July 2011

A review of the latest developments in test-making software


Dr. Robert Kirkpatrick
Shinawatra International University

Dr Robert came over in July and presented some interesting ideas about what test-making software is on the market and which program he selected.

As editor of Language Testing in Asia journal, and an associate editor of the Asian EFL journal, I feel his views on this subject are very important.

After listing popular free and commercial test/quiz making software and reviewing the best ones in detail, Dr Robert went on to explain ways to use software in and out of class and the benefits students and teachers gain from online and computer based testing.

He added that one of the beauties of the advanced software currently available is that it allows teachers to make sophisticated and attractive tests that are objective, automatically marked, and difficult to cheat.

In the past, hardware and software costs and internet accessibility somewhat restricted the use of computers and online programs in education. Now most students have computers and in his university, as with many others, a notebook computer is a basic accessory (along with a smart phone) with the university providing free wifi inside and outside the classroom.

With this background in mind, Dr Robert talked about his lengthy search and a few trials he made with available software. While there were several free or near to free quiz makers available, one cost $700 USD and another about $2,000 USD.

Undaunted, he surveyed many of the available testing software, including


Based on his research, the runner up is Quiz Creator by Wondershare.

His winner was Questionwriter.

  • Created files must be uploaded to your website or to their free test management website
  • Numerous question types and formats
  • Publish to Internet, Moodle, etc
  • Test results to LMS, QMS, database or e-mail
  • United Kingdom company
  • Cost: $195 to $395 USD per license plus discount for academic
  • Product website: http://www.questionwriter.com/

He chose Questionwriter (winner of the Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Technology 2011 because of its excellent support AND the very convenient Questionwritertracker.com(QWT) site which allows for free upload and storage of tests. QWT also stores results.

In closing, he added that he is well aware many teachers may not be willing to spend money on testing software and in that case recommended looking at the free software that can do many of the tasks that commercial can- albeit not as easily or beautifully as commercial software.

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