Sunday, March 22, 2015

Speed Exam Online Exam Software Review

Speed Exam is online exam software that promises to create exams quickly and allows you to " watch your exams live. You can see current activity of your candidates such as taking (live) completed, dropped exams with their number of attempts, device name, browser, operating system, ip address and location details. ". Increasingly schools, teachers, and companies are taking advantage of online quizzes. I personally began using online quizzes five years ago when we adopted a new textbook that came with test making software that gave us the option to publish online. I have been hooked ever since. I have found the key to really helpful exam software is ease of use. Two years ago my school district paid a large sum of money for exam software. It promised detailed statistics, and very current data of all of our students. There was one problem, it took forever to create tests, and nobody used the program. Speed Exam promises ease of use, and I wanted to find out if this was true. Please note, I'm in no way affiliated with this company.

Step one was to set up an account. They have three options available,free,professional, and unlimited. The professional and unlimited are paid plans and have options like test maker software and you can create many more monthly quizzes along with adding instructor accounts. The professional and unlimited plans also allow instructor accounts which would give a school or a department the option of using Speed Exam together. I will use the free version and will not be able to test out the test maker software, but I will be able to create several tests and quizzes.

Registration is pretty standard and you do have to verify your email account. Once you verify your account you get a link to the program and get a standard Dashboard, Here is a picture below.

Let's get started with my first exam. This program works similar to Schoology or USATest prep by allowing you to set up classes. Once a class is set up the students in the class set up individual accounts. This allows you to track their results.The program calls them candidates,as a teacher I think of them as students. Each student fills out information and has to set up an account in order to take the test. Depending on your students you can take some time in class to walk your students through this,or you can give them the links, and information and they can set up their accounts at home. They have a video that helps students with self registration.

The next step is set up questions for the exam. In this section you have two options. You can manually type in the questions or import the questions from a spreadsheet. See the picture below for what the screen looks like.

I found creating questions really easy. The format of Speed Exam is very similar to a program my school uses so it felt pretty familiar. The key with this program for creating exams really fast is to have a test bank that you can pull questions from. In order to have a test bank you will need to spend some time either importing questions, or typing them into Speed Exam. I was pleased to see the import option. In order to import questions you need to use Excel spreadsheet.  They give you a template that you can follow. See below

Once the questions are completed you then select the Exam tab and pick the questions you want in the exam. This is pretty straight forward, and I found the learning curve was not that steep. If you have used any other Exam software before you will have no problem figuring this out. While creating the exam you choose the duration length, which students will take the exam,the questions you want on the exam and several other options. I found this both simple to use,but there are some really powerful options.

After you finish the exam you can email it to your students or they can log in and take the exam. Finally, the program records scores and gives you lots of feedback from your students. If you are pretty good with excel I'm sure you could import the results directly into your grade program.

Overall I would highly recommend this program. The professional version is $250 for a year subscription,but you can add an unlimited number of instructors, and can create up to 500 exams. The program is easy to learn, but has some really powerful features that if you took the time to learn could make this program really helpful and powerful. If you have considered creating more online tests for practice,quizzes, or even exams I would check this program out.