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Add and Configure a Quiz Activity in Moodle

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A Quiz in Moodle is a powerful and adaptive activity that instructors can customize in numerous ways. This page explains how to add a Quiz activity to your course and reviews the many options you can set for delivering a quiz and providing feedback, for example, how many times it may be attempted, and whether students see feedback immediately or only after the quiz is closed.

This article covers creating a Quiz activity and setting the options available on the activity settings page. Once you have added the quiz you must open it to add questions.  See Add or Edit Questions in a Moodle Quiz. You may also find it useful to look at our An Overview of Quizzes in Moodle article.

For advice on using these settings to design a quiz that best fits your pedagogical goals, please contact the Instructional Media Lab 413-545-2823 or

Add a Quiz Activity

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon)). Links and icons will appear on the page.
  2. Locate the Section where you want the resource to appear. If the section is collapsed, click the arrow icon above the Section name to expand the section.
  3. At the bottom of the section, click + Add an activity or resource. The Add an activity or resource pop-up will open showing a tile for each available resource or activity.
    Note: By default, the panel opens to All and shows all resources and activities. If you have starred favorite activities or resources, the panel will open to Starred. To only view activities, at the top of the pop-up, click Activities.
  4. (Optional) On the Quiz tile, for information, click the Information icon (information icon). If you frequently add quiz activities, click the Star icon (star icon) to add Quiz to the Starred tab.
  5. Select the Quiz icon or Quiz link. The Adding a new Quiz page opens.
  6. In the , select Quiz. The activities will be listed in the alphabetical order and a description will be displayed at right.
  7. Select Add. The Adding a new quiz page will open.
  8. Configure settings for the quiz. For more information on these options, see Configure Quiz Options (below).
  9. At the bottom of the page, click Save and display. The next step is to Add or Edit Questions in Moodle Quiz .

Configure Quiz Options

On the Adding/Updating quiz page, click the headings to view the settings under a heading, or click Expand all (top right) to view all settings. Click Show more... at the bottom of an area to show additional options.

Note: To configure the options for an existing Quiz activity, navigate to your course page and click the link to open the quiz. The Quiz summary page will open. On the Quiz summary page, select the Actions menu (Screenshot of Actions menu), a drop-down list will open. From this list select Edit settings. The Updating quiz page will open, this will have the options to configure or edit quiz settings.


  • Name (Required): Enter the text for the link to the quiz that will appear on your course page.
  • Description (Optional but recommended): Enter a description of the quiz. Students will see this text immediately after clicking on the name of the quiz, and before they click Attempt quiz to begin the activity. This is a good place to provide instructions and other clarifying details about the quiz, such as number of attempts allowed or time limits.
  • Display description on course page: Select to display the Description on your course page (not recommended unless it is very brief).


  • Open the quiz and Close the quiz: Specify starting and ending dates/times for the quiz. To use these settings,select the Enable check box next to each setting. The date settings will become editable. By default there is no open date and no closing date, and the quiz will be available immediately and indefinitely.
  • Time limit: Enable this option to limit how long each student will have to complete the quiz once they begin an attempt. By default students have an unlimited time in which to complete a Quiz attempt. If a time limit is set, when a student starts an attempt, a timer appears in the Quiz navigation block and begins counting down. 
  • When time expires: If you have set a time limit, you can configure what happens when the limit is reached. Choose between:
    • Open attempts are submitted automatically (default), if selected only saved questions are counted.
      Note: Questions are only saved if a student has clicked on the "Finish Attempt" button or questions are located on separate pages, thus requiring students to click "Next."
    • There is a grace period when open attempts can be submitted, but no more questions can be answered.  If this option is selected set the duration of the grace period below.
    • Attempts must be submitted before time expires, or they are not counted.
  • Submission grace period: If you allowed a grace period in the previous setting, set the duration here (in days, hours, minutes, or seconds).

Note: Use the Student Unlimited Quiz Time role if you want to exempt particular students from the time limit restriction, e.g. to allow for students with Disability Services accommodation requests. For more details on how to use this role, please see Allow Unlimited Time for Quiz Completion for Specific Students.


Unlike many Moodle activities, with a Quiz activity you do not set a grade on the Settings page. When you add questions to the quiz, you will determine how many points each question is worth.

