We suggest using the same standards we do, in order to give candidates a consistent experience across all tests.
Consistency is key with assessment taking. You don't want your candidates spending valuable time getting oriented with different layouts across different tests. This article outlines the formatting standards we use at TestGorilla, so that you can ensure your own company tests match. Custom tests are available to Account Owners, Admins, and Recruiters on the Pro plans.
In this article
- Formatting questions (general)
- Including instructions with your question
- Using quotes in questions
- Citing sources
- Introducing true/false questions
Formatting questions (general)
Let's start with the basics. If your question is just one sentence, do not apply any special formatting.
Highlight text using bold
If highlighting part of the question makes things easier to understand, you should use bold text.
If your question requires a few lines of context first, separate the context and question with a line break by hitting enter. Then make the question itself bold.
Write questions as actual questions
Avoid using incomplete sentences ending with a colon (:) or ellipsis (...). For example, don't say "The core elements of UX design are:" Instead, ask the full question, "What are the core elements of good UX design?"
Including instructions with your question
If your question contains instructions for the candidate, use italics.
Using quotes in questions
If you quote a text, make it stand out by using the quote feature:
|Tip: As these questions are entirely your own creation, please feel free to use whichever language you want!|
If you need to cite a source, put it below the actual question. Separate it by hitting enter three times, then put it in italics.
Referring to images, keys, and menu items.
Questions and answers will often reference screenshots, keyboard keys, or menu items to clarify their meaning — especially on technical and software tests.
Referring to images and screenshots
If the question only includes one image, simply say "as shown in the image below" or something similar.
If the question and answers refer to multiple images, name the images and reference the appropriate name.
If you're using a combination of image references and keyboard keys, see the keyboard section next.
Referring to keyboard keys and mouse actions
Capitalize keyboard keys, using both PC and Apple versions, and accompany them with the appropriate action.
Press Control (PC)/Command (Apple) + F.
Mouse or trackpad actions don't need special formatting.
Double-click the left key, etc.
When combining keyboard actions with screenshot images, include the screenshot images in quotes.
Press Control + "C" (where "C" refers to image or point "C" offered in a screenshot).
Referring to menu items
When referring to menu items in a software, use bold formatting and copy the capitalization used in the software. For example, Click File and select Save as... or click Edit > Image, etc.
Placement of images and blocks of code
Write questions and/or any introductory text above an image or block of code —never below it — and add a line break — by hitting Enter — between the last line of text and the image, as shown below.
If a question requires candidates to review images or pieces of code in a specific order you can add the question at the end (but only where absolutely necessary).
Make sure to capitalize official names of methods, tools, features, etc.
Insert small snippets of code using the in-line code function, then bold the text.
Multiple lines of code go in a code block:
Introducing true/false questions
For true or false question types, always include True or false: — in bold — before the sentence the candidates must evaluate for clarity.
Placing answers in a specific order
By default, the answer options to multiple-choice questions appear in random order when presented to candidates.
Uncheck the Shuffle answers box located in the bottom right corner of your answer module if there is a logical order to your answer options and you want your answers to stay in that order.
If the same answer options appear for multiple questions in your test, you should uncheck the Shuffle answers box for all relevant questions. This makes it easier for candidates to select their answers.
Introducing answers to multiple response questions
|Caution: For multiple-response questions, do not include a Select all that apply instruction, or anything similar in your question description. This is already given by the software above the answers for every multiple-response question, as pictured below.|
Using periods — or not — at the end of answers
For answers that include any verb form, even if it's just a participle — like “driving home” or “taking the trash out” — use a period. When the answer uses only nouns and/or adjectives — like “home” or “at the shop” — don’t use a period :
If there's a mix of answers that use verb forms and answers that don't, first check to see if you can rewrite all answers in the same format so that they all include or don't include a period. If that's not possible, use a period in all answers to that question for consistency.
Did you know?
We have a five-article series, to help you create your own tests using the TestGorilla platform.
The full series includes:
- Developing an effective screening test
- Choosing a question type
- Writing situational judgment questions
- How to create and use your own test
- Creating a coding question or test (optional)
If you're making a test and you haven't read that series, we highly recommend you do so, starting with: Developing an effective screening test