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Short answer questions

Short answer questions (or SAQs) can be used in examinations or as part of assessment tasks.

They are generally questions that require students to construct a response. Short answer questions require a concise and focused response that may be factual, interpretive or a combination of the two.

SAQs can also be used in a non-examination situation. A series of SAQs can comprise a larger assessment task that is completed over time.

Advantages and limitations

  • Limitations
  • Questions can reveal a student’s ability to describe, explain, reason, create, analyse, synthesise, and evaluate.
  • Gives opportunities for students to show higher level skills and knowledge.
  • Allows students to elaborate on responses in a limited way.
  • Provides an opportunity to assess a student’s writing ability.
  • Can be less time consuming to prepare than other item types.
  • Structured in a variety of ways that elicit a range of responses, from a few words to a paragraph.
  • Can limit the range of content that can be assessed.
  • Favours students who have good writing skills.
  • Can potentially be difficult to moderate.
  • Can be time consuming to assess.
  • Need to be well written for the standard of answers to be able to be differentiated in terms of assessment.

Guidelines for constructing short answer questions

  • Effective short answer questions should provide students with a focus (types of thinking and content) to use in their response.
  • Avoid indeterminate, vague questions that are open to numerous and/or subjective interpretations.
  • Select verbs that match the intended learning outcome and direct students in their thinking.
  • If you use ‘discuss’ or ‘explain’, give specific instructions as to what points should be discussed/explained.
  • Delimit the scope of the task to avoid students going off on an unrelated tangent.
  • Know what a good response would look like and what it might include reference to.
  • Practice writing a good response yourself so you have an exemplar and so you are aware of how long it may take to answer.
  • Provide students with practice questions so they are familiar with question types and understand time limitations.
  • Distribute marks based on the time required to answer.
  • Does the question align with the learning outcome/s?
  • Is the focus of the question clear?
  • Is the scope specific and clear enough for students to be able to answer in the time allocated?
  • Is there enough direction to guide the student to the expected response?

Examples of short answer questions

Your questions can access a range of cognitive skills/action verbs.

List/identify

This SAQ requires students to simply identify or list. The question may indicate the scope of requirements. e.g. List three, List the most important.

For example:

  • “List the typical and atypical neuroleptics (anti-psychotics) used to treat schizophrenia.”

This question asks student to define a term or idea.

  • “What is the capital gains tax?”
  • “Define soundness as an element of reasoning”.

This is a question where students are asked to provide an explanation. The explanation may address what, how or why.

  • “Why does the demand for luxury goods increase as the price increases?”
  • “What are the important elements of a well-presented communication strategy?”
  • “Why does an autoantibody binding to a post-synaptic receptor stop neuron communication?
  • “Explain the purpose of scaffolding as a teaching strategy”.

Justify/support

A question that includes a requirement to justify or support can ask students to provide an example of one or several specific occurrences of an idea or concept.

  • “Use 2 examples to show how scaffolding can be used to improve the efficacy of teaching and learning”.

For this kind of question, asks students to discuss how two or more concepts or objects are related. Is one different from the other? If so, how? Are they perfectly alike? Does one represent the other in some way?

  • “Why would a rise in the price of sugar lead to an increase in the sales of honey?”

Combination

Types of questions can be combined.

  • “List the three subphyla of the Phylum Chordata. What features permit us to place them all within the same phylum? “
  • “What benefits does territorial behaviour provide? Why do many animals display territorial behaviour?”
  • “Will you include short answer questions on your next exam? Justify your decision with two to three sentences explaining the factors that have influenced your decision.”

Additional resources

Short Answer Questions- Assessment Resource Centre - University of Hong Kong

Education Corner

Best Preparation Tips for Short Answer Tests

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Most tests contain at least a few short answer questions. The following are proven study and test preparation strategies that will help improve your performance on short answer/essay questions and tests.

Best Short Answer Test Preparation Tips and Strategies

Study for understanding.

Teachers, professors and instructors typically give short answer and/or essay tests to see how well students have grasped course concepts, their meanings and significance. This has both pros and cons with respect to test preparation and performance.

The con is that you can’t just just memorize information and expect to do well on a short answer test – you must understand course material and concepts.

The pro is that even if you can’t remember a specific term, as long as you have a general understanding of the concept in question, you can still develop an answer that is likely to get you full or partial credit.

When preparing for short answer tests focus on understanding rather than memorization of facts.

Focus on topics and concepts

As with all types of test questions, the best way to prepare is by studying and becoming intimately familiar with course content, concepts and material. During lectures, try to decipher what types of topics and concepts will be covered on the test by looking for hints provided by the professor.

While it’s still important to memorize facts and information, try and do so within the framework of important topics that are being explored and concepts that are being taught.

Employ self testing

Make a guess as to what types of concepts will be covered on a test and create some practice questions to prepare yourself for the test. If accessible, study from previous class tests.

Use flashcards

Many students benefit by creating flashcards. On one side of a card, write definitions or other facts, and on the opposite side, write the definition.

If in doubt, make an educated guess

If you are completely unsure about a question, make an educated guess since there is usually no penalty for doing so. Show your work because teachers often provide partial credit if work is shown. Make sure the work you show is accurate.

Answer the easy questions first

When encountering confusing questions, move on to easier ones. Return to tackle more challenging questions once you’ve answered all the questions for which you know the answer. In some cases, you can decipher clues to answers for difficult questions from questions you’ve already answered.

Read all instructions

It’s critical to carefully read instructions for each short answer question. What exactly is the question asking you? Often short answer questions will ask you to describe, list, compare, contrast, identify, analyze, summarize, or a combination of these. If you describe when you’re supposed to compare, or summarize when you’ve been instructed to analyze, your test performance is going to decrease.

Budget your time

With short answer/essay tests it’s easy to lose track of time. At the beginning of the test check to see how many questions on the test and if the test is divided up into sections. Make sure to allocate a specific amount of time per section and per question.

You don’t want to get halfway through the test and realize you only have a few minutes left. Some short answer questions may be worth substantially more than others. Make sure to allocate time to those questions that are worth the most.

Reread each question

Always reread the question after answering it. It’s not uncommon for a short answer question to have multiple parts. For example: “Compare and contrast Frye’s and Bartky’s accounts of social oppression with respect to gender inequality. List the differences in their views.” Answering only part of the short answer question will likely result in only partial credit.

Ask for clarification

If you don’t understand a question or find it is a bit confusing, ask your instructor for clarification. Don’t be scared to ask. Chances are there are several other students who are struggling to understand it as well.

Be thorough. But be concise

While opinions may differ, most teachers believe a short answer question typically requires a “short” answer. That doesn’t mean an answer lacking depth analysis or information. It simply means an answer that is concise and includes just enough information to accurately and fully answer the question being asked.

Typically an answer that’s longer than necessary isn’t going to cause you to lose points, as long as your information is correct. However, if you include incorrect information in your short answer, you’ll likely lose points.

The 6 Basic Types of Short-answer Questions

There are six basic types of short-answer questions. Understanding each will improve your performance on short-answer quizzes, tests and exams. When answering short-answer questions, make sure the format and type of answer you provide matches the type of question being asked.

1. Definition questions

Definition questions require you to define a concept.

  • Question: “What is a supply curve?”
  • Answer: “A supply curve shows the relationship between the price of a good or service and the quantity supplied. Typically, the price appears on the left vertical axis and the quality supplied on the horizontal axis.”

2. Explanation questions

Explanation questions require you to explain why something is true or how something functions.

  • Question: “Why is the supply curve upward-sloping for most goods and services?”
  • Answer: “The supply curve is upward-sloping because as the price the market pays increases for goods and services the volume that suppliers are willing to produce increases.”

3. Example questions

Example questions simply require a specific real-world example of a concept or phenomenon.

  • Question: “Provide two examples of pairs of goods that are substitutes.”
  • Answer: “Margarine and butter, and tea and coffee are examples of pairs of goods that are substitutes.”

4. Relationship questions

Relationship questions require you to state or show how two or more things relate to one another. Are they complementary? Are they the same? Are they different? Are they opposites? How does the existence of one affect the other? Etc. Relationship questions can be a bit more challenging than other types of short answers but are very doable if you’re prepared.

