Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Adding/updating a quiz.

Adding/updating a quiz

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Creating a new quiz is a two-step process. In the first step you create the quiz activity and set its options which specify the rules for interacting with the quiz. In a second step you will then edit the quiz to add questions to it. This page describes the options you can set for the quiz activity, the page Editing a quiz describes how to set up the questions for the quiz.

Quiz options There are a large number of options and your administrator should already have chosen the default values for most of them so that you will not have to modify them for the type of quiz that you use most often. The administrator may also have classified some of the settings as 'advanced' which means that they will be hidden from the set-up screen by default. This can help to keep the screen simpler. You can turn on the display of these advanced options by clicking on the Show advanced settings button. They will then remain visible until you click on Hide advanced settings.

General section


This is the standard name field that every activity has. The name will be used for the link text on the course page and also on the quiz index screen.

Write an introduction for the quiz. Be sure to include any special instructions for taking the quiz like the number of attempts allowed or scoring rules. This introduction will be shown to the student already on the quiz introduction screen that they reach after clicking on the quiz name on the course page. So they can see this description before they click on the "Attempt quiz" link and thus before the quiz timer is started (if used).

Timing section

Open the quiz
You can specify times when the quiz is accessible for people to make attempts. Before the opening time the quiz will be unavailable to students. They will be able to view the quiz introduction but will not be able to view the questions.
Close the quiz
After the closing time, the students will not be able to start new attempts. Answers that the student submits after the quiz closing date will be saved but they will not be marked.
Even after the quiz has closed students will still be able to see the quiz description and review their attempts. What exactly they will see depends on the settings you choose under Students may review.
Time limit
By default, quizzes do not have a time limit, which allows students as much time as they need to complete the quiz. If you do specify a time limit, several things are done to try and ensure that quizzes are completed within that time:
  1. Javascript support in the browser becomes mandatory - this allows the timer to work correctly.
  2. A floating timer window is shown with a countdown
  3. When the timer has run out, the quiz is submitted automatically with whatever answers have been filled in so far
  4. If a student manages to cheat and goes over the allotted time, no marks are awarded for any answers entered after the time ran out

Note: Particular students may be given unlimited time to attempt a quiz which has a time limit set by allowing the capability mod/quiz:ignoretimelimits.

Display section

Questions per page
For longer quizzes it makes sense to stretch the quiz over several pages by limiting the number of questions per page. When adding questions to the quiz, page breaks will automatically be inserted according to the setting you choose here. However, you will also be able to move page breaks around by hand later on the editing page.
Note that changing this setting has no effect on questions you have already added to the quiz. The setting will only apply to questions you add subsequently. To change the page breaks in an existing quiz, you need to go to the quiz editing screen, tick the 'Show page breaks' checkbox, then use the repaginate control.
Shuffle questions
If you enable this option, then the order of questions in the quiz will be randomly shuffled each time a student starts a new attempt at the quiz. This is not related to the use of Random Questions, this is only about the displayed order of questions. The intention is to make it a little harder for students to copy from each other.
Shuffle answers
If you enable this option, then the order of answers within each question will be randomly shuffled each time a student attempts this quiz. Of course, this only applies to questions that have multiple answers displayed, such as Multiple Choice or Matching Questions. The intention is simply to make it a little harder for students to copy from each other. This option is not related to the use of Random Questions.
Note: Any matching and multiple choice questions in your quiz also have their own 'shuffle' setting. The options for these questions will shuffle only if the shuffle options for the quiz and the question are both turned on.

Attempts section

Attempts allowed
Students may be allowed to have multiple attempts at a quiz. This can help make the process of taking the quiz more of an educational activity rather than simply an assessment. If the quiz is randomized then the student will get a new version for each attempt. This is useful for practice purposes.
Each attempt builds on the last
If multiple attempts are allowed and this setting is set to Yes, then each new attempt contains the results of the previous attempt. This allows the student on the new attempt to concentrate on just those questions that were answered incorrectly on the previous attempt. If this option is chosen then each attempt by a particular student uses the same questions in the same order, independent of randomization settings. To show a fresh quiz on every attempt, select No for this setting.
Adaptive mode
Adaptive questions allow students to have multiple attempts at the question before moving on to the next question. The adaptive question can adapt itself to the student's answer, for example by giving some hints before asking the student to try again.
If you choose Yes for this option then the student will be allowed multiple responses to a question even within the same attempt at the quiz. So for example if the student's response is marked as incorrect the student will be allowed to try again immediately. However, depending on the Apply penalties setting, a penalty will usually be subtracted from the student's score for each wrong response.
In adaptive mode an additional Submit button is shown for each question. If the student presses this button then the response to that particular question is submitted to be scored and the mark achieved is displayed to the student. If the question is an adaptive question then it is displayed in its new state that takes the student's answer into account and will in many cases ask the student for another input. In the simplest adaptive questions this new state may differ only in the feedback text and will prompt the student to try again; in a more sophisticated adaptive question also the question text and even the interaction elements can change.

Grades section

Grading method
When multiple attempts are allowed, there are different ways you can use the grades to calculate the student's final grade for the quiz.
  • Highest grade - the final grade is the highest (best) grade in any attempt
  • Average grade - the final grade is the average (simple mean) grade of all attempts
  • First grade - the final grade is the grade earned on the first attempt (other attempts are ignored)
  • Last grade - the final grade is the grade earned on the most recent attempt only
Apply penalties
If a quiz is run in adaptive mode then a student is allowed to try again after a wrong response. In this case you may want to impose a penalty for each wrong response to be subtracted from the final mark for the question. The amount of penalty is chosen individually for each question when setting up or editing the question.
This setting has no effect unless the quiz is run in adaptive mode.
Decimal points
This option determines how many digits will be shown after the decimal point when the grade is displayed. A setting of 0 for example means that the grades are displayed as integers. This setting is only used for the display of grades, not for the display or marking of answers.

