new WebOMR now in beta

We’ve been working on it for months and now it’s finally in beta: the new WebOMR service.

WebOMR is the part of our solution that reads scanned answer sheets and extracts the marked bubbles on it.

Here is what’s new:

  • Darkest Bubble
  • Sensitivity Settings
  • Sequential Process
  • Complete Test Checking

For the next several weeks we will run the old WebOMR and the new one (we are calling it WebOMR2, I know it’s ingenious) side by side.

To access WebOMR2 (beta) click on the so named link after you’ve entered the test date when getting ready to upload scanned answer sheets:


WebOMR2 looks a little different than what you are used to, but the basic workflow is still the same. The biggest difference is that with WebOMR2 you can’t start the REVIEW process until all uploaded files have been processed. The overlapping of these two steps in the current WebOMR service has lead to confusion (did I review all my uploaded pages?) and in somewhat un-intuitive navigation (you had to close the separate review browser tab after review). Here is a quick overview of how the process works with WebOMR2:webomr2_uploads

  1. Click on the green ADD FILES button to upload files.
    1. Status will be UPLOADING (files are queue and uploaded one at a time)
    2. Status changes to PROCESSING x/y with the number of pages in the file displaying (individual pages are sent to the OMR engine for OMR processing)
    3. Status changes to IN REVIEW (pages are now ready for review)
  2. When ALL files have been processed and are IN REVIEW, you can click the START REVIEW button. The Review works the same as before with just a slightly different interface. We tried to be a little clearer about what pages require review. I hope it’s clear to you from the screen shot below.webomr2_review
  3. As before, you review by clicking on the line of the individual page. Items we saw as errors will be highlighted in red. All fields can be edited by simply typing the new value into the respective field. We are using our new DARKEST BUBBLE feature now. As you can see in the in the image below only the darkest mark is reported when more than one mark is detected.webomr2_review2
  4. Try submitting only one page of a SAT or PSAT and make note of the warning that you are missing a page!
  5. When pages are submitted for grading, WebOMR remains open – with all files still in the REVIEW list. This allows you to fix things like a wrong test ID that won’t get detected until we actually grade the test, without having to repeat the entire process starting with the uploading of scanned answer sheets. This is a bit of a temporary situation. Right now you can change any student response and even the student ID after grading. You can’t change the test ID after grading without having to restart the entire uploading and review process. We intend to change that in the near future and plan to then close down WebOMR automatically.  If you have any feedback on that matter, I’d love to hear it.
  6. In cases where the default sensitivity settings in conjunction with the new DARKEST BUBBLE feature doesn’t suffice, you can now change the sensitivity settings. Please note that you will need to repeat the upload process after changing the settings.
  7. For this first week, WebOMR2 is using a beta version of the OMR engine that is not hosted on the same server as the regular OMR engine. We are beta testing the ‘darkest bubble’ feature for a week. Processing takes a little longer on that server. We intend to update the main OMR engine with the ‘darkest bubble’ feature right after Thanksgiving so that this feature will be available for both the current WebOMR and the new WebOMR2 services.
By |2017-03-17T12:31:53-06:00November 17th, 2016|BubbleScan|Comments Off on new WebOMR now in beta

As planned, on Nov 7th, 11pm, we moved our domain from to

Please update any links you use or share with students to the new domain.

For instance if you have been using the url to log into your Online Score Tracker (OST) account, or your students have been using that url to log into their student portal, please start using

If you are using a hosted log in panel on your site – please refer to TOOLS – SITE ACCESS OPTIONS in your OST account for an updated code snippet.

The site has an updated user-interface. Nothing that would require you to learn anything new, just some fresh paint!

The biggest change is that we now support a username for students. In the past, students had to use their numeric student ID to log in. They can still do that. But in addition, they can also use a username now. The username can be up to 30 characters. By default we have set the username to be the numeric student ID, but you or even the student through their student portal can change the username (not the student ID, but the username!).

If you are using our API to automatically create student profiles in your OST account, please refer to TOOLS – PREFERENCES for details about the using the new URL (basically you just need to replace with, and add the username field in your code).

