How many attempts at a question should you give?

Jan 06, 2012

I've been wondering about how many attempts at a question in a quiz should I give to my learners.  Quizmaker allows you to give up to 10 or unlimited.  What parameters do any of you consider when designing this aspect of your learning?  The type of learning I am designing is self-paced learning modules, so I'm especially curious to hear from those who are or have developed this kind of learning experience.



3 Replies
Patti Bryant


Our rule of thumb is to allow learners 3 tries for a quiz. We do this for almost all topics because our Training Department feels that after 3 tries, the learner may need some one on one guidance.

Our "Fail" slides state "This quiz allows a maximum of 3 attempts. After 3 attempts, please contact your Manager for assistance." There is a process in place for the managers to go over the information that the learner is having issues with and then we reset the learners attempts and allow them to try again.

This may not be the best approach, but it is currently our standard. I hope this helps!

Robin Fenner

Hi Rachel

I think it depends on the type of learning.  You mention self-paced learning modules, so I tend to allow the learners unlimited chances for any quizzes that are testing understanding, but I restrict my 'end of course quiz' to only one attempt.  

Learners can then re-start the course and try again on the final quiz, but that way, there is no cheating on the recording of the final result scores (and some training managers / people managers want to see the actual scores not the re-sit scores!)

Rachel Leigh

Thanks everyone for sharing your strategies.  My learners are not employees in my dept, they are employees in other organizations.  I currently do not know if passing the quiz has implications for any of the employee groups.  So, I decided to go with 1 attempt per question with the correct answer in the feedback pop for each question and unlimited attempts at each quiz.  There are 4 quizzes in this module.

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