The R/exams system is an extension for the R system for statistical computing and hence the first installation step is the base R system.
- Windows and (Mac) OS X: Go to https://CRAN.R-project.org/, the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN). Simply click on the link for your operating system and at least install the “base” system. It is recommended to also install the accompanying “Rtools” which are not always needed immediately but, e.g., necessary for producing zip files for some learning management systems.
Linux: While it is possible to download from CRAN by hand, it is easier for most distributions to install the packaged binary. For example, on Debian/Ubuntu:
apt-get install r-base-core r-base-dev
There is a wide variety of interfaces for using R including simply the shell, Emacs, or dedicated graphical user interfaces for Windows and OS X, respectively. Moreover, RStudio is an open-source cross-platform integrated development environment that facilitates many common tasks for R beginners.
- For R beginners: Go to https://www.RStudio.com/products/RStudio/ and obtain the “Desktop” version of RStudio.
2. R package “exams”
The core of R/exams is the open-source R package “exams”, also available from CRAN. It can be easily installed interactively from within R with a single command. If necessary, the development version of the package is also available, which may provide some new features or small improvements.
install.packages("exams", dependencies = TRUE)
install.packages("exams", repos = "http://R-Forge.R-project.org")
Details: Several additional R packages, automatically installed by the command above,
are needed for certain tasks:
base64enc (HTML-based output: Base64 encoding of
knitr (R/Markdown-based exercises),
png (NOPS exams: reading
scanned PNG images),
RCurl (ARSnova: posting exercises),
rmarkdown (pandoc-based conversion),
tth (HTML output from
For producing PDF output, the typesetting system LaTeX is used internally by R/exams.
- Windows: Go to http://www.MikTeX.org/ and click on “Download” to obtain the MikTeX distribution for Windows.
- (Mac) OS X and Linux: LaTeX distributions are available in the standard repositories and can be installed in the “usual” way, typically using the TeX Live distribution.
For certain conversions performed internally in R/exams, specifically when Markdown is involved, the universal document converter pandoc is employed. If you have installed RStudio, then pandoc is provided along with it and nothing else needs to be done.
Otherwise pandoc can be obtained from its web page (linked above) or standard repositories, e.g., for Debian/Ubuntu:
apt-get install pandoc
Optional: Further scanning tools
Note: Unless you want to process written NOPS exams from scanned PDF files, this section can be skipped.
If the scanned images of written NOPS exams (from your photocopier) are in PDF format,
they need to be converted to PNG first using the PDF Toolkit
- Windows: Install PDFTk Free, ImageMagick, and Ghostscript.
- Note: During the installation of PDFTk and ImageMagick check the boxes for “Add application directory to your environmental path” or “Add application directory to your System Path”, respectively.
- (Mac) OS X: Install MacPorts, PDFTk Free, and ImageMagick.
- Note: ImageMagick requires MacPorts which in turn automatically installs Ghostscript as a dependency. The PDFTk version is for OS X 10.11 up to 10.13 (High Sierra).
Linux: Install PDFTk and ImageMagick from your distribution, e.g., for Debian/Ubuntu:
apt-get install pdftk imagemagick