Optical reading for exams

2020 Summer Exam session

Following the announcement done by EPFL recently, the end of semester exam session will take place from 3 to 28 August 2020.

In order to ensure the service level, the CAPE team needs to get informed of your needs as soon as possible. We would therefore be grateful if you could contact Ludovic Bonivento by

7 June 2020 at the latest

if you would like support in preparing your exam(s).

Thank you !

AutoMultipleChoice, (AMC) is an open-source software based on LaTeX. AMC works with Linux (and can be used with MacOS, subject to some limitations).  It enables the creation of questions and it is possible to have both questions and answers presented in random order on individualised student answer sheets.  Answer sheets are then scanned and the scans can be read by AMC. More information can be found on the AMC website.

It is currently the recommended system at EPFL for the creation of optical reading exams. 

The CAPE has developed a service for this purpose allowing extensive support to teachers, according to their technical knowledge and needs. Multiple scripts and templates have been developed in order to facilitate and automate the creation and treatment of AMC optical reading exams .

MCQ workshops

During the year a number of workshops are organised by the Teaching Support Centre on using multiple choice questions (MCQs).  The workshops address both the writing of MCQs and the technical aspects of processing MCQs using AMC.  The dates of these workshops can be found on the “workshops and courses for teachers” page.

In the case of high demand within a given section or college, a specific workshop can be organised.

Scanning support service

In addition to the workshops, we provide a range of other supports to all lecturers or professors using MCQs.

For all classes
  • templates and/or scripts which have been tested with each software
  • access to our IT infrastructure including the AMC server 
  • a helpline in case of technical problems
For larger classes (more than 50 students)

Classes with more than 50 students can also avail of additional supports:

  • use of a high performance scanner
  • extended technical support on layout of answer sheets.
For common first-year exams

In the case of common exams for first-year courses involving students from multiple sections, further support is offered:

  • logistical support for exam layout and preparation, printing, pre-scanning treatment, and scanning
  • pre-treatment of results to facilitate lecturers and professors in checking and validating scores.



In both cases, instructors are responsible for formatting, printing, scanning and processing their own exams, and for the security of the exam throughout this process.