OMR sheets are documents containing a set of multiple choice questions with bubbles or checkboxes for marking the answers. These are designed with specific index points on its four corners. OMR reader software detects and reads black marks from the bubble responses to process the results.
While the software facilitates a fast and automated way of checking MCQ based test papers, students and evaluators must remember a few important instructions while handling the OMR sheets; because damaged OMR sheets are likely to be rejected from the evaluation process, especially if the evaluators are instructed by the exam bodies to not entertain damaged sheets needing manual evaluation.
Instructions for Handling OMR Sheets
- Do not pin, tie, staple, or punch holes in the OMR sheets, as it can disrupt the reading process and also cause gradual damage to the scanner lens, rendering the scanner useless over a period of time.
- Store the OMR sheets in appropriately sized packets without folding them.
- Always fold or tear the sheets (if required) across the perforated line or the cutting line provided specifically for this purpose.
- Never leave any stray ink marks on or in the vicinity of the index points, as they can interrupt the reading process.
- Use a black or a blue ball point pen for filling the OMR sheets. Avoid using gel based pens or ink pens on OMR sheets, as these can give rise to smudging or blotting. You may also use pencils if permitted.
- Invigilators must remember to never apply pressure to stack the collected sheets together. The ink on some sheets may not yet be dried and may create stray impressions on the others, which is likely to interrupt the OMR reading process.
- Ensure that the signature and institutional stamps are made in the specified areas only and not anywhere else on the sheet.
- Never attempt to erase pen marks, as it could damage the OMR sheet. Avoid using whiteners unless permitted by the exam body.
- In exams where you’re permitted to use a pencil, erase pencil marks using a soft, good quality eraser that will remove the pencil marks completely without damaging the sheets.
Remember these guidelines on how to handle OMR sheets to ensure that your exam papers are not rejected during the evaluation process.