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Troubleshooting SnapScore Bubble Sheets Issues




SnapScore is an extremely useful tool when a bubble sheet paper assessment is necessary.  However, like any bubble sheet assessment, there can be issues in capturing a student's mark. 

The recommendations below show you the common mistakes and solutions to optimize using SnapScore. Let's start with the most frequent issues.


 Most Common Issues

The top most common mistakes are: 

  • Student used a lighter pencil - we recommend a dark pen for best results.
  • Students must fill in the bubble completely without leaving white spots inside.
  • Student circled two bubbles.
  • Student drew a line inside the bubble, between two bubbles or anywhere inside the sheet. We DO NOT recommend using the bubble sheet to show the work. Students must not write anything else on the bubble sheet anywhere except for the provided space for open response questions. 

Take a look at the two real examples below from two different students on the same assessment.  It is not hard to see why the first set had issues with capturing the scores.


Scores Rejected Bubbles are light and not fully filled in.  This entire sheet of 40 questions was rejected.

Scores Captured  Bubble sheet is neat, circles are dark and completely filled in.





The Ideal Scan

SnapScore requires using a camera from a tablet or smartphone, and requires Android(version 5.0 and up) or iOS (version 10 and up).  
The teacher or admin will snap each assessment individually, capturing the QR code in the top right.  As a result, lighting, angles, reflections, wrinkles and resolution all matter when capturing scores correctly.
  • The camera angle is straight-on, not skewed at an angle.

  • The bubble sheet is flat, not wrinkled or curved.

  • The black rectangle is fully in frame, with a little space around the edges.

  • Filled-in bubbles are dark in the viewer, fully filled in, with no reflections off the pencil lead that can look lighter.

  • The lighting is even, with no shadows, bright spots, or reflections off of pencil lead, ink, or lamination.

  • The quality is clear, sharp, in focus, and the camera lens is clean.

  • The bubble sheet printout is unaltered and good quality.

  • There are no extraneous markings or writing on or within the black rectangle area.



Issues and How to Fix Them

Below are come Common Problems with Bubble Sheets


1. The Image is at an angle.



The camera is at an angle resulting in an image that is skewed.  If the bubble sheet is being held, the image and QR code can become distorted. 

Move the camera directly above the sheet or ensure that the image is straight. 


2. Image is folded, bent or curved which creates shadows.




The page is not flat, resulting in curves that create shadows and answers that can appear off center.  The shadows can hinder the camera from accurately catching the answer.



Capture image while sheet is on a flat surface.  If you have to hold it up, be careful not to curve the sheets. 



3. Uneven light can create issues with scanning. 



Too much light or too many shadows create problems scanning accurately.


Try turning off flash or move to another spot of the room with more even lighting. Possibly away from lighting that is directly overhead. 


4. The marks are too light.



The marks for on the left column are lightly written or the light is reflecting on the answers making the image capture difficult. 


Encourage students to use bold marks if using pencil.  Or, to go over their answers with a pen at the end. 

If the issue is lighting, prop the page on document holder and try different angles with the light.  Move away from strong overhead lights.




5.  QR Code or Part of the Rectangle is Cut Off




The rectangle surrounding the bubbles is cut off and the QR code, which is the unique identifier, is cut off.


Pull away from the image with your camera to capture the full image of the sheet including rectangles and QR code. Eliminate any shadows or obstructions on rectangle or QR code. 


7. Student has extra writing on bubble sheet.

Student has shown work on the paper interfering with image capture. Also, there are pencil marks in several places.  


The rectangle, QR code, question numbers, and bubbles need to be clear and free from extra markings that could interfere.  



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