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 needed immediately but might useful at some stage.
Linux: While it is possible to download from CRAN by hand, it is
easier for most distributions to install the packaged binary. For example,
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
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.
Linux: Install PDFTk and ImageMagick from your distribution, e.g., for Debian/Ubuntu:
apt-get install pdftk imagemagick
- (Mac) OS X: Not tested yet but presumably similar to Linux.