With Matching questions, students pair items in one column to items in another column. The number of items in each column doesn’t have to be equal because you can reuse answers and add unmatched answer choices. Unmatched answer choices are distractors that don’t match any item and increase the question's difficulty. Some instructors use distractors so students can’t guess at answers by the process of elimination.


Match the animals to their diets.

Students match pig, lion, zebra, horse, and hedgehog to the answers: carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore.

In this example, students need to use some answers more than once.

Create a Matching question

  1. Access a test, survey, or pool. From the Create Question menu, select Matching.
  2. Type the Question Text.
  3. Select Answer Numbering from the menu or leave the default.
  4. Select the Number of Questions from the menu. The default number of question items is 4 and the maximum is 100. If you want fewer than 4 question items, you can select Remove above a question's editor.
  5. Type question and answer pairs. You can reuse an answer from another pair. Below an answer field, select the check box: Reuse answer choice from and make a selection in the menu.

    You can also add files or media to the question text.

  6. Optionally, you can select Add unmatched answer choices and choose a number. Unmatched answer choices can increase the question's difficulty.
  7. Answer Order is set to Randomly by default. You can choose Manually to press and drag answers to the positions you want them to appear.
  8. Optionally, type feedback for correct and incorrect answers.
  9. Select Submit and Create Another or Submit to add the question to the test.

Partial and negative credit

You can allow partial and negative credit for Matching questions. Partial credit rewards students whose answers demonstrate they know some of the material. You type the partial credit percentage for each answer. Use negative credit to discourage guessing. You can allow negative scores for incorrect answers and for the question.

You must enable the options to specify partial or negative credit on the Question Settings page to use them for individual questions. The option to allow negative scores won't appear unless you selected the option to allow partial credit.

More on partial and negative credit