Using Images in Surpass

When creating question items for your tests, it may be helpful to supplement each question, or each set of related question items, with an image. Images can act as dividers between different question sets, keep candidates engaged with a test, and allow content to be more relatable and memorable.

As candidates are often faced with time limits, images can give questions deeper contexts more quickly than text alone.

Good Practice Tip: Aim to use images that relate to, but do not distract from, the question content.

Using an image as a memory aid

Images are particularly useful when writing scenario-based or ‘Memory Aid’ questions, which include situational context and characters with names and purposes. Images themselves act as memory aids and can bolster the narratives of scenario-based questions. To read more about memory aid questions, see the Knowledge Base article Using Memory Aids in a Question.

Note: Although your image should be relevant to the question, be careful not to give away the answer. For example, if the answer is 'Australia', do not include an image of the Australian flag.

Including an image in Surpass

There are two ways to add images in the ‘Item Authoring’ section of Surpass: you can import numerous images to a subject-specific media library or you can add images separately on an item-by-item basis.

Note: In 'Preview' mode, you can view images set to open as pop-ups in their full size to check the correct image has been assigned to the item.

Including images as answer options

When creating Multiple Choice, Multiple Response, and Either/Or questions, you can include images as answer options instead of text. Select the answer stem on the question’s ‘Edit’ screen to reveal the formatting toolbar. Choosing the picture icon allows you to select a relevant image for the answer.

You cannot combine an image, equation, and text in a single answer stem. However, you can combine these options within a question (e.g., a Multiple Choice question with a text answer option, an equation answer option, and an image answer option).


Copyright Notice: When using images, always ensure you are not in breach of copyright restrictions. Take care to check that licences for second- and third-party images (e.g., from stock image providers) are valid and cover your usage.

Never take images directly from the internet without proper attribution of owner and licence information.

When in doubt, either contact the copyright holder or source public domain/licence-free images. Alternatively, create your own images.

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