Scanning Quick Tips


Use pencil or pen with blue or black ink.

GradeCam is looking for contrast between the filled-in bubble and the blank bubbles. If you use a pen or pencil that is a light color, such as yellow or red, it will have a hard time scanning. Using blue or black ink or a pencil work best.

Pencils can cause glare.

Glare causes a big challenge for GradeCam. Pencil marks are reflective and can cause glare that disrupts the scanning process. If your students are using pencil, make sure that it is not causing glare so GradeCam can properly scan your assessment.

Check the preview window.

The GradeCam preview window is your view into what GradeCam “sees.” Use it to make sure that all the bubbles appear dark and in contrast to the rest of the paper. If some of the bubbles appear silver, white, or anything that is not black, this could be causing problems. Check your light and focus to try and make all the bubbles black!

Get close, but not too close.

GradeCam uses the black rectangle surrounding the bubble area to figure out where to start scanning. If your camera is too far away from the paper (or is too zoomed out in the case of document cameras) it may cause errors scanning. If the camera is too close and part of the rectangle is cut off, however, GradeCam won’t know where to start reading the bubbles, and may appear to freeze. Make sure that the whole rectangle is visible in the preview window and you should be able to scan properly.

Use the right number of bubbles.

Make sure the sheet you’re scanning has at least the same number of bubbles as there are questions on the assessment. For example, if there are 40 questions on the assessment, there should be at least 40 bubbles on the assessment. If there are less bubbles on the answer sheet than the questions on the assessment, GradeCam will not scan the sheet. .

Use pre-slugged answer keys.

Pre-slugged answer keys work much better for scanning. Not only is the student ID bubbled in correctly, but the student’s name is also listed along with the assessment title. This is really helpful when you’re looking for a specific answer sheet in a big stack. It also helps prevent errors scanning an answer sheet to the wrong assessment.

SAVE responses

Make sure to save your scanned student results every 10-15 minutes. This will prevent lost data and wasted time. Click 'Proceed to Results' to save.

Important Variables


  • Not all printers are created equal and the answer sheet qualities are affected by the printers.

Browsers Version

  • It is recommended that you have the most updated versions of browsers.
  • This affects PDF download versions.
    • For example: When using the zoom function, if the browser is out of date then it will affect how the answer sheet is rendered.


Form Identifier

  • This area holds all the data that is used by GradeCam to figure out how to process the answers.
  • If there is bleeding due to printers, it will not work.
  • If the bubbles are too close together, it will not work.
  • This area is super important because this holds the data for student id, the number of questions, and number of answer choices.


  • Current
    • It is the same as the Beta now.
  • Beta
    • This is the API that is current to GradeCam, new changes will be implemented to this SDK.
  • Alpha
    • This is the SDK that we developed for a specific client.
      • It is due to a scanning from a file issue that they experienced.
      • GradeCam changed some logics to the API so that it is more aggressive and it scans and processes different file types.

Scanning from a File

  • It scans in TIFF, PNG, JPEG, PDF.
  • It is best in greyscale and/or color. It does not accept black and white scans.
  • Some scanners have different contrasts settings, which makes scanning difficult for programming.


Camera is not recognized.

  • Questions to ask:
    • What kind of camera is it? Does it need extra drivers?
  • Check if the camera is selected in the camera drop down.
  • Clear the cache and plugin data.
    • The computer stores the plugin data and it becomes overloaded or
    • The computer doesn’t recognize the camera due to a different software that is trying to use the camera.

Is it a black box or is it stuck on the GradeCam logo?

  • Check if the camera is selected in the camera drop down.
  • Are the drivers installed?
    • Just did it? Restart the PC.
  • Is the browser updated?

Unable to read the answer sheets.

  • Is lighting an issue?
  • Is the form identifier correct?
  • Is there bleeding? Are the bubbles too close?
  • Is the answer sheet too big for the quality of the camera?
  • Remember, not all cameras are created equal.

Call Illuminate if you have questions.

If you’re stuck and getting frustrated, give us a call. Our support staff is here to make sure you have the help you need to scan successfully.