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by Dinesh Thakur

Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) is the technology of electronically extracting intended data from marked fields, such as checkboxes and fill-in fields, on printed forms. It is generally distinguished from OCR by the fact that a recognition engine is not required. This requires the image to have high contrast and an easily-recognizable or irrelevant shape.

OMR technology scans a printed form and reads predefined positions and records where marks are made on the form. This technology is useful for applications in which large numbers of hand-filled forms need to be processed quickly and with great accuracy, such as surveys, reply cards, questionnaires,academic testing and ballots.A common OMR application is the use of "bubble sheets" for multiple-choice tests used by schools.

The student indicates the answer on the test by filling in the corresponding bubble, and the form is fed through an optical mark reader (also abbreviated as OMR, a device that scans the document and reads the data from the marked fields. The error rate for OMR technology is less than 1%.