  • Question: “In a competitive market, what is the relationship between supply and demand?”
  • Answer: “Demand refers to the quality of a good or service consumers are willing to buy at a given price. Supply represents the quantity of a good supplied by producers at various prices. The price resulting from where supply and demand meet is referred to as the equilibrium price.”

5. Calculation questions

As the name suggests, calculations questions require you to calculate or compute a numerical answer or response.

  • Question: “If the demand for used motorcycle purchases in the United States is represented by P = 1000 – .2Q and the supply of used motorcycles is represented by P = 400 + .2Q what is the market equilibrium price and quantity?”
  • Answer: “The market equilibrium price (P) is 700. The market equilibrium quantity (Q) is 1,500.”

6. Graphing questions

Graphing questions typically require an answer in the form of a graph.

  • Question: “Draw a diagram of a supply curve that shows the relationship between quantity supplied and price.”
  • The answer is shown below.

Graphing questions

Short-answer versus Short Essay Questions

Students often confuse short-answer questions with short essay questions. While these two question forms share some common characteristics, they are different. The following are the differences between short answer questions and essay questions that students need to know for test taking.

  • Short Answer: Someone who assigned the material (teacher, professor, etc.) who has an expert level of the information.
  • Short Essay: Someone who has never read or seen the assigned material or topic.

Level of expertise

  • Short Answer: Assumes that the reader of the answer is an expert. The reader of the short answer is checking the knowledge of the author of the answer against a specific standard.
  • Short Essay: Assumes the reader is not familiar or educated on the topic being addressed. As part of the essay an overview should be provided.

Length of answer

  • Short Answer: Typically, very short–no more than 3 to 4 sentences. The more concise the better.
  • Short Essay: Answer may vary in length, but ranges from 200-800 words or more.
  • Short Answer: Typically comes from a very narrow arena of fact-based knowledge. Details and examples provided in answers are usually limited to assigned/required readings.
  • Short Essay: Even though the short essay typically focuses on one specific issue or topic, the information presented in the essay may come from a variety of sources.

Answer format

  • Short Answer: The answer format for a short answer will usually be a single sentence or paragraph. Short answers are concise and word selection is important to maximize effect.
  • Short Essay: The answer format for short essays, unlike short answers, includes at minimum three paragraphs: the introduction; the body; and the conclusion. The introduction provides a general overview. The body provides the detail of the essay and varies from 1-8 paragraphs (200-800+ words). The conclusion is the wrap-up of the essay and reiterates the main points being communicated. It may also suggest an action.

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TOPICS A. Fill-in-the-Blank Items B. Essay Questions C. Scoring Options

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short answer questions require a blank response

Types of Assessment Methods

Short Answer Questions

  • What are Short Answer Questions?
  • Structure of Short Answer Questions
  • Advantages of Short Answer Questions
  • Disadvantages of Short Answer Questions
  • How to design a good Short Answer Question?
  • Marking Rubrics
  • Web References and Resources

What are Short Answer Questions? Short-answer questions are open-ended questions that require students to create an answer. They are commonly used in examinations to assess the basic knowledge and understanding (low cognitive levels) of a topic before more in-depth assessment questions are asked on the topic.

  • MHz measures the _________________ of the computer.
  • List the different types of plastic surgery procedures.
  • In economics, state Gresham's Law.
  • Short Answer Questions are relatively fast to mark and can be marked by different assessors, as long as the questions are set in such a way that all alternative answers can be considered by the assessors.
  • Short Answer Questions are also relatively easy to set compared to many assessment methods.
  • Short Answer Questions can be used as part of a formative and summative assessment, as the structure of short answer questions are very similar to examination questions, students are more familiar with the practice and feel less anxious.
  • Unlike MCQs, there is no guessing on answers, students must supply an answer.
  • Short Answer Questions (SAQ) are only suitable for questions that can be answered with short responses. It is very important that the assessor is very clear on the type of answers expected when setting the questions, because SAQ is an open-ended questions, students are free to answer any way they choose, short-answer questions can lead to difficulties in grading if the question is not worded carefully.
  • Short Answer Questions are typically used for assessing knowledge only, students may often memorize Short Answer Questions with rote learning. If assessors wish to use Short Answer Questions to assess deeper learning, careful attention (and many practices) on appropriate questions are required.
  • Accuracy of assessment may be influenced by handwriting/spelling skills
  • There can be time management issues when answering Short Answer Questions
  • Design short answer items which are appropriate assessment of the learning objective
  • Make sure the content of the short answer question measures knowledge appropriate to the desired learning goal
  • Express the questions with clear wordings and language which are appropriate to the student population
  • Ensure there is only one clearly correct answer in each question
  • Consider whether the positioning of the item blank promote efficient scoring
  • Write the instructions clearly so as to specify the desired knowledge and specificity of response
  • Set the questions explicitly and precisely.
  • Direct questions are better than those which require completing the sentences.
  • For numerical answers, let the students know if they will receive marks for showing partial work (process based) or only the results (product based), also indicated the importance of the units.
  • Let the students know what your marking style is like, is bullet point format acceptable, or does it have to be an essay format?
  • Prepare a structured marking sheet; allocate marks or part-marks for acceptable answer(s).
  • Be prepared to accept other equally acceptable answers, some of which you may not have predicted.

Marking Rubrics Short answer questions tend to be short, and have more precise answers, thus, it is possible for each question to list out all the possible answers/points.

A simple Short Answer Questions Rubric:

For example, if there are 6 possible arguments to a question, and the student scores all 6 arguments, he will get full mark in that question. If he scores only 4 arguments, he will get a relative mark. You may also decide to be lenient, if there are 6 arguments in a question, and the student scores any 4 out of 6, he will get full mark, this would be an assessor decision, however, this decision must be clear and consistent.

If a more essay type of answer is requested, the following rubric maybe suitable: (From Rubric Studio, http://www.rcampus.com/rubricshowc.cfm?b=%25%2D%2B%3B2R%5D8%20%0A&sp=yes& )

Short Answer Questions Assessment

  • Short Answer Questions, Division of Learning and Teaching, Charles Sturt University https://www.csu.edu.au/division/learning-teaching/assessments/assessment-types/exams/short-answer-questions
  • Short-answer Questions, Institute for Interactive media and Learning, University of Technology Sydney http://www.iml.uts.edu.au/assessment/types/short_answer/index.html
  • Short Answer Questions - Teacher Resources, Carleton University https://carleton.ca/tls/teachingresources/assessing-student-work/short-answer-questions/

Tips for Students answering SAQs

  • Tips for Writing Short Answer Essay Exams, Michigan State University https://www.msu.edu/course/prr/320/web/tipsexam.html
  • Short Answer Test Tips-Help, Test Taking Tips.Com http://www.testtakingtips.com/test/short.htm

Copy and paste the text below: Chan C.(2009) Assessment: Short Answer Questions, Assessment Resources@HKU, University of Hong Kong [http://ar.talic.hku.hk]: Available: Accessed: DATE

short answer questions require a blank response

Mr. Skipper dot Com

Short Answer Responses

Shakespeare wrote that it doesn't matter what you call it, a rose is still a rose and will still smell lovely. Likewise, whether it's call a short answer response, a short constructed response, or an open-ended response, it's still a one-paragraph answer. (Technically, an open-ended response could be longer.)

Likewise, it doesn't matter what acronym you use; it's all just different words for the same thing:

I like RACE .

R estate and A nswer the question, C ite your evidence, and E xplain your evidence (Elaborate)

(Jump to the new STAAR short-constructed and extedned-constructed response section.)

teec 1.jpg

The most important elements to a short answer response (one-paragraph answer) are (1) the answer, (2) the evidence, and (3) the explanation.

(1) To begin, turn the question into a statement and answer it:

ex: What was the original purpose of the quilts?

      The original purpose of the quilts was to keep everyone warm at night.

ex: How is Mrs. Stevenson feeling as the scene begins?

      At the beginning of the scene, Mrs. Stevenson is feeling nervous and frustrated.

(2) Next, you need to find evidence from the text to support your answer. Basically, what did you read that told you (and made you think) the answer to the question?

