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How to Create an Online Exam


A survey by the American Society for Training & Development found that companies with comprehensive e-learning training programs have 218% higher revenue per employee and 24% higher profit margins.

According to Statista, the e-learning market worldwide was almost 200 billion USD in 2019 and is forecast to reach almost 400 billion USD by 2026.

The figures mentioned above, and a few more statistics (given below) help us understand the inclination of both the education & corporate sector toward using online learning & assessment models.


Source: Statista

The online mode of knowledge evaluation using cloud-based exam software is easy, scalable, secure, and equips you to conduct exams anytime, anywhere.

In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know to create effective online exams. But before we get into the details, let’s first understand what online exams are.

What Is an Online Exam?

An online exam is a formal assessment created, shared, and taken online via online exam software. Learners can take online exams on computers and other electronic devices anytime, anywhere.

Online exam tools let you set up various security and anti-cheating measures, such as shuffling, proctoring, question pooling, and more, to ensure the credibility and validity of your assessments.

Online exams are conducted for various purposes, such as:

Steps to Create an Online Exam Using Online Exam Maker

The video above offers a quick guide on how to create an exam or test. However, if you prefer a text-based walkthrough, please find the detailed steps outlined below.

Step 1: Choose Your Template

The first step that you need to take to create exams online is to explore the templates (you can also create an exam from scratch if you need specific details customized and have some time on your hands). To reach the templates section, click ‘Create a Quiz‘ on the homepage, which takes you to the templates section.

Since it’s an exam, you need to choose the scored templates.

Go to the templates section, and explore scored templates under the many tabs such as business, education, sports, holiday, etc.

Select the template you like and get started. You can preview the template and then edit it to create your exam.


Step 2: Add Questions

Adding or building questions is probably the most difficult part of creating a quiz or an exam.

You may have brainstormed for hours and couldn’t come up with the perfect questions. To avoid this, go directly to the question library and search for your topic.

Choose the most relevant questions and import them directly into your exam.

For example, if you need to create an online exam about rainforests, just type “rainforests” in the search bar and choose questions from the list of questions that appear.


Also, there are various question types that you can play around with. You can create a multiple-choice test, hotspot questions test, descriptive test, or throw in a mix of questions to make your exam fun.

Step 3: Automate Grading & Assign Instant Feedback

To save more of your time, pre-assign grades or scores for correct answers while adding the questions.

This way, when a learner attempts the correct answer, the grade or score will be automatically assigned, and the final scores will keep adding up.


Just like automating grading can save you tons of time, providing instant feedback can save you from manually adding feedback for all the learners.

Once you click the Feedback icon, you can add three types of feedback:

  1. Single feedback for all answers
  2. Feedback for each answer option
  3. Feedback for every correct and incorrect answer option

Add feedback that will be displayed automatically after the question is attempted. It could be a remark or an explanation for the correct answer.

Add feedback

Check out how adding reference information in the feedback helps Nebraska’s Health Department conduct exams where students can learn more with each exam.

Step 4: Customize Your Exams

With online exam makers, you can customize your exam papers to make them more fun. For example, you can add your logo, change the background images, themes, etc.

You can include images, videos, and additional documents to make them more engaging.

Customize Your Exams

Watch: How to Design Beautiful Quizzes Like a Pro

Step 5: Configure Security Settings

After you’ve customized the completion certificates, you’re almost done with creating your exam paper online. But before you share it with your learners, don’t forget to configure the security settings.

Randomize the order of questions and shuffle answer options to reduce the chances of cheating. Also, secure your exam with password protection to prevent unauthorized access.


Assigning an Exam to Learners

Once you’re done creating an online examination test, it’s time to assign it to the learners. You can either share the exam with learners via email or assign it to them in an online classroom. You can even embed the exam on your website and set the availability.

Setting Up Your Completion Certificates

Everybody loves getting rewarded! Again, this may not be a necessary step, but issuing completion certificates makes the online exam experience much more engaging and fun.

You can customize the exam completion certificates the way you want by adding your logo, colors, and desired fields. The certificates will be automatically issued to your learners after they’ve completed the exam.

Setting Up Your Completion Certificates

Watch: How Life Winks LLC easily assessed & certified their clients with ProProfs

Those were all the steps you need to take to create your online exams with an exam maker. But to create effective exams, there are some best practices you should follow.

