The ‘Blue Books’ of the Future

An article by the Chronicle for Higher Education looks into a student start-up seeking to create the college blue book of the future.

As a student of the University of Pennsylvania, Alex Rattray struggled to fill his exam blue books with legible responses. It wasn’t long before he realized that he wasn’t the only one suffering, professors and teaching assistants were also struggling with reading illegible answers.

His solution was to create a desktop application that will allow instructors to administer tests and quizzes securely without the need for pencil and paper.

The paperless exam isn’t entirely a new idea, but with many universities still administering tests with pen and paper Mr. Rattray saw an opening. With enough time finally opening up in his schedule he began working on the project in earnest.

After creating a prototype Mr. Rattray pitched the idea to the Dorm Room Fund, a Student run investment operation. Pulak Mittal, one of the student investors, liked the idea so much that he later approached Mr. Rattray about joining the company. With the addition of Lauren reeder, a sophomore programmer at Penn, the Emerald team was formed.

Although the Emerald paperless exam is still in beta, it has already been tested by over 500 high school and college students. As the Emerald Team move forward, they expect to begin negotiations on contracts for a paid product in the spring, with a goal of securing deals with 20 to 100 institutions.


  1. That is really a nice idea. Currently in many country the university are still taking test with Pen and paper. But the main problem comes when the university are failed to monitor all the students. as it takes lots of space. also their is chance of hacking through internet.

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