Creating a Short Answer question

NOTE: Short Answer 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 Short Answer question requires candidates to submit a word in response to a prompt.

This article explains how to create a basic Short Answer question in Surpass, including details on Advanced Short Answer in HTML subjects and how to add alternative answers, enable case sensitivity, and limit candidates’ responses.

In This Article

1. Choose your item type

In your subject, select Create New Item to open the Question Types menu. Choose Short Answer to create a blank Short Answer 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 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 answer

Enter the correct answer in the answer field.

Adding alternative answers

You can add additional acceptable answers to Short Answer items.

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.

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.

Limiting candidates’ responses

You can restrict how many characters candidates can enter into the answer field.

Advanced Short Answer (HTML subjects only)

An Advanced Short Answer item consists of a text string containing blank spaces where candidates can provide the missing words.

5. Set the question’s marks

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

6. 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.

7. 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. Enter answers to update the Mark field.

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

8. 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 Short Answer 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.