In the poem, we find these lines:

they were just meant as covers

against pounding january winds

You can put your text evidence in your topic sentence (answer):

    The quilts were originally "meant as covers in winters."

or it can be two sentences:

     The original purpose of the quilts was to keep everyone warm at night. Lines one and two of the poem state: "they were just meant as covers in winters."

(3) You will always need a final sentence to explain and/ or sum up your answer.

     The original purpose of the quilts was to keep everyone warm at night. Lines one and two of the poem state: "they were just meant as covers in winters."  Later in the poem, the author gives a deeper meaning to the quilts, but originally, they were just to provide protections from the cold.

*This question was actually a two-part question, so an answer would look like this:

What is the original purpose of the mother’s quilts? Why does the speaker find deeper meaning in them? Cite text evidence to support your answer.

     The original purpose of the quilts was to keep everyone warm at night. Lines one and two of the poem state: "they were just meant as covers in winters."  Later in the poem, the author gives a deeper meaning to the quilts. She writes about lounging on her mother's arm as she quilts and that her mother was a "river current" and a "caravan master... delivering.. testimonies," memories of her childhood. Even though the quilts were  originally just protection from the cold, they came to have a deeper meaning for the poet.

Your ability to write a Short Answer Response is the most important skill you should master (second only to reading). 

All  acronyms (APE, TEEC. RACE, TREES) teachers use to identify the content of a Short Answer Response are all variations of the same theme.

1st . Turn the question into a statement and answer. Some call it "restating the question"; I call it "Making the Question Part of Your Answer" or MQA .

2nd . Provide evidence from the text that support your answer. Don't just copy-and-paste a sentence or two, embed your text evidence in your own sentences.

Try these sentence stems for citing your evidence:

     o The text states…      o According to the writer…      o The evidence in this section…      o The character’s feelings are shown by these statements…      o For example, the passage states…      o As quoted in the passage…      o As the selection implies…      o The reader can assume from the author’s words that…      o After reading the passage, the reader can infer…      o Based on the information in the text, the reader can conclude…

3rd . Elaborate/ explain your evidence.

Here are some sentence stems for transitioning to your elaboration:

     o These facts indicate that…

     o These facts demonstrate…

     o The author is trying to portray the character as…

     o This character (or event) is similar to…

     o This character (or event) is different from…

     o This is a good example of… because…

     o His actions were motivated by…

     o It appears that… caused… to happen.

     o The most important…

4th . Conclude your answer so it doesn't just stop. I like the concept of a concluding sentence being a sentence that sums up/ restates your point. 

You should have read " Oranges" by Gary Soto at some point. Here's a framework for answering a question about imagery:

Prompt: Explain how the imagery in the poem reflects the boy’s feelings and impressions.

At the beginning of the poem, the weather is [conclusion about the weather],  as seen in the lines [line numbers]: “[quoted lines] .”   As the speaker nears the girl’s house, the line ”[quoted line]”  shows us [explanation of quoted line].  As the poem continues, we see more light and warmth in the lines: “[supporting textual evidence]"  which cause the boy to smile, indicating he is [fill in the blank].

At the end of the poem, the orange symbolizes [fill in the blank], [fill in the blank], and [fill in the blank], showing his feelings toward the girl.

A short answer response is not just one sentence. 

It is a short paragraph with three parts.

First , read, understand, and answer the question.

How does Malala respond to the closing of her school? Use specific examples from the text in your answer.

Malala was determined to continue her education when the Taliban closed her school.

Second, provide proof (evidence) from the text that supports/ defends your answer. 

Even though she was eleven years old, she didn't want to stop learning. "I will get my education if it's at home, school, or somewhere else", she said (paragraph 5). She was determined to fight for her and other's education (paragraph 4). Malala also stated that the Taliban can stop them from going to school, but can't stop them from learning, which shows how much dedication she has.

Finally, conclude your answer with a sentence or two that wraps up your point.

Despite the devastation she felt and the tears she shed, Malala continued to fight for girls' education. Without a doubt, she is a true hero.

       Rick Riordan uses direct and indirect character-ization to help the reader fully understand Percy Jackson in  The Lightning Thief .  One way is through Percy sharing his inner thoughts.  For example, Percy says, "Am I a troubled kid? Yeah, you could say that" (Riordan 1). The reader can infer that Percy has problems at home and at school. Knowing this about Percy helps the reader understand the main character much better.

Combined, the parts of a Short Answer Response

 would look like this.     

        Malala was determined to continue her education when the Taliban closed her school. Even though she was eleven years old, she didn't want to stop learning. "I will get my education if it's at home, school, or somewhere else", she said (paragraph 5). She was determined to fight for her and other's education (paragraph 4). Malala also stated that the Taliban can stop them from going to school, but can't stop them from learning, which shows how much dedication she has. Despite the devastation she felt and the tears she shed, Malala continued to fight for girls' education. Without a doubt, she is a true hero.

If you can see this, 

hit refresh.

Quick Version

1. You have to restate the question; make the question part of your answer .

2. You need to embed and cite your evidence .

3. Forget "explain your evidence"; instead, think "elaborate".

Look at these good answers to the question, "At the end of the story, why do the characters get scared?"

A. The characters get scared at the end because of the "persistent scratching" at the windows and knocking. In paragraph 24 it says, "Three loud knocks break the silence. This time they sound against the hardwood of the bedroom door. Slowly, the doorknob begins to turn." This signifies that someone or something was approaching and was scaring the twins on this stormy night.

B. At the end of the story, Christina and Fernando get scared because of the scratching sounds that Fernando heard. Fernando asks his sister to stay and listen. "The two stand in silence...This time they sound against the hard wood of the bedroom door. Slowly, the doorknob begins to turn" (24).

Look at this not-so-good answers:

C. The characters get scared because someone is knocking on the door. In paragraph 24, it says "Three loud knocks break the silence. This time they sound against the hardwood of the bedroom door." This shows they got scared because someone was knocking on the door.   [ This is repetitive. It says the same thing in every sentence.]

Look at these not so good answers to "Where does the story take place? What kind of night is it?"

D. The story takes place in a teenager's bedroom on a stormy night. It says, "A teenager's bedroom at night. There is a storm outside." This shows that it was a teenager's bedroom on a stormy night.

E. The first paragraph tells us it was a teenager's bedroom on a stormy night.

Compared to

F. The story takes place in "a teenager’s bedroom on a stormy night" (1). The first paragraph also states that the audience can hear "thunder sounds in the distance" and that "lightning flashes outside the closed window" - a perfect setting for Cristina's story and for the events that would soon take place.

Scroll down for more STAAR related content.

STAAR Constructed Responses

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet" (Romeo and Juliet, Act II, scene ii).

There are different tools for different jobs: hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches; paint brush, crayons, and pencils. There are different types of music, different types of dancing, different types of poetry.

And there are different types of writing.

Beginning this year, the STAAR test will have open-ended response questions that t he Texas Education Agency calls Short and Extended Constructed Responses. These are very much like the short answer response questions that you should be accustomed to writing. 

"House Bill 3906 established a “multiple choice cap,” meaning that no more than 75% of points on a STAAR test can be based on multiple choice questions. Texas educators are helping design new question types that reflect classroom test questions and allow students more ways to show their understanding. All possible new question types are being field-tested with students to ensure validity before they are incorporated into the redesigned summative tests beginning in spring 2023" ( STAAR Redesign, TEA ).

Important website and direct link to practice test (just click " sign-in"); TEA Presentation

Here's an example of a short constructed response question and answer:

Q: "Explain how Anthony's behavior in paragraphs 12 through 14 affects the resolution of the plot. Support your answer with evidence from the story"

A: Although Anthony thinks his grandfather's cooking is "just awful," he recalls his day with the grandfather and pretends to love the food "I... I... love it." Anthony's behavior leads to a positive resolution of the plot.

You'll be allowed to write up to 475 characters (not counting spaces) which is about 75 to 95 words.

Here's what the extended constructed response question looks like:

Q: Explain how Anthony's interactions with Grandpa help to develop a theme about how sharing experiences may lead to greater understanding between people.  

