reduce burden

How to reduce the burden of administering paper exams.

Written by Emma Morgan, Industry Marketing Manager at Fuji Xerox Australia.


Online exams have been a talking point for many years. As early as 1997 I was part of a trial to move the old NSW School Certificate online. In the 20+ years since then, exams still mostly take place using pen and paper, monitored by school staff. Mass tests, such as NAPLAN, have been slowly transitioning online. The plan is for all states and territories to adopt NAPLAN online by 2021.

Paper and pen exams are still the format of choice for many reasons. For example:

  • access to technology – not every K-12 student has access to the technology to complete an exam online. This creates inequity.
  • computer literacy of students – due to their age, many students do not have the tech skills to complete an online exam. This places a greater admin burden on teachers and IT staff.
  • security – privacy, data collection and storage of exams.

While paper-based exams don’t have all these same issues, they can be:

  • costly to administer
  • not as flexible
  • take a long time to print
  • be time consuming to mark

So, how can schools reduce the cost of paper exams?

There are practical steps your school can consider now to reduce the burden of printing paper exams. These include:

  • Outsourcing your exam printing – instead of printing exams onsite, sending exam printing to offsite printers, such as the Fuji Xerox Digital Communications Centre. These specialists can do secure bulk runs of your printing. Usually at a cheaper cost than onsite print. Outsourcing your printing also reduces the time that your staff need to monitor and facilitate printing. It frees up machines for day-to-day printing needs.
  • Printing exams in duplex – to reduce the cost of paper supplies. Simply changing your default print setting from simplex to duplex, can reduce the amount of paper being used at your school.
  • Using OCR (optical character recognition) to extract data from exam answer sheets. This can speed-up your exam marking process.

To learn more about how Fuji Xerox could help you reduce the cost of administering paper exams, visit or call 13 12 14.