To overcome this (question paper leakages), many organisations are switching over from pen and paper to computer-based testing (CBT). According to a CLSA Asia Pacific Markets 2008 report on the education sector, the market for CBT, valued at $150 million (Rs 735 crore), is expected to grow to $750 million (Rs 3,675 crore) by 2012 in India.
As awareness levels grow, a rising number of service providers are entering the field — from established players such as Bangalore-based firm Eduquity, Aptech’s Attest and MeritTrac to new giants such as Pearson Vue and Prometric. “Keeping everything tamper-proof and safe is the most important component of testing,” says Uday Kulkarni, executive vice-president of Aptech and national head of the company’s testing arm, Attest.
At present, only a small percentage of combined entrance tests after senior secondary are computer-based, but the numbers are set to go up massively with the government’s increased focus on information and communication technology (ICT) for schools, and its plans to convert part of the school examination system to CBT. The Central Board of Secondary Education is also working on introducing virtual testing at the Class X level, where board examinations were recently replaced with an optional, on-demand testing system. In time and with the right pricing, it is expected that all small, skill-based tests, such as the driving test, can also be converted into the CBT format.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org