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Exam Scan Service


ExamScan is the LSA and ITS service where hand-written problem-based exams on 8.5x11 sized paper are scanned after they have been graded and are returned electronically to the students through MBox. This service allows instructors to return exams electronically rather than having students pick up the hardcopies.  

ExanScan especially useful for large classes.  Last year over 575,000 pages were scanned and returned through Mbox!

Faculty continue to be pleased with the program and students appreciate the speed and ease of direct electronic delivery.

  • Graded exams were returned back to the students more quickly and more efficiently (ITS Scanning guarantees 3 business days; it regularly was much faster) 
  • Eliminated wasted space to store the exams (either while the students picked them up or after students failed to pick them up)
  • Office hours were more efficient and productive when students came in to discuss the exam, but had forgotten to bring the paper copy- simply click on their Mbox to access exams!
  • Significantly fewer contested grades and fewer cases of cheating, as scanned exams reduced the opportunity and/or temptation for students to change answers after the exams have been graded.  


To Submit a Request to Register a course for

the ExamScan Service:



For more information, or general questions please contact the ISS Business Office Team:

**ExamScan is for instructors who are not using online exam or assignment formats.  It does not create bubble test forms.  ExamScan is not integrated with Canvas

The Exam Scan Process

Setup and Registration

  1. Download an ExamScan Class Registration Spreadsheet.  Complete and submit it to:

  1. Receive a roster of enrolled students from ITS.
  2. Contact Crinn Fairbanks in the ISS Business Office for assistance in printing barcodes.

For Each Exam

  1. Affix barcode labels to your student's exams.
  2. Download and Complete an ExanScan Cover Sheet 
  3. Send the cover sheet and graded exams to ITS Document Imaging (Wolverine Tower).
  4. Receive an email confirmation acknowledging receipt.
  5. Receive an email confirmation that exams are available to instructors only.
  6. Authorize ITS by return email to release exams to students.

Formatting Exams for ExamScan

Page Format

  • The first page of the exam should have a minimum 1” top margin for sufficient white space for the barcode label that instructors/students typically affix.
  • The upper-left hand corner of the exam needs sufficient white space so that no critical information is lost when ITS *cuts off* this corner along with the staple.
  • Both double-sided and single-sided exams are fine.  With double-sided, if the page is totally blank (and white -- not colored paper), the blank page will not be included in the scan file.

We can easily scan 8.5 x 11”, 8.5 x 14” and 11 x 17” pages

Exam Scan Results

Using U-M Box (Instructors)

Using U-M Box (Students)

  • Students will receive a link to the Student’s Guide to U-M Box for ExamScan as part of the email notification they receive when their exams are released. 
  • You may also want to include Student's Guide link in your course materials


LSA covers the fees for ExamScan centrally.  LSA faculty should contact Crinn Fairbanks at: for more information.

Scanning fees

  • Each single-sided page imaged incurs a cost of $.04; double-sided pages are charged at $.08.  
    Example:  In a class of 500 students, a 5-page double-sided exam with a single-sided cover sheet is scanned for each student.  Total fees charged = $220 [(500 *5*.08) + (500*1*.04)].
  • Courier service.  If you use a courier service for delivery of exams to Wolverine Tower their normal fees will apply.
  • The Exam Cover Sheet contains additional information on U-M’s courier service.

Contact LSA Instructional Support Services ( ) for more information!

Benefits of Using ExamScan

Save Time

Instructors have found ExamScan saves them an average of 2.0 hours of effort per exam per instructor for an aggregate savings of 500-1000 hours per term.

Administrative and logistical

  • No more booking and staffing rooms for students to queue up to receive their returned exams.
  • Grading: In order to ensure academic integrity, faculty had adopted a variety of techniques to ensure no exam is altered after grading, such as marking over student answers with highlighters or colored pencil.

Prevent Cheating

  • Faculty who regularly dealt with numerous grievances and academic integrity issues were most pleased because, with ExamScan Service, they have experienced zero cases of cheating through altered answers.
  • Students prefer ExamScan 3:1 over paper return, due to speed of return and increased access to exams.

Enhanced Learning Opportunities

  • Faculty and GSIs can easily review exams in office hours by calling up the electronic copy; previously that discussion happened if the student had the physical exam itself.
  • ExamScan lowers the logistical barriers to problem-based exams (rather than multiple choice).
  • Easy retention of students’ exams for future research. With paper exams returned to students, faculty lost the ability to review the exams at some point in the future to evaluate teaching methods or identify patterns and draw conclusions about student performance, which could improve future teaching.

**Contact LSA Instructional Support Services ( ) for more information!

ExamScan FAQ's

How long will it take for exams to be scanned?

  • Up to three business days, except it may take longer during the final exam period.

After I review the exam scans, can I schedule with you when you release them to my students?

  • Yes.  We can’t schedule a precise time but if you tell us you don’t want to release them *before* a certain time, we won’t.  

I don’t want my students to get an email from you when the exams are released.  Can I request that?

  • Yes.  Indicate this option on the ExamScan Cover Sheet that will accompany your exams.

Can students access their scanned exams inside Canvas?

  • Not at this time.

Can you scan exams double-sided?

  • Yes.  Indicate this option on the ExamScan Cover Sheet that will accompany your exams.

I want to split up my students according to their individual sections and have the GSIs only be able to see their own student exams.  Is that possible?

  • Not at this time, but we would like to provide this feature in the future.

Quotes from Faculty

I absolutely LOVE every aspect and implication of this system!!!!

--John Montgomery, Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor in Medicinal or Synthetic Chemistry


This is quicker and makes re-grades easier. There’s no distrust from professors that the exam may have been altered since it all scanned.

--Student in WN16 class using ExamScan.


It is amazing!!!!!! SO much easier to grade & re-grade & return exams.

--Anne McNeil, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Professor of Chemistry and Macromolecular Science.


Exam Scan is an amazing service…Instructors have the ability to see any of [our] 2000+ exams, …[and] have good conversations with students as they review their exams and have questions about how to better understand a concept/questions.

--Brenda K. Gunderson, Senior Lecturer in Statistics


Our ability to give high level, literature-based, data-driven examinations in these large, introductory classes is a hallmark, signature pedagogy for organic chemistry at U-M that is widely recognized. As we remind the future physicians when we rail against multiple choice exams: your patients will not come to you with the 4 choices of which ailment they have, you will be required to actually think and ponder.

Thanks to the responsiveness of our IT group, we have been piloting [ExamScan]. . . The system has worked at 100.00% perfection. . . . I wish that giving real examinations was not such a niche activity at the large, introductory level, but it is at least possible that by adding this form of security, others who default to multiple choice might be willing to consider more generative, open-ended, constructed answers for their assessments.

--Brian P. Coppola, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Associate Chair of Chemistry

ExamScan Won the 2017 President's Staff Innovation Team Award!