How to Use Settings in Item Authoring

When creating an item, you may wish to designate whether the item is to be included in formative or summative tests. Likewise, you may want to attach a marking scheme for human-marked questions. This article outlines how to use an item's settings menu in ‘Item Authoring’.

At the bottom of each ‘Edit’ page in ‘Item Authoring’, you can change the settings and tags associated with that item. Selecting the ‘Edit Settings’ button will present a pop-up with additional options.

Item Purpose

In the ‘Edit Settings’ menu, you can specify your item's category for administrative purposes. Your choices are: ‘Summative’, ‘Formative’, ‘Unspecified’, and ‘Sample Item’.

‘Summative’ items are reserved for high-stakes examinations; ‘Formative’ items are used in learning exercises that have little to no weighting in the candidate’s final mark; ‘Unspecified’ items have no defined purpose; ‘Sample Items’ are non-marked questions included in a test’s introduction section for candidates to practice using Surpass.

Marking Type

You can specify the marking type as ‘Computer (Auto)’ or ‘Human’, which determines if the item is marked by the system or if it will go to the ‘Mark’ screen of ‘Test Administration’ for manual marking. Some questions require human-marking, such as Essay, File Attach, Voice Capture, and Equation Entry.

Marking Scheme

If an item is specified for human-marking, the ‘Marking Scheme’ option becomes available and you will be able to upload a .docx format marking scheme for that item. The marking scheme will not be visible to candidates, but is available for markers when marking the item.

Note: .doc files (i.e., Word 97-2003 Documents) are not supported as marking schemes.


For further information, visit the ‘Settings’ page on the Surpass Help Site.

Feedback and Knowledge Base