How do I give students a choice of questions to answer in an assessment?

In Tests & Quizzes, you can create an assessment with several manually-graded questions (short answer/essay, file upload, or student audio response questions), where students answer some of them for full credit.

To accomplish this, you will need to distribute the total points desired among the essay questions you include in the assessment. Then, hide the questions' point values from students while they are taking the assessment so they will not be confused about where the points will be going. When grading, you can enter the points for the questions each student answered.

Go to Tests & Quizzes.

Select the Tests & Quizzes tool from the Tool Menu of your site.

Select an assessment.

Select an existing assessment or create a new one.

Create a new assessment.

Create from Scratch with assessment builder selected

For steps to create a new assessment, see How do I create an assessment in Tests & Quizzes?

Or edit an existing assessment.

Select Edit from the Action drop-down menu for the assessment.


  • Be cautious when editing a published exam, as you will need to Republish it before students can access it.
  • Changes made to Draft assessments do not affect Published assessments, and vice versa.

Figure out the points needed per question.

Calculator displays example point value calculation of 2 times 50 equals 100.

An assessment's total point value is the sum of the questions' point values. To get the correct point value for these questions, multiply the number of points desired for each graded question by the number of graded questions.

For example:

  • A quiz has five short answer/essay questions and students must choose two of them to answer.
  • Each of the two questions is worth 50 points.

This means that the essay questions together will be worth 2 x 50 = 100 total points.

Now, assign all of the points to the first question in the set and leave the other questions' point values at 0. This is recommended so you do not need additional calculations to divide the points among all the questions.

During the grading process, you will enter the points the student earned for each question they answered into the points box for that question. The grading process will be explained later in this article.

In the Settings, hide question point values from students.

In the Settings of the assessment, open the Layout and Appearance section. Select the option to Hide question point value during assessment. Enabling this option is strongly recommended so students will not be confused about where the points will be assigned when grading.

For steps to edit the Settings, see:

Publish the assessment.

Action menu in the Working Copies tab with Publish selected

After you have finished editing the other settings as needed, publish the assessment. This will make it available to students on the date you specified in the Settings.

Grade the assessment.

After students have submitted the assessment, you can enter grades for each question the students were required to answer. Leave their grades for the rest of the questions at 0 points.

Go to Tests & Quizzes.

Select the Tests & Quizzes tool from the Tool Menu of your site.

Go to the assessment submissions.

Select Scores from the Actions drop-down menu for the assessment.

Alternatively, you may select the number of student submissions in the Submitted column to view the submissions.

Enter grades for the questions the student answered.

Whether you are grading submissions by student or grading by question, it is recommended to enter the appropriate amount of points for the questions each student answered.

The example mentioned in the score calculation step above included a quiz with five short answer/essay questions where students were required to choose two to answer. 100 points were assigned to Question 1 so the total score for the quiz would be 100 points.

Pictured above is the grading page for Question 2 from the example. The point value of the question was 0 points, but the instructor has entered 45 points for Student One's grade. The instructor would then enter up to 50 points for the other question Student One answered, to give the student a total score of up to 95 points.