13. Optical Mark Reader (OMR)

Have you ever looked closely at the National Lottery ticket selection form? Or have you ever had to do a multiple choice test at school where you had to use a pen to show your answer.

OMR example

These forms are scanned by a special piece of equipment called an 'Optical Mark Reader' (OMR). they detect the presence of your pencil mark by reflecting light onto it. Less light is reflected where a mark has been made.

The OMR then interprets the pattern of marks and sends the results to the computer for storage, analysis and reporting.

  • A fast method of inputting large amounts of data - up to 10,000 forms can be read per hour depending on the quality of the machine used.
  • Only one computer needed to collect and process the data
  • OMR is much more accurate than data being keyed in by a person
  • If the marks don't fill the space completely, or aren't in a dark enough pencil, they may not be read correctly
  • Only suitable for recording one out of a selection of answers, not suitable for text input
  • The OMR reader needs the answers to be on the prepared forms which will all be identical to one another. You can't just pick up a blank sheet of paper and mark your answers on it.

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Optical Mark Reader