Write a well-organized informational essay that uses specific evidence from the story to support your answer.

Remember to -

clearly state your controlling idea

organize your writing

develop your ideas in detail

use evidence from the selection in your response

use correct spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar

Manage your time carefully so that you can - 

review the selection

plan your response

write your response

revise and edit your response

You'll be allowed to write up to 2,300 characters (not counting spaces) which is about 400 to 750 words.

The TEA answer key states: A correct response could involve a student providing an extended response explaining how Anthony learns new things about Grandpa as he spends the day with him, which leads to greater understanding. The student would need to provide thorough evidence from the selection to support this controlling idea.

Important website and direct link to practice test (just click sign-in); TEA Presentation

Create Short Answer Questions in the Question Library

Short answer (SA) questions require respondents to create one word or brief sentence answers in response to open-ended questions.

Note: For a secure and consistent editing experience, JavaScript and non-standard HTML will automatically be filtered out. If your existing questions contain JavaScript or non-standard HTML, the questions continue to display as intended until an instructor edits and saves the quizzes, which removes the JavaScript and non-standard HTML. 

Quizzes on the Nav Bar

  • Select the question type: Short Answer Question (SA) .
  • In the Question Text field, enter your short answer question details.
  • In the Answers for Blank 1 field, enter your answer(s).
  • Text/Case Insensitive – Auto-grading searches for a matching character pattern in the answer text with or without letter case correctness.
  • Case-Sensitive – Auto-grading searches for a matching character pattern in the answer text that must have letter case correctness. Proper capitalization is required.

short answer question abc dropdown menu

  • If you want to add more blanks, click Add Blank and enter your answer. For each blank, select the comparison method: Text , Case-Sensitive Text , or Regular Expression .
  • In the Default Points field, enter the points students will receive for answering the question correctly.
  • Students receive part marks – The default points for each blank are calculated automatically and evenly distributed.

short answer question how points are assigned to blanks

  • To add overall feedback for the answer, select Add Feedback . Learn about Quiz Question Feedback .
  • To add a hint to the question, select Add Hint . Learn about Quiz Question Hints .
  • To add a short description to the question, select Add Short Description .
  • To verify your question, view the Preview on the right side of the screen.
  • Click Save .

Formative Help Center

Short Answer are generally questions that require students to construct a response. They are designed to accommodate a concise and focused response that may be factual, interpretive or a combination of the two.

Add a Short Answer question

Click on the blue + button ​

short answer questions require a blank response

Choose "Short Answer" from the Question Types ​

short answer questions require a blank response

Type a question or prompt. Your students will be able to type their response! There is a 10,000 character limit for short answer responses.

Optional: Set correct answer(s) for auto-grading. Find out more here!

Optional: Use Short Answer questions for spelling assessments? You can by

disabling the Spell Check option in your browser.

*Silver/Gold users: Enable partial match, case sensitivity, and Show Your Work for even greater control over auto-grading. Want access to these Features? Find out more here .

Add image or math

You can add images and math features to questions and answers where you see the blue + sign ( shown below ).

short answer questions require a blank response

*Silver/Gold users: You can also add audio, emojis, videos, files and embed other websites from the blue + sign.

Adjust question settings

Use additional question settings to refine parameters for auto-grading:

Case Sensitive

when this is toggled on, auto-grading will only count the student's answer as correct if they provide an answer identical to your answer key, including usage of upper or lower letters.

Students will not be able to submit their work without providing an answer

Use Rubric (Silver/Gold plan only)

Switch scoring method for this question from auto-grading to a rubric based grading.

Allow Partial Match (Silver/Gold plan only)

Accept student answers that include your answer key, even if they're not identical

Show Your Work (Silver/Gold plan only)

Add a whiteboard style box for your students to showcase their work

You can also add hints for your students, and tag your question to standards .

short answer questions require a blank response

What's Next?

Need your students to provide longer, more elaborate answers and/or be able to formatt and style their response? Here's how to create a Free Response question!

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Short-Answer (Fill-in-the-Blank) and Essay

Short-answer and essay questions are examples of constructed-response items. With these items, the test-taker supplies an answer rather than selecting from options already provided. Because students supply the answers, this type of item reduces the chance of guessing. Short-answer items can be answered with a word, phrase, or number. There are two types of short-answer items: question and completion. One format presents a question that students answer in a few words or phrases. With the other format, completion or fill in the blank, students are given an incomplete sentence that they complete by inserting a word or words in the blank space. In an essay item, the student develops a more extended response to a question or statement. Essay tests and written assignments use writing as the means of expressing ideas, although with essay items the focus of assessment is the content of the answer rather than the writing ability.

constructed-response items, essay questions, essay tests, short-answer questions, students, written assignments

Educational Measurement, Essays, Examination Question, Students, Writing

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Writing Short-Answer Items in Naiku

short answer questions require a blank response

Short-answer items require a word, short phrase, or a number response. There are three different varieties of short-answer items. The question variety asks a direct question. The completion variety presents an incomplete sentence and requires the student to complete it. The association variety consists of a list of terms for which the student has to recall numbers, labels, or other terms.

Short-answer items are useful in educational testing because they can be used to assess lower-order thinking skills such as recall and comprehension of information. However, they can also be used to assess higher-level abilities. For example, students can be asked to make interpretations of data, solve numerical problems in science and mathematics, or balance mathematical and chemical equations.

To create a good short-answer item, follow these guidelines:

  • A direct question is preferable to an incomplete statement. The completion format always implies a question. The student must mentally convert the statement into a question. Therefore, be straightforward and ask the student a direct question in the first place.
  • The required response should be concise . Short-answer items should require a single correct answer. This can be a brief phrase, a word, or a number. Items with short and concise answers tend to be more specific and clear.
  • Place the blank near the end of the sentence . If you do use the completion variety, place the blank near the end of the sentence. If you place the blank at the beginning or in the middle of the sentence, the student may have forgotten what is sought by the time the entire sentence has been read. Also, when blanks are at the beginning, students have to rearrange it into a question before responding to it. Either way, students will have to read the sentence at least twice before they can answer it.

Strengths and Shortcomings

Short-answer items are relatively easy to construct. Unlike multiple-choice items, they reduce the probability of a student correctly guessing the answer. Also, they are mostly objectively scored. These are their strengths.

A shortcoming of short-answer items often cited is that they can be difficult to score. Spelling and grammatical errors tend to complicate the scoring process and make it time consuming.

However, these shortcomings can be overcome with a good online testing engine. For example, a good testing platform should not require a teacher to anticipate and list all the possible misspelling of a word. This is what is typically done and required by most testing software. For example, if the answer was “strawberry,” the teacher would have to specify all possible misspellings to count as correct (e.g., “starberry”, “strawberri”, “straberry”).

The Naiku Solution

On Naiku, we do not require teachers to list all possible misspellings. For numeric responses, we don’t require teachers to specify all possible precision (e.g., “3.14”, “3.141”, and “3.1415”). For word answers, teachers can simply specify the correct spelling. For numeric response, teachers can specify a tolerance or range of accepted answers. When this is done, all the short-answer items can be automatically scored, making the scoring process objective and very efficient.

In Naiku, to create short-answer items that can be auto-scored, select to create a Constructed-Response item. At the bottom of the screen, select the type of auto-score that is desired.

short answer questions require a blank response

The choices for type of matcher are:

  • Text: for a word answer (e.g., “strawberry”)
  • Range: for a range of numbers (e.g., “100…120”)
  • Number: for a specific number (e.g., “3.14”). You can also specify a tolerance of accepted answers. For example, put “.01” if you want to accept any number within .01 of 3.14. So, responses such as “3.141” will be scored as correct.
  • Fraction: for a fraction answer (e.g., “3 1/2” will be scored as 3.5)

These are new features in Naiku. Please give them a try. Let us know what you think of them. We love to hear from you.

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What Is a Short Answer and How Is It Used?

Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms

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  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

In spoken English and informal writing, a short answer is a response made up of a subject and an auxiliary verb or modal . Short answers are brief but complete—they can answer "yes or no" questions or more complicated queries.

Conventionally, the verb in a short answer is in the same tense as the verb in the question asked. Also, the verb in the short answer should agree in person and number with its subject.

