Test Bank Development Guide

Test banks are pools of questions from which instructors can create quizzes, assessments, and exams. The questions could appear on a printed exam, in a learning management system, or in other assessment software. If you have questions about how your test bank will be distributed, talk to your Cognella rep.

To create a test bank in Microsoft Word, follow the formatting instructions in this guide.

Please refer to our Guide to Creating Quality Assessments for additional tips on developing quality questions for online learning. We recommend sending your Cognella rep sample assessments for two chapters so they can provide you with feedback on quiz quality and formatting before you create all quizzes or exams.

Formatting in Microsoft Word

Because test bank questions may be imported digitally, Cognella requires all test banks created in Microsoft Word to adopt the standard formatting demonstrated in this guide. Cognella also has a Microsoft Word Test Bank Template. (Ask your Cognella rep if you don’t have this template.)

Microsoft Word automatically creates numbered lists when typing a number followed by a period (ex. 1.). You can adjust your AutoFormat options in Word to eliminate “automatic numbered lists.”

  1. Go to File > Options
  2. Go to Proofing.
  3. Select AutoCorrect Options, and then select the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
  4. Select or clear Automatic bulleted lists or Automatic numbered lists.
  5. Select OK.

For a video example of this process, please watch our Turning Off Automatic Numbering Video.

To Create a Question in Microsoft Word

  • First, indicate the question type, if required.
  • Begin each question with a number, followed by a period.
  • Add one space after the period, then write out the question wording.
  • Begin each answer with a lowercase letter (a – t), followed by a period, a space, and then the answer itself.
  • Place an asterisk before the lowercase letter of the correct answer(s) (do not add a space between the asterisk and the lowercase letter).
  • Optional: Add general feedback after the question wording and before the answer choices. Use the @ symbol to provide feedback. Include a single space after the symbol, then write out the feedback.