Creating a Drag and Drop question

NOTE: Drag and Drop questions can be used in standard tests, legacy tests, and the Surpass (Legacy) tablet app. For more information about delivery types, read About Surpass test delivery options.

A Drag and Drop question consists of text and image-based “drag options” that candidates must place in the appropriate “drop zones”. The available drag options might include distractors that are not associated with any drop zone.

This article explains how to create Standard and Advanced Drag and Drop questions in Surpass, including details on how to include distractor drag options, set the maximum number of drag options per drop zone, and use absolute marking.

In This Article

1. Choose your item type

In your subject, select Create New Item to open the Question Types menu. Choose Drag and Drop to create a blank Drag and Drop item and go to the Edit screen.

2. Name your item

Enter the item’s name in the Name field.

3. Enter your question text

NOTE: Question stem tables and the formatting toolbar behave differently in Mixed subjects and HTML subjects. For more information, read Creating tables in items and Using the formatting toolbar.

Enter your question text in the question stem. Select Add Text Area to add an additional question stem. You can have a maximum of five question stems per item.

Open Additional Options  to add source material or assistive media to your question stem. In mixed subjects, you can also add a table to your question stem (in HTML subjects, tables can be added using the formatting toolbar).

4. Add your drop zones

By default, Drag and Drop items have two drop zones. Select Add drop zone to add another drop zone. Select Remove drop zone to delete a drop zone. Drag and Drop items can have a maximum of six drop zones and a minimum of one drop zone.

Select Click here to add title to enable a drop zone’s text field. Enter the drop zone’s name.

5. Add your drag options

Select Add correct drag option in a drop zone to add a correct drag option. Enter the drag option’s name in the entry field. To delete drag options, select Remove drag option .

In HTML subjects you can add media, special characters, superscript and subscript to your drag option. Refer to the following table for information on the different settings.


Setting Description
Superscript Sets the character(s) above the line of type.
Subscript Sets the character(s) below the line of type.
Special Characters Opens the Select Special Character dialog. Select a special character to add it to the text. For more information, read About special characters.

To add media to your drag option select the drop-down menu and then Image to import an image from the media library.

TIP: You can increase your question’s difficulty by adding distractor drag options that are not associated with any drop zone to Additional Drag Options.

Setting the maximum number of drag options per drop zone

You can configure how many drag options candidates may place in a given drop zone.

Enabling absolute marking

You can set up your item to only award marks to candidates that give all the correct answers.

Enabling weighted marking (HTML subjects only)

You can set up your item to award marks based on the accuracy of the candidate’s drag option choices.

Enabling balanced marking (HTML subjects only)

You can set up your item to award marks for correct answers without candidates losing marks for answering incorrectly.

IMPORTANT: The default marking type for Drag and Drop items is Standard. This means that candidates will lose marks for incorrect answers unless balanced marking is enabled.

Advanced Drag and Drop (HTML subjects only)

Advanced Drag and Drop items allow multiple drop zones to be placed within a background image.

6. Set the question’s marks

Set the item’s total marks in the Mark field.

7. Select a workflow status

Set the item’s workflow status in the Status drop-down menu. Only items set to Live can be used in a test.

An item's workflow status being set to Live.

8. Preview your question

WARNING: Flash is no longer supported by web browsers. Use the Surpass Viewer to preview items in the legacy test driver. For more information, read Installing the Surpass Viewer.

To see your item from a candidate’s perspective, select Preview .

In Mixed subjects, you can preview your item in the HTML test driver. Use the Preview arrow to open the Preview Options menu and select Preview in HTML . Any custom CSS is applied in the Preview screen. For more information on custom CSS, see Creating a Subject in Setup.

You can check your item’s marking behaviour in the Preview screen. Move drag options into drop zones to update the Mark field.

If you need to continue working on the item, select Edit to return to the Edit screen.

9. Saving and closing your item

Select Save to save your item to your subject.

To see additional saving options, use the Save arrow to open the Save Options menu. Select Save & Close to save the item and return to the Subjects screen. Select Save & New to save the item and create another Drag and Drop item.

WARNING: Saving changes to live items included in scheduled tests might affect candidate delivery.

Select Close to leave the Edit screen. If you have unsaved changes, you are prompted to either save or discard them.