How to create tests and quizzes with Google Docs and Excel

With almost everything moving more and more into the online realm these days, education seems to be following this trend as well. For those taking online classes to finish up a degree, or for teachers who like to assign their students online assignments, there are now plenty of ways to test or quiz people online.

These methods are not just good for teachers, for example, they can also be used by employers who want to narrow down their lists of candidates for a new job position before starting the interview process. Want to test a programmer or coder’s knowledge with some theoretical questions before you decide to hire them? Make an online test for them and see what they know before you spend your time interviewing each candidate individually.

Online test-taking makes learning easier and more mobile, and technology has changed the way in which students are being assessed and graded, enabling them to take these tests and pass these evaluations even when they cannot make it to the classroom.

Let’s take a look at the two best ways to make tests and quizzes that people can take online.

1) Google Docs (Forms)

Google Docs is ideal because so many people already have Gmail accounts and use them regularly. It is a perfect way to create tests and quizzes which can then be easily embed into a website for the students to take. Google Docs also has instant reporting that lets you know as soon as someone has finished taking the test.

This is how to create a test in Google Docs.

1. Log in to Google Docs first. If you don’t have a Gmail account, get one at If you already have one, go to

2. Once you are logged in, click “Create New”, and then “Form” in the top left of the screen.

3. Give your quiz a name and then type the information for your quiz. The information fields are designed so that it will be easy for you to create the quiz and for everyone taking it to understand the quiz.

4. Now add the questions. It is all very simple and easy to use. You can provide the question, help for the question, choose what type of question you want it to be (text, multiple choice, etc), and then put in the answer. For each new question you want to make, all you have to do is click “Add Item” at the top left corner and then add the type of question you want.

5. If you want to make the questions multiple choice, then you have to click on “Multiple Choice” in the “Add Items” button. It you want to make more multiple choice questions, you can just duplicate them by clicking on the Duplicate icon, which is located to the right, in between the Pencil and Trash Can icons. Once the question is duplicated, just change the question title and options to what you want them to be.

6. Whatever kind of question you want, continue to add them either by clicking on “Add Item” and making a new type of question, or clocking the Duplicate icon to make a question just like the last one you made. Once you complete the question, quick on “Done” and move on to the next.

7. Make sure to check the “Make this a required question” checkbox so that the person taking the test must answer it. If you do not check that box, then are able to just skip the question and move on to the next one without answering it.

8. Once you have finished, you can save the quiz. If the Save button is already grayed out, that just means that Google has already saved he quiz, which it does automatically.

9. If you want to make your tests more appealing and interesting or colorful, you can click on the “Themes” button and choose a different theme and different color scheme.

10. Once you are done and you are ready to send it out, you can either send the quiz to the test-takers via e-mail or embed the quiz on your own website and provide them with the link.

2) Microsoft Excel

Excel is another great tool to use for tests, because just about everyone who has a computer has Excel or some compatible spreadsheet program. Creating a test is easy even for people who are novices with Excel and it can be easily distributed via email, since the file size will not be large at all. Excel looks as if it was made for creating quizzes, because the column-style presentation is really ideal for these types of things.

Here is how you can create a test in Excel.

1. First, open a blank sheet in excel. You will need four columns for a proper test – column A will be for the questions, column B for the answers, column C for determining whether the answer is right or wrong, and column D for the scores.

2. Type the questions in column A, one by one from the top down.

3. Leave column B blank, because this is where the corresponding answers will be typed later by the person taking the test.

4. Write the needed formula in column C to make that the scores pop up automatically. Type the following into column C: =IF(B1=””, “”, IF(B1=”answer”, “Right”, “Wrong”)), Replace “answer” with the correct answer to your question. And B1 should be changed to B2, B3, etc for each new question and answer as you continue down the column.

5. If the test-taker puts the correct answer into column B, “Right” will be displayed. If a wrong answer is submitted, then “Wrong” will appear, naturally.

6. If are interested in scoring the answers, the formula which should be put into column D is: =IF(C1=”Right”, 1, 0). Remember to advance the number as you scroll down the column.

7. If you want to display the total score, you need to take one more step. If you give the person 20 questions from A1 to A20, then you need to type this into D21: =SUM(D1:D20).

8. With the equation for the total sum of the score now working, your test should be ready to go.