Types of Quiz and Exam Questions

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  • July 10, 2014

Basic Question Types

Moodle offers several different types of questions in quizzes and exams. The most common question types are true or false, multiple choice, multiple select, matching, and essay. Essay questions must be manually graded, but Moodle automatically grades the other question types.

These question types are automatically graded:

True or False

Students will be presented with two answer options for one question: true or false.

Multiple Choice

Students will be presented with at least three answer options for one question. These questions have a single correct answer.

Multiple Select

Students will be presented with at least three answer options for one question. These questions may have one correct answer or more than one correct answer. The question type will be indicated by a prompt that reads Select one or more. The answer options will also use check boxes instead of radio buttons.


Matching questions are one question that may have multiple subquestions. The terms and information on the left must be matched with terms and information from the drop-down box on the right. The same answer options will be available in all drop-down boxes regardless of what answers students have already selected.

Short Answer

Students type a short answer (often a word or two or a short phrase) in response to a question or fill-in-the-blank sentence. The answer must exactly match the answers programmed in the question. If it does not match exactly (spelling, order of words, etc.), Moodle will mark it incorrect.


Students will be presented with the question and a text box in which to type their responses. The instructor must manually grade essay questions; keep this in mind because it may affect when student grades will be available (as the grade would not be accurate until all questions have been graded).

Advanced Question Types

Moodle offers several advanced question types. These include four types new to Moodle 3.0: three drag-and-drop options, and select missing words. Additional question types are numerical, calculated, and embedded answers.

Select Missing Words

Students will be presented with a text selection in which certain words or phrases are replaced with drop-down menus. Each menu will contain choices from an answer bank.

Drag and Drop Into Text

This question type is very similar to select missing words, except the student will drag and drop words from an answer bank into gaps in the text. This type of question works best with short text selections where the full question and answer bank can be easily viewed together on one screen.

Drag and Drop Onto Image

Students will be presented with an image with multiple marked locations. Students will drag and drop images or text from an answer bank onto the image.

Drag and Drop Markers

This question type is similar to drag and drop onto image, but there are no premarked answer locations. The answer bank is made up of labels with a small marker attached. Students can drag and drop their markers to any location on the image. This question type is well suited to geography quizzes.


Numerical questions offer the student a question that appears as a short-answer question. The difference is that numerical questions allow instructors to set an accepted error for each answer. This question type also allows for a value and a unit to be entered separately.


Calculated questions offer a way to create individual numerical questions by using wildcards that are substituted with random values when the quiz is taken. When a student attempts this type of question, Moodle will randomly select values and grade the correct answer according to a formula that is set when the question is created. Moodle will then allow users to set the desired range of values for the wild card.


Embedded answers (Cloze) questions consist of a text passage that has quiz questions embedded within the text, including multiple choice, short-answer questions, and numerical questions. This question type is flexible but can only be created by entering text containing special codes that create the questions or using external software.

Interested in learning more about assessments and quizzes in your online course? Feel free to explore the following articles on our Center for Teaching and Learning: