Instructor guide to creating practice tests

Udemy practice tests are formative assessments intended to mirror a certification exam experience for learners as they complete a course or take a practice test only course. They provide learners with opportunities to practice test-taking strategies, understand their exam readiness, and help them decide what to work on next in preparation to take a certification exam. They also give you the opportunity to provide scalable feedback on learners’ work so that learners can improve their readiness for the certification exams.

Of note: We leave it up to you on how you’d like to create practice tests, but we’re outlining the following so that you’re informed about how we think of practice tests and continue to improve and build out the tool off of these assumptions.

Why should I add practice tests to my course?

You can provide a more engaging and robust learning experience by including practice tests in your certification-prep courses. We’re seeing more learners come to Udemy to prepare for certifications and badges (e.g. AWS, Microsoft Azure, PMP) in order to prepare for a career transition or demonstrate their knowledge to current employers. Therefore, practice tests should be included in courses where you would like to give learners the opportunity to practice for a certification exam (or other type of standardized test) in an authentic environment that mimics the exam experience.



How to create a practice test

1.  Download and use the certification exam blueprint to outline the domains from the certification exam

  • Include question types (multiple choice, multi-select, and fill in the blank) that mirror those that are found on the real certification exam.
  • The number of questions on the Practice Test should be similar to the real certification exam.
  • Each question should be aligned to a domain from the certification exam blueprint. This will allow learners to better understand which areas to focus on when they view their score report. 
  • Each question should also be aligned to the LOs from the certification exam blueprint. 

2. Create the practice test question-by-question, making sure to align with the certification exam blueprint.

For each question:

  1. Select the domain (within the practice test tool) from the certification exam blueprint that the item is aligned to. 
  2. Align the item to a learning objective from the certification exam blueprint.
    Note: In its current state, it is not possible to indicate the learning objective within the practice test tool. However, this is still a best practice for creating high-quality practice tests.
  3. Write the question. The question should be similar to items from authentic certification exams, with regard to question types, level of difficulty, question format, and question length. Additionally, the question should be:
    • Accessible: Items should follow known accessibility guidelines. Note: See additional information about accessibility
    • Inclusive:  Items should use globally relatable business contexts, use plain language, avoid names, avoid stereotypes, and use gender neutral pronouns (”they”). 
    • Readable: Items should be concise, only include details necessary to answer the question, and use plain language as often as possible. 
    • Technically fair:  Items should only use terms that all learners taking the assessment should know.
  4. Write the answer choices (both correct and incorrect).
    Keep in mind that the answer choices should have a technically correct answer that is unguessable (learners shouldn’t be able to guess the right answer without knowing the content) and unambiguous (items should use positive framings and be straightforward). Additionally, the number of answer choices for each item should reflect the authentic certification exam.
  5. Write the answer explanations.
    A detailed explanation should be provided for each question and clearly and concisely provide rationale for each answer choice. Address any misconceptions that are associated with the incorrect options.

    • For multiple choice and multiple select questions, a best practice is to include an explanation for each answer choice that explains why the answer is correct or incorrect.
    • For multiple select questions, the “overall explanation” field can also be used to make connections between the correct answer choices.
    • For fill in the blank questions, one answer should be provided for the entire question.
      Key tip: Any explanations that are generated with AI should be reviewed and edited to ensure that they are accurate and high-quality.
  6. Add relevant resources that learners can explore to learn the skills and content covered by the question.
    Learners should be provided with high-quality resources (including lectures and/or reference material) for each question so that they can learn the content and skills necessary to answer the question. This will allow learners to learn from their mistakes, which improves learning outcomes.

3. Review the practice test once you’re done creating the exam.

  1. First, go back and check that all domains from the certification exam are covered. Also check that all LOs from the certification exam blueprint have been covered in the Practice Test (ideally, with weights similar to those found on the cert exam).
  2. Preview your practice test and take the full exam. At this time, review and search for any errors.

4. Publish




Interactive learning activity comparison: Practice tests vs. Quizzes

In case you’re curious about the differences between practice tests and quizzes, we’ve created the following table to compare the two interactive learning experiences.

Practice test Quiz
Goal For learners to practice answering questions in preparation to take a certification exam.  For learners to check their understanding of different learning objectives while completing a course. 
Definition Practice experiences with formative assessment capabilities for learners as they complete a course or take a practice test only course Formative assessments throughout a course 
Post-practice learner experience Learners are provided with a score report after completing the entire Practice Test that includes the learner’s score (broken down by domain), along with an explanation and resource(s) for each question Learners are provided with the correct answer and explanation after they answer each question and a final score at the end of the quiz
Time limit Timed experience for learners; usually relatively long to reflect third-party certification exams Not a timed experience for learners; usually relatively short 
Question types available Multiple choice, multi-select, and fill-in-the-blank Multiple choice
Related content Instructors can select a lecture and/or reference material to support learners with learning the content & skills needed to answer the question Instructors can select only a related lecture to support learners with learning the content & skills needed to answer the question
Test blueprint alignment Instructors can align each question to a domain that shows up in the post-exam learner report Questions are not aligned to domains
Answer explanations For multiple-choice or multi-select questions, instructors can provide an explanation for each answer choice and/or write one explanation for the entire question For multiple-choice questions, instructors can provide an explanation for each answer choice
Course inclusion Practice tests can be included throughout or at the end of a regular course (limit: 2) or as a practice test only course (limit: 6). Instructors can only include quizzes throughout a course.

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