Policies and Procedures

An accessible PDF of Exam Scoring Policies and Procedures can be found here: Exam Scoring Policies and Procedures.

Spring 2021 Semester Update

IEA exam scoring services will be offered during the spring 2021 semester as long as Syracuse University continues holding in-person courses on campus. In an effort to follow public health guidelines and safe social distancing practices, all exams must now be submitted using the new secure IEA drop-box located directly outside the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center.

Please read below for updated General Information and requirements on how to Prepare Exams for Drop-off.

General Information

  • Drop off: Exams must be submitted in the IEA drop-box located outside the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center.
    • Instructors must contact us at examscoring@syr.edu to inform what date the exam was dropped off in the box.
  • We aim to return all exam results within 24-72 hours of receiving.
  • Exam results are returned through the MySlice system.
  • Two types of forms can currently be used for student answer sheets.
    • Fiesta Pink Full-sheet: 200 questions, 5 response choices (Form #CS07-0057).
    • Tangerine Half-sheet: 84 questions, 5 response choices (Form #CS07-0064).
  • The full-sheet form may be obtained by schools/colleges/departments in packs of 500 through the Syracuse University e-procurement system. Instructors obtain the Scantron forms from their departments. The half-sheet form is no longer available to purchase, but may be used while supplies last.
  • Exam scoring services are performed free of charge.
  • Pick-up: Due to access and social distancing limitations at the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center, exams will be stored through the fall semester at IEA. If immediate return is necessary, please contact examscoring@syr.edu to make other arrangements for pick-up.

Prepare Exams for Drop-off

  • Ensure all Scantron sheets are ordered in the same direction and every sheet front-facing in the following order:
    • ZZPROF (required)
    • ZZKEY (required)
    • ZZALT (if used)
    • ZZWGT (if used)
    • ZZDIST (if used)
    • Student answer sheets
  • Bundle the complete exam (control sheets, answer sheets) inside a clasped or tied envelope (to ensure sheets are secured) and clearly include the following information on the outside:
    • Course Prefix, Number, and Section
    • Professor Name
    • Professor SYR Email
    • Drop-off Person’s Name
    • Drop-off Person’s SYR Email
    • Date the exam is dropped off

Multiple envelopes can be used for large classes. Please indicate the number of envelopes for a single exam on the outside of the envelope (e.g., for exam forms in two separate envelopes, label “1/2” and “2/2”)

  • Contact us at examscoring@syr.edu if there are any additional notes or information we will need while scoring the exams.

Properly Completing an Answer Sheet

Students must complete the required information on answer sheets as described under the Student Answer Sheet sections on pages 4-5 of the Instructions to Submit Exams.

To optimize responses, students should:

  • Use a #2 pencil to darken answer bubbles.
  • Darken only one response per question.
  • Completely erase changed responses. Do not cross out.
  • Completely erase all stray marks on the form.

Although our optical scanner is capable of reading responses in ink (blue or black only), we strongly suggest that students complete answer sheets using a #2 pencil. Complete erasure of ink is difficult when a response is changed. Any color used besides black or blue will likely not be readable and therefore unable to record the answers.

Below are examples of correct and incorrect answer completion:

For the scanner to accurately record responses, only one circle must be darkened for each question. It is imperative that changed responses and stray marks are completely erased.

Crossing out a response and darkening another or darkening more than one response for a question will cause the scanner to drop the question, therefore neither response will be recorded. Students should have the option of requesting and properly filling out a new answer sheet should their original answer sheet become compromised due to cross-out or stray marks.

Alternate Form Analysis

Alternate Forms Analysis is provided when multiple forms of the same exam are administered (i.e., on a 100-item exam, all students are asked the same 100 items, but in a different order). To submit exams with alternate forms for scoring:

  • Designate one form of the exam as Form 1. Based on that form, complete the Answer Key Control Sheet as described on page 3 of the Instructions to Submit Exams. Complete an Answer Key Control Sheet for Form 1 only.
  • Designate the other forms of the exam as Form 2, Form 3, etc., and complete one Alternate Test Form Control Sheet for each as described on page 7 of the Instructions to Submit Exams.
  • Complete an Alternate Form Table using Excel as described in the example below.
  • When submitting exams with multiple forms for scoring, bring the following:
    • Instructor Control Sheet
    • Answer Key Control Sheet (based on Form 1 of the exam)
    • Alternate Test Form Control Sheet(s)
    • Printed copy of the Alternate Form Table
    • Printed copy of each version of the exam
  • Email the Excel file of the Alternate Form Table to: examscoring@syr.edu

Example: Alternate Form Table

List the items on Form 1 in the first column (Form 1 responses are recorded on the Answer Key Control Sheet). In subsequent column(s), indicate where each item on Form 1 is located on the alternate form(s). For example, a five-item exam with three forms would have an Alternate Form Table that looks like this:

Form 1 Form 2 Form 3
1 5 2
2 4 3
3 3 1
4 2 5
5 1 4

Item Analysis

Item analysis can be used by instructors to identify areas for instructional improvement, as well as for improving the quality of the exam. Patterns within the analysis can highlight instructional or test construction issues within the context for which the test was designed.

For example,

  • If questions are answered correctly by most students, this could be a topic that was thoroughly reviewed by the instructor, a topic that required mastery before proceeding in the course, or the question was too easy and did not contain enough distractors.
  • If an item or items were answered incorrectly by a majority of students, this could signal a topic that requires additional instruction for mastery. Of course, this pattern also could be caused by an incorrect answer key or by poorly worded or confusing items.
  • If the students who answered the item incorrectly chose relatively equally among the incorrect responses, then the distractors worked properly.
  • If most students did not answer the last group of questions, the exam may have been too long for the time allotted.

To request an item analysis report, provide the information described under the Instructor Control Sheet on page 2 of the Instructions to Submit Exams.

Subtest Analysis

Subtest Analysis shows students’ performance on a subset of exam items. The report provides the number of correct responses for the group of questions specified. More than one subtest can be requested. To request Subtest Analysis, submit a Subtest Control Sheet as described on page 6 of the Instructions to Submit Exams.

Weighted Scoring

By default, the exam scoring system assigns a value of one point for correct responses and zero points for incorrect responses. Different point values can be assigned to each question by requesting the weighted scoring option.

To request weighted scoring, complete the Weighted Scoring Control Sheet and Weighted Scoring Table as described on pages 9-10 of the Instructions to Submit Exams. A listing of the point values to be assigned for correct responses to each question must also be included when submitting the exam for scoring. The maximum weighted score possible for the exam must be included on the list.

Distribution of Raw Scores

The Distribution of Raw Scores Report is a vertically oriented graphic representation of the raw scores for the exam. Included are the mean, median, maximum/minimum scores, standard deviation, range, and 1st and 3rd quartiles for the exam as well as the frequency, percent, cumulative frequency, and cumulative percent for each score. If the exam includes students from multiple sections of the class, a separate report is included for each section.

To request this report, complete the Distribution of Raw Scores Control Sheet as described on page 11 of the Instructions to Submit Exams.


Please contact IEA at examscoring@syr.edu if you have any questions about exam scoring services.