Why Solo Exam Dividers are better than...

  1. Corrugated paper.
    Corrugated paper dividers are available commercially. They stand upright by forming a U-shaped corral around the student on three sides. While initially cheaper, they have these disadvantages:

    • While the student has privacy from the sides, he/she is also hidden from the teacher at the front of the room. This is a serious limitation on the design as the supervisor cannot see what a student is looking at or what is in the student's hands.

    • Corrugated paper is not washable. Any smudges, notes or graffiti that appear on the dividers is likely permanent. Some suppliers recommend that they be replaced every year.

    • Some of these dividers are only 14 inches high -too short for a typical secondary school student or a college student.

    • Corrugated paper is not durable.

  2. File folders.
    File folders, when stapled together in pairs are sometimes used as exam dividers. They have these disadvantages:

    • They do not stand well vertically. They frequently fall over or are blown over in the wake of people walking by.

    • Even using legal-sized folders, these dividers could only be 15 inches tall.

    • Durability is poor.

    • They usually cannot be cleaned of dirt, notes or graffiti.

  3. Plywood or hardboard.
    Wood is sometimes used to construct exam divider screens. These dividers are usually made to stand upright by means of blocks which may be attached permanently or which may be separate. While they are usually durable, they have these disadvantages:

    • Because wood dividers are heavy, they may cause an injury if they were to drop on a foot or be swung into a student when being handled.

    • They are noisy to set up and take down.

    • Plywood is prone to splintering with the potential of causing slivers under the skin of those handling it.

    • They take up a great deal of space when stored and are difficult to move from room to room.

    • They often need to be re-painted in order to remove marks and graffiti.

  4. Textbooks or loose-leaf binders are sometimes pressed into service as exam dividers. They have these disadvantages:

    • They are not nearly tall enough or wide enough to provide effective screening from neighbours.

    • They do not stand well vertically unless partially opened.

    • A partially opened textbook or notebook is usually a security risk in exams.

    [None of the above types is supplied with its own stand for convenient and compact storage. Because they are relatively light and compact, Solo sets are easily carried between rooms if needed in more than one location.]