How to Make Simple Quizzes in Microsoft PowerPoint

How to Make Simple Quizzes in Microsoft PowerPoint
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Getting Started

There are three different kinds of multiple-choice quizzes that can be created in PowerPoint – a quiz that gives immediate feedback as to whether you are right or wrong, a quiz that adds results to give a single score (‘eight out of ten’), or a quiz that gives several scores (‘five points for honesty, six points for friendliness…’). I’ll look at each of these in turn, but first I’ll explain the basics that underlie all three options. Please be aware, however, that PowerPoint is not a secure program and it will be relatively easy for users to cheat or break the system. These quizzes are for fun only!

The key to quiz design in PowerPoint is the Action Settings feature, which allows an object on the screen to be hyperlinked so that it triggers some activity when it is clicked with the mouse. The object might be a block of text, a clipart picture, or a drawn image like a circle or a star. For our quiz, we will keep it simple and use the text of the possible answers as our hyperlinks. Our different types of quizzes will be created by calling on different actions in these hyperlinks.

Our first step is to create a new blank presentation, choose a layout style and colour scheme and put a suitable title on the first slide. Then add a new bullet point slide with Insert / New Slide, and enter the first question as the title of this slide. Add each of the possible answers as separate lines with bullet points.

Now we need some text to appear on every page. Go to View / Master / Slide Master to bring up the display of the background material behind each slide. Select the Text Box icon from the Drawing toolbar (usually at the bottom of the screen) and draw a text box. Write some simple instructions in the box: ‘Click on the correct answer to respond. Click here to move to the next slide. Click here to exit’.

A Basic Quiz with Instant Feedback

PowerPoint Quiz slide

Highlight the first ‘here’ and press the right mouse button. Choose ‘Action Settings’ then ‘Hyperlink To’. ‘Next Slide’ should be the default option, but if not you can select it from the drop-down menu. Highlight the second ‘here’ and use ‘Action Settings’ again to hyperlink it to ‘End Show’. Position the text box at the side or the bottom of the master slide and close the master with View / Normal. Now select ‘Header and Footer’ from the View menu to add a number to each slide. The screenshot shows the results so far

The easiest form of quiz to prepare is one that gives the user immediate feedback after each question - right or wrong. To set this up we will need to add two more title slides to the presentation. Use Insert / New Slide and then click the ‘Title Only’ layout thumbnails in the panel at the right. Give one the title ‘Correct!’ and the other the title ‘Incorrect!’. For each of these slides, go to the Slide Show menu and select ‘Hide Slide’, so that the slide will not appear in sequence as part of the quiz. Finally, add a text box to each of the two slides which says ‘Return to quiz’.

Select the words ‘Return to quiz’ on the ‘Correct!’ slide and right-click to bring up a local menu. Click on ‘Action Settings’ and choose the ‘Mouse Click’ tab. Select the ‘Hyperlink to’ option and choose ‘Last Slide Viewed’. Click on OK to close the dialog box.

Continue on to the next page for more details on how to create quizzes in PowerPoint.

Basic Quizzes (Continued)

Repeat the same process on the ‘Incorrect!’ slide. Now return to the question slide and highlight each of the three wrong answers. Right-click and use ‘Action Settings’ to link it to the ‘Incorrect!’ slide.

Highlight the correct answer and use ‘Action Settings’ to link it to the ‘Correct!’ slide. Create some more questions by using Insert / New Slide or by copying your existing question slide. Add a final slide at the end of the show which thanks users for their time. Save and run the slide show. You now have a simple quiz where the user sees immediately whether they are right or wrong. Add some more questions and try it on your friends!

Advanced Quizzes 1 – A Running Total

Our next type of quiz will keep a running total of the user’s score. Every time they get the answer right, one will be added to that total. To prevent them from cheating, the quiz will move automatically to the next slide after they answer each question.

To set this up we need to write a few simple macros – mini-programs which run in the background when a link is clicked. The first macro will add set the user’s score to zero at the beginning of the quiz. The second macro adds one to the user’s score when they select a correct answer. The third macro will write that score on the screen when the last slide appears.

