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All about OMR Sheets

OMR sheets or MCQ test sheets are used for facilitating OMR based examinations and surveys, and they contain multiple choice questions with elliptical bubbles or checkboxes for marking the answer responses. Addmen’s OMR Sheet Reader software is used to read the candidate responses from these sheets, which then compares it to the defined answer key to determine the accuracy of answer responses and to allocate scores. The OMR software basically reads black marks from the scanned images of OMR sheets and converts it into OMR data.

False assumptions with respect to OMR Sheets: Many people assume that OMR sheets are essentially designed using 2-coloured sheets with thick paper quality that can only be obtained on made-to-order basis, from specialized paper vendors. This is incorrect information.

Present facts about OMR Sheets: It might be surprising, but in today’s date, more than 90% of OMR users tend to design & print their own OMR based sheets using Addmen’s OMR sheet design software.


OMR Sheet - Uses

OMR sheets serve a variety of purposes. Here are some examples of how OMR sheets are used:

  • MCQ exam test papers
  • Recruitment aptitude tests
  • Feedback forms and survey questionnaires
  • Application forms
  • Admission and registration forms
  • To facilitate training & assessment
  • Ballot papers for elections and voting
  • Attendance sheets
  • Inventory cards
  • Process Control Sheets
 

OMR Sheet / OMR Answer
Sheet


New type OMR Sheet for simple design & printingOMR Answer sheets are given to candidates appearing for examinations based on Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ).

Widely in use by educational institutions worldwide to facilitate automated evaluations of objective tests conducted for determining the eligibility of admission in colleges or for facilitating scholarships.

Addmen OMR software (Module A) i.e., the OMR Answer Sheet Checker is used for evaluating these OMR test sheets. The software also comes with an integrated OMR answer sheet design feature.

OMR Form / OMR Application
Form


OMR Form with OCR Image & BarcodeOMR application forms facilitate easy data collection from a large group of candidates.

OMR forms are widely used by educational bodies, recruitment firms, agencies conducting market research and surveys etc, in order to save a lot of time, decrease the amount of tedious manual administration involved, and to get assured accurate results.

For reading and collecting data from OMR application forms, Module B of the Addmen OMR software i.e., the OMR Form Reader Software is used. It also has an inbuilt OMR form designer utility.

OMR Form + OMR Answer Sheet (Hybrid)


Old Pattern sheets can also be used- Not RecommendedOMR Sheets containing certain fields and blocks for collecting candidate information, and other OMR blocks for the questions, roll no. etc, are generally referred to as hybrid sheets.

Hybrid sheets are combinations of OMR test sheets and OMR application forms, and they are typically used for collecting candidate data during college admission or for conducting scholarship exams. Hybrid forms come into the picture, especially when the participant is anonymous to the educational institute.

Hybrid forms also serve the purpose of verifying/cross-checking the information that is already provided in application form.

In order to design and manage hybrid OMR sheets, you will need a combination of Modules A and B i.e., the OMR Answer Sheet Checker and the OMR Form Reader.

OMR Sheet Design

You can easily create an OMR sheet design using the OMR Sheet Design Software that comes integrated with the OMR Answer Sheet Checker and the OMR Form Reader. OMR sheets are designed with black index points on all four corners of the sheet, which happen to the most important parameter of an OMR sheet. You can’t simply design a sheet with MCQs and answer bubbles and call it an OMR sheet. You need to consider the specific dimensions that OMR technology supports. It is advised that you use the OMR sheet design software for designing the sheets as per OMR requirements.

The OMR sheet reader software comes packed with a bunch of predefined sheet templates that you can use readily by adding your institution’s name and logo. Or you can even create an OMR sheet design from scratch, and in just a matter of few minutes, you have a design ready.

Create OMR sheets in any layout, with as many number of questions and as many types of OMR blocks you wish to accommodate in the test. Typically, an A4 size sheet should fit upto 300 questions with 5 answer options each. You’ll find some OMR sheet samples here.

You can even design sheets that are half the size of an A4 size paper to fit a small number of questions and to save paper and cut down sheet printing costs. You can use the OMR sheet design software to design double-sided or duplex OMR sheets for printing and processing.

Addmen OMR Software comes with a smart feature that automatically calibrates misaligned sheets. You need not spend a lot of time manually rectifying rotated/skewed sheets, thus saving a lot of time and effort, and yielding accurate results all the time. Addmen OMR Software also supports the processing of OMR sheets based on old test patterns and which were earlier processed using OMR machine based scanners.

Various types of blocks that you can place on an OMR Sheet:

  • General MCQ Blocks for answers (in ABCDE format).
  • Numerical Blocks for answers containing integers and number values (in 0,1,2,3…format).
  • Matrix Blocks for questions involving column matching and true or false etc.
  • Alpha-Numeric Blocks for collecting candidate details.
  • Image Blocks for capturing candidate photograph & signature.
  • OCR Blocks for printed serial number/form no. on the sheets.
  • Barcode Block for capturing unique identifiers encoded in barcode formats.

Instructions for OMR Sheet Printing

OMR sheets designed using Addmen OMR software are convenient in terms of handling and facilitate economical printing. No extra printing costs are involved as you can print your own OMR sheets using a regular laser/inkjet office printer.

