Exam Services prepares for finals week

· 3 min read

Exam Services prepares for finals week

Ben Lass, an exam services coordinator, loads bubble sheets into a test score machine in UNL's Exam Services office.
Lexie Heinle | University Communications
Ben Lass, an exam services coordinator, loads bubble sheets into a test score machine in UNL's Examination Services office.

Examination Services is a small office in the UNL Institutional Research and Planning Department that does a big job for students, even though most don’t even know it is there.

“We receive, scan, grade and return results of all Scantron-based tests at UNL and two Lincoln-based departments at University of Nebraska Medical Center,” said Ben Lass, an exam services coordinator.

The office, which is located in Canfield Room 336, also counts results for evaluations and research studies and surveys. In total, Lass said the office handles approximately 250,000 forms per year.

“We are a friendly helpful service with a fast turnaround,” Lass said.

Although the office’s return time can vary with the amount of work, it has a 99 percent rate of success with returning the results within 24 hours.

The staff tries to return a test’s result quickly because then the professors “get it back to students quicker,” Lass said.

Faculty fills out forms in their respective departments, and new users must fill out an information sheet. Although exam services charges for a form, it does not charge for the scanning and grading. The current rates are 11 cents per answer sheet or $55 for a box of 500 sheets.

Included in the office’s services is a correction service. According to Lass, UNL is one of the few universities in the Big 10 or among peer institutions that offer a correction service with its form-grading office.

When test sheets have no answer, more than one answer, or not erased properly, this is reported on a scan error list. The office will consider answers that are not erased properly, and if there is a clear distinction, they will correct the student’s grade. On less clear errors, such as when one answer was crossed out, the office leaves the grading to the instructor’s discretion by noting it with a question.

Although pencils must be used because using a pen on the answer sheet requires hand grading, the machine doesn’t discriminate between the No. 1 and No. 2 pencils.

Another service the staff provides is an analysis of the test for the professors.

“It helps them in their test creation,” Lass said. Instructors are able to see which questions are the most difficult and how successful the questions are at testing students’ knowledge.

“The statistics help them find which students are struggling and in which areas,” Lass said.

Comparable to the rest of the university, exam services are busiest during finals week.

“We do anywhere from 280 to 329 exams during the week,” Lass said.

Since the week is so busy, the office prepares job orders for the tests in advance, which have all the required information including class, date and instructor.

Current users will receive an email about finals scheduling. First-time users must call 472-2097 or 472-2313 to receive scheduling information.

During finals week, the Exam Services office will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Exam Services will shut down at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Exams not picked up by the closure will not be available until Jan. 5.

For more information, email examservices@unl.edu or call 402-472-2097 or 402-472-2313.

Recent News