Examples of Short Answers

Short answers can appear in just about any context. The following examples are all from literature—study them to better understand how short answers look and sound in conversation.

An Equal Music: A Novel

"'How did she do in her exams?' Maria had already told me she had done quite well, but I was now flailing around to keep the conversation going.

'She passed.'

'She is all right, isn't she?'

' Yes, she is, ' he replied firmly," (Seth 2000).

"'The poor lass took quite a fall, didn't she?' Gelfrid remarked. 'Is she usually so clumsy?'

' No, she isn't ,' Judith answered," (Garwood 1992).

The Bean Trees

"You're asking yourself, Can I give this child the best possible upbringing and keep her out of harm's way her whole life long? The answer is no, you can't, " (Kingslover 1988).

Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Guide 2005

"Can we change? Yes, we can . Can they change? Yes, they can, " (Clarke 2004).

The Tea Rose

"'Will, you've been in love before, haven't you? I mean, with Anna, of course ... and your various ... well, you have , haven't you?'

Will looked into his glass. 'No. No, I haven't, '" (Donnelly 2007).

Anybody Out There?

"'What's up with him?'

'His stomach is sick. He's nervous about his speech.'

'He's got food poisoning!' Helen declared. 'Hasn't he?'

'No, he has not!'

'Yes, he has.'

'No, he has not'!'

'Yes, he has,'" (Keyes 2007).

Little Dorrit

"'No, I won't, Jeremiah—no I won't— no I won't!—I won't go, I'll stay here. I'll hear all I don't know and say all I know. I will, at last, if I die for it. I will, I will, I will, I will!'" (Dickens 1857).

Short Answer Patterns

The structure of a short answer is important. Without a subject and an auxiliary verb, a short answer is not a full answer. However, a short answer does not need to entirely restate a question. Because they often lack a main verb, they are technically not complete sentences. Writer and language expert Michael Swan explains this further in the following excerpt.

"Answers are often grammatically incomplete because they do not need to repeat words that have just been said. A typical ' short answer ' pattern is subject + auxiliary verb , together with whatever other words are really necessary.

Can he swim?
Yes, he can.

"This response is more natural than Yes, he can swim .

Has it stopped raining?
No, it hasn't.
Are you enjoying yourself?
I certainly am.
You'll be on holiday soon.
Yes, I will.
Don't forget to telephone.
I won't.
You didn't phone Debbie last night.
No, but I did this morning.

"Non-auxiliary verbs be and have are also used in short answers.

Is she happy?
I think she is.
Have you a light?
Yes, I have.

"We use do and did in answers to sentences that have neither an auxiliary verb nor non-auxiliary verbs be or have .

She likes cakes.
She really does.
That surprised you.
It certainly did.

"Short answers can be followed by tags .

Yes, it is, isn't it?

"Note that stressed , non-contracted forms are used in short answers," (Swan 2005).

Short Answers With So, Neither, and Nor

Another way to shorten an answer is to use a word like so in place of part of a statement. You have likely seen and heard this many times before. The book Active English Grammar offers a description of how such words are used in short answers.

"Sometimes a statement about one person also applies to another person. When this is the case, you can use a short answer with 'so' for positive statements, and with 'neither' or 'nor' for negative statements using the same verb that was used in the statement.

"You use 'so,' 'neither,' or 'nor' with an auxiliary, modal, or the main verb 'be.' The verb comes before the subject.

You were different then.— So were you. I don't normally drink at lunch.— Neither do I. I can't do it.— Nor can I.

"You can use 'not either' instead of 'neither,' in which case the verb comes after the subject .

He doesn't understand.— We don't either.

"You often use 'so' in short answers after verbs such as 'think,' 'hope,' 'expect,' 'imagine,' and 'suppose,' when you think that the answer to the question is 'yes.'

You'll be home at six?— I hope so . So it was worth doing?— I suppose so .

"You use 'I'm afraid so' when you are sorry that the answer is 'yes.'

Is it raining?— I'm afraid so .

"With 'suppose,' 'think,' 'imagine,' or 'expect' in short answers, you also form negatives with 'so.'

Will I see you again?— I don't suppose so. Is Barry Knight a golfer?— No, I don't think so .

"However, you say 'I hope not' and 'I'm afraid not.'

It isn't empty, is it?— I hope not, " ( Active English Grammar 2011).
  • Active English Grammar (Collins COBUILD) . HarperCollins Publishers, 2011.
  • Clarke, Oz. Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Guide 2005 . Harcourt, 2004.
  • Dickens, Charles . Little Dorrit. Bradbury and Evans, 1857.
  • Donnelly, Jennifer. The Tea Rose . 1st ed., St. Martin's Griffin, 2007.
  • Garwood, Julie. The Secret . Pocket Books, 1992.
  • Keyes, Marian. Anybody Out There? William Morrow Paperbacks, 2007.
  • Kingsolver, Barbara. The Bean Trees. Harper, 1988.
  • Seth, Vikram. An Equal Music: A Novel . 1st ed., Vintage, 2000.
  • Swan, Michael. Practical English Usage. 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Know your Auxiliary Verbs
  • How to Use 'It Depends' in Conversation
  • Rhetorical Questions for English Learners
  • The Yes-No Question in English Grammar
  • Italian Direct Object Pronouns With Passato Prossimo
  • How to Ask Questions in English
  • Direct Question in Grammar
  • Definition and Examples of Negative Contractions
  • How to Use the French Expression 'N'est-ce Pas' in Conversation
  • What is a Question?
  • Negative Structures
  • Doch ...and Other Tricky German Words
  • What Are Auxiliary Verbs?
  • How to Teach the Present Simple
  • Definition and Examples of Subject-Auxiliary Inversion
  • ESL Lesson Plan: How to Use "Have"

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Open Response Worksheet Templates

Customize open response templates.

Open Response 2

If you're assigning this to your students, copy the worksheet to your account and save. When creating an assignment, just select it as a template!

Short Answer Open Response Worksheet Templates

What is a Short Answer Response?

As students progress through their academic journey, they encounter various assignments and tasks that require them to respond to prompts, questions, or readings. One of these tasks is the short answer response, which is common across different grade levels and subjects. An open response writing prompt typically asks a student to respond to one key idea with 2-4 examples and short analysis from the text. They require students to provide concise and focused answers to questions, usually within a single page or paragraph.

Why are They Important and How are They Best Used?

These questions often show up on state standardized tests for short reading sections. They do not require students to complete a full essay on the question at the end of the reading, but they do expect students to craft a solid topic sentence and provide 2-4 relevant examples from the text with some analysis of how each example relates to the prompt. These kinds of questions can usually be answered in 1-2 short paragraphs. They usually have a word limit, and students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of the topic, concept, or text in a concise manner. Open responses can be used as a form of assessment of both fiction and non-fiction works, and they can be used to assess various skills such as comprehension, analysis, and evaluation.

Short Answer Response Templates and Worksheets

One way to help students master these types of questions is to provide them with a template. A template is a pre-designed worksheet that guides students on how to structure their responses using the short response format. A good template should include sections for the introduction, body, and conclusion, as well as prompts or questions that students can use to organize their thoughts. Using short answer response templates can help students focus their responses and ensure that they address all the key points required.

How to Make a Good Short Answer Response

First, they should read the prompt or question carefully and ensure that they understand what is being asked. Then, they should plan their response by brainstorming and organizing their ideas using a template. Next, they should focus on being concise and specific in their writing, using relevant evidence or examples to support their points. Finally, they should proofread their response for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors before submitting it.

Short Answer Response Examples

Here are some examples that demonstrate how to apply the above guidelines:

  • Prompt: What is the main theme of the story?
  • Response: The main theme of the story is the importance of family. Throughout the story, the protagonist learns that family is more important than material possessions or status. This is shown through his interactions with his family members and his eventual decision to prioritize his family over his career.
  • Prompt: Compare and contrast the two characters.
  • Response: The two characters have some similarities and differences. Both characters are determined and hardworking, but while one is outgoing and extroverted, the other is reserved and introverted. Additionally, one character prioritizes individual success, while the other values teamwork and collaboration.