Use the Corel Draw file exported by the OMR software, to add your organization Name and Logo before printing the sheets. You may even edit any other information, but ensure that you don’t disturb the index points or OMR circles. Use PDF files for viewing only and for printing if you don’t have Corel Draw installed on your PC.

Paper used for OMR Sheet Printing

Addmen OMR sheet scanning software processes the scanned images of the OMR sheets, so the reading/evaluation process is not affected by their paper thickness. You can use the regular A4 size papers (70 GSM in thickness), for OMR sheet printing.

Thick paper is mostly preferred only when you anticipate chances of damage to the sheets, or if the sheets will need to be transported longer distances and if they will need to be stored for a longer period.

  • Use only white paper for printing the sheets
  • Irrespective of whether you use thick sheets or regular sheets, the OMR software will yield accurate evaluation results.
  • For printing 4 sheets together using an offset printer, use 18"x23" sized paper

Laser or Inkjet OMR Sheet Printer >

  • OMR Sheet printing can be carried out using a regular laser printer, or a rezograph, or a common digital copier printer.
  • Ensure that you change the default paper size setting from “Letter” to A4.
  • If you are using an inkjet printer, ensure that it can print the sheets without smudges and blots.

OMR Sheet Printing on Offset >

  • You can also resort to Offset Printing for printing multiple sheets at a time.
  • Print Corel Draw files only, using plates. DO NOT print using tracing sheets or master.
  • Ensure that all the sheets are cut properly in equal sizes.

OMR Sheet Printing using Photocopy >

  • You can also further minimize printing time and costs by taking photocopies of a printed OMR sheet, but do make sure that the copier machine prints high quality photocopies.
  • The size of the photocopies must match the size of the original OMR sheet design.
  • Before you validate the prints for distribution, check if all the index points are printed in solid black color and that there is no dust or smudged lines on the bubbles or around the index points.

General Precautions to be taken during OMR Printing

  • NEVER alter the size of the sheet format.
  • Refrain from modifying the location of circles/boxes as exported by the software.
  • DO NOT increase the line thickness of the answer bubbles. Keep it thin to avoid interference during the reading process. With thick outlines, the software is likely to misread all the bubble edges as responses.
  • NEVER remove or change the locations of the index points. They need to remain intact for the software to properly calibrate the sheets and start processing them.
  • Ensure that the index points are printed properly. Otherwise, they may not be scanned properly and will result in constant reading errors.
  • Always print the sheet contents at the centre of page, so that there is sufficient white space around the four index points in all four corners of the sheet.
  • DO NOT print anything else too close to the Index points.
  • If your sheet has a tearing margin, ensure that it’s placed adequately far from the index points.
  • DO NOT USE misprinted sheets. Discard them during the printing process.
  • AVOID increasing the font size of the text labels inside the bubbles, and never use bold fonts.

OMR Sheet Printing of Coloured OMR Sheets

  • Always stick to two colors. Use black as the primary and mandatory color; and pink, orange, or yellow as the secondary color.
  • Avoid green and blue tones.
  • If the pattern of marking is by mode of check marks, use colored OMR sheets, so you can drop the color later while scanning them, in order to ensure accurate results.
  • If your sheets have bubbles that have text labels inside them, prefer to print them in two colors.
  • In offset printing, the index points are printed in both colors, so there is no relative displacement i.e. zero-zero registration.

OMR Sheet Printing of Barcode/ OCR Serial No./ Stamped Serial No.

  • Only printed numbers or barcodes can be read. Stamped serial numbers will not be read by the software.
  • Preferably print barcodes with a font size of 32-36 and in black color only.
  • Print OCR text in font size of 16-18, also in black color only.
  • You can download OCR and barcode fonts from www.admengroup.com/support.htm

Instructions for OMR Sheet Scanning

  • Use any model of Flatbed or ADF Scanner for scanning the OMR sheets.
  • Prevent unnecessary tilting by securing the paper-holding brackets as you place the sheets in the scanner.
  • Scan as "Image / Picture". DO NOT scan as "Document".
  • Save the scanned images in BMP or TIFF formats only. Avoid saving in JPEG/DOC/PDF formats.
  • Scan at image resolution between 100 and 200 DPI.
  • DO NOT increase brightness or contrast of the images unless guided to do so. Always scan the sheets at default settings.
  • Scan OMR sheets with OCR, Barcodes etc at 150 or 200 dpi in grayscale or color mode.
  • Scan OMR sheets with photographs at 100 or 150 dpi in Grayscale or Color mode.
  • Scan OMR sheets with check marks at 150 or 200 DPI in color mode.

Scanning of B/w Sheets

  • Preferably scan as a (1-Bit) black & white image, to get a file size of within the range of 100-130 KB in BMP format and about 40-50 KB in TIF format.
  • Avoid scanning the sheets in Photo mode, to keep file size minimum.

Scanning of Coloured Sheets

For sheets printed in two colors and for those with photographs:

  • Preferably scan as color (RGB) image.
  • Avoid scanning in Grayscale mode, so to keep the image clear.

 

Download and read
OMR Printing-Scanning Guide

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