Creating an Online Exam: Points to Remember

Creating an online exam can be tricky, but you can make it easier with online exam creator software. However, you might encounter hurdles during the process. To ensure a smooth experience, consider these tips for making a perfect online exam in minutes.

1. Keep Your Learners in Mind

Start with the end in mind!
The result you seek is for your learners’ education and training. When using some of the best online exam software to create a quiz or exam, it’s essential to know who your learners are.

For example, if you’re creating an exam for students, make sure the questions are focused on the courses they learned or about their knowledge. If you’re creating a quiz for employees, you can include various job-related questions and aptitude questions in the test.

2. Use Templates

If you’re not choosing to create your exam using templates, you’re probably opting for a longer way of creating an exam online.

Some of the best online exam creators in the market have ready-to-use templates that are professionally designed by experts. So, the chances of anything going wrong are reduced by a large extent.


It’s because the settings are already configured, the notifications are enabled, the questions are already assigned grades, and more. Plus, editing the templates and creating your online exam takes the bare minimum effort.

That’s why if you choose from the scored quiz templates, you can create your online exam in minutes.


3. Import Readymade Questions From a Library

The hardest part of creating an exam is coming up with good questions. It takes a lot of brainstorming and a lot of time.

A better way to add questions to your online exam when creating it with an online exam creator is to import readymade questions from a question library.

A public question library is a collection of a huge number of ready-to-use questions across different topics. To import those questions into your quiz, all you need to do is:

  1. Go to the question library
  2. Type in your topic in the search bar
  3. Explore from the list of questions that appear
  4. Choose the questions that are most relevant, and
  5. Import them directly into your quiz

Saves a lot of time, doesn’t it?

4. Mix up Question Types

For the exam to be effective, we advise you to mix up different question types, as it is an excellent way to make the quiz engaging. It can also help you gain a lot of information about a student or candidate applying for a job or giving a normal test.

You can either have multiple correct answers or have only one correct answer to make the test look simple. You can also include true or false questions.

Mixing up these question types while using an online exam platform can make your exam more challenging, but it ensures you get the information you need about a particular learner.


5. Automate Grading and Add Instant Feedback

Since we’re talking about saving time, how can we not mention the automated grading feature? What’s the point of using an online exam creator if you’re not automating the grading system?

Automating grading for your online examinations is one of the best uses of online exam creators.

While you’re adding questions, you can assign grades or scores to their correct answers in advance.

By doing so, you can automate the entire grading process for your exam.

Just like automating grading, you can save the time you’d otherwise spend giving feedback for answers.

For this, you need to add question feedback that’ll be instantly displayed after the quiz taker answers a question. It could be a remark, an explanation for the correct answers, or any other feedback that you’d want to give.


6. Make Your Exam Interesting

Online exams would be boring if not for the amazing multimedia add-ons.

You can either:

  1. A) Add images or videos within answer options, or
  2. B) Add an audio or video clip to your questions

If the online exam maker you’re using enables it, try to incorporate more and more images and videos within your questions or answers as you create an online test. This makes your exam more engaging.

7. Stop Cheating in Its Tracks

Exams, tests, and assessments taken online save students from being under the watchful eye of an invigilator. On the other hand, it also lets many students use unethical means to pass their exams. Don’t worry; here’s what you can do to prevent that from happening:

  • Create question pools

Instead of using a fixed number of questions in your assessment, try creating a pool of questions. Having a pool of questions from which you can choose will give an impression that the assessment test uses randomized questions and, so, can’t be tricked. To make sure that no cheating takes place, you can create a very large question pool.

  • Randomize questions

Randomizing the order of questions is another highly effective cheating prevention method. The result is that students aren’t likely to get the same questions twice or in the same sequence, for that matter.

The strategy is to address the issue of students being able to share answers to the assessment questions.

  • Enable proctoring

By enabling proctoring, you can ask exam takers to share their screens and turn on their webcams for the exam duration. Once an exam taker submits the exam, you can check the screenshots, screen recording, and webcam video feed recording you get for any suspicious activity.

  • Set time limits

Students taking remote exams may use textbooks and notes to find the right answers.

Setting a timer gives the learners a fixed time frame in which they need to complete the examination, thereby not giving them enough time to cheat during an exam.

By creating an online exam with a completion time, participants don’t have the time to go over notes or any other means to get through the online examination.

But, that being said, you must give the participants sufficient time to complete the exam.

