will have to wait and stay over more.
– Some exam results have a tie, and the tie breakers need to be applied onto certain specific questions. Not possible manually.
– When multiple people will check manually. Each one of them will have their own consideration and liniency parameters. So the type of marks accepted by one checker on on sheet might be rejected by the other on a different sheet. Such ambiguity is highly prone to RTIs.
Two such candidates can team up to stall the whole process and exams might need to be redone.
These are very few points, enough to give a fair idea of why the world has moved to OMR based automated checking.