AppScan: FAQ

AppScan: FAQ

AppScan: FAQ

The following links redirect to some of the most frequently-asked questions regarding the AppScan scoring machine and the associated DataLink software.


Score or Rescore Options: 

Student Identity Verifaction: 

200 Question Form: 

Combine Test Options: 

Essay and Extra Credit:

Row and Column Error: 


Related help pages: 


Q: Why are multiple scanners prompting for recalibration after only 600-800 (or less) scans?

Some might have even prompted for recalibration three or four times since you installed the AppScan. The normal range of scans before needing recalibration should be between 3,000-7,500 scans. Physically moving the scanner can jostle the print sensors and cause it to go out of alignment. Please minimize the movement and leave the scanner in one spot.

To tell if the machine really needs recalibration:

  1. With DataLink open, choose “Scanner” > “Scanner Settings.” The bar graph will indicate if there is a need for recalibration.
  2. Do not move the Scanner settings. Keep all of them at an “Average” setting (in the middle).

To try other possible solutions:

  • Rotate between three calibration sheets rather than using the same one.
  • Keep in mind DataLink continues to send signals to the scanner as long as the scanner is connected and the program is opened, which can disrupt the recalibration process.
  • Before recalibration, “Clear” the DataLink session > “Close” out of DataLink > Unplug the scanner from the computer.
  • Clean print sensors only once a year. Recalibrate after they are cleaned.

Q: If you upload a rescored test to Micrograde, will it replace the previously scored test, or will it create a new column?

Micrograde will prompt you to indicate where to place the data, so you get to choose the location, whether it is to replace the scored test or create a new column.

Q: Do either/or questions work with rescoring physical forms using AppScan?

At this time, there is not a way to edit the key in DataLink for an either/or question and then rescore the paper tests. However, once you have run the key and exams through the AppScan machine and captured the data within DataLink, you can edit the key in DataLink.

To edit the key in DataLink:

  1. In DataLink, navigate to "Session" > "Scoring." 
  2. Once your key is open, add the desired answer to the question. (If you want to add B as an answer, type in "B" next to the already existing answer. There will be no space between letters.)
  3. Under the "Multiples" column, choose "Either/Or."
  4. Click [Apply].
  5. Click [OK]. The scores are updated.

Datalink will update the student results on the DataLink screen only. You can then export the updated results to Excel or Micrograde. Apperson is actively working on this issue and hopes to have a resolution in a future software update.

Q: What if you have already scored all your exams and produced reports, but you want to include a student's score who still needs to take the exam?

For example, you want to throw out question 25 in a 50 question exam and calculate percentage correct out of 49 questions instead. Hopefully you saved the test results from the first batch of exams.

You have two options:

  1. Run the key through again followed by the late exams. Save those results as a separate test file. Use Combine Tests within DataLink to combine the initial exam file with the late file. After this, you can export the combined file to Excel and/or Micrograde.
  2. Open DataLink and choose "File" > "Load Saved Data…" Next, download the key to the AppScan machine. Scan the absent students’ test forms (their test results will be appended to the rest of the class). Resave the exam file.

Q: What if you want to throw out a bad question after everything has been scored? 

Choose from the follow options:

  • Mark the “rescore” bubble in the keyline of the key and erase the answer for question 25 and run the tests through again.
  • Edit the key in DataLink and uncheck the answer for question 25. The student results will update automatically on the DataLink screen. Save the file and export the corrected results to Excel or Micrograde.

Q: When scoring, can you weight answers within a question? 

For example, A=100%, B=75%. Unfortunately, the current version of DataLink does not provide the option to weight answers within a single question.

You may assign a different weight (value) to individual questions (e.g., question 1 is worth two points, question 2 is worth four points).

Q: Can DataLink accept two possible correct answers for one question?

To allow DataLink to accept more than one answer: 

  1. In DataLink, navigate to "Session" > "Scoring." 
  2. Once your key is open, change an answer or accept several answers (if you want to add B as an answer, type in "B" next to the already existing answer).
  3. Under the "Multiples" column, choose between AllEither/Or, or Both to accept a particular answer.
  4. Click [Apply].
  5. Click [OK]. The scores are updated.
  6. Save and close. These revised answers will not automatically show up in Micrograde. You will have to import them again.

Q: How do I fix the “Form Mismatch” error?

This error message can display for one of many reasons (the AppScan machine is expecting a key and reads a test, the key or test is on a different sized form, the key from a previous test is still in memory, etc.) To resolve this issue, clear your AppScan session and rescan the key.

Q: If you turn “ID verification off,” can you still print reports and analysis?

