Question about test formatting

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bama_belle:
I have taken on a side-job (in addition to my University staff position) assisting one of our professors with her classes (grading, scheduling, syllabi, etc). She gave me a hard copy of her final exam and has asked me to come up with 3 additional versions of this test, with all the same questions, just in a different order. This is my first time writing an exam, so my question for y'all is: Is there a simpler way to do this than re-typing the test? Is there some awesome software or webpage that you I could use to assist with re-arranging the questions? If I do have to re-type it, is there a template I should use or just type it up in Microsoft Word?

Thank y'all so much for any advice you can provide!

jackofallchem:
It is difficult to give you the options without more information.  If the test was created on a word-processor, you could ask for the file and cut and paste to reorder the test.

If you are working for a faculty member who still uses a typewriter or who reuses tests and the original is all they have, then there are a couple of options.

(1) Scan it in and use optical character recognition software (OCR) to create a word processing file of the exam.  This will need to be vigorously proofread to fix the numerous errors.  If the test contains figures, tables, or equations, this approach may not work.

(2) Old-fashioned cut and paste.  You can photocopy the test, cut each questions out, tape them on blank sheets of paper in new orders and renumbered, then photocopy.

(3)  If the test is long enough (page-wise), you could just reorder the pages and renumber.


If this test is multiple choice and the students are packed in tightly for the test room, a sneaky way to do this is to make the first page of all four forms the same.  This will bait cheaters into assuming their neighbor's test is the same as theirs and just copying the other form's answers.

quietly:
I do this all the time.  Make an invisible table (no lines visible when printed) with two columns and as many rows as there are questions.  Copy/paste each question into the right hand column.  Then number the left hand column 1-40 or whatever.  Save that as one version.  Then save as a new version and number differently, maybe 40-1 or whatever.  Then sort the table on that column.  Repeat.

Q.

ergative:
Quote from: quietly on April 22, 2013, 12:30:21 PM

I do this all the time.  Make an invisible table (no lines visible when printed) with two columns and as many rows as there are questions.  Copy/paste each question into the right hand column.  Then number the left hand column 1-40 or whatever.  Save that as one version.  Then save as a new version and number differently, maybe 40-1 or whatever.  Then sort the table on that column.  Repeat.

Q.


If you do it in Excel, and you can have the randomization and sorting happen automatically. In column A, have your questions. In Column B, have your answers. In Column C, type =RAND() and paste it in all the way down. This will create a new random number between 0 and 1 in each cell. Sort the three-column chunk by the values in Column C, and you have a re-ordered set of questions, with the answers also re-ordered, for faster grading. Copy and past your question column (Column A) into the Word document, and you're good to go!

To create a new version with new question ordering, simply copy Column C, and then paste it into Column C again. RAND() refreshes every time you sneeze, so you'll get a new set of random numbers. Sort again on that column, and you have a new order of questions to paste into Word, and a new answer key, since your answer column comes along for the ride every time you sort.

If you put the correct answers next to the questions, then they'll go along for the ride when the questions are re-ordered, so you also have all your answer keys already made.

bama_belle:
Thank y'all so much. These are really great tips!

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