Multiple-Choice Tests in Minutes — the Smart Way to Build Mental Muscle

Photo by Rahadiansyah on Unsplash

As a developer, I like to exercise my mental muscles every-now-and-then by going back through cheatsheets and practicing commands.

By sheer chance, I noticed one day that Quizlet beautifully manages cumbersome copy-and-paste tasks involved in creating multiple-choice tests.

It offers two advantages:

  1. It allows me to upload data in bulk to create flashcards
  2. It takes care of generating randomized multiple-choice options, storing the correct answer, and automatically creating three other wrong solutions.

In this article, I will explain the process of uploading data and generating tests with Quizlet. Before we get going, you might want to read my other article about getting started with Quizlet and how to create flashcards manually.

1. Choose a data source

As a developer, I regularly search for ‘cheatsheet’ resources and official documentation as a source of my flashcards. I use, for example:

Let’s pick a Node Package Manager cheatsheet from Cheatography:

Node Package Manager Cheat Sheet

It’s pretty challenging to memorize large blocks of questions, so my recommendation would be to create a Node.js folder in Quizlet and create sets of no more than ten cards. Beyond this number, it starts to get challenging to memorize things.

Looking at the Node.js cheatsheet, it makes sense to create packs of cards grouped by header:

  • Install packages
  • Uninstall packages
  • List packages
  • Help

2. Perform a bulk import

Let’s focus on creating a small study set for installing packages with NPM.

To create a pack of cards in Quizlet:

  1. Go to the Create menu
  2. Select Study Set
Quizlet homepage

Typically, I’d create a study set by manually adding key-value pairs, with the question in one column and the answer in the other:

Create a new study set

However, Quizlet has a perfect bulk-import feature, which saves me a lot of time. To do this, click the green-colored link Import from Word, Excel, Google Docs, etc.:

Import study set data

The following steps I take are:

  1. Copy the NPM Install commands from the Cheatography page
  2. Paste them into the text area
  3. Use the TAB key to separate each question from its answer
  4. Check that all key-value pairs are rendered correctly by looking at the Preview section (see below)
Importing NPM install commands

Once I’ve checked that everything looks good:

  1. Click the Import button
  2. Click the Create button on the next page to create flashcards automatically:
Create flashcards automatically

3. Generate a multiple-choice test

On the left-hand side, I’m presented with several options to help me memorize the content I’ve just imported:

Under the Study header on the left-hand side, pick the 5th option — Test — which presents us with a test that showcases the different options available:

  • Written questions
  • Matching questions
  • Multiple-choice questions
  • True/False questions

Click the Options button on the bottom left-hand side to configure the test question format.

Let’s create a test that consists of multiple-choice questions only, allowing Quizlet to generate randomized options with one correct answer and three incorrect answers.

On the modal window, click the Create new test button:

Generating a test the way we want it.

Now we’ve got the test we’re looking for:

Multiple-choice test

Finally, there’s a neat little feature that creates a PDF document you can print:

  1. Above the Options button, click the Print test button
  2. Select the Save as PDF option
Save test as a PDF

And now we’ve got a PDF that we can print:

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and don’t forget to subscribe. 👍

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George Marklow

George Marklow

George is a software engineer, author, blogger, and abstract artist who believes in helping others to make us happier and healthier.