  • Disable tab switching

When conducting an exam online, learners may look up answers online. In fact, that might be the first thought that comes to their mind when they don’t know the answers.

You can disable tab switching to prevent exam takers from looking up answers online.

Isn’t this yet another amazing use of online exam-maker software? You can configure settings to prevent cheating on your exam.

8. Issue Completion Certificates

Another amazing but optional point to remember is customizing a completion certificate for your learners.

With some online quiz maker such as ProProfs, you can design a completion certificate with your logo and custom fields like learners’ names, scores, and more. These certificates will be automatically issued to your learners after they finish the exam.

Watch: How to Create a Custom Completion Certificate

9. Secure Your Exam

After carefully creating your exam, you wouldn’t want the wrong people to access it. So, it’s important to ensure the safety of your online exam and prevent unauthorized access before sharing it.

To do so, you must protect your exam with a password and create a private link so that only authorized learners with their unique login credentials can access the test.

10. Create and Share Exams Anytime, Anywhere

The best thing about using an online exam creator is the freedom to create and share exams from any place at any time. You could be traveling, at home resting, or simply relaxing on vacation far from your workplace.

Since the online exam creator is cloud-based software, you can create and share an exam or test anytime, anywhere.

Case Study: How Towle Driving School Streamlined Post-Training Exams

Now that you’ve got the hang of using an online exam maker to create exams, let’s explore why it’s such a fantastic idea.  

Benefits of Using Online Exam Maker for Building Exams

An online exam tool can help you accurately gauge your learners’ subject knowledge. It provides a highly effective way for teachers and instructors to teach better and save time.

Here are some more benefits that you can unlock with the help of online exam software:

1. Build Exams in Minutes

Imagine this – you’re running short on time but have to create questions for an online exam to be conducted the next day. Jotting down questions can be hard when you have less time.

In such a situation, you can turn to the scored quiz templates or the question library to help you build online exams quickly and easily.

2. Save Time

One of the issues most teachers struggle with is the grading of exam papers and feedback for each student.

Wouldn’t it be great if that could all happen automatically?

With online exam makers, you can pre-assign scores to questions and answer options to automate the grading of your exam and provide instant feedback for correct and incorrect answers.

Adding feedback will display it instantly after the question is answered, helping in faster knowledge retention.

In this way, pre-assigning grades and feedback can help save hours of your time.

Watch: How 5ive2wo Tutoring automated student assessments, instant scoring & feedback

3. Prevent Cheating

You may have created the perfect online exam, but there are always a few who’ll try to cheat on it to get that perfect score. Thankfully, with settings and configurations, such as shuffling, tab switching prevention, etc., in online exam creator software, you can stop cheating in its tracks.

4. Robust Reporting

Creating exams with online exam software is not only the final scores you access. Owing to its robust reporting feature, you also get a full picture of the following:

  • The number of wrong attempts
  • The number of correct answers
  • Time spent per question
  • Time spent to complete the exam

These details can help you assess your students’ holistic performance and have an in-depth analysis of the overall exam difficulty level. You can view the reports and download them anytime, anywhere.
Case Study: How FLIP Leverages ProProfs to Improve Teacher & Learner Experience

5. Promote Self-Assessment

Some software for online exams, such as ProProfs, let you create online classrooms for your students to create different learner groups and assign them tests, quizzes, and courses.

You can create learner groups based on their scores or different learning abilities. This, in turn, will help students self-assess their performance by letting them compare it within the group and also motivate them to perform better.

Create Secure Exams Easily

Creating and conducting an exam online is an excellent way to accurately assess students’ knowledge in an efficient and scalable way. Additionally, online exams offer high levels of flexibility and security, making them the clear choice compared to pen-and-paper-based exams.

Equip yourself with robust exam software today to get all the benefits of online exams. ProProfs offers a simple and user-friendly interface and over a hundred settings to configure, customize & secure your exams. It also comes with a question bank of over a million ready-to-use questions covering almost every topic.

FREE. All Features. FOREVER!

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About the author

Angela White is a skilled Product Analyst with a focus on educational technology and online training. At ProProfs Quiz Maker, she uses her passion for ed-tech to create helpful articles that improve learning experiences. Angela's in-depth understanding of the dynamics of online examinations and certifications, combined with her commitment to creating engaging learning environments, positions her as a leading figure in shaping the future of online education.