Optical Mark Recognition (also referred to as ‘Optical Mark Reader’) or OMR is the process of scanning and processing large data from test forms, surveys, assessment forms, and other types of similar documents and store it into a computer. A kind of software called an OMR software is installed to an Optical Mark Reader scanner to collect the necessary information through a specially printed form called the OMR form.

In short, OMR technology is often used to collect the large data in bulk such as answers to multiple choice questions so it can be gathered, analyzed, and converted into report over a short period of time.

To know more about this, we are going to discuss the basics of OMR software and all the things you need to know about this technology.

The Principle Of OMR In Detail

As mentioned above Optical Mark Recognition reads and collects the data and stores it on a computer. And the data to be collected comes from the markings on the OMR form like dots, darkened circles, dashes, and ticks which are produced by selected writing materials such as pencils and certain types of pens. These pencil markings are then interpreted once answer sheet is passed through the OMR scanner, which is the machine that will identify these marks on pre-defined position. Once the necessary information is extracted, it will then be stored into separate files.

The main principle behind OMR is based on the law of Physics called the “law of reflection” in which all reflected light will always obey to the relationship between the angle of coincidence and the angle of reflection. In other words, a lighter surface will always reflect more light compared to a darker surface.

And if we put this into context, the Optical Mark Reader (OMR Scanner) uses sensors to detect the pencil marked areas from the answer sheet and interpret it as data because these markings reflect less light compared to unmarked areas. To be specific, the OMR scanner uses 48 sensors to do this job.

If the OMR scanner reads an improperly filled-up area in the form, it will interpret it as an error, and it will be marked as false as the information is being converted into the computer data file.

Common Applications

sample omr form

Sample OMR Form

Since Optical Mark Recognition acts as checker software for bulk answer sheets, a lot of educational institutions are now capitalizing on this OMR software to conduct tests and examinations more efficiently. Likewise, the use of this technology is very effective as the OMR program can deliver different outputs in different formats like PDF files, Access, CSV, XML, and etc.

Regardless if universities adhere to different regulations and needs, the OMR program is designed to be flexible so it can instantly adjust to the requirements of the educational organization that is using it. Also, the software includes a preloaded report format feature which most colleges and universities are using nowadays.

In the same manner, OMR technology is also applied by companies who are conducting consumer surveys. Since a large volume of data is needed to determine the value of their product or service to their target market, the usage of OMR program will be able to process these results quickly and do the necessary changes to make their merchandise “click”.

Compatibility To Traditional OMR Scanners

Lastly, the OMR software is compatible with most traditional OMR scanners. Once the scanner is supported by the program, it can already interpret large data and produce results in less time. Aside from that, it can also detect any anomalies in the OMR form instantly to produce clear results. After interpreting the data on the answer sheets, the program will immediately save the data report to the computer which can be retrieved and printed as hard copies for future analysis or can be sent through email as needed.

If you’re interested in getting one, you can try Form Return’s OMR Software. You can create your own forms with its built-in editor, read images with an inexpensive scanner and processes all your forms, tests and surveys at lightning speed.