Creating a Fill in the Blank question

IMPORTANT: Fill in the Blank questions are only available in Mixed subjects for delivery in legacy tests. To use this item’s functionality in an HTML subject, see ‘Advanced Short Answer (HTML subjects only)’ in Creating a Short Answer question.

A Fill in the Blank question consists of a text string containing blank spaces where candidates can provide the missing words.

This article explains how to create a basic Fill in the Blank question in Surpass, including details on how to add alternative answers, enable case sensitivity, and set up absolute marking.

In This Article

1. Choose your item type

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

2. Name your item

Enter the item’s name in the Name field.

3. Enter your instruction text

By default, a Fill in the Blank item’s question stem is filled with ‘Read the following text and fill in the missing words’. You can change this if necessary. 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 question and answer text

Enter the complete text in the answer field.

5. Add your answers

Highlight the word (or words) you want candidates to provide and select Create Blank. This adds the word(s) to Correct Answer(s), where you can make any necessary edits. To remove an answer, select Delete .

TIP: You can also add answers by selecting Create Blank without highlighting a word. This adds an empty box to the stem, allowing you to specify a word in Correct Answer(s).

Adding alternative answers

You can add additional acceptable answers to each blank.

EXAMPLE: You might want to use alternative answers to allow candidates to attain credit for plurals (man/men), common misspellings (fiancé/fiance/fiancee), or approved synonyms (autumn/fall). Use alternative answers to lessen the question’s difficulty.

Enabling case sensitivity

You can set up your item to require candidates to match the capitalisation of your answer(s).

EXAMPLE: You might want to use case sensitivity when using acronyms (NATO), abbreviations (FBI), or proper nouns (White House). Use case sensitivity to increase the question’s difficulty and ensure that only the most accurate candidates attain credit.

Enabling absolute marking

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

EXAMPLE: You might want to use absolute marking when writing questions with multiple answer fields. Use absolute marking to increase the question’s difficulty.

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 .

You can check your item’s marking behaviour in the Preview screen. Enter answers 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 Fill in the Blank 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.