How To Use Google Forms To Create Your Own Self-Grading Quiz

Angela Randall 08-08-2013

Are you a teacher or trainer? Someone involved in a hiring process? Do you need to check somehow that other people have the skills or knowledge that you expect them to? Well, you’re going to love what you can do using Google Forms. You can create a self-grading test for whatever your purposes are. That’s powerful!


Google Forms are amazing tools, allowing you to do some really advanced tricks with forms as the front-end and spreadsheets at the heart. Once you get started you’ll be amazed at just how much you can achieve with this basic premise. Today we’ll look at how to create a self-grading quiz using Google Forms. From there, you’ll no doubt find a lot more ways to use forms and spreadsheets.

How To Use Google Forms To Create Your Own Self-Grading Quiz Google Forms Quiz Spelling

Create A Self-Grading Quiz

Creating a form in Google Forms is very self-explanatory: you open Google Docs, create a new form and get typing (or read this if you want a general guide to using Google Forms How To Use Google Docs As A Slick Survey Tool Read More ). The essence of what you need to know is not in the form, but in the spreadsheet of results.

For this example, we have used one form question to ask for the person’s name and written out 5 spelling test “fill in the blank” questions. You can try the same in order to test things, or make up something of your own.

You will need to click on “Choose Response Destination” and tell the form to put responses into a spreadsheet. Then click on “View Responses” to see the spreadsheet. This is where the fun begins.


How To Use Google Forms To Create Your Own Self-Grading Quiz Google Forms Quiz Response Destination

In the Form Responses tab, you need to use a couple of lines to add the answers and the value for the answers. It also makes sense to include these in the frozen rows. You do need to list the value for the answers in order to make this work, then add up the values in order to calculate your percentage. I weighted all of mine with 2 marks each, but you can use whatever you like.

How To Use Google Forms To Create Your Own Self-Grading Quiz Google Forms Quiz Test Points

Now, create a new tab for your test scores, so you can cross reference each person’s answer with the results. Create titles for Name, points and percentage. Reference the question names from the Form Responses tab for the titles. In the first line, reference the cell of the name of the first person responding. Use an “if” statement to determine if the first answer was correct and how many points to assign if it is. My IF statement is as shown below. Copy that formula to the rest of the answer cells. Then, use SUM to add up your points and calculate the percentage in the correct field. Create a percentage score for the first person by dividing their score by the maximum number of points (which will need to be an absolute cell reference using $ signs).


Here’s my IF statement. View the following image to make sense of the cells I’m referencing.

=IF('Form Responses'!B4='Form Responses'!B2,'Form Responses'!B3,0)

This means that if the cells don’t match, the score is 0. So, if the student skips the question, they receive no grade for the question.

How To Use Google Forms To Create Your Own Self-Grading Quiz Google Forms Quiz Scores

Finally, copy this row down to allow for as many responses as you are expecting. Voila! You’re done.


Use A Template

If you’re unsure of your spreadsheet skills, or just want to cheat a little to set things up quickly, check out the templates in Google Docs by choosing New > Form Template. If you do this from within a form, the templates will be filtered to show you form templates. If you do this from elsewhere, just filter the templates to show forms yourself or head straight to searching for “Self Grading Quiz”. There are hundreds to choose from, so just grab a highly rated one and modify it to suit your needs. Or, you can copy and paste the spreadsheet cells (from the template) to a new sheet in the response spreadsheet of one of your own forms.

How To Use Google Forms To Create Your Own Self-Grading Quiz Google Forms Quiz Template

Change Colours With Rules

If your test is something more difficult to grade, such as a paragraph of text as a response to a question in an English class quiz, you can use colour to help you quickly discern whether the answer is correct and to what degree it is right. Obviously you’ll still need to read the answer yourself, but the colour indicator will help you to grade the class fairly. This works by using the “Conditional Formatting” feature of Google Spreadsheets. You set it to change colour based on words it finds in the cell’s text. So, an answer containing the word “love” could be yellow, while a cell containing the words “love”, “Darcy” and “confused” could be green.

