What is OMR Scanning

Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) is a technique for collecting information on a form where people can mark stylized “bubbles” to indicate their answers to questions rather than having to write them out. Forms are scanned through an OMR Scanner. When scanning, the OMR scanner detects the absence or presence of a mark on the specially designed form. OMR detects the absence or presence of a mark, but not the shape of the mark. Software interprets the output from the scanner and translates it into the desired ASCII output. Using a quality printed form and precise student shading, OMR technology can consistently provide 99.9% accuracy on read data. OMR cannot recognize hand-printed or machine-printed characters. An image of the form is not created by the scanner. OMR scanner and form technology is useful for instructors for processing multiple-choice exams, for student evaluations of teaching, and for researchers for surveys and data collection.


OMR is an effective way to collect data because it:

  • Decreases time necessary to complete a form compared to writing out answers
  • Decreases the effort needed to score exams or aggregate data and makes grades or data available sooner
  • Reduces errors because it minimizes misinterpretation of responses
  • Improves processing accuracy because a machine can read the marks quickly and accurately
  • Reduces space required on the form compared to hand written information


OMR forms commonly scanned include exams, tests, surveys, research studies, evaluations, assessments, patient history and many others

  • Supports pre-defined templates for many popular forms from Pearson and Scantron
  • Processes double-sided forms
  • Eliminates pre-sorting of forms with automatic form, page and respondent identification features
  • Integrated error correction/data-entry features
  • Saves data to Excel and tab-delimited format
  • Grades tests or exams and tabulates surveys
  • Produces several reports of grade/survey results and statistics
  • Calculates statistics
  • Export reports in PDF format