We will use the simple quiz as the basis for this, so save your simple quiz under a new name. Go to the first slide and select each incorrect answer. Change the Action Settings so that it hyperlinks to the next slide. Repeat for all the other slides. You can also return to the Slide Master and delete the text that says ‘Click here to proceed to the next slide’, since that now happens automatically. Also delete the two hidden slides which say ‘Correct!’ and ‘Incorrect!’ – we don’t need those any more.

Now for our first macro. Select Tools / Macro / Macros and type the name of our new macro ‘Correct’. Press Enter and this will put you in the Visual Basic Editor. Select and delete all the text in the Editor, and replace it with the text shown below:

Macros for quiz feedback

Horizontal lines will appear separating the variable declaration in the top line from the subroutine below it, and separating each subroutine. I have included comments explaining what each routine does.

The next page gives examples of macro code that can be used to develop more advanced quizzes in PowerPoint.

Running Total Quiz - Macro Code

Public NumberCorrect As Integer

‘Public variables retain their value so they can be added to each time a macro is run.

Sub Initialise()

‘Sets the score to zero so it’s not added to the previous user’s total, and goes to the first question.

NumberCorrect = 0


End Sub

Sub Correct()

‘Adds one to the total correct and moves to the next slide

NumberCorrect = NumberCorrect + 1


End Sub

Sub Display()

‘Shows the result in a pop-up message box with some explanatory text

MsgBox (“You got " & NumberCorrect & " questions right”)

End Sub

Running Your PowerPoint Quiz

Close the Visual Basic Editor and return to our very first (title) slide. Add some text that says ‘Click here to begin.’ Highlight the word ‘here’ and select ‘Action Settings’ and ‘Run Macro’. Select the Initialise macro. This will set the score to zero at the beginning of the test. Otherwise it will remember the previous user’s score and add to that.

Modified title slide

Go to the first question slide. Select the correct answer and select ‘Action Settings’ and ‘Run Macro’. The ‘Correct’ macro should be selected in the drop-down list. Repeat on each question slide.

Go to the final slide and add some text which says ‘Show my score’. Select this and hyperlink it to the ‘Display’ macro. This will open a message box which displays the user’s score.

Run the presentation. Users should be able to answer all the questions in the quiz and see their score come up at the end.

Multiple scores

To create a magazine-style quiz which measures several factors at once, just add a separate score variable and macro for each factor. For instance, if your quiz was measuring Friendliness, Generosity and Honesty, your Macro page might look like the one shown below.

Each possible answer is then hyperlinked to the appropriate macro, so that clicking on it adds one to the relevant score and moves to the next slide.

Multiple scores quiz - macro code

Public FriendliScore, GeneroScore, HonestyScore As Integer

Sub Initialise()

‘Set all scores to zero and go to next slide

FriendliScore = 0

GeneroScore = 0

HonestyScore = 0


End Sub

Sub AddFriendli()

FriendliScore = FriendliScore + 1


End Sub

Sub AddGenero()

‘Add one to Generosity score and go to next slide

GeneroScore = GeneroScore + 1


End Sub

Sub AddHonesty()

‘Add one to Honesty score and go to next slide

HonestyScore = HonestyScore + 1


End Sub

Sub Display()

‘Show the results in a pop-up message box

MsgBox (“Friendliness = " & FriendliScore & " Generosity = " & GeneroScore & " Honesty = " & HonestyScore)

End Sub

Advanced Quizzes - Where Next?

I have kept this tutorial as simple as possible, but here are some other options you may want to explore when you are comfortable with the approach:

  • Macros which add more than one point to a score, or subtract points from a score in the event of a wrong answer
  • Hyperlinking from clipart images or fancy buttons rather than text
  • A button that can display the user’s current total at any time during the presentation (hint: use the Slide Master).
  • A quiz that brings up different new questions based on the user’s response to the previous one (getting difficult!)

Happy quizzing! But remember that PowerPoint is a general-purpose package, and that if you want to create quizzes that are more secure or elaborate you will need a more specialised application. A Google search for ‘quiz software’ is a good way to start looking.