Creating a Table question

IMPORTANT: Table questions are only compatible with legacy tests. For more information about delivery types, read About Surpass test delivery options.
NOTE: If you are looking for how to create a table in your item, read Creating tables in items.

A Table question lets candidates submit a data grid in response to a prompt. You can either provide a partially-filled table or give candidates the tools to create their own.

This article explains how to create a basic Table question in Surpass and includes information on formatting options and cell marking.

In This Article

1. Choose your item type

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

NOTE: If you want candidates to create their own tables, select Show toolbar to candidate. You must select Human marking to enable this setting (Edit Settings > Marking Type > Human). For more information, read Setting the marking type.

Table items contain a configurable 2 x 3 data grid that accepts both alphabetical and numerical content. Use the table toolbar to format your table and add or remove cells. Full details on settings are table in ‘Table toolbar options’ later in this article.

You can set up your table with any combination of the following cell types:

Cell type Description
Static Text Contents are locked at the point of item creation. Candidates cannot interact with Static Text cells.
Input Text Candidates can enter alphanumerical content. For computer-marked Table items, enter the correct response here. This value is not visible to candidates.
Input Text (Numbers Only) Candidates can enter numerical content. Alphabetical characters do not register in Input Text (Numbers Only) cells. For computer-marked Table items, enter the correct response here. This value is not visible to candidates.
Auto Sum Contents are dynamically calculated from the numbers in cells about the Auto Sum cell. Auto Sum cells cannot read numbers in Static Text and Input Text cells with alphabetical characters.

Highlight a cell and select Cell Type to change its type.

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.

Table toolbar options

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

5. Set cell marks (computer-marked items only)

NOTE: This section only applies to computer-marked Table items. Continue to '6. Set the question's marks' for human-marked Table items.

If the Table item is computer marked, you must set up marking values for the necessary cells using Marking > SetMark on the table toolbar.

Highlight a cell and select SetMark to assign a numerical value against the correct response. SetMark can be used with the following cell types:

  • Input Text
  • Input Text (Numbers Only)
  • Auto Sum

If candidates match the correct response, they receive the SetMark value’s proportion of the item’s total mark.

EXAMPLE: If you have two Input Text cells in a Table item with SetMark values of 3 and 1 respectively, candidates receive 75% of the total mark for the cell with a SetMark of 3 and 25% for the cell with a SetMark of 1.

6. Set the question’s marks

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

TIP: For computer-marked Table items, we recommend setting the Mark value as the sum of all SetMark values to avoid fractional marks.

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 .

If your item is computer-marked, you can check the item’s marking behaviour in the Preview screen. Enter cell data 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 Table 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.