Review options section

This section controls what information students will be shown when they review their past attempts at the quiz, and during the attempt in adaptive mode. It is a maxtrix with check boxes.

The various pieces of information that can be controlled are:

What the student entered in response to each question.
The correct answer to each question is shown. (See note below)
The pieces of feedback that are specific to the student's response to each question.
General feedback
The general feedback for the question, which does not depend on the student's response.
Numerical information about the score the student received on each question.
Overall feedback
The #Overall feedback for the whole attempt, which is set up further down the settings form.

For each of the above items, you can determine the timeframe when the students will see them:

Immediately after the attempt
means within 2 minutes of the student clicking "submit all and finish".
Later, while the quiz is still open
means after 2 minutes, but before the close date (if the quiz does not have a close date, this phase never ends).
After the quiz is closed
means what it says (you never get here for quizzes without a close date).
Tip: Checking any of the boxes in the timeframe row, will reveal the test to the student. For example, to allow students to see their quiz immediately after taking it but not later, make sure none of the boxes in "Later" or "After" rows are checked. The student will be able to see their grade but not get into the quiz.

Note: Currently, the Answers display is a bit inconsistent between different question types. For example, the matching question type shows students which of their responses are correct, but does not tell them the right answer for the ones they got wrong. The short answer and multiple choices question types do tell the student what the correct answer is.

Users with the capability 'View hidden grades' moodle/grade:viewhidden (typically teachers and administrators) are not affected by these settings and will always by able to review all information about a student's attempt at any time.

Security section

Browser security
The options in this section offer various ways to try to restrict how students may try to 'cheat' while attempting a quiz. However, this is not a simple issue, and what in one situation is considered 'cheating' may, in another situation, just be effective use of information technology. (For example, the ability to quickly find answers using a search engine.)
Note also that this is not just at problem of technology with a technical solution. Cheating has been going on since long before computers, and while computers make certain actions, like copy and paste, easier, they also make it easier for teachers to detect cheating - for example using the quiz reports. The options provided here are not fool-proof, and while they do make some forms of cheating harder for students, they also make it more inconvenient for students to attempt the quizzes, and they are not fool-proof.
Full screen pop-up with some JavaScript security
There is a limit to what the quiz, with runs on a web server, can do to restrict what the student sitting at their computer can do while attempting the quiz. However, this option does what is possible:
  • The quiz will only start if the student has a JavaScript-enabled web-browser.
  • The quiz appears in a fullscreen popup window that covers all the other windows and has no navigation controls.
  • The students are prevented, as far as is possible, from using facilities like copy and paste.
Require the use of Safe Exam Browser
This option will only appear if your administrator has enabled it in Administration > Miscellaneous > Experimental.
Safe Exam Browser is a customised web browser that must be downloaded an installed on the computer that the student uses to attempt the quiz. It restricts student use more effectively than a pop up window option. Features include full screen, without web navigation options, shortcut keys including copy and paste are disabled and of course surfing the web during an exam.
Require password
This field is optional.
If you specify a password in here then participants must enter the same password before they are allowed to make an attempt on the quiz. This is useful to give only a selected group of students access to the quiz.
Require network address
This field is optional.
You can restrict access for a quiz to particular subnets on the LAN or Internet by specifying a comma-separated list of partial or full IP address numbers. This is especially useful for a proctored (invigilated) quiz, where you want to be sure that only people in a certain room are able to access the quiz. For example: 192.168. ,,
There are three types of numbers you can use (you can not use text based domain names like
  1. Full IP addresses, such as which will match a single computer (or proxy).
  2. Partial addresses, such as 192.168 which will match anything starting with those numbers.
  3. CIDR notation, such as which allows you to specify more detailed subnets.
Spaces are ignored.

Common Module settings

Group mode
Here you can choose whether the quiz should be organized by group. This only has an effect on the review screens of the teachers where it determines which groups of students they see.
Visible to students
Determines whether the quiz will be visible to students. If you are still in the process of setting up the quiz then it is highly advisable to leave this set to 'Hide'. Otherwise students might view or even attempt the quiz before it is tested and ready. This setting is common to all activities and can also be toggled by clicking on the eye icon behind the activity's name on the course page.

Overall feedback

Overall feedback is shown to a student after they have completed an attempt at the quiz. The text that is shown can depend on the grade the student got.

For example, if you entered:

Grade boundary: 100%
Feedback: "Well done"
Grade boundary: 40%
Feedback: "Please study this week's work again"
Grade boundary: 0%

Then students who score between 100% and 40% will see the "Well done" message, and those who score between 39.99% and 0% will see "Please study this week's work again". That is, the grade boundaries define ranges of grades, and each feedback string is displayed to scores within the appropriate range.

Grade boundaries can be specified either as a percentage, for example "31.41%", or as a number, for example "7". If your quiz is out of 10 marks, a grade boundary of 7 means 7/10 or better.

Note that the maximum and minimum grade boundaries (100% and 0%) are set automatically.

You can set as many or as few grade boundaries as you wish. The form allows you up to 5 ranges at first, but you can add more by clicking the "Add 3 fields to form" button underneath.

If you're getting confusing error messages about a boundary being out of sequence (when it's obviously *in* sequence), or "boundaries must be between 0% and 100%" (and they are) -- check that the Maximum Grade for this quiz is set to something greater than zero.

See also