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How do I create a fill in the blank question?

A fill in the blank question presents students with a sentence or paragraph that includes text boxes where they will enter missing text.  You can specify one or more possible correct answers for each blank. You can also choose how restrictive the correct responses must be; for example, blanks in the question can be case sensitive, so students must match the correct answers exactly with respect to upper and lower case letters.

Note: To have students to fill in the blanks with numbers, where the correct answer can be any value within a specified range of numbers, use a numeric response question instead.

The steps in this article assume that you have already gone to the Tests & Quizzes tool and selected an assessment, but if you need more help completing these steps, open the links below.

Go to Tests & Quizzes.

Select the Tests & Quizzes tool from the Tool Menu of your site.

Select an assessment.

Questions may be added to a new or existing assessment, or added directly to a question pool as described in How do I add a question to a question pool?

Create a new assessment.

Create from Scratch with assessment builder selected

For steps to create a new assessment, see How do I create an assessment?

Or edit an existing assessment.

Select Edit from the Action drop-down menu for the assessment.


  • Assessment editing must take place in the Working Copies tab or in the Published Copies tab before anyone accesses the assessment to take it.
  • Changes made to assessments in Working Copies do not affect assessments in Published Copies, and vice versa.

Select Fill in the Blank from the Add Question menu.

Use the Add Question drop-down menu to select a question type, and choose Fill in the Blank.

Set the point value for the question.

Enter an Answer Point Value into the text box.

Tip: An assessment's total point value is the sum of all its questions' point values (e.g., an assessment with 10 questions worth 10 points each will be worth 100 total points).

Note: The total point value of a fill in the blank question is divided by the number of blanks in the question text. For example, a 10-point question with two blanks will award a student 5 points for each correct answer.

Display point value while students are taking the exam.

To Display Point Value while student is taking the exam, leave the default value of Yes.  To hide the point value, select No.

Note: To hide the point values for ALL questions in your assessment, it is recommended to select this option in the assessment Settings rather than for individual questions.

Add a minimum point value. (Optional)

Enter a Minimum Point Value to automatically award students the minimum value for answering the question, regardless of their answer.  Students who leave the answer blank will not receive the minimum point value.

Enable custom field markers. (Optional)

By default, fill in the blank questions use curly brackets { } to mark correct answers. If you plan to use curly brackets in either your question or answer text:

  1. Select the Custom option for Fill in the Blank Field Markers.
  2. In the Custom Markers text box, change the {} to your desired markers.

After navigating away from the text box, the instructions for Defining Answers mentioned in the step below will update automatically to include your new field markers.

Note: Custom Markers should be characters that you will not use in your question text. For example, if parentheses are not included in the text, you could enter () as your Custom Markers.

Enter the question text.

  1. Note the instructions for Defining Answers.  Where blanks should appear in the text, enter the possible answer(s) between curly brackets { } (or between your custom field markers, if enabled), for example: {answer}.

    For a blank to have more than one possible correct answer, use a pipe | between each correct answer option, for example: {answer 1|answer 2|answer 3}.

    You can also use an asterisk to accept any set of letters, numbers, or symbols as correct.  For example, if you enter {ans*}, any of the following responses would be correct: answer, ans (autonomic nervous system), ansi.
  2. Enter the Question Text into the Rich-Text Editor.

Tip: Some instructors use fill in the blank questions with the correct answer {*} for homework questions where students must submit a very short answer (for example, a few words).  Anything a student types in the box will be marked correct.

Select options to make answer requirements more or less restrictive, if desired.

The case sensitive and mutually exclusive options make answer requirements more strict.  The ignore spaces option allows students to add or omit spaces in their responses and the answer will still be marked correct.  See below for more information about each of these options.

Case sensitive?

Check the Case sensitive? box to require that a student's response match the correct answer exactly with respect to upper and lower case letters.

Example of a case sensitive question:

Question seen by student: The University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by ___.

Question when authored: The University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by {Thomas Jefferson}.

Correct answer: Thomas Jefferson

Incorrect answer: thomas jefferson

Mutually exclusive?

Check the Mutually exclusive? box if the question has more than one blank with the same answer options, and a student must supply a different answer in each blank for the submission to be correct.

Example of a mutually exclusive question:

Question seen by student: Male and female children are also called ___ and ___.

Question when authored: Male and female children are also called {boys|girls} and {boys|girls}.

Correct answer: boys and girls OR girls and boys

Half credit: boys and boys OR girls and girls

Ignore Spaces?

Check the Ignore spaces? box to accept an answer as correct whether or not the student enters spaces in their response.

Example of a question that ignores spaces:

Question seen by student: Freezing temperature is ___ Fahrenheit.

Question when authored: Freezing temperature is {32 degrees} Fahrenheit.

Some possible correct answers: 32 degrees, 32degrees, 32   degrees, 32 degrees  

Add attachment(s). (Optional)

To provide additional resources related to the question or to include question text in an attached document, select Add Attachments to browse for and upload a file.

Assign to a part. (Optional)

If the assessment has more than one part, you may use the Assign to Part drop-down menu to choose the Part where the question will be added.

Assign to a question pool. (Optional)

To add the question to a question pool, Select a pool name from the Assign to Question Pool drop-down menu.

Adding a question to a pool places a copy of the question in the pool and leaves a copy of the question in the current assessment.  For more information on question pools, see What is a question pool?

Provide answer feedback. (Optional)

You may add Correct or Incorrect Answer Feedback which you can make available to students.

Note: If you include feedback here, you will also need to make it available to students in the Feedback Settings for students to access it.

Select Save.