  • Grade category: If you are organizing your gradebook with Categories, select the category for the quiz. (Categories must first be added in the gradebook. See Grade Categories Options in Moodle Gradebook.)
  • Grade to Pass: Specify the grade to pass. If a grade is set, the value is used in activity and course completion, and in the Gradebook, where pass grades are highlighted in green and fail grades in red.
  • Attempts allowed: Specify how many attempts an individual student can make on the quiz. By default, only one attempt is allowed.
  • Grading method: If multiple attempts are allowed, specify how students will be graded: Highest grade, Average grade, First attempt, or Last attempt.


  • New page: By default, Moodle creates a new page for each question. Use the New page drop-down menu to allot a set number of questions per page, or have all questions appear on one page. Pagination can also be edited later on the Editing quiz page.
    Note: For long quizzes that may take a student close to the time limit to complete, we do not recommend placing all questions on a single page. Because answers are only logged by Moodle when students change pages, if all the question are on a single page, and a student fails to submit the quiz, the student may receive no credit at all. By default, if a student forgets to click submit, or runs out of time before clicking submit, Moodle force-submits a quiz and the student can get credit for answers logged in the system.
  • Navigation method: To edit the Navigation method, select the Show more link under the New page drop-down menu. By default, this is set to Free and students may answer questions in any order. To require students to answer questions in sequence, without returning to previously viewed question pages, select Sequential.

Note: To re-arrange the questions randomly for each quiz attempt made or to select random questions from your Question bank, see: Add or Edit Questions in a Moodle Quiz.

Question behavior

  • Shuffle within questions: This setting applies to questions that have multiple parts, such as multiple choice or matching questions, and the option must also be enabled in the individual question's settings. By default this is set to No. If set to Yes, each time a student attempts the quiz the parts of multiple choice (or other multiple part questions such as matching questions), will be randomly shuffled. For example, in a multiple choice question, this setting will randomly shuffle the answers for choices A, B, C, D, etc, so that the correct answer will be in a different location for each attempt.
  • How questions behave: These settings control when and how students receive feedback:
    • Adaptive mode and Adaptive mode (no penalties): Students have multiple attempts at each question before moving on to the next question. The question can adapt itself to the student's answer, for example by giving some hints before asking the student to try again. Note that Adaptive mode subtracts a penalty for each wrong attempt. Adaptive mode (no penalties) does not.
    • Deferred feedback (Default): Students must submit the quiz before anything is graded or they get any feedback.
    • CBM means Certainty-Based Marking, a more complex system where students indicate how certain they are about answers. For more detailed descriptions, see Question Behaviour on
    • Immediate feedback: As with the Interactive mode, a student can submit their response to a question immediately and get it graded, but can submit only once and cannot change the response.
    • Interactive with multiple tries: Students receive immediate feedback as they submit each question; if they do not answer correctly, they can try again. The number of additional tries is based on the number of hints provided for each individual question. Whether students lose points for incorrect tries is also set in the individual question settings.
  • Allow redo within an attempt: By default this setting is disabled. If Immediate feedback, Immediate feedback with CBM, or Interactive with multiple tries are selected, this setting will be enabled. Select the Show more link under How questions behave to edit this setting. By default this option is set to No. If set to Students may redo another version..., when students have finished attempting particular question, they will see a Redo question button. This allows them to attempt another version of the same question, without having to submit the entire quiz attempt and start another one. This setting only affects questions (for example not Essay questions) and behaviors (for example Immediate feedback, or Interactive with multiple tries) where it is possible for student to finish the question before the attempt is submitted.
  • Each attempt builds on the last: By default this setting is disabled. If multiple attempts are allowed (earlier in the settings under Grade) and this setting is enabled, each new quiz attempt will contain the results of the previous attempt. This allows a quiz to be completed over several attempts. To edit Each attempt builds on the last, select the Show more link under How questions behave.

Review options

Configure when students view results by selecting checkboxes under four different columns:

Screenshot of Review Options on Quiz settings page. (click to enlarge)

  • During the Attempt options are only available when How questions behave (above) has been set to a mode that provides immediate feedback, in which case a checkbox will appear below each answer allowing the student to submit that response and then receive immediate feedback.
  • Immediately after the attempt allows students to see feedback within 2 minutes of submitting the quiz.
  • Later, while the quiz is still open allows students to see feedback after 2 minutes, but only until the closing date for the quiz. If the quiz does not have a close date, this phase never ends.
  • After the quiz is closedStudents will see feedback only after the quiz is closed (requires a date to be set for Close the quiz (above)).

