Guide to creating an assessment

Everything you need to know about making and editing an assessment.

This comprehensive guide to creating and editing assessments is designed to give you everything you need to know before you invite your first external candidate. In this article, we take you through the process step-by-step, so you can quickly have your assessment up and running! This article is relevant to TestGorilla users with the Owner, Admin, and Recruiter roles.

Approx. reading time 9 minutes

In this article

  1. Understanding assessments
  2. Creating an assessment
  3. Editing an assessment
  4. Cloning an assessment
  5. Archiving an assessment
  6. Common questions

Understanding assessments

What is an assessment?

An assessment is a collection of individual tests and questions — compiled by you — to assess the skills of your candidates. You can include up to 5 tests and up to 10 custom questions in a single assessment — 20 if you have a Business plan. If you have a Scale plan or higher, you can also add up to 5 qualifying questions.

Think of an assessment as a safe:

  • Qualifying questions are the combination lock; allowing access to the safe if you know all of the correct numbers.
  • Tests are the gems, cash, and other valuables, the main focus of the assessment. These have tangible value to both you and others.
  • Custom questions are the other things that you want to protect if your house burns down, like the plane tickets from your honeymoon or the key to your childhood house. These hold sentimental value to you, and maybe your family, but not to broader society.

What should I use in my assessment?

The tests you choose to use in your assessment are dependent on the role you’re looking to fill. We leave the choice of tests and questions up to you, as every company has different requirements, though we do recommend creating an assessment designed to measure as many types of skills as possible.

Extensive research has been done to understand what hiring methods predict job success. One of the most important studies in this area is Frank Schmidt’s meta-analysis of a century’s worth of workplace productivity data. The table below, from the Harvard Business Review, shows the results of this study: multi-measure tests have the highest predictive validity among commonly used hiring practices.

We categorize our test library by test type, allowing you to more easily combine different types in order to get the best predictive value of candidate performance.

Imagine you're creating an assessment for a front-end engineer. You will get the best predictive results if you use tests from a range of test types, for example:

Test name Test type
Angular test Role-specific
These tests measure your candidate’s ability to apply their job-related skills and knowledge.
CSS test
Critical thinking test Cognitive ability
These tests measure your candidate’s general thinking and problem-solving abilities
Numerical reasoning test
Culture add test Personality & culture
Helps to provide an idea of how someone will fit into your existