PSC to experiment with electronic marking system

Kathmandu, October 31:

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is all set to introduce electronic coding and marking system for the objective examinations that it conducts throughout the country. The PSC is planning to test launch the new system on November 8 when it conducts entrance examination for officers.

The PSC had been preparing for the adoption of electronic system for the last five years. It had also been studying the examination system adopted by different universities and institutions across the country. It plans to expand the new technology to cover other objective testing systems and other written examinations as well.

“This technology will enable us to publish the results in shorter period of time,” said Khagendra Prasad Subedi, under-secretary at PSC Central Office, who also heads the Marking

Technology and Research Unit of the commission.

Terming the technology as a trial, Subedi, said they were not entirely depending on the new technology this time. “We have both types of coding for November 8 examination — manually placed double-tier code and the new unique bar code put separately on each answer script,” Subedi added.

As per the new system, the candidates will have to shade the circle on one of the four options. They will also have to indicate their symbol numbers by putting a circle on digits (0-9) arranged in five rows. The candidates will have to use black ink for the exam.

Answer scripts will then be manually scanned and entered into computers and a tailor-made software will automatically count the correct and incorrect answers and calculate the final score.

“As we are using this system as a trial, we will also manually calculate the scores this time,” Subedi said, adding, “Once we have the fully computerised system, nothing will have to be done manually.”

He also said that PSC could not afford to bring in a machinery costing around two million rupees and was seeking the government or other agencies’ help.

Some 8,000 candidates are taking the exam, which will be conducted in five centres across the country.

Some 5,000 candidates are sitting for the exam in Kathmandu centre alone, according to Jagannath Baral, officer of the Examination Section of PSC Central Regional Directorate.

The PSC will also apprise the examinees about the new system for half an hour prior to the examination.