Scantron is a company, based in Irvine, California, USA, that manufactures and sells machine-readable papers on which students mark answers to academic test questions, the machines to analyze those answers, survey and test scoring systems, the taking of school attendance (with a mark denoting an absent student) and image-based data collection software and scanners. The use of the name Scantron pervades primary and secondary education in North America, and many students associate the word "Scantron" with computer-graded, multiple choice examinations.
Scantron test forms commonly, there are two sides to Scantron answer sheets. They can contain 50 answer blanks, 100 answer blanks, and so on. A smaller form, called a Quizzstrip™, provides answer space for only about 20 questions. On the back of larger sheets is a space in which answers to other kinds of questions can be written. The 8.5×11-inch form may contain a larger area for working math problems, write long-hand answers, etc. Answers "A" and "B" are commonly used for "True or False" questions.
It is common for Scantron sheets to have instructions such as "Do not make any stray marks on the answer sheet", "Fill in each circle/square completely. To change your answer completely erase the mark" and "Please use a number 2 pencil" (or "HB pencil" in Canada).
Grading of Scantron sheets in a stand-alone testing scoring machine (either model 888P+ or iNSIGHT 4) is performed first by creating an answer key. The answer key is simply a standard Scantron answer sheet with all of the correct answers filled in, along with the "key" rectangle at the top of the sheet. The key is fed into the Scantron machine, which stores the correct answers in the memory. Further sheets fed are graded according to the key in memory. Switching the machine off stops the paper feed and clears the memory. Incorrect answers are marked with a red dash, or the correct answer (unless the correct answer is made up of multiple letters, such as BCE, in which case it will be marked with an asterisk), down the left side of the paper. In this way, students see which questions they answered correctly. The number of correct answers is printed on the form. It can also show a percentage grade along with the number of answers correct.
Scantron test scoring software can create the key and only student forms are scanned. Once student tests are scanned in, various reports can be created, including item analysis, grade distribution, student response report, etc.
A photocopied Scantron form will not work, because the printed image is too dark. It is, however, possible to laser print forms that will work in the Scantron machine using software such as FLIPS or eListen.