Using Open Response Worksheets in Google Classroom

Open response worksheets are a useful tool for teachers who want to facilitate written responses in their classrooms at any grade level. These worksheets can be easily shared with students via Google Classroom, and they can be customized to suit different grade levels, subjects, and assessment types. Using worksheets with editable templates can save teachers time and effort while providing students with a clear and organized structure for their responses.

Open Response Worksheets

To create open response worksheets for reading response, select a template from the options above and access the storyboard creator. Modify the response questions and elements in the template to cater to your students' needs. After customizing your worksheet, save and print it or store it in your storyboard library for future use. For more info on how to design effective open response worksheets, consult additional resources on differentiated instruction and formative assessment.

How to Make an Open Response Worksheet

Choose one of the premade templates.

We have lots of templates to choose from. Take a look at our example for inspiration!

Click on "Copy Template"

Once you do this, you will be directed to the storyboard creator.

Give Your Worksheet a Name!

Be sure to call it something related to the topic so that you can easily find it in the future.

Edit Your Worksheet

This is where you will include directions, specific questions and images, and make any aesthetic changes that you would like. The options are endless!

Click "Save and Exit"

When you are finished with your worksheet, click this button in the lower right hand corner to exit your storyboard.

From here you can print, download as a PDF, attach it to an assignment and use it digitally, and more!

Even More Storyboard That Resources and Free Printables

  • Blank Worksheet
  • Point of View in Literature
  • Discussion Worksheet Templates
  • Images and Text Worksheets
  • Back to School Worksheets
  • Main Idea Template

Happy Creating!

Frequently Asked Questions About Open Response Worksheets

How can they be used in the classroom.

Open response worksheets are versatile tools that can be used in various ways to assess students' comprehension, critical thinking, and writing skills in the classroom. They can be used as formative or summative assessments, homework, or in-class activities, allowing learners to demonstrate their understanding and application of knowledge and skills. Teachers can use them to gain insights into their students' understanding of the material and adjust their teaching strategies accordingly, provide feedback on specific areas for improvement or strengths in their students' writing, and differentiate instruction by providing different prompts or questions for different levels of students.

Can they be used for multiple choice questions?

No, open response worksheets are designed for written responses, not multiple choice questions. However, you can use these worksheets to assess multiple skills or knowledge areas by providing multiple prompts or questions. Short answer worksheets can be used alongside multiple choice questions to provide a variety of assessment options. Additionally, a short answer generator can be used to create responses that are similar in format and complexity to multiple choice questions. This allows for a more diverse range of assessment options within a single worksheet.

How do I design open response worksheets for differentiated learning?

To design open response worksheets for differentiated learning, consider creating prompts at varying levels of complexity, provide scaffolding and offer choice. Use multiple intelligences to appeal to different learning styles and provide feedback and reflection opportunities for students.

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Shorter responses and single paragraph answers

Often in exams and in assignments, you are required to give a shorter response, or write a single paragraph in response to a question or topic. Shorter and single paragraph responses are a little different from longer responses because they must be more focused and concise.

In this section

  • What is a shorter or single paragraph answer?
  • Identifying the command word/s, topics and focus
  • Illustration
  • Explanation
  • Signposting and flow

Example short answer paragraph

Review checklist, what is a shorter or single paragraph response.

Typically, a shorter response will be one to two paragraphs and often your assignment or exam will give you a specific word limit. A key difference between an essay and a shorter response is length; this means you must be very concise and focused. Although there is no set rule about paragraph and shorter answer length, usually paragraphs are between 4 to 8 sentences, or 90 to 200 words, long.

Usually in an essay, you will give a little background information and define key words and concepts before you give your thesis statement and begin your discussion. With a shorter or single paragraph response, however, this is usually unnecessary (unless, of course, you have been asked for definitions). Instead, you can simply get straight to the point and do what you have been asked to do.

Identifying the command words, topics and focus

Arguably, the most important step in giving a shorter or single paragraph response is to identify the command word/s and the topic/s of the question and where you are expected to focus. Note: there may be more than one command word, topic and focus in an assignment question or topic.

Normally, there are three main parts to a question or topic:

  • Command/s: These are command or directing words that tell you what to do, such as "Discuss", "Analyse", "Compare and contrast", "Critique", or "Evaluate". Sometimes there is more than one command in a question. For more examples of command words, see the section on assignment command words .
  • Topic/s: This is the general area(s) for your discussion. The topic/s can be determined by taking the command word/s and asking "what?" after each command word. For example, Discuss what? Compare and contrast what with what?
  • Focus: This is the specific area(s) of the topic that you need to concentrate on. Sometimes there is more than one focus in a question. The focus of a topic can usually be identified by extending the topic strategy above. For example, Discuss - what? - in relation to what?

In a shorter or single paragraph response, it is a good idea to mention your topic and focus in your first sentence. Often, a command word (discuss) is simply implied. For example, in the single paragraph topic "Discuss the implications of the government's Fee Free Tertiary Policy", the command word (discuss) is implied in the first sentence, and the topic (Fees Free Tertiary Policy), and focus (the implications of this policy) are explicitly stated (see example below).

With different command words (e.g. compare and contrast), however, the command word can be explicitly mentioned (E.g. This paragraph compares and contrasts the potential impacts of the Fees Free Policy with the previous policy of first year tertiary students paying fees, with a focus on inequality of access and future preparedness of workers).

How to structure a shorter or single paragraph response

Unlike an essay, in a shorter or single paragraph response, you should get straight to the point. Usually, it is ok to assume that the reader (i.e. the marker) will have some background knowledge so you may not need to give background information or define key terms as you would in an essay.

The acronym PIE (which stands for Point/Illustration/Explanation) may be helpful as a guide for developing well-structured, coherent paragraphs.

  • Point: The first sentence of your paragraph or short answer should immediately tell the reader what the topic is and what point you are making about this topic (this is also sometimes called a topic sentence). Generally, your first sentence tells the reader the topic and focus of your paragraph.
  • Illustration: The main part of your paragraph or short answer is the illustration which consists of reasons, supportive evidence and examples. The illustration can include facts, and published opinions or research.
  • Explanation: The explanation clarifies how the reader should interpret your illustrative evidence. Your explanation should relate to the main point of your paragraph or short answer.

Signpost language and flow

Flow refers to how cohesive your writing is and how it moves from point to point. Signpost words help to improve the readability and flow of your writing because they signal to the reader that you are making another illustrative point. Common examples of signpost language include "Firstly", "In addition" and "Also". Signposting words such as "In contrast" prepare the reader for a contrasting idea or point while "Similarly," tells the reader you are expanding on your previous illustrative point or explanation. For more examples of signpost language, see this signpost language handout .

It is also important to consider the order of your illustrative points and explanations- a logical progression of thought enhances readability and flow.

Note the first sentence of the example shorter response below- it tells the reader what the paragraph is about (the topic) and that there are two key points that are discussed (the focus). Although a brief explanation of the policy is given, this is not the focus of the paragraph. Also, pay attention to the signpost language in the paragraph (i.e. firstly, furthermore)- this tells the reader another point is being made. Finally, consider how each implication (i.e. increasing equality, improving preparedness for work) is introduced and explained.

Discuss the implications of the government's Fee Free Tertiary Policy.

There are two main implications of the government's Fees Free tertiary policy, which pays first year fees for first time students- increasing equality with respect to access to education, and improving student's preparedness for employment. Firstly, the Fees Free policy can help students who might not otherwise be able to access tertiary education or industry training without the need for debt. In particular, this policy could help students whose parents may not be able to help with fees. This has significant societal implications as increasing inequality is a growing concern across the world, and the Fees Free policy attempts to address this issue (Adern, 2018). Furthermore, the policy allows students to train for future jobs and this means the country will benefit from workers who are ready to enter employment. Although the policy has a cost, this must be compared with the cost of students not studying and also not working, possibly while on an unemployment benefit. Students who are employment-ready, may also mean less burden on employees who may not need to train staff.

