Oregon is moving the testing of its elementary and high school students onto the internet, something state officials hope will boost student achievement.

In April, about 6,000 third- through 10th-grade students in about 30 schools took their annual mathematics and reading tests online. Another 300 schools are scheduled to join the program next year, and about 400 schools will be added in 2002.

Eventually, all of the 1,200 or so Oregon schools will be able to test their students online, state officials said.

Online testing is expected to save the state up to $25 million in the next 10 years, much of that from the reduced cost of printing and distributing the exams.

But the biggest gain will come in the speed with which results can be returned to students and teachers, said Bob Olsen, team leader of the Technology Enhanced Student Assessment (TESA) program.

With online tests, the results can be made available immediately to students if they want them, Olsen said. For teachers, the results instantly show where potential problems exist, so instructional strategies can be retooled.

South Dakota also has begun to move the testing of its students online.