Exam Online : Conducting a Subjective Exam

What is a subjective exam? how to Conduct a Subjective Exam Online? Subjective exam is basically conducted to assess the theoretical knowledge of the candidates. Correct preparation, management, and evaluation of subjective tests are more difficult and costly, but they are more reliable.

Subjective tests generally consist of questions to which the candidate answers in sentences. It lets the examiner understand and evaluate the candidate’s ability to express ideas. The candidates are able to write their own original and creative answers.

Why is a subjective exam conducted?

A subjective exam is concerned with testing the understanding of the candidate’s learning about a particular subject. It involves writing answers to the questions. Thus enabling the examiner to check the desired proficiency level.

Candidates appearing in the exam have their own viewpoint. The way of writing and expressing in the form of answers also differs. This shows the level of grasping ability, understanding and knowledge of the subject.

The examiner also can analyse the answers of the candidates easily. It provides an opportunity to rate and measure the performance of the candidates.

Sharing with you a helpful resource by: aclweb

Subjective type questions for Exam Online

Subjective type tests include the following type of questions:

Short answer questions

As the name suggests, these are questions that require short sentence answers. It can be a word, phrase, short sentence, number or a symbol.

For example: 

  • Gigabyte is used to measure __________ of the computer.
  • List the various types of aquatic animals.

Essay type questions 

The answers to these questions are long and as the name suggests essay type. The questions are designed to check the writing capabilities of the candidate. The candidate needs to structure the answer and provide a limited response to the specified criteria of the question.

For example: 

  • Define critical thinking. State the advantages and disadvantages of critical thinking.
  • State the different sources of energy.
  • Difference between regular and distance education.
  1. Scenario – Usually, scenario questions are asked during a hiring process. These are designed to assess how well the candidate is prepared to manage the challenges and opportunities at a workplace.

    For example:
    1. Describe a situation where you were not satisfied with your job.
    2. Write about a time when you went above and beyond for work.
  2. Summaries – Summaries are written for capturing the essence of a paragraph, story or a poem. A summary is usually written in 100 to 150 words. This helps the examiner in evaluating the viewpoint of the candidate.
  3. Stories – Story writing is a kind of work based on the imagination and ideas of the candidate. It should be easy to understand and grammatically correct. Story writing has to be direct and short.
    It consists of 5 key elements namely character, setting, plot, conflict and theme. And the word limit is 200-250 words.For example: There was a joint family of six members including grandparents. It was the 75th birthday of the grandmother and the family planned to celebrate … … …
  4. Opinions – In these types of questions, candidates are asked to write their opinion about the topic shared. The answer is neither right nor wrong. It all depends on the agreement and disagreement of the candidate and the points supporting it.For example: Science and technology experts seem to be more valued by modern society than musicians and artists. Do you agree or disagree? Explain your response.

Subjective exam pattern

The pattern of the subjective exam varies from the type of exam to the institute and organization conducting it.  Entrance tests, qualifying tests, board exams, university exams, and course tests. 

Subjective exam pattern is based on:

  • Total time of the exam
  • Questions
  • Marks for each question
  • Words/ sentence limit for each question

Why is conducting a subjective exam important?

Conducting a subjective exam requires a framework design that ensures covering the entire topic for assessing the knowledge of the candidates. 

Expression of ideas

The subjective tests enable the candidates to express their own creative and original ideas about the subject. They feel free to convey the message they want to. This tells the examiner about the thinking and grasping skills of the candidate.

Clarity of concept

By conducting a subjective exam, the examiner can see how well the candidate has gained the concept. The candidate, on the other hand, is able to explain the knowledge attained and write it in own words.

Writing and language skills

The examiner definitely wants to check the language skills of the candidate. A subjective test is a way out for testing writing skills. It is of great use especially in case of language proficiency tests.

Solving cognitive problems

Conducting numeric, mechanical, and verbal reasoning tests is practically possible with the help of  a subjective exam. This helps to test the conceptual clarity of the candidate.

Critical thinking 

There are few tests that require critical thinking skills. For example: writing a story based on a given situation or opinion based questions. 

Practical application

Most of the subjective tests conducted by companies and organizations have a practical application too. The candidates applying for a job need to appear for the exam. And this is what helps them stand out and prove their capabilities.

How to conduct a subjective exam that ensures integrity

Subjective exam is a preliminary and basic method to evaluate a student’s intelligence, problem-solving ability and technical knowledge.

Subjective exam can be conducted in two ways:

  1. Online at examination center
  2. Home based online exam

To understand more about how to conduct a computer based exam, follow the step by step process mentioned in our blog: Computer based exam- How to conduct one 

How to assess a subjective exam?

Assessment of subjective exams is a crucial step. Preparing a question bank for a subjective test is easier than a subjective test. But assessing the subjective test is tricky and takes time and concentration.

In case of Online Subjective Exams, a separate portal is provided wherein the examiners can check the answers written by the candidates by logging in with their credentials. After that they assign marks by carefully going through the responses.

The Evaluation workflow should be built into the Online Examination engine and should have the following functionalities – 

  • Assign evaluator to exam: System should have the capability to assign multiple evaluators for one exam and assign one evaluator to multiple exams
  • Evaluator dashboard: A summary view of evaluation status  which may contain total allocations, in progress and completed evaluation.
  • Evaluation screen:
    • Display question: The complete question should be displayed to the evaluator.
    • Display Candidate Answer:  The answer written by the candidate should be displayed. If the question required answer to be uploaded as a pdf file, the corresponding pdf file should open in the answer window. There should be a feature to download the answer file as well.
    • Allocate marks: Evaluator should have the facility to award marks and modify the marks until the evaluation is submitted. Once submitted, marks awarded can not be modified until it is called for re-evaluation
    • Insert comments: The evaluator should be able to insert comments or give their views on the answers for each question along with justification for the marks awarded
  • Process result: Once evaluation is complete; system should have the capability to provide various reports such as question wise marks for each candidate, consolidated marks for the paper consisting of Objective and Subjective, both kinds of questions etc.

Watch video tutorial: ExamOnline: How To Evaluate Subjective Papers by Vivek Srivastava

To Conclude:

A subjective test takes time. It’s complicated due to its expressive nature and understanding of each candidate’s writing style. 

At the same time, it is an integral part of assessment. To conduct a subjective exam online, a more streamlined system or a software is required. To have detailed information about it, visit ExamOnline.

online exam software