Getting started with tests

Tests in your Populi courses let you design, administrate, and grade tests and quizzes. Here's the quick overview:

  1. First, you'll set up your test. This is where you'll specify the administrative details—availability, time limit, and proctoring, to name a few. These items are covered below.
  2. Next step will be to design your test: adding headings, instructional text blocks, and, of course, questions.
  3. Your students will take the test, after which time it's time to handle grading. Some grading can be done automatically, and some has to be done by you.
  4. Finally, test grades are automatically entered in your course gradebook.

Creating a new test

To create a new test, you must create the corresponding assignment.

  1. Go to your course and click the Assignments view.
  2. Click add an assignment.
  3. Enter the name, description, and other assignment details.
  4. For the assignment type, choose Test. New fields will open up when you do this.
  5. Points Calculation lets you determine how the total number of points will be distributed among the test's questions:
    • Fixed points: You manually distribute the test assignment's points while you design or edit the test.
    • Weight questions equally: As you add questions, the tests points will automatically be evenly distributed among all the questions.
    • Question points total: The test (and assignment) points will add up whatever points you assign to individual test questions.
  6. Due date is the date by which students must take the test. If you wish, you can change the availability (see below) to permit students to take a test past the due date.
  7. Availability is the timeframe during which students may take the test. Enter dates and times in the appropriate fields. Read about the four different availability options here.
  8. Time limit is the total amount of time the student has to take the test within the availability window. A few notes on the time limit:
    • Availability trumps the time limit! If a student begins a test with no time limit ten minutes before the availability ends, that student has only ten minutes to take the test.
    • When students take the test, they can see how much time they have remaining. If they time out, unanswered questions will be marked incorrect.
    • If students are logged out in the middle of taking the test, they can resume where they left off with any unused time remaining (unless the availability window closes).
    • If need be, you can add an availability exception on a by-student basis.
  9. Retakes give your students multiple chances to take the test.
    • The three options—highest score, most recent score, and average score—refer to which test score will be used as the grade.
    • The number of retakes is not the same as the number of times students can take the test. If you want to let your students take the test a total of 3 times, enter 2 in the retakes field.
  10. Check Proctoring to require that every student take the test with a proctor.
  11. Finally, click Save.

Now that you've created the test, it appears in the assignment list and in the list under the Tests view. The assignment will be in Draft mode until you publish it.

Next steps

In the Tests view, you'll find a list of all of the tests contained in this course. Click the test name to go to its page, where you can adjust its settings and start designing it.

If a test has not been set up yet, you'll see a notice next to the test's name. If a test has one of these notices, students will not be able to take it!

  • No questions indicates that you have not yet added or imported any questions to that test.
  • Unassigned points indicates that, while the test has questions, not all of the test's points have been distributed among those questions. This only shows for tests using fixed-points calculations.
    • You can fix this by editing the assignment/test's points, editing individual questions, or adding more questions to the test.
  • Overassigned points indicates that the points given to the questions exceed the number of points in the test assignment. This only shows for tests using fixed-points calculations.
    • You can fix this by setting questions to Extra Credit, editing the assignment/test's points, or by deleting questions from the test.

Read more about your options for tests, including:

After setting up your test, it's time to start designing it.

Was this article helpful?
6 out of 8 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0
    Susan Wellman

    I follow the instructions, set up my test, but when I go to the 'tests' page, its not there.

  • 0
    Ashley Lords

    Which user role(s) can create/edit tests?

  • 0
    Andrew Hendrickson

    I dont know how to add a question after the first?  I guess I forgot



  • 0
    Brendan O'Donnell

    Andrew, have a look at this article...

  • 0
    Rachael Cheung

    Is it possible that I can enter the standard answer as "case-sensitive grading" after students submit all their answers?


  • 0
    Paula Sweeney

    Is there a way to equally distribute credit between each question within the test?


  • 0
    Ekron Chen

    When does the count down start for the time limit? When the student clicks into the test or when they starts answering the first question?

  • 0
    Brendan O'Donnell

    Ekron, the time limit starts counting when the student clicks Click here to start the test...

  • -1
    Catherine Follis

    How can I import a test from a textbook publisher testbank?

  • 1
    Randy Bray

    It does not seem possible to merge more than one existing test (e.g., create a final exam using a mid-term exam, then attempt to add to the mid-term a subsequent test, and perhaps a later quiz) without erasing the first one (the mid-term).  Is there a way to combine the three or more tests without having to retype all but the first?  thanks 

  • 0
    Robert Brocco

    Can anyone tell me how to add images such as graphs and tables into a multiple choice question?  I tried doing a copy and paste of the image but nothing happened.

  • 0
    Donna Rixmann

    How can I insert a drawing (much like the question above) so that the student can choose a name for each part ie; #1 Stomach #2 Duodenum #3 Small Intestine? I see those choices as I type in my question here but where do I find them when designing the test?


  • 0
    Connie Jan

    When setting up tests I was only offered a time limit for 1-2 out of 9 tests. How can I apply time limits to all online tests? Thank you!

Please sign in to leave a comment.