If you have access to a computer, and enjoy experimenting with new ways to design quizzes for your students, you can create easy interactive tests in various formats using Microsoft Word. Even if you're a novice at computers, developing short-answer, essay, or multiple-choice tests can be done in four simple steps.

The great advantage to this tool is that you can save the document as a template and avoid retyping the information over and over.

If your students have computers at their desks, or regularly visit the media lab at your school, they can take the test electronically. You can print a copy for grading and return that copy to the student. You can also print out a paper version of the test for your students.

Either way, creating tests with Microsoft Word is an easy alternative to the traditional method and allows for more creativity without a lot more effort.

Creating Tests

  1. Practice creating a test by using a simple content area such as the solar system. Open a Word document and click on "View," then "Toolbars," then "Forms." The Forms toolbar (shown below in #2) should pop up. As you drag your cursor over the icons, titles will appear that identify each icon and its function.

  2. Type a question about the planets that requires a short-answer or essay response. Hit return, then click the "ab" icon. A grey box will appear that allows text to be typed in. This is where your students will type their answers if you are creating a test to be used on the computer. This grey box is called the "text field."

  3. Now type a second question that requires a multiple-choice answer. Below it, type your answer choices, following each by clicking the "check box" form field. A shaded box will appear after each answer. Tab between each choice for spacing. (When your students click on this box on the computer to select their answer an "X" will appear in the box.)

  4. To finish your test, click the padlock icon to "lock," or save, your document. When you create your real test be sure to save it as a template, so students can access it via computer. To do that, go to "File," then "Save As." Click "Format," and then click "Document Template." Give your file a name you will remember, such as "Solar System Test."