A student has traditionally been given a 504 accommodation to be permitted to mark answers to multiple choice questions directly in the test booklet, for a proctor to transfer the answers to the bubble sheet (optical scan sheet). Now he's in a situation where this accommodation has been rejected.
If you're curious, his difficulty with bubble sheets has to do with ADHD, OCD, anxiety and sensory integration disorder. He sometimes presses too hard, sometimes too light. It is inherently hard for him to bubble neatly, but he also obsesses about it, and this ends up wearing him out mentally, leaving him less able to concentrate on the content of the test questions.
Well, okay, he lost the battle (for the accommodation) and will regroup for the war (e.g. updated neuropsych testing has already been scheduled), but in the meantime, there is a high-stakes test on Tuesday and I have to figure out just how messy the bubbles can be, and still be readable. This will help lower the anxiety for the student. (Today is Saturday.)
What I have found so far: "Most systems accommodate for human error in filling in ovals imprecisely, as long as they do not stray into the other ovals and the oval is almost completely filled." (Wikipedia)
I need images showing the threshold. A messy but acceptable bubble and a messy bubble that the scanner coughed on.
Here is a screenshot of what the bubbles look like for this particular high-stakes test: