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Add and Configure a Quiz Activity in Moodle

A Quiz in Moodle is a powerful and adaptive activity that instructors can customize in numerous ways. This page explains how to add a QuIz activity to your course and reviews the many options you can set for delivering a quiz and providing feedback (for example, how many times it may attempted, and whether students see feedback immediately, or only after the quiz is closed).

Once you have added the quiz you must open it to add questions. See An Overview of Quizzes in Moodle.

For advice on using these settings to design a quiz that best fits your pedagogical goals, please contact the Instructional Media Lab (545-2823 or

Add or Edit a Quiz Activity

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on (top right). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the Topic or Weekly Section where you will add the Quiz. (If you are using the Collapsed topics format, open the Section.)
  3. At the bottom-right of the Section, click + Add an activity or resource. The Activity chooser will open.
  4. In the Activity chooser, select Quiz. A description will be displayed at right.
  5. Click Add. The Adding a new Quiz screen will open.
  6. On the Adding a new Quiz (or Updating Quiz) screen, configure the settings for the quiz:
    General Settings
    • Name (Required.)
      Type a name for the Quiz.
    • Description (Optional but highly recommended.)
      Type a description of the Quiz. Students will see this text immediately after clicking on the name of the Quiz, and before they click on Attempt quiz to actually take the Quiz. This is a good place to provide instructions and other clarifying details about the Quiz, such as number of attempts allowed or time limits, etc.
    • Display description on course page
      Check to display the Description on your course page (not recommended unless it is very brief).
    • Open the quiz and Close the quiz
      Specify starting and ending dates/times for the Quiz. To use these settings, first click the Enable checkbox next to each setting. By default there is no open date and no closing date, and the quiz will be available immediately and indefinitely.
    • Time limit
      Allows you to set an optional limit on how long individual students have to complete the Quiz once they begin an attempt. By default students have an unlimited time in which to complete a Quiz attempt. (If you enable this setting you will also be able to set when time expires, below). Once a time limit is enabled, a floating timer window is shown when a student starts an attempt, and the timer begins counting down. The student's browser must have Javascript support enabled in order for this timer to show and countdown correctly in a student's browser.
    • When time expires
      If you have set a time limit, you can configure what happens when the limit is reached. Choose between:
      • Attempts must be submitted before time expires, or they are not counted (Default)
      • Open attempts are submitted automatically (and only saved questions are counted)
      • There is a grace period when open attempts can be submitted, but no more questions can be answered (If this option is selected set the duration of the grace period below)
    • Submission grace period
      If you allow a grace period in the previous setting, set the duration here (in days, hours, minutes, or seconds).
    • Note: Use the Student Unlimited Quiz Time role if you want to exempt particular students from the time limit restriction, e.g. to allow for students with Disability Services accommodation requests. For more details on how to use this role, please see: Allowing Unlimited Time for Quiz Completion for Specific Students
    Unlike many Moodle activities, with a Quiz you do not select a Grading scale on the Settings page.  When you open the quiz to add questions, you will determine how many points each question is worth.
    • Grade category
      Categories must first be added in the gradebook (see Create Grade Categories in Moodle ).
    • Attempts allowed
      Specify how many attempts an individual student can make on the Quiz. By default, only one attempt is allowed.
    • Grading method
      If multiple attempts are allowed, specify how students should be graded: Highest grade, Average, First attempt, or Last attempt.
    (Click Show advanced to see all options.)
    • Question order
      By default, this is set to As shown on the edit screen and the order of questions shown to students matches the order you used for the questions while editing the Quiz. To re-arrange the questions randomly for each student, and for each attempt by that student, select Shuffled randomly.
      Note: this setting only re-orders the questions in your Quiz, it does not pick random questions from your Question bank. For more information on how to add random questions to your Quiz, see: Add or Edit Questions in a Moodle Quiz.
    • New 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 this setting (but may later be moved manually on the editing page).
    • Navigation method
      By default, this is set to Free and students may answer questions in any order.  To require students to answer questions in sequence, without returning to previously viewed questions, select Sequential.
    Question Behavior
    (Click Show advanced to see all options.)
    • Shuffle within questions
      Note: This setting only applies to questions that have multiple parts, such as multiple choice or matching questions, and the option must also be enabled in the question settings.
      By default this is set to No. If set to Yes, each time a student attempts the quiz the parts of multiple choice (or other multiple part questions such as matching questions), will be randomly shuffled. For example, in a multiple choice question, this setting will randomly shuffle the answers for choices A, B, C, D, etc, so that the correct answer will be in a different location for each attempt.
    • How questions behave
      Commonly used settings include:
      Deferred feedback (Default): Students must submit the quiz before anything is graded or they get any feedback.
      Interactive with multiple tries: Students receive immediate feedback as they submit each question; if they do not answer correctly, they can try again for a lower score.
      Immediate feedback: As with the Interactive mode, a student can submit their response to a question immediately and get it graded, but can submit only once and cannot change the response.
      Adaptive mode and Adaptive mode (no penalties):  Students have multiple attempts at each question before moving on to the next question. The question can adapt itself to the student's answer, for example by giving some hints before asking the student to try again. Note that Adaptive mode subtracts a penalty for each wrong attempt. Adaptive mode does not.
      CBM means Certainty based marking, a more complex system where students indicate how certain they are about answers. For more detailed descriptions see Question Behaviour on
    • Each attempt builds on the last
      By default this setting is disabled. If multiple attempts are allowed (earlier in the settings under Grade) and this setting is enabled, each new Quiz attempt will contain the results of the previous attempt. This allows a Quiz to be completed over several attempts.
    Review Options
    This set of options allows you to configure when and how students can review their Quiz results.
    screenshot of the Review options (click to enlarge)
    Configure when students view results by enabling checkboxes under four different columns:
    • During the Attempt: is only available when How questions behave (above) has been set to a mode that provides immediate feedback, in which case a Check box will appear below each answer allowing the student to submit that response and then receive immediate feedback.
    • Immediately after the attempt: Within 2 minutes of the student clicking Submit all and finish.
    • Later, while the quiz is still open: After 2 minutes, but before the closing date for the Quiz. If the Quiz does not have a close date, this phase never ends.
    • After the quiz is closed: Requires a close date to be set for the quiz.
    Select the results or feedback students can view:
    • The attempt: Shows what the student entered in response to each question.
    • Whether correct: Displays whether or not the student's response to each question is correct.
    • Marks: Shows the numerical marks the student received for each question and the overall score on the attempt.
    • Specific Feedback: Shows feedback specific to the student's response.
    • General feedback: Shows feedback general to the question, not dependent on how the student answered the question. The same general feedback text is shown to all students. It can include links to resources for further study.
    • Right answer: Shows an automatically generated summary of the correct response. This can be limited, so you may wish to consider explaining the correct solution in the general feedback for the question, and turning this option off.
    • Overall feedback: Shows the overall feedback for the entire attempt, i.e. for the whole Quiz. This is configured further below.
    • Show the user's picture is disabled by default. Set to Yes to display the student's name and picture on-screen during the attempt. For example, this setting makes it easier to check that the student is logged in as her/himself during a proctored in-class exam.
    • Decimal places in grades and Decimal places in question grades: increase or decrease the number of decimal points used in displaying a student's Quiz grades. This setting only affects the display -- the actual grades are stored to their full accuracy. For example, if a student scored a 9.39 on a Quiz, changing the decimal grade display setting to '1' will show the student's grade as 9.4, but the actual grade is still 9.39.
    • Show blocks during quiz attempts: By default, the blocks at the sides of the course (i.e., Settings, Navigation, Calendar, etc.) do not show when a quiz is underway.  If set to Yes, normal blocks will appear during attempts.

    Extra Restrictions on Attempts

    Configure these settings to restrict access to a Quiz for all students. For example, use the Require password field if you want to set a custom password that students must enter in order for them to attempt the quiz. Please contact the Instructional Media Lab (545-2823 or for further assistance with these settings.

    Overall Feedback Settings

    The Feedback boxes in this section allow you to provide different pieces of text feedback for students based on various Grade boundary percentage cutoffs. For example, the Feedback box under Grade boundary 100% allows you to provide a feedback comment that a student will see if they scored a perfect grade on their Quiz attempt. You can add as many grade boundaries as you wish.

    Common Module Settings

    Assign Groups of students to a Quiz activity by choosing a Group mode (separate or visible). The Groups must already exist. See Create & Modify Groups in Moodle, and Assign an Activity to Groups in Moodle.

    Restrict Access Settings

    These settings are used to set the range of dates the Quiz activity will be available, or set conditions for completing other activities before the quiz will be available to each student.
    Note: Restrict access settings operate separately from the open date and close date settings above. During periods when access to an activity is restricted, the link is hidden from students, and also any grades. For more, see Control Access to Activities and Resources in Moodle.

  7. At the bottom of the screen, click Save and display. The next step is to Add or Edit Questions.