Computer Disadvantages

Computerized testing, often described as facile and efficient, has some drawbacks. The most common disadvantages are computer glitches, errors in content, and security lapses. There have been several documented occurrences of security breaches. One example is the Graduate Record Examination, which in 2002 was apparently "hacked" and sold on the internet in Asia. This was a live and active exam, not a practice test. This had damaging consequences, not only for the test administrators, but for the thousands of students taking the test.

On the practical side, some test takers report that it is more difficult to navigate back to rework problems. Some test takers are resistant to the computerized testing process because they are accustomed to taking notes and circling questions and/or answers for later review. Others say that they read more quickly and more easily on paper than on a glaring computer screen. Another incident of standardized test cheating on the GRE occurred when a student on the East coast relayed information to students on the West coast; that scheme took advantage of the three-hour time difference between the two regions. While electronic glitches are rare, they have been known to occur, for instance when computer crashes voided the efforts of thousands of GMAT takers. There are also cases in which the correction software has corrupted scores.

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Last Updated: 03/01/2017


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