As part of your review and editing process, it is a good idea to read your assignment topic or question several times (or even have it taped to your computer screen so you can refer to it while you write) and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you doing what your command word/s asked you to do? E.g. Are you analysing? Comparing and contrasting?
  • Does your first sentence tell the reader what your shorter response is about (your topic) and what the rest of your response will discuss (your focus)?
  • Are you focused on your topic throughout your response? Ideally, you should be able to pick out the key points of your illustrations and explanations and see a direct relationship to your topic and focus area.
  • Are you within the required word limit, or using the required structure (e.g. a single paragraph)?
  • Is your grammar and punctuation of an acceptable scholarly standard? Try reading your response aloud- sometimes hearing your writing can help identify errors that you may have missed.

Related sections

  • Exam short answer questions
  • Essay body paragraphs
  • StudyUp Knowledge to Go: How to construct a paragraph

Page authorised by Director - Centre for Learner Success Last updated on 4 March, 2021

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Free Response and Fill-in-the-Blank Questions

Free response questions present students with a question and a response object (or entry cell) in which to express their response.  Upon grading, the student response is evaluated against the correct answer defined for the question.  

The system provides many styles of automatically-graded free response question types that differ in terms of presentation, accepted response types, and the graders applied to student responses.  The range of question types includes questions that accept and grade symbolic and numeric mathematics, chemistry expressions, and a variety of text-based responses.  

List Questions, Blanks Questions, and Short Phrase Questions

There are three types of Text-based free response (or fill-in-the-blank) questions in the system.  Each evaluates student responses by comparing the student response text string to that of the correct answer (as coded into the question).

list questions

blanks questions

short phrase questions

Input Style and Options

1. Inline Blanks

Both List and Blanks questions allow you to display free response entry cell blanks inside the HTML question statement.  This method of presentation can provide inline student response cells anywhere within the question.

Both List questions and Blanks questions can be set to require students to enter text (textbox style presentation), or to select from a list of entries (menu-style presentation).  Each style has its advantages.

Use textbook style presentation when you want to evaluate short or long text responses in true fill-in-the-blank style.  You can set the grader to exact and enforce and exact match between the student response and the correct answer, or you can set it to relaxed , a more lenient grading style in which capitalization and punctuation are ignored.  

Alternatively, you may want to constrain student input and test general knowledge by providing a longer excerpt with isolated phrases blanked out, but using the menu style presentation to require that a student select from a drop-down list of possible answers.

2. Traditional Blanks Presentation

Because you control the HTML formatting inside the question as well as the position of the blanks inside a List or Blanks question, you can also use those question types to present a response cell on a separate line by inserting paragraph or line breaks inside the question statement.

Comparison of Question Types Supported

The List question offers the widest variety of response objects, the Short Phrase offers only the text style grader.

Comparison of List Questions vs. Blanks Questions

List and Blanks questions are very similar; however, List questions provide: a greater diversity of graders that can be applied, better control over the specification of multiple correct answers, and the ability to return partial credit for answers that are not 100% correct.  

Authoring Free Response Questions

The easiest way to create Blanks free response questions is by using the Question Bank Editor , but you can also author List questions using the LaTeX authoring or plain-text scripting methods.  

Key Word or Phrase Questions

Although similar to these question types, key word or phrase questions use a different grading approach for evaluating student responses, in which student responses are evaluated for the presence of an identified word or phrase anywhere within the student response.  

Short Phrase Questions

Blanks Questions

List Questions

Creating Fill-in-the-Blank Questions in the QBE

Fill-in-the-Blank Question Example Script

Fill-in-the-Blank Questions and Answers

Rules for Grading Free Response Questions

Using Scripts to Create Fill-in-the-Blank Questions

Text/String Free Response Question Types

Math Free Response Question Types

Discipline-specific Free Response Question Types

short answer questions require a blank response

Create a form in Word that users can complete or print

In Word, you can create a form that others can fill out and save or print.  To do this, you will start with baseline content in a document, potentially via a form template.  Then you can add content controls for elements such as check boxes, text boxes, date pickers, and drop-down lists. Optionally, these content controls can be linked to database information.  Following are the recommended action steps in sequence.  

Show the Developer tab

In Word, be sure you have the Developer tab displayed in the ribbon.  (See how here:  Show the developer tab .)

Open a template or a blank document on which to base the form

You can start with a template or just start from scratch with a blank document.

Start with a form template

Go to File > New .

In the  Search for online templates  field, type  Forms or the kind of form you want. Then press Enter .

In the displayed results, right-click any item, then select  Create. 

Start with a blank document 

Select Blank document .

Add content to the form

Go to the  Developer  tab Controls section where you can choose controls to add to your document or form. Hover over any icon therein to see what control type it represents. The various control types are described below. You can set properties on a control once it has been inserted.

To delete a content control, right-click it, then select Remove content control  in the pop-up menu. 

Note:  You can print a form that was created via content controls. However, the boxes around the content controls will not print.

Insert a text control

The rich text content control enables users to format text (e.g., bold, italic) and type multiple paragraphs. To limit these capabilities, use the plain text content control . 

Click or tap where you want to insert the control.

Rich text control button

To learn about setting specific properties on these controls, see Set or change properties for content controls .

Insert a picture control

A picture control is most often used for templates, but you can also add a picture control to a form.

Picture control button

Insert a building block control

Use a building block control  when you want users to choose a specific block of text. These are helpful when you need to add different boilerplate text depending on the document's specific purpose. You can create rich text content controls for each version of the boilerplate text, and then use a building block control as the container for the rich text content controls.

building block gallery control

Select Developer and content controls for the building block.

Developer tab showing content controls

Insert a combo box or a drop-down list

In a combo box, users can select from a list of choices that you provide or they can type in their own information. In a drop-down list, users can only select from the list of choices.

combo box button

Select the content control, and then select Properties .

To create a list of choices, select Add under Drop-Down List Properties .

Type a choice in Display Name , such as Yes , No , or Maybe .

Repeat this step until all of the choices are in the drop-down list.

Fill in any other properties that you want.

Note:  If you select the Contents cannot be edited check box, users won’t be able to click a choice.

Insert a date picker

Click or tap where you want to insert the date picker control.

Date picker button

Insert a check box

Click or tap where you want to insert the check box control.

Check box button

Use the legacy form controls

Legacy form controls are for compatibility with older versions of Word and consist of legacy form and Active X controls.

Click or tap where you want to insert a legacy control.

Legacy control button

Select the Legacy Form control or Active X Control that you want to include.

Set or change properties for content controls

Each content control has properties that you can set or change. For example, the Date Picker control offers options for the format you want to use to display the date.

Select the content control that you want to change.

Go to Developer > Properties .

Controls Properties  button

Change the properties that you want.

Add protection to a form

If you want to limit how much others can edit or format a form, use the Restrict Editing command:

Open the form that you want to lock or protect.

Select Developer > Restrict Editing .

Restrict editing button

After selecting restrictions, select Yes, Start Enforcing Protection .

Restrict editing panel

Advanced Tip:

If you want to protect only parts of the document, separate the document into sections and only protect the sections you want.

To do this, choose Select Sections in the Restrict Editing panel. For more info on sections, see Insert a section break .

Sections selector on Resrict sections panel

If the developer tab isn't displayed in the ribbon, see Show the Developer tab .

Open a template or use a blank document

To create a form in Word that others can fill out, start with a template or document and add content controls. Content controls include things like check boxes, text boxes, and drop-down lists. If you’re familiar with databases, these content controls can even be linked to data.

Go to File > New from Template .

New from template option

In Search, type form .

Double-click the template you want to use.

Select File > Save As , and pick a location to save the form.

In Save As , type a file name and then select Save .

Start with a blank document

Go to File > New Document .

New document option

Go to File > Save As .

Go to Developer , and then choose the controls that you want to add to the document or form. To remove a content control, select the control and press Delete. You can set Options on controls once inserted. From Options, you can add entry and exit macros to run when users interact with the controls, as well as list items for combo boxes, .

Adding content controls to your form

In the document, click or tap where you want to add a content control.

On Developer , select Text Box , Check Box , or Combo Box .

Developer tab with content controls

To set specific properties for the control, select Options , and set .

Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each control that you want to add.

Set options

Options let you set common settings, as well as control specific settings. Select a control and then select Options to set up or make changes.