Under each column heading, select the feedback you want students to receive:

  • The attemptShows what the student entered in response to each question.
  • Whether correctDisplays whether or not the student's response to each question is correct.
  • PointsShows the numerical points the student received for each question and the overall score on the attempt.
  • Specific FeedbackShows feedback specific to the student's response. This text must be added by the instructor in the individual question settings.
  • General feedbackShows feedback for the question, not dependent on how the student answered the question. The same general feedback text is shown to all students. It can include links to resources for further study. This text must be added by the instructor in the individual question settings.
  • Right answer: Shows an automatically generated summary of the correct response. This can be limited, so you may wish to consider explaining the correct solution in the general feedback for the question, and turning this option off.
  • Overall feedbackShows the overall feedback for the entire attempt, i.e. for the whole Quiz. This is configured further below.


  • Show the user's picture is set to No by default. Set to Small image or Large image to display the student's name and picture during the attempt. In a proctored exam setting, this makes it easier to check that the student physically taking the exam is the student who is logged in.
  • Decimal places in grades and Decimal places in question grades: Increase or decrease the number of decimal points used in displaying a student's quiz grades. This setting only affects the display -- the actual grades are stored to their full accuracy. For example, if a student scored a 9.39 on a quiz, changing the decimal grade display setting to '1' will show the student's grade as 9.4, but the actual grade is still 9.39. To edit Decimal places in question grades select the Show more link under Decimal places in grades.

Extra restrictions on attempts

  • Require password enables instructors to specify a password that students must enter to attempt the quiz. To utilize this feature, select Edit password (the pencil icon). To see the password, select Reveal (eye icon).
  • Require network address: To edit Require network address, select the Show more link under Require password. This enables instructors to restrict access to the quiz to certain locations using IP addresses. To restrict access to the quiz, specify a comma-separated list of IP addresses.
  • Browser security: To edit Browser security, select the Show more link under Require password. This activates security measures that necessitate having a JavaScript-enabled web browser to attempt the quiz, view the quiz in a full-screen popup window covers all the other windows and has no navigation controls, and disable facilities like copy and paste. To enable, from the drop-down menu, select Full screen pop-up with some JavaScript security.
  • Allow quiz to be attempted offline using the mobile app. To edit Allow quiz to be attempted offline using the mobile app, select the Show more link under Require password.
  • Enforced delay between 1st and 2nd attempts. To edit Enforced delay between 1st and 2nd attempts, select the Show more link under Require password. If enabled, a student must wait for the specified time to elapse before being able to attempt the quiz a second time.

Overall feedback

This is uniform feedback that is shown to students after a quiz has been attempted, based on their grade boundary. If you want to include more grade boundaries to provide feedback for, please select Add 3 more feedback fields under the text box.

  • Grade boundary boxes define the boundary for a certain feedback. To specify a boundary, enter a percentage value (including the % sign).
  • Feedback boxes define the feedback for each grade boundary. To specify the feedback, enter your text.

Common module settings

  • Availability: Set whether or not an assignment is visible to students. By default, new assignments are set to Show on course page. (This is comparable to using the Hide/show icon for the activity on your course page.)
  • ID number: Setting an ID number identifies the activity for grade calculation purposes. See Custom Grade Formulas in the Moodle Gradebook.
  • Group mode and Grouping: These options let you restrict the assignment to particular groups of students you have already created in Moodle. For more information, see Assign an Activity to a Group or Grouping in Moodle.
  • Add group/grouping: If enabled, select this to start a group/grouping access restriction under the Restrict access header.

Restrict access

To add restrictions on accessing the activity, click Add restriction. The Add restriction window will open, containing the following options:

  • Date prevents access until (or from) a specified date and time.
  • Grade requires students to achieve a specified grade on a different grade item in order to access this quiz.
  • User profile controls access based on fields within the student's profile.
  • Restriction set allows you to add a set of nested restrictions to apply complex logic.

If you have groups in your course, you will see the following additional options:

  • Group allows only students who belong to a specified group, or all groups.
  • Grouping allows only students who belong to a group within a specified grouping.