Optical Mark Reader: How it works? What are its Pros & Cons?


What is optical mark reader? How does it work? What are its advantages, disadvantages and applications…know all about it with this detailed guide on Optical Mark Reader.

What is Optical Mark Reader?

Optical mark reader is a software which can be installed in the computer and then can be used to extract data out of the marked circles on the OMR sheets.

This software helps in detecting the highlighted circles on the OMR sheet which are read and transformed in a decipherable data which can be understood easily.

The data extracted from the OMR sheets such as MCQ tests and mock tests is checked against the main master sheet also known as answer key which is stored in the software beforehand.

Optical Mark Reader


How does the optical mark reader works?

Optical mark reader software is a diverse OMR technology that is not just used for reading the sheets but can also design, scan, and sort data out of the OMR sheets. As an overall OMR solution it works on various levels of sheet reading and processing. Read on to know all about its functionalities-

  • 》 To start with optical mark reader, first you have to install the software in your system. Before doing so, go through its guidelines and get help from the assigned IT professional as they are the ones who guide you with the device compatibility and installation part.
  • 》 Once the software has been installed you can start with designing the sheets. Optical mark reader software is efficient in designing all types of sheets whether for tests, forms or checklists and feedbacks.
  • 》 Now the optical mark reader is used for scanning the sheets. Scanning part can be done with any normal Flatbed or ADF scanner.
  • 》 Reading comes next to scanning! Reading is done from the scanned images of the sheets that are stored in the software. OMR reader software is integrated with multiple in-built features to read the sheets with accuracy and efficiency.
  • 》 After the reading has been done the last functionality of OMR sheet reader is to evaluate the extracted data and generate a comprehensive report.
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What are the Pros of optical mark reader?

  • 》 At the cost of single software you get the advantage of complete OMR solution as OMR prosreader software can be used for designing, printing, scanning and even evaluation of OMR sheets.
  • 》 For the purpose of data accuracy it comes with various inbuilt features such as-
    • 》 Re-reading the faulty data.
    • 》 Detecting fault in answer key
    • 》 Detecting the chances of cheating
  • 》 Superior sheet reading speed- 300 sheets in a minute.
  • 》 Cost effective solution to automate all types of objective based tests, forms and administrative tasks.
  • 》 Can be easily installed and implemented without any hassle.

What are the Cons of optical mark reader?

  • 》 Because that data is extracted through the marks made on the OMR sheets so it is important consfor those marks to be dark enough. If not, then the OMR reader might fail to read the marks properly which can lead to error in the data extracted.
  • 》 When scanning the sheets, it is important to place them properly in the tray of the scanner. If they have been placed incorrectly or the sheets are unnumbered then the scanning can be done in wrong order.

What are the applications of optical mark reader?

Since the inception of OMR technology it is being used in various industries and sectors to automate multiple types of tests and form creating tasks. Earlier OMR was not that developed and required various extensions along with OMR scanner.

These days many OMR software providing companies are developing optical mark reader that are highly efficient and can perform every task without the requirement for any extension.

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Its increasing utility is being recognized on a higher level and many Government/competitive exams have switched to OMR platform. Other than this there are various other sectors that are using this technology such as-

  • 》 Corporates for creating appraisal and training assessments.
  • 》 Schools, colleges and universities use it to conduct internal tests and process forms- admission, application and registration.
  • 》 Stores and warehouses use it for creating checklists and inventory.
  • 》 Apart from all this, it is also used for Olympiads, surveys, ballots and lottery.


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