Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Multiple Correct Answers in Google Form Quizzes

One of the most popular uses for Google Forms is creating online assessments for students. It is a quick, easy, and powerful way to create auto-grading quizzes. As with all Google tools, new features are continually being added, making Forms even more versatile for assessment.

Recently I came across an update for Forms (at least it was new to me) that allows teachers to create "Short Answer" questions which can support more than one correct answer. In the past you needed to use an additional tool, such as the Flubaroo add-on for Sheets, to be able to accept more than one right answer, but now you can do that with Google Form's built-in quiz feature.

See below for directions on how this works, and how you may want to take advantage of this neat option.

Use Cases for Multiple Correct Answers

In the past when you used the "Short Answer" question type in Google Forms, the student's answer had to match your answer exactly for them to get it correct. This included using the exact case, no extra words, no different punctuation, no common variations for abbreviations, and such.

Use Case #1

One use for this new option would be to allow for variations on the correct answer. For example, if you were to ask "What is the tallest mountain in the world?" wouldn't it be nice to be able to accept "Mount Everest" or "Mt. Everest" or "mount everest" or just "Everest"?

Use Case #2

Another scenario where this new feature could be helpful would be for more open-ended questions. For example, a question such as "Name a president from Ohio" would need to allow for seven different possible last names. (How many can you name?)

Thankfully, with Google Form, we are now able to accept multiple correct answers for "Short Answer" questions.


Here's how this works:

  • Begin by creating a "Short Answer" question as normal.
  • Type in your question.
  • Choose "Short answer" for the question type.
  • Click "Answer Key".

  • Set the point value for the question.
  • Now type in the first correct answer.
  • Below that, continue to type in other correct answers in the "Add a correct answer" spot.


If you check the box labeled "Mark all other answers incorrect" then if a student types in anything that is not on your list, the question will be marked wrong and they will be given zero points.

If you do not check the box labeled "Mark all other answers incorrect" then if the student types in something that is not on your list, the question will still be marked as incorrect, but no score will be given. The score for that question will remain blank until you add a score on the "Results" tab.

  • When done, click "Edit Question" to exit the "Answer Key" mode.
  • When back in edit mode, you will see all of the acceptable answers listed below the question.


This feature for Google Forms can make online assessments much more flexible. For example you can ask more sophisticated questions that have more than one correct answer. You can also account for variations in the correct answer, so that students are not marked wrong for a slight, but acceptable, difference in how they type their answer.

To see this feature in action, and to learn many more tips and tricks, be sure to check out my upcoming webinar (live or recorded):

Google Forms for Online Assessments
October 4, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm EST
Webinar link - http://ti.apps.sparcc.org/videopd/20171004-forms-quizzes
Description: With Google Forms built-in quiz feature you can easily create online assessments. The quizzes can be graded automatically, giving you and your students detailed results right away. This is a great tool to help prepare students for online standardized tests, deliver common assessments, and add more formative assessments to your class. Learn how to create quizzes with Forms, include a variety of question types, add images and videos, administer and grade the quiz, and more.

(By the way, the possible last names for presidents from Ohio are Harrison, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, McKinley, Taft, and Harding. Go Ohio!)

Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose from. Connect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+EricCurts1


  1. I've been using this feature for a couple weeks now, and it's working for me. I am a chemistry teacher, so many of my short answers are number. Is there a way to give a range of numbers as correct? For example the correct answer is 45.6, but I want to consider anything between 45.0 and 46.0 as correct, without having to type in the dozens of correct answers between (i.e. 45.1, 45.11, 45.12, 45.13..., etc.). Thanks for this post.

    1. Abbey, what if you stipulate only "tenths" or, if you use them, three significant figures. That at least restricts you to about 11 answers between 45.0 and 46.0. Just a thought.