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Add and Configure a Quiz Activity in Moodle

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. You may also find it useful to look at our 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. On your course page, click Turn editing on (top right). Links and icons will appear on the page.
  2. Locate the Section where you will add the Quiz. (If you are using the Collapsed topics format, open the Section.)
  3. At the bottom-right of the Section, click + Add an activity or resource. The Activity chooser will open.
  4. In the Activity chooser, select Quiz. A description will be displayed at right.
  5. Click Add. The Adding a new Quiz page will open.
  6. Configure settings for the Quiz. For more information on these options, see Configure Quiz Options (below).
  7. At the bottom of the page, click Save and display. The next step is to Add or Edit Questions.

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.


  • 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 checkbox 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:
    • Attempts must be submitted before time expires, or they are not counted.
    • Open attempts are submitted automatically and only saved questions are counted (default).
    • 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)
  • 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 Create Grade Categories in Moodle.)
  • 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, First attempt, or Last attempt.


  • New page: By default, Moodle creates a new page for each question. Use the New page drop-down to alot 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. If a student forgets to click submit, or runs out of time before clicking submit, it is possible for you to force-submit a quiz and the student can get credit for answers logged in the system. Because answers are only logged by Moodle when students change pages, if all the question are on a single page, and has failed to submit the quiz, the student may receive no credit at all.
  • Navigation method: 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:
    • Deferred feedback (Default): Students must submit the quiz before anything is graded or they get any feedback.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
  • Allow redo within an attempt: 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.

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 the close of the quiz).

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.
  • MarksShows the numerical marks 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 disabled by default. Set to Yes 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.
  • Show blocks during quiz attempts: By default, the blocks at the sides of the course (i.e., Administration, Navigation, Calendar, etc.) do not show when a quiz is underway. If set to Yes, normal blocks will appear during attempts.

Extra restrictions on attempts

  • Require password enables instructors to specify a password that students must enter to attempt the quiz. Type the password to utilize this feature. To see the password, check the Unmask box.
  • Require network address 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.
  • Enforced delay between 1st and 2nd attempts. If enabled, a student must wait for the specified time to elapse before being able to attempt the quiz a second time.
  • Enforced delay between later attempts. If enabled, a student must wait for the specified time to elapse before attempting the quiz a third time and any subsequent times.
  • Browser security 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.

Overall feedback

This is uniform feedback that is shown to students after a quiz has been attempted, based on their grade boundary.

  • 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

  • Visible: Set whether or not an assignment is visible to students. By default, new assignments are set to Show. (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, Grouping, Available for group members only: 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.

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.