CBT in general means taking a test on the computer. It is mainly used where the stakes to achieve a certain thing are very high. The computer-based test is nowadays being used by the companies as it is easy to conduct, has accurate results, many factors of candidate’s performance can be easily assessed as all the data of one’s performance is stored in the computer. It is also helpful in reducing human errors.
Companies have started opting for online CBT available in the market as it has many benefits and some of them are as follows:
Instant score: A computer-based online test is beneficial as it can give a candidate an instant score report once he finishes the exam. Candidate can be made aware of his pass/fail status immediately. When and if a candidate fails he can be provided with analysis and breakdown of his performance, letting him know the scope of improvement.
Easy to conduct and perform: A computer-based test is easy to conduct, and it is equally easy for the candidate to perform a computer exam. All he needs to have a basic knowledge of computer. On should follow all the instructions given in the instruction column making it easier for him to perform the test. A tutorial is always provided before the actual test begins which helps the candidate in getting used to the format of the test.
Assistance provided on the spot: In case of any query trained proctors are made available ready to help the candidate perform a test. This also helps in maintaining transparency in the screening process as there is always someone keeping a strong vigil on the candidates appearing for CBT computer-based test.
How can these tests be conducted?
There are firms which professionalize in conducting these examinations. Companies can hire these professionals according to their requirement. These professionals are known to manage the examination process from start to beginning. In order to conduct a computer-based test a company first needs to create an online web page where candidates who want to appear for the screening process can be notified of the process its date and time. This page includes a form where a candidate is required to fill the basic details, his educational details and his other qualifications with a scanned photo and signature.
The second step involves creating the test on the basis of company criteria; the test should be made in such a way that parameters which a company requires its candidate to be in, should be fulfilled. The time duration for the test should be decided depending upon the questions asked in the test. The screening process would be as efficient as the test is. Thus it should neither be very easy nor very hard.
The third step is to conduct the test: A venue should be decided which can fit all the candidates appearing for the tests. If the venue is not big enough or if the number of candidates is very high, the candidates could be made to appear for the test in different batches at a different location or at a different time or both. Trained proctors should be placed at the examination centre to assist the candidates in case of any technical problem. They should keep a strong eye on the candidates in order to prevent cheating in the examination.
The fourth step would be to bring out results of the test, in case of competitive exams the scorecard of the candidates can be formed instantly but the result cannot be judged. A collection of all the reports has to be combined and matched. The candidates outscoring others and fulfilling the company criteria should be selected for the interview round or the next CBT round whichever be the case.
In case of a technical computer-based test, the test is more of a mix, containing a variety of MCQs, case study, and other simulators. These simulators are used to check the technical proficiency of the candidate appearing for the test. A custom grading logic is sometimes applied on the basis of the company’s requirement; it depends on grading a candidate on the basis of his section selection.
In this type of tests it is important to create different sections, time limits for finishing one section, cut off for every section, and different workflow has to be created.
There are many companies which professionalize in conducting CBTs; it is up to the company to select which kind of tests it needs to conduct for screening the candidates applying for a job. One should also note that different types of CBT are to be held for a different kind of job. Companies nowadays companies have started conducting CBTs even for promotion as it assists them in identifying the best candidate for promotion from the internal staff.
Why is CBT widely used?
A CBT, in general, helps the company in saving its time and resources it would have required to do mass requirement for the executive level job. It saves them the time by screening the candidates on the basis of the criteria decided by the company on which the test is held on. This ensures that the candidate who is called for a personal interview have basic intelligence and are capable enough of performing in the company.
The online CBTs also have helped the companies in maintaining the quality of recruitment without it being biased in someone’s favour. Transparency in the selection of candidate is improved up to a certain level. The whole process is computer-based and has no chance of human error making the process more suitable for the recruitment of an ideal candidate.