UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF "LOAD" AND "PERFORMANCE" IN TERMS OF ONLINE EXAM
Glossary of Terms (User/ Login/ Test/ Attempt/ Token)
- A User is a member registered in the Online Exam system who is given access to login. He may or may not login and may or may not attempt tests. So number of users is not directly related to load on the system.
- A Test is a question paper which is some static data. It is different from a “test attempt” that involves real-time data transfer and bandwidth consumption. There might be several question papers created but no users to attempt them. Then this is only dead data but no transaction load on the system. So number of tests is also not directly related to load on the system.
- A Test Attempt is the actual use of the system when there is real-time data transaction with the server when one user is solving one test. This is when the load is exerted on system resources. So test attempts are chargeable.
Max test attempts can be No. of Tests X No. of Users.
But actual attempts are very less because all users do not attempt all tests.
- A Login is an instance when the user is actually accessing and using the software. A login is not counted as a test attempt if the user simply accesses the software but does not start a test. One user may login but not do anything, so it is not counted as a test attempt or charged as a test token. One user may login several times during a test, if he gets disconnected. Logging-in multiple times in a single test is also not counted as multiple test attempts.
- A Test Token is the price for a test attempt. One test attempt may be worth one or more test tokens. Same test with provisions for more bandwidth for more users to attempt simultaneously might be costlier and be worth more no. of test tokens. The concept of Token is not valid in the new cloud hosting charging system.
Understand “Load” in terms of Online Exam System
The load on an Online Exam System is very different from the data contained by the system. It is not the number of registered students. It is also not the number of questionnaires uploaded.
Till the time there is no use of system to solve the test by a candidate, there is no load. It is just a dead database which is occupying disk space. But since there is no transaction and use of data bandwidth, thus we call this situation as a no-load condition.
There can be 100 or 10000 registered candidates and there might be 1 or 250 question papers ready uploaded in your system BUT still there will be no load if no candidate is solving any question paper at this point of time. The actual usage of the system begins when a user starts attempting a question paper.
When a candidate solves a question paper the database of the Online Exam system is repeatedly hit several times in a minute to retrieve and store the latest responses or changes made by the candidate. It is only then that the bandwidth and other capabilities of the database server are put to use.
It is also to understand that the load exerted during a single Online Exam activity per user is much higher than the total load exerted by that user for other dashboard activities during the entire year.