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What is a OMR Sheet and how to design it

OPTICAL MARK READER

OPTICAL MARK READER SHEET (OMR SHEET) is a technically designed sheet which is used in objective type examinations or any other data which has multiple choice options to be filled by the applicant. It is designed with circles/ovals and rectangles. The circles/ovals are generally in Pink/Magenta and Orange Colour. The rectangles are in black colour.

The OMR sheets are scanned through specific OMR Scanners which are provided by various companies like Scantron, DRS, Sekonic, etc. There are some image or OCR scanners which also scan these OMR Sheet with images of the sheet. But the main issue is how to capture data from image scanners? For that there are softwares like eXtractPro which converts OCR data to OMR but the time taken to convert data takes lot of time so it is advisable to scan the OMR Sheets with OMR scanners only. These OMR scanners are designed technically with header to read the responses filled in OMR sheets. The headers can be ink or pencil head with accuracy of OMR Sheets. The ink head has facility to scan responses filled with pencil and pen both whereas, pencil headers have facility to scan responses filled with pencil only. The accuracy is 99.99% on the OMR Scanners.

The picking of response depends on the threshold value i.e. the intensity of filling the responses in OMR Sheet. If a person just put a dot(.) or a tick (a) on the sheet the response may not be picked. The bubbles should be dark and filled so that the circles/ovals in the completely. If a person fills more than two responses in one field the data will be read as * (multiple responses).

Design of OMR Sheet – There are specific dimensions of designing OMR Sheet with 0.05 mm precision on scale. If the dimensions are not up to the precision scale the accuracy of OMR sheet may vary. So it is advisable that the sheet should be designed and printed with perfection and the cutting of the sheet should be perfect as shown here.

Software to design OMR Sheet – Architects and builders use Autocad Software for designing designs and architecture, the same software, Autocad is used in designed OMR Sheet which has full and accurate dimensions. Corel Draw is designing software which is used after final designing is done in Autocad to get the better look with colour and print to file features of OMR Sheet.

Types of OMR Sheet

Single Part – Sheets are printed on 105 gsm to 120 gsm paper on A4/Legal sheet.

  • Double Part (Carbonless) – Two Sheets are printed one 105 gsm paper and one on 60-70 gsm paper on A4 sheet . The bottom of first sheet and the top of second sheet is chemically treated so that the impression of the first sheet should come on the second sheet.
  • Three Part (Carbonless) – Three Sheets are printed one 105 gsm paper and other two on 60-70 gsm paper on A4 sheet . The bottom of first sheet, the top and bottom of second sheet and the top of third sheet is chemically treated so that the impression of the first sheet should come on the second and third sheets.

Second and Third Copy

Security Features in OMR Sheet

  1. Bar Code – Unique Code is printed on the sheets so that no tampering of sheets can be done
  2. UV Printing – Watermark or any other text or logo printed on the sheet which cannot be seen by the naked eye.
  3. Litho Code – Unique Code is printed on the sheets in the form of binary coding so that no tampering of sheets can be done.

How is Scanning done and how can get the result/output of OMR sheets – Scanning is done by OMR scanners specifically designed for OMR Sheets. The reading of data is done through the header fitted in the OMR scanners to read the marks filled by pen/pencil. Only Blue/Black Ball Pont Pen should be used to get the proper and accurate responses if filled by correct method. The sheets are kept in a bunch of 200-250 in the input hopper of the scanner and then scanned through Scan tools software or any other software with the facility of printing of scan numbers on the sheet to identify the sheet for future reference.

The sheets are scanned in .dat format and then is converted into .dbf format and then through programming further processing, result or output are done.

What measures should to be taken to fill OMR Sheet

  1. There are timing marks or skunk marks on the side and four IDs on the top and bottom of OMR Sheet through which data is captured through OMR Scanners. These should not be tampered at any cost otherwise sheet while scanning can be rejected.
  2. The barcodes or litho codes should not be tampered at any cost because that may give error while scanning of barcodes and litho codes.
  3. The sheets before and after the examination should be packed nicely in tamper proof poly packs or envelopes so that they are not torn or mutilated to get error free result or output.

INSTRUCTIONS TO FILL OMR SHEET

  1. Use Black or Blue Ball Point Pen only. Please avoid using gel pens, fountain pens and any other colour pens.
  2. Unless specified don’t use pencils and if asked then only use HB Pencil.
  3. Darken the bubbles completely. A tick mark, a dot of half filled bubbles will not be read and scanned.
  4. Never use white fluid or cutting for rectifying errors as they may disrupt the scanning and evaluation process.
  5. Do not fold the OMR Sheet.
  6. Do not any stay marks on the OMR sheet.
  7. Multiple marking are invalid they may result in rejection.

Where are these sheets used.

  • In Competitive Exams, generally all written examinations whether held for recruitment or for any Entrance Examination.
  • For taking surveys some organisation used OMR Sheet.
  • For Application Forms, Attendance Sheets.
  • University Cover Page are mainly of OMR Sheet which has three to four parts where candidate write their basic details in one part, Paper Checker in other part and remaining parts are attached with the Answer Booklet with security features.