How To Use Google Forms To Create Your Own Self-Grading Quiz Google Forms Quiz Conditional


Potential Issues With Google Forms

If the form is refreshed while someone is filling it out, it will lose all the answers they’ve given so far. However, if the student suffers from connectivity problems and waits before submitting they will not lose their responses. If a student submits twice, the teacher will see two entries for their name, each with an individual timestamp.

Resources For Teachers

Now I’m sure you can see just how useful Google forms can be for teachers, trainers and other sorts of evaluators, such as HR staff and recruiters. This could make your life so much easier! Teachers may also like to read about using Twitter for the classroom 10 Amazing Ways For Teachers & Tutors To Use Twitter In Education Twitter like all other social media is a virtual Aladdin’s cave. It is a gateway to riches. But just like in the story, this Aladdin’s cave is also booby-trapped. Use it right and you will... Read More , using the customisable learning resource Quizdini Quizdini: Free Customisable Learning Resources For Teachers Read More , and taking advantage of the Wolfram Education Portal 20 Ways Everyday Life is Easier with Wolfram Alpha There is something about Wolfram Alpha. It makes complicated computations cool again. Here are 20 ways to put the engine to everyday use. Read More .

What other tools do you use for self-grading quizzes. How do they compare to this method? Will you give this a go?

Explore more about: Education Technology, Google Docs, Spreadsheet, Study Tips.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Judy T
    February 24, 2017 at 12:54 am

    but how can i get rid of the big header section on my google form? - it takes up too much room for my purposes.

  2. Michael
    February 3, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Great advice!! because Quizzes wouldn't work for my data. I still an issue: now the score tab won't update with new responses, only if I drag the formula again, is there a way of making it live(or refreshing automatically)?

  3. Anonymous
    May 24, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Just use Flubaroo

  4. Bruno Talevi
    December 18, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks! is easier than I thought...

    I'm use this aplication to provide on-line consultancy to my leads...
    In the same time i collect intel about their business...

    Are you right when you say about the possibilities

    Thanks again...

    Ps: sorry my english.. i'm from brazil

  5. Rene
    September 11, 2013 at 3:58 am

    Self-grading instructions too complicated. Try for an easy self-grading option. You can even email scores with correct/incorrect responses. Easy to use and quick to grade.

    • Angela A
      September 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks @rene - looks interesting too.

  6. Billy Jean
    August 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    im not michaels lover...

  7. Dinika
    August 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I need to survey as many people as possible on various aspects of marriages (like whether theirs is an arranged or love marriage, would they or would they not change their maiden name after their marriage, etc) Ofcourse one way would be to visit various localties and question the Laymen ,however I wish to survey a broader section of society and it would be overwhelming if I get to study opinions of people from not just different nations but also from entirely different continents! I just want my survey to reach and study a broader mass of people. Can google forms be of any help ?

    • Angela A
      September 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      @Dinika Google Forms would work perfectly for you. Check it out!

  8. Sue
    August 12, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Even better than doing this yourself is using the "insert" >"Script">"Flubaroo" which I discovered and it does the self check, drops all into spread sheet showing high/low, and over view and allows you to email students with results and can mail answer key as well. Don't have anything to do with the product but it is so simple!!!

  9. Philip
    August 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

    If you're interested in an easier to use and more flexible alternative to Google Forms, read this:

  10. Sammy
    August 12, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Very informative article, thanks.

  11. oshingbade
    August 11, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I want google seach on my device so i search anythings any time i feel like.

  12. Jesper
    August 11, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Hi and thank you very much.
    This was just what I was missing in the google form :-)

    We have a school system which also can make self-grading quizzes, but it seems to be harder to use that system to build forms, and we are already using google forms, but I was missing the self-grading possibility.

    Thank you for the great newsletter, which almost always comes with something useful :-)

  13. Ajarn D
    August 10, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    This is really good. I will be trying this out soon. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Jude
    August 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    You should check out Doctopus and Flubaroo...for grading...easier than what you shared.

    • Sammy
      August 12, 2013 at 2:33 am

      Doctopus? :)

    • LeAnn
      September 5, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      Those are both scripts that have to be installed on each individual form you create, and must be set up prior to any responses to the form to grade. But are definitely easy to set up and a big time saver in the long run.

    • Angela A
      September 11, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks Jude, I'll check them out.

  15. Arxadius S
    August 10, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I really wish my Professors used this!