Zoho Challenge: Negative Scoring and Multiple Question Banks

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You might remember from your days in college or taking standardized tests (SAT, GMAT, GRE) that sometimes it’s better to leave a question blank than to answer it wrong. But the total score is not the only thing that gets evaluated. In some cases, candidates are also evaluated on marks and submission time.

In Zoho Challenge 2.0, we recently rolled out a few features that make it a breeze to conduct online Competitive tests. These online tests are evaluated instantly, and also produce rank and time-ordered candidate listing. And now, you can also setup negative scores and also auto-evaluate answers with negative scoring.

Negative Marks in Zoho Challenge

As you’d expect, negative scoring is applied only for questions the candidate attempts. Negative scores can be applied either as a % of the max marks for the attempted question or as a flat negative mark. That way, you can set different penalties for guessing on different kinds of questions.

Sourcing Quiz Questions from multiple Question Banks:

Previously, you could only source questions for a test from a single question bank. We’ve improved this, so now you can create online quizzes from multiple question banks.

Now you can organize your exam questions in multiple question banks and bring them together in the test.

Both these features are available in our Premium plan. Try Zoho Challenge and create your online test in minutes.

Zoho Challenge – new customers and new features

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It has been a month since we launched Zoho Challenge 2.0 and so far we are pretty happy with the response we’ve gotten. Our original target for the service was, as you’d probably imagine, the educational sector. But one of the things we’ve learned after going live with the service is that Zoho Challenge is well suited not only for schools, but also for the commercial sectors. We are (pleasantly!) surprised by the high uptake from customers other than education, including SMB customers – who are the mainstay of Zoho’s customer base are taking to the service pretty well.

So far, we have observed that businesses use Zoho Challenge for

  1. Training and assessment needs for customers – used by training centers
  2. Conduct knowledge assessments for employees
  3. Internal training, validation and continuous improvement
  4. Recruitment self assessment
  5. Recruitment screening

Most of these scenarios are new ones that, quite honestly, we didn’t think about before. We are glad to note that Zoho Challenge clearly addresses these requirements as well.

As a ‘thank you’ note to the business users, we have made iFrame embeddable online tests available right from the free plan. Not only did we make it free, but we also improved the level of customization for the embedded tests. We believe that this feature will help businesses and schools stay closer to their users and improve stickiness of their website. You can now create online tests, do limited customization and embed them in your website – all this in a few clicks and for free. Learn more here.

What better way to illustrate the feature than to put it to use? Find a quick online quiz that also outlines key additional features that have been added to Zoho Challenge in the last month.

In the meantime, we are keeping busy at perfecting and adding more features and are gearing up for another major update. Stay tuned!

Zoho Challenge Grows-Up

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The academic community has been, from the beginning, one of the early adopters of Zoho products and technologies. So today we are happy to announce a major update to Zoho Challenge, our online software that automates the process of creating, distributing, administering and evaluating tests. Zoho Challenge 2.0 includes a slew of new features and enhancements that make it easier for educational organizations to evaluate candidates.

New Workflows and Collaboration
Among the major improvements in Zoho Challenge are the radically improved workflows and collaboration that make test creation and scoring easier and more time-effective. For example, Zoho Challenge now includes test templates and the ability to re-use a test after it has been administered. In addition, multiple evaluators can work on a single batch of tests, and different Professors/Classes can share and use each others’ question banks. Zoho Challenge 2.0 supports both automatic and manual evaluation of tests. In the case of manual evaluation, an “answer sheet” or “answer key” can be created along with the test, so that evaluators can fairly and consistently assign scores.

More Question Types and Options
Beyond the usual question types (multiple choice, single choice, open question, fill in the blank, true/false, etc.), Zoho Challenge now also allows test creators to embed multimedia content in questions to support those cases where the questions refer to an image (or video!). It also allows educators to split tests in sections and to create multi-part questions.

Improved Access Controls
Zoho Challenge also includes better test access controls. It now supports ‘Coded Tests’. This allows test administrators to create special access codes for their online test and give access to its to students without an email account and without the need to sign-up for a Zoho Account. In addition, you can restrict test-taking to certain IP addresses – for example, the school’s library, inside the campus but not in the dorms. That’s not all. Teachers can define when the test opens/closes, how long is lasts,

…but it’s not just for schools and students
Finally, it’s also worth nothing that Zoho Challenge is not only for a school situation with students, teachers and regular quarterly evaluations. Online testing is also quite useful for many companies and organizations who use standardized tests to both screen job candidates and also for continuous learning of their employees. For example, one of our retail customers uses Zoho Challenge so that their front-line employees can test their knowledge against the most commonly asked customer questions about the newest products and their features.

And we are happy to announce that with this update Zoho Challenge came out of beta and now has paid plans. We of course continue to have a very generous free plan.

We hope you will find the new Zoho Challenge useful!