Set common properties.

Select Macro to Run on lets you choose a recorded or custom macro to run on Entry or Exit from the field.

Bookmark Set a unique name or bookmark for each control.

Calculate on exit This forces Word to run or refresh any calculations, such as total price when the user exits the field.

Add Help Text Give hints or instructions for each field.

OK Saves settings and exits the panel.

Cancel Forgets changes and exits the panel.

Set specific properties for a Text box

Type Select form Regular text, Number, Date, Current Date, Current Time, or Calculation.

Default text sets optional instructional text that's displayed in the text box before the user types in the field. Set Text box enabled to allow the user to enter text into the field.

Maximum length sets the length of text that a user can enter. The default is Unlimited .

Text format can set whether text automatically formats to Uppercase , Lowercase , First capital, or Title case .

Text box enabled Lets the user enter text into a field. If there is default text, user text replaces it.

Set specific properties for a Check box .

Default Value Choose between Not checked or checked as default.

Checkbox size Set a size Exactly or Auto to change size as needed.

Check box enabled Lets the user check or clear the text box.

Set specific properties for a Combo box

Drop-down item Type in strings for the list box items. Press + or Enter to add an item to the list.

Items in drop-down list Shows your current list. Select an item and use the up or down arrows to change the order, Press - to remove a selected item.

Drop-down enabled Lets the user open the combo box and make selections.

Protect the form

Go to Developer > Protect Form .

Protect form button on the Developer tab

Note:  To unprotect the form and continue editing, select Protect Form again.

Save and close the form.

Test the form (optional)

If you want, you can test the form before you distribute it.

Protect the form.

Reopen the form, fill it out as the user would, and then save a copy.

Creating fillable forms isn’t available in Word for the web.

You can create the form with the desktop version of Word with the instructions in Create a fillable form .

When you save the document and reopen it in Word for the web, you’ll see the changes you made.

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IMAGES

  1. Short Answer Response Template

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  2. Short Answer Response Template

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  3. SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS

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  4. Skillbook Resources

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COMMENTS

  1. SDV 100

    Short answer questions require a___response? specific. Words like "always," "never," and "every" are words that are rarely found in a. correct option. It is best to try to answer a multiple choice question in your own head, rather than relying on the choices. true. Analyze: Break the concept into key parts.

  2. Short answer questions

    Short answer questions (or SAQs) can be used in examinations or as part of assessment tasks. They are generally questions that require students to construct a response. Short answer questions require a concise and focused response that may be factual, interpretive or a combination of the two. SAQs can also be used in a non-examination situation.

  3. Best Preparation Tips for Short Answer Tests

    Most tests contain at least a few short answer questions. The following are proven study and test preparation strategies that will help improve your performance on short answer/essay questions and tests. Contents show Best Short Answer Test Preparation Tips and Strategies Study for understanding

  4. Classroom Assessment

    Ask a direct question that has a definitive answer. If using fill-in-the blank, use only one blank per item. If using fill-in-the blank, place the blank near the end of the sentence. Although constructed response assessments can more easily demand higher levels of thinking, they are more difficult to score. For example, scantrons (optical grade ...

  5. TALIC

    Structure of Short Answer Questions. Short Answer Questions do not have a generic structure. Questions may require answers such as complete the sentence, supply the missing word, short descriptive or qualitative answers, diagrams with explanations etc. The answer is usually short, from one word to a few lines. Often students may answer in ...

  6. PDF PREPARING EFFECTIVE ESSAY QUESTIONS

    an effective essay question. There are assessment items other than essay questions that require students to construct responses (e.g., short answer, fill in the blank). Essay questions are different from these other constructed response items because they require more systematic and in-depth thinking. An effective essay question will align with ...

  7. PDF What Are Short Answer or Fill-in-the-blanks Questions?

    WHAT ARE SHORT ANSWER OR FILL-IN-THE-BLANKS QUESTIONS? These fixed response checks for learning ask students to supply the appropriate words, numbers, or symbols to answer a question or complete a statement. You may use them to minimize the guessing that students can do with multiple choice or true/false. WHEN DO I USE THEM?

  8. Short Answer Responses

    (1) To begin, turn the question into a statement and answer it: ex: What was the original purpose of the quilts? The original purpose of the quilts was to keep everyone warm at night. ex: How is Mrs. Stevenson feeling as the scene begins? At the beginning of the scene, Mrs. Stevenson is feeling nervous and frustrated.

  9. Create Short Answer Questions in the Question Library

    From the tool navigation, click Question Library. Select New. Select the question type: Short Answer Question (SA). In the Question Text field, enter your short answer question details. In the Answers for Blank 1 field, enter your answer (s). From the abc drop-down list for blank 1, select the comparison method, which is Text, Case-Sensitive ...

  10. Short Answer Question

    Short Answer are generally questions that require students to construct a response. They are designed to accommodate a concise and focused response that may be factual, interpretive or a combination of the two. Add a Short Answer question. ... Fill In The Blank question (Silver/Gold Feature) ...

  11. PDF Respondus Formatting Respondus Formatting Tips Tips

    Respondus will import multiple choice, true or false, essay (long answer), fill in blank (short answer), and multiple response (multi-select) questions. ... true or false, essay, fill in blank, and multiple response questions are described in theses instructions. Once your file is organized to the specifications described below, save it as a MS ...

  12. Short-Answer (Fill-in-the-Blank) and Essay

    6 SHORT-ANSWER (FILL-IN-THE-BLANK) AND ESSAY Short-answer and essay questions are examples of constructed-response items. With these items, the test-taker supplies an answer rather than selecting from options already provided. Because students supply the answers, this type of item reduces the chance of guessing.

  13. Writing Short-Answer Items in Naiku

    Short-answer items require a word, short phrase, or a number response. There are three different varieties of short-answer items. The question variety asks a direct question. The completion variety presents an incomplete sentence and requires the student to complete it.

  14. What Is a Short Answer and How Is It Used?

    Short answers are brief but complete—they can answer "yes or no" questions or more complicated queries. Conventionally, the verb in a short answer is in the same tense as the verb in the question asked. Also, the verb in the short answer should agree in person and number with its subject. Examples of Short Answers

  15. Short Answer Response Templates

    What is a Short Answer Response? As students progress through their academic journey, they encounter various assignments and tasks that require them to respond to prompts, questions, or readings. One of these tasks is the short answer response, which is common across different grade levels and subjects.

  16. Shorter responses and single paragraph answers

    A key difference between an essay and a shorter response is length; this means you must be very concise and focused. Although there is no set rule about paragraph and shorter answer length, usually paragraphs are between 4 to 8 sentences, or 90 to 200 words, long. Usually in an essay, you will give a little background information and define key ...

  17. Respondus Formatting Guide

    The formatting of the questions needs to be in a format that Respondus 4.0 can understand for multiple choice, true/false, short answer, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and multiple response questions. The Respondus Standard format has Required and Optional elements that are described below. Images can be imported as well.

  18. Chapter 5: Selected Response Assessment Flashcards

    when a clear, short answer is required and you want to determine if students know the answer, rather than if they can select it from a list what are the advantages of fill in the blank? it assesses production of a response, it reduces the possibility of getting the right answer by guessing, and it can cover lots of material efficiently

  19. Free Response

    Both List questions and Blanks questions can be set to require students to enter text (textbox style presentation), or to select from a list of entries (menu-style presentation). Each style has its advantages. Use textbook style presentation when you want to evaluate short or long text responses in true fill-in-the-blank style. You can set the grader to exact and enforce and exact match ...

  20. Create a form in Word that users can complete or print

    Open a template or use a blank document. To create a form in Word that others can fill out, start with a template or document and add content controls. Content controls include things like check boxes, text boxes, and drop-down lists. If you're familiar with databases, these content controls can even be linked to data.

  21. Response Tests Flashcards

    1. Be sure to find out ahead of time 2.Study in a place that is free of distractions. 3.Have ready all the things you will need, such as paper, pens, or a calculator. 4.Study at a time when you are alert and not hungry or sleepy. 5.Don't wait until the last minute to study! Short daily study sessions are better than one long session the night before the test. 6.Repetition is key!