Preparing Questions for Importation using Aiken/Plain Text Format

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Preparing Questions for Importation using the Aiken/Plain Text Format

There are a variety of import formats that you can use, but the Aiken/Plain Text format is likely one of the easiest if you are creating questions yourself.

You can use a plain text editor or Word to collect and/or compose quiz questions using the AIKEN format. The AIKEN format is a very simple way of creating multiple choice questions using a clear human-readable format.

Open Word or another text editor to compose/collect your questions.

Whether you copy and paste, or type your questions into the Word document you will need to make sure you are following the AIKEN format.

The AIKEN format is as follows:

  • Question text: The question text should not include a number and should be followed by a single line break.
  • Choices: The choices should all be labeled with a capital letter “A, B, C, etc.” followed by a period and a single space (or tab) before the answer text begins.
  • Answer: The word ANSWER should be typed in all caps followed by a colon (:), a space, and the letter of the correct choice. You will need to leave a blank line between this and the start of the next question.

NOTE: Formatting like font color, highlighting, and bold will not affect the final file so there is no reason to worry about that. Focus on making sure the text is correct, and meets the requirements above.


Once you’ve finished entering and formatting your questions, save the the documents as a plain text document with UTF-8 encoding

Click the File > Save As.

Choose a location you wish to save the file, or click Browse if you don’t see the folder listed.

Type in the File name in the Save As dialog box.

From the Save as type drop-down select Plain Text.

Click the Save button.

In the File conversion dialog box:

Select the Other encoding radio button.

Select Unicode (UTF-8) from the list of options.

Click the OK button.