If you are adding student profiles via csv – there is now a new username field that needs to be included. We’ve updated the sample file and instructions:


Students can now change their username and also their email. Clicking on the gear icon in the top right hand corner of their student portal will give them access to that.

More updates are coming.

By |2017-03-17T12:31:53-06:00November 8th, 2016|BubbleScan|Comments Off on

Update: Site is Moving

We have rescheduled the moving of our server and domain to November 7,  11pm (MT).

This is in response to customer request to wait until after the SAT test date.

Thanks for your input on the domain name. We will go with

To recap:

Nov 7, 11pm (MT) will go offline for about 2 hours. During those 2 hours we will move all your data to

Once the move is complete, the url will point to Which means all your existing links will still work. But we would encourage you to switch using the new domain to direct your students to their student portal.

By |2016-10-21T08:36:31-06:00October 21st, 2016|BubbleScan|Comments Off on Update: Site is Moving

How to Assign Online Tests to Students

BubbleScan allows you to assign “tests” to students that they can take through their individual student portals. You can’t actually share the test with them, but you can provide an online answer sheet that is linked to a particular answer key. When the student submits their online answer sheet it is immediately graded.

Here is how to assign a test to a student or an entire class:

  1. First, verify that online answer sheets are enabled in your account. Go to Tools – Preferences and look for a section titled ONLINE TESTS. Make sure “Enable Online Tests” is selected.
  2. If you want to change any of the default settings, this is the place and time to do it. Default settings can be changed later when you assign the actual tests.
  3. You can then assign any of the ACT, SAT, or PSAT tests that are in your KEYS library to either a student or a class.
  4. To assign an online test to a student, click on USERS and select the student you want to assign the tests to.
  5. Click on the Online Tests tab and then on ADD.
  6. Select all the tests you want to add to the student and then click SAVE.
  7. To remove tests from the student’s account, select the tests listed and then click on “Remove From Student”.
  8. To edit test settings (include/exclude essay, change times, lock the test after time expires) click on the test name, make the changes and the SAVE.
  9. To assign a test to a class, click on CLASSES and select the class you want to assign the tests to. Everything else works the same way as described above.
  10. A student will now be able to log into their student panel, click on the menu option ‘Take A Test’, select the test you have assigned to them and enter his/her responses one section at a time. The sections are graded immediately as soon as the student submits his/her answers.
  11. It is possible to take sections on different days and complete an entire test over time. Unless the test was set up as ‘timed’ students can even go back and edit answers as long as the complete test hasn’t been submitted. As the student submits additional sections for grading, those sections are added to the original test (i.e. under the initial test date). Once a complete test has been submitted that test becomes available to be taken again.
  12. If you enabled it and the student enters an essay through their Student Portal, you (or an instructor) can later view this essay online, leave comments and grades. This is available through the EDIT TEST screen. You can locate a student’s test through the TEST MENU or through the USERS menu. Click on the edit pencil next to the student’s test.onlinetests06
  13. Then click on ESSAY, read the student’s essay, make comments in the section called ‘Grader’s Comments’ and enter the essay scores.
By |2017-03-17T12:31:53-06:00October 14th, 2016|BubbleScan, Support|Comments Off on How to Assign Online Tests to Students

Site is MOVING

Tuesday, Oct 25 at 1am (MDT) we plan to move to a new server – and a new domain. We will take the system offline for about 2 hours (1-3am MDT) to move the entire database.

The biggest change will be that the url to access your online account will change.  We will setup a forward for to the new url  so you and your students will still be able to log in using your current url. Also any embedded links on your web site will still work. But if you are hosting the login panel on your site or if you are using the API to bypass the login or create accounts programmatically, you would most likely need to change that on Oct 25th.

This is a tentative plan and we are very much interested in hearing from ALL of you. Let us know that you received this information and let us know of any concerns.

