An Improvement of Computer Based Test System Based on TCExam for Usage with A Large Number of Concurrent Users

  • Yunarso Anang Politeknik Statistika STIS, Indonesia
  • Rahadi Jalu Yoga Utama Politeknik Statistika STIS, Indonesia
  • Masakazu Takahashi University of Yamanashi, Japan
  • Yoshimichi Watanabe University of Yamanashi, Japan
Keywords: computer-based-test, TCExam, php, sql


Computer-based test or assessment has been used widely, especially in the current COVID-19 pandemic, where many schools are conducting distance learning as well as distance examination. The need for a computer or software system to support education is inevitable. A range of solutions, from the free/open source software systems to the paid/proprietary ones have been publicly available. Still, an organization with limited resources prefers to find free or low-budget, while yet demanding reliable solutions. We have reported the use of the computer-based test in a new student recruitment test which is held country-wide. We developed the system based on TCExam, a free and open source computer-based test software, and successfully fulfilled the requirements, but with some tweaks. We found that the TCExam has a performance degradation when used by a large number of examinees concurrently, especially during specific phases during the test. This paper reports the result of our investigation to address the problem and suggests some modifications to the base codes as well as a recommendation of the hardware configuration. We evaluated the modified system in a simulated environment. We successfully achieved up to 56% performance gain using the modified system.


Download data is not yet available.


Carole J. Gallagher, Reconciling a Tradition of Testing with a New Learning Paradigm, Educational Psychology Review, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 83-99, 2003. DOI:

Cynthia G. Parshall, Judith A. Spray, John C. Kalohn, and Tim Davey, Practical Considerations in Computer-Based Testing, Practical Considerations in Computer-Based Testing, 2002. DOI:

Y. Anang, Takdir, F. Ridho, I. Santoso, L. R. Maghfiroh, S. Mariyah, M. Takahashi, and Y. Watanabe, Implementation of Computer-Based Test in a Countrywide New Student Recruitment Process, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Information Technology (InCIT), Bangkok, pp. 268-273, 2019. DOI:

Nicola Asuni, Quality Features of TCExam, an Open-Source Computer-Based Assessment Software, JRC Scientific and Technical Reports EUR 23306 EN, Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra (VA), Italy, 2008.

ISO/IEC, ISO/IEC 9126: Software Engineering – Product Quality. ISO/IEC, 2001.

ISO/IEC, ISO/IEC 25010:2011: Systems and Software Engineering – Systems and software Quality Requirements and Evaluation (SQuaRE) — System and Software Quality Models. ISO/IEC, 2011.

Michael Russell, Amie Goldberg, and Kathleen O’connor, Computer-based Testing and Validity: a look back into the future, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 279–293, 2003. DOI:

Chua Yan Piaw, Replacing Paper-based Testing with Computer-based Testing in Assessment: Are We Doing Wrong?, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Proceedings of the 12 th International Educational Technology Conference - IETC, pp. 655–664, 2012. DOI:

Maria M. Llabre, Nancy E. Clements, Katharine B. Fitzhugh, Gary Lancelotta, Roy D. Mazzagatti, and Nancy Quinones, The Effect of Computer-Administered Testing on Test Anxiety and Performance, Journal of Educational Computing Research, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 429–433, 1987. DOI:

Jr. Thomas J. Ward, Simon R. Hooper, and Kathleen M. Hannafin, The Effect of Computerized Tests on the Performance and Attitudes of College Students, Journal of Educational Computing Research, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 327–333, 1989. DOI:

Joseph Hardcastle, Cari F. Herrmann-Abell, DeBoer, and E. George, Comparing Student Performance on Paper-and-Pencil and Computer-Based-Tests, In Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, April 2017.

Dave Bartram, The International Test Commission Guidelines on Computer-Based and Internet-Delivered Testing, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Vol, 2 No. 1, pp. 11–13, 2009. DOI:

Martha Thurlow, Sheryl S. Lazarus, Debra Albus, and Jennifer Hodgson, Computer-based Testing: Practices and Considerations. Synthesis report, National Center on Educational Outcomes, 2010.

Pierre Bourque, EÉcole de Technologie Supeérieure (EÉTS), Richard E. (Dick) Fairley, and Software and Systems Engineering Associates (S2EA), Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK®): Version 3.0, IEEE Computer Society Press, 2014.

IEEE Computer Society, Software and Systems Engineering Vocabulary (SEVOCAB),, 2021. Accessed: Feb 12, 2021.

Qingping He and Peter Tymms, A computer-assisted test design and diagnosis system for use by classroom teachers, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. 419–429, 2005. DOI:

Jatin Shah, Dimple Rajgor, Meenakshi Vaghasia, Amruta Phadtare, Shreyasee Pradhan, Elias Carvalho, and Ricardo Pietrobon, WriteSim TCExam - An open source text simulation environment for training novice researchers in scientific writing, BMC Medical Education 2010, 10:39, pp. 1-14, 2010. DOI:

M. Ismail, W. Z. A. Mokhtar, N. N. M. Nasir, N. R. L. Rashid, and A. K. Ariffin. The development of a web-based homework system (wbh) via tcexam, Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. 5 No. 15, 2014. DOI:

Ambiyar, Muhammad Luthfi Hamzah, Astri Ayu Purwati, and Eki Saputra, Computer Based Test Using Tcexam as An Instrument Learning Evaluation, International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, Vol. 8, pp. 1066–1069, 2019.

James Shaw, Web Application Performance Testing—a Case Study of an On-line Learning Application, BT Technology Journal, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 79–86, 2000. DOI:

Eljona Proko and Ilia Ninka, Analyzing and Testing Web Application Performance, International Journal of Engineering and Science, Vol. 3 No. 10, pp. 47–50, 2013.

Rijwan Khan and Mohd Amjad, Performance testing (load) of web applications based on test case management, Perspectives in Science, Vol. 8, pp. 355–357, 2016. DOI:

F. F. Hardiansyah, J. L. Buliali, and W. Wibisono, Internet Connection Control based on Idle Time Using User Behavior Pattern Analysis, EMITTER International Journal of Engineering Technology., Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 49-61, 2014. DOI:

How to Cite
Anang, Y., Utama, R. J. Y., Takahashi, M., & Watanabe, Y. (2022). An Improvement of Computer Based Test System Based on TCExam for Usage with A Large Number of Concurrent Users. EMITTER International Journal of Engineering Technology, 10(1), 14-30.