Creating a Spreadsheet question

IMPORTANT: Spreadsheet questions are only compatible with legacy tests. If you want to deliver spreadsheet content in standard tests, consider using a File Attach item. For more information about delivery types, read About Surpass test delivery options.

A Spreadsheet question lets candidates complete a spreadsheet in response to a prompt. Candidates have access to formatting tools and have the ability to create simple formulae.

This article explains how to create a basic Spreadsheet question and includes information on spreadsheet toolbar options and how to use formulae, word processor rows, and the diagram creator.

In This Article

1. Choose your item type

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

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, assistive media, or a table to your question stem.

TIP: For more information about the formatting toolbar, read Using the formatting toolbar.

4. Edit and populate your spreadsheet

NOTE: Candidates have access to all spreadsheet editing and formatting tools. If you want to prevent candidates editing the data grid, use a Table item.

Spreadsheet items contain a configurable 10 x 12 data grid that accepts alphabetical and numerical content as well as formulae. You can pre-populate the spreadsheet or leave it blank for candidates to create their own.

Select a cell to enter content. Text is automatically aligned to the left of the cell. Numbers are automatically aligned to the right of the cell.

TIP: You can override your instance’s separator format for this item by selecting either Always Use Decimals as Separators or Always Use Commas as Separators in the Decimal Settings menu. To learn about site-level separator settings, read Setting the separator format.

Spreadsheet toolbar options

Expand the following sections to see definitions of each setting on the spreadsheet toolbar.

Using formulae

The Spreadsheet item supports basic formulae.

TIP: If you need more complex formulae in your question, consider using a File Attach item.

Adding word processor rows

Word processor rows let you add richly-formatted text to a spreadsheet.

Using decimal settings

You can decide whether numbers have decimals or if they are automatically rounded up.

Enabling spreadsheet export

You can control whether candidates have the ability to export the spreadsheet and their responses when taking a practice packaged test.

Adding the diagram creator

You can choose whether you want to allow candidates to create a diagram as part of their response.

Setting the maximum number of rows and columns

You can limit how many rows and columns candidates can add in their response.

5. Set the question’s marks

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

IMPORTANT: Spreadsheet items must be human marked.

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 .

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 Spreadsheet 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.