We also could use some feedback on what url to settle on. We have 3 options:


We understand that some of you are (rightfully) very interested in maintaining as much of a corporate identify throughout your student’s online experience as possible. By changing the url to a more generic name that is not connected to any of our domain names we think we are accomplishing this better.

Please let us know your preference for the url and also if there is one option you are very much against.

Aside from the very significant url change, the new web site will also receive a face lift. The basic functionality will not change and the look-and-feel will not be dramatically different either, just updated.

Other things in the immediate pipeline:
Next week we will announce the ability for students to log in with a true USERNAME in addition to logging in with their Student ID. The Username can be changed by the student.

The week after we hope to release the ability for a student to self-register. Some of you might use this feature to win new customers by offering a free test grading on your site (use the freely available official ACT practice tests 1572CPRE). A student signs up and takes the test and you have their details to offer additional services.

Our re-write of WebOMR (which manages the uploading and conversion of scanned tests) is almost complete. We definitely plan to release that sometime in October – probably on the new site Oct 25. The initial release won’t change much of the current process, just makes it more robust – particularly the at times misleading incorrect statistics on the upload page. Mostly, it gives us a starting place for future enhancements.

The OMR engine is getting updated to where it reads ‘the darkest bubble’. This should help eliminate the issue with stray marks and poor erasures causing us to report double marks. Better handling shrunk pages is the next issue we will address.

I thank you for your continued support. It’s been wonderful to build this community of tutoring companies around BubbleScan.

By |2017-03-17T12:31:53-06:00October 8th, 2016|BubbleScan|Comments Off on Site is MOVING

More ACT Answer Keys Added to Library

We added more ACT answer keys to our library:

The Princeton Review – Cracking the ACT 2016 Edition: added answer keys for the 4 tests printed in the book.


Kaplan – ACT 2016-2017 Strategies, practice & Review: added answer keys for the 3 tests printed in the book


ACT 1163E – April 2006 – currently sold by ACT as an official practice test

ACT 1460E – April 2005 – currently sold by ACT as an official practice test

Here is a link to the official order form for 2016/2017 for the above two tests:

By |2017-03-17T12:31:53-06:00October 4th, 2016|BubbleScan|Comments Off on More ACT Answer Keys Added to Library

New ACT Reporting Categories now on PREP.BubbleScan


Starting with the 2016-2017 academic year, ACT has replaced the subscores (UM, RH, EA,…) with reporting categories (POW, KLA).

We have summarized the new categories here:

For some official statements from ACT, go here: [link has been removed; for more info check this instead:

For an official ACT report sample:

For a PREP.BubbleScan report sample (with the optional Test Question Breakdown on pages 2 and 3): 2016 report.pdf

To accommodate the new reporting categories we have released a new ACT test type, which will show up in your PREP.BubbleScan account as ACT (2016). It comes pre-loaded with the answer key for the official ACT practice test for 2016-2017 (, 1572CPRE, which is the same test that was used last year, only that it contains the new reporting categories in place of the subscores.

The current ACT tests are shown in your acount as ACT (2015). Student reports will show both ACT (2015) and ACT (2016) tests in the score history. This means you can use them side-by-side for as long as you want.

As new answer tests become available, we will add the corresponding answer key to our database so everyone can use it at no additional charge. There should be one coming for the September ACT as soon as we get our hands on one [hint, hint, if anyone has it, please share it so we can add it to our database].

In addition, we have started to recategorize some of the older practice tests. If this is of interest to you, we are making any answer keys we have recategorized available for $15 through our new online store ( Currently, we only have recategorized keys for ACT tests 1267C and 0964E. 0359F and 0661C are in the works. Next on our list are 1163E and 1460E, the two official practice tests one can purchase from ACT. If you are interested, please send a list of answer keys you want recategorized (in order of importance) to Between your interest level and the popularity list we develop from your responses we will then determine what tests to recategorize next and at what pace.

You can of course recategorize answer keys yourself, but I will cover that in another blog post.

By |2017-05-24T14:48:17-06:00September 29th, 2016|BubbleScan|Comments Off on New ACT Reporting Categories now on PREP.BubbleScan