Yes. The ID and name fields will show as “blank” in the reports, but you will receive one line of data per person, and all the data will be accumulated in the totals.

Q: Is there any way to display lastname/firstname in the DataLink student database?

You can't move the last name to display before the first name. However, you can sort the student database by last name by clicking the "Last Name" column. To sort the database by first name, click the "First Name" column.

Q: What if the exam is greater than 100 questions?

You will want to use the 200 question forms available from Information Technology. Please stop by Tyler Digital Communication Center - room 122 to pick up a supply.

Q: Is there an increased cost for 200 question forms?

No. The cost is the same per 500 forms, for both 100 and 200 question forms. Information Technology absorbs the cost of all types of AppScan scoring forms.

Q: Are the dimensions the same as the 100 question forms?

Yes. Both forms are the same physical dimensions.

Q: Are the 200 question forms still one-sided with the back devoted to essay space?

No. The 200 question forms are double-sided, with questions on both sides. There is no essay space on this form.

Q: Does the procedure change with 200 question forms?

Yes. Since the 200 question forms are double-sided, you will need to run both sides of the forms consecutively. For example, with Scantron, you ran key-side one and all of your test-side ones, and then key-side two followed by all the test-side twos.

With AppScan, you run the front of the key then the back of the key immediately afterwards. Then you run the front of the first exam then the back of the first exam. Follow the same process for the remaining tests.

Q: Can you run individual sections of an exam and then combine the sections to run analyses on all sections combined?

Yes. You will want to save each section as a separate test file, then use “combine tests” to merge the test files and run reports. You can run reports on the individual sections.

Q: Can you run one test of 100 questions with a key, one test with 50 questions plus a key, and then combine for one test grade of 150 questions (including analyses)?

No. You will want to use the 200 question forms for a 150 question test.

Q: How do I calculate essay points?

If you want to calculate the essay points into the final grades, you must grade the essays before you scan the tests.

  1. Fill in the "Essay Score" section of the test Key (next to the student ID section) with the highest amount of possible points for the essay.
  2. Grade the essays.
  3. Fill in the amount of points each student earned in the "Essay Score" section.
  4. Run the test Key through the scoring machine, and make sure the information is recorded correctly.
  5. Run the rest of the exams through the scoring machine. The essay points will be calculated into the final grade. 


Only the 100-question AppScan forms can calculate Essay points or Extra Credit points. AppScan cannot calculate both Essay points and Extra Credit points in the same test.

Q: How can you display extra credit points?

You can add the extra points to the essay question. This will not calculate into the final percentage. 

Q: If you add the extra credit points to the essay section, DataLink counts the points but does not allow a score that is greater than 100%. Is there a way to override this?

Apperson does not currently have a resolution to this issue. The only option is to export the DataLink score to Excel or Micrograde and adjust the score up (over 100%) within the grading program.

No. You will want to use the 200 question forms for a 150 question test.

Q: What do I do to resolve a "row count" error message on the AppScan machine? If appears that the scoring is off one row.

The row count error message occurs because the AppScan machine has been unable to pick up the timing marks on the key. To resolve this problem, "Clear" your AppScan session and rescan the key.

Q: How do I fix the "Error 301:character column length exceeds 20" message after I downlad some Datalink software updates and try to import the newest student list and run some tests through?

Update the DataLink software on the computer to version 354.1.2.2 or higher to eliminate the 301 error message. If you are unsure how to update the DataLink software, please submit an online service request, and a technician will come by to assist you. 

Q: Where can I obtain more detailed information on the DataLink software program?

A PDF of the online DataLink manual is available in the AppScan Training Guides section of the J drive:\Support folder and is available to all faculty and staff. Use the bookmarks within Adobe Reader or Professional to move from topic to topic. Click on embedded links (indicated by a bright blue box) to navigate to other parts of the manual referred to in that section.

Q: The DataLink license allows Cedarville University to install the DataLink software on any computer in a building that has an Apperson Advantage machine. Does that apply to faculty notebook computers as well?

An Apperson representative confirmed that the DataLink license allows the software to be installed on any University computer housed in a building that contains an AppScan machine, as well as faculty notebook computers. Please refer to a related help page that lists AppScan machine locations. All computers in that building should have the same install code and version of the software running on the system. Please submit an online service request for assistance.

Q: What do I fix a "Form mismatch" error message?

This error message can display for one of many reasons (the AppScan machine is expecting a key and reads a test, the key or test is on a different sized form, the key from a previous test is still in memory, etc.) To resolve this issue, clear your AppScan session and rescan the key.


Keywords:  Scantron, tests, exams, score, scanner, grades, grading, scan, Apperson, Advantage, 1200, app scan, data link

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