Test Bank
Development Guide

Best Practices

Test banks should cover:

  • General knowledge—theories, principles, formulas, facts—that students need to demonstrate competency in a subject
  • Text-specific concepts, examples, cases, or unique ideas

Test banks should include a mix of:

  • Difficulty levels: easy (20%); medium (60%); hard (20%)
  • Question types: multiple choice, fill in the blank, matching, etc.
  • Cognitive processes: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis

Create a set of questions for each textbook chapter or course lesson. This allows instructors to select assessment questions according to the chapters or lessons they choose to cover in a course.

For each chapter or lesson, produce enough questions for instructors to create multiple versions of an exam. Generally, this will be about 50-100 questions per chapter or lesson. The pool of questions should also cover the key concepts presented in the text or course.

If you are creating a math/math-related title, do not use MathType to insert equations into your test bank in Microsoft Word as they may become distorted. Use the native “Insert equation” function in Word to include complex equations instead. Contact your Cognella rep if you have any questions or concerns regarding equations.

Importing Images

If necessary, you may embed images throughout your test bank. Examples of necessary images include those students must reference in order to answer a question or a mathematical equation that may be difficult to format correctly within a Word document.

Images may be taken from the bank of images approved for your text, the public domain, or a site providing images under a Creative Commons license. If you use new images (any image not previously approved for use in your text), add those images to your image log, and they will be reviewed and approved by the Cognella licensing team.

Generally, images embedded within Microsoft Word documents easily import to digital documents and platforms, though the image quality or clarity may suffer during the transfer. To ensure the use of a clear image, embed an image directly within your test bank and send your Cognella rep the original image file. If you have any questions regarding the use of images in your test bank, please speak with your Cognella rep.