Synap Blog  |  8 min read

10 ways to reduce exam workload and save time with an online exam platform

Discover how to streamline your exam processes and enhance efficiency with delivering exams online. Exam.png


Delivering exams can be a time-consuming process - from creating, monitoring, and marking exams, educators can spend hours managing assessments.

With the rise in adoption of online exam platforms, there exists a transformative approach to alleviate this time-intensive burden and boost team efficiency.

In this blog, we explore 10 key features that can reduce the workload for educators to help free up their time, all while maintaining exam security and integrity.

1. Automatic marking of diverse question types

Traditional grading processes, especially for paper-based exams, is often a major pain point for organisations. Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, educators often find themselves immersed in hours of reviewing and marking exams 1, which can amount to 54 hours of faculty time spent grading exams in one year 2.

Online exam platforms offer a transformative solution by automating the marking process, with most solutions offering the ability to automatically grade multiple choice questions, taking a load off educators’ caffeine-powered shoulders.

More auto-graded question types

Advanced assessment platforms go a step beyond by extending automatic marking to more question types, including fill-in-the-blank, dropdown, and short written responses (cloze questions).

This empowers organisations to deliver exams with a diverse range of question types, fostering an interactive and engaging exam experience for candidates. All while freeing up educators from their marking workload, so they can spent the extra hours elsewhere on other important tasks.

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2. Customisable, weighted and dynamic exams

Creating a weighted exam, where the questions are randomly selected from a question bank to create a unique exam for every candidate, can be a daunting task when done manually. But fear not - with a sophisticated online exam platform, you can turn this chore into a breeze!

The streamlined process involves selecting the number of questions and the question tags you wish to add - for example, “select 10 questions with the topic tag ‘cardio’”. Voila! In just a few minutes, admins can easily generate dynamic exams that contain different questions for each test taker, yet maintain fairness with uniformly balanced content.

Enhanced exam security

Not only does this popular feature save time, but it also introduces an extra layer of security. With test takers receiving different sets of questions, candidate collaboration becomes difficult, ensuring the integrity of the exam process. Leave behind the rigidity of traditional exams and replace it with dynamic exams that harmonises both fairness and security!

Dynamic exams

3. Instantly awarding branded certificate

Gone are the days of printing certificates and posting them to candidates, who spend weeks eagerly checking the mail. Now, with the magic of online certificates, candidates receive their well-deserved accolades in the blink of an eye.

These certificates, adorned with your organisation's logo and branding, contain essential details such as the certification date, exam name, and expiration dates.

Additional certificate security

But wait, there's more! With a professional-looking certificate verification page, courtesy of Synap, you're not just sending out certificates; you're adding a layer of security. No more worries about candidates editing their certificate – this feature ensures the authenticity of each certificate.

Now candidates can confidently share their accomplishments with managers, employers, or proud parents, knowing their success is secure and verified.

Certificate verification page

4. Streamlining retake processes

Manually managing retakes for candidates who didn't pass an exam can feel like a wild ride! Educators often juggle the task of identifying who’s entitled for a retake, coordinating the best time to offer it, and then personally reaching out with all the retake details.

An online exam software simplifies this process by allowing you to set the number of retakes a candidate is permitted and specifying when these retakes become available.

Flexibility for scheduling retakes

Whether opting to to issue retakes immediately or after a specific time period so candidates have time to prepare for their next attempt, top testing platforms can automate what was once a manual, intricate process in just a few clicks. Bid farewell to the complexities of manual retake management and usher in a more streamlined and stress-free approach.

Automating retakes

5. Precise grade calculations

In the realm of calculating exam grades, precision is paramount. Unlike the manual tallying process inherent in traditional paper-based exams3, online exam software takes the reins, automatically calculating both scores (as a percentage) and grades (e.g. pass or fail).

In addition, the conventional method of inputting scores into spreadsheets or grade books, can increase the risk of human error resulting in data inaccuracies.

An online exam tool means that the scores are calculated instantaneously and the relevant grade is calculated without errors, ensuring the numbers add up flawlessly. Say goodbye to grade book woes and hello to effortless grade calculation!

Calculating grades

6. Provide immediate results

In the age of instant everything, waiting for exam results can be an anxious affair for candidates. Conventional methods for providing results often contribute to delays, leaving candidates in a state of suspense and stress.

Enter the magic of an online assessment platform, especially those equipped with auto-marked questions such as multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and more. The beauty lies in the immediacy – as these questions are marked in an instant, you can share the results right away with candidates. No more nail-biting waits; just swift, stress-free results for eager minds.

Automatic marking of questions

7. Accelerate feedback delivery

In the journey of learning, timely feedback is crucial for guiding candidates towards improvement 4. This is especially important when candidates gear up for retakes or subsequent attempts at exams.

“Ideal feedback should be honest, specific, and timely, with direction on how to get better.” - Yang BW, Razo J, Persky AM.

An online exam platform empowers educators to offer insightful question feedback automatically, complete with images, videos, or references to learning materials. This feature proves invaluable, particularly for auto-marked questions, as feedback is immediately shared post-exam completion.

Tailored feedback

Moreover, with sophisticated testing platforms, educators can provide personalised feedback for each question, empowering candidates with targeted insights on areas for improvement. Say goodbye to the days of candidates waiting in the dark for feedback; insightful guidance can be shared instantaneously!

Providing feedback to candidates

8. Effortless candidate enrolment into the exam

The process of inviting candidates to take an exam often involves a number of administrative tasks – from checking if they have access to an exam, confirming the correct type of exam, to sending out individual invitations, it's a time-consuming affair.

Fortunately, advanced online assessment tools can integrate with existing systems to automate the user enrolment process. By leveraging APIs or a Zapier integration, you can effortlessly connect your exam platform to a variety of systems, including a CRM, LMS, website, database, or eCommerce platform.

This ensures a smooth user enrolment journey, with automatic assignment of exams. Say goodbye to administrative headaches and hello to hassle-free enrolment!

Automating user enrolment

9. Seamlessly integrating exam results with existing systems

The transfer of exam results data into existing software and tools adopted by an organisation, such as CRMs, databases and BI tools, can prove to be a laborious task, when handled manually through the export and import route.

However, by utilising the power of APIs or a Zapier integration, this process can be seamlessly automated. This not only ensures the instant transfer of exam results to the system of choice but also guarantees that all data remains synchronised and up-to-date.

Automating send exam results to external systems

10. Flexible, AI proctoring for exam integrity

Proctoring is a popular way to monitor candidates in exams to reduce cheating and enhance the exam security.

However, organisations often face challenges in deploying human resources to monitor candidates, particularly if the exam is multiple hours long, or if the exam is delivered at scale for a large number of users. This difficulty is amplified if exams span different countries and time zones, or if candidates can take the exam at a time of their choosing!

Enter advanced proctoring tools, a strategic solution that outsources monitoring to a skilled proctoring team. The team utilises innovative AI to detect potential cheating, while human proctors review AI flags in real-time.

The beauty of this approach lies in its efficiency - your team receives an immediate report post-exam completion, empowering you to focus attention on high priority flagged footage, thus saving valuable hours.

On demand proctoring

Moreover, Synap's proctoring tool elevates the experience by offering round-the-clock availability. Proctored exams can be effortlessly delivered any day, at any time, ensuring exam security without constraints.

Rosalyn proctored exam

Discover how Synap uses these features to streamline online exams

Explore how Synap’s automations helps make delivering online exams easy with a tailored demo and 14-day free trial - get started today.


  1. Department of Education. (2018). Exploring Teacher Workload.
  2. Leunig T. (2012). Academics need to spend more time teaching and less time marking.
  3. Klein J. The failure of a decision support system: inconsistency in test grading by teachers, Teaching and Teacher Education. ScienceDirect. 2002; 8(18): 1023-1033.
  4. Yang BW, Razo J, Persky AM. Using Testing as a Learning Tool. Am J Pharm Educ. 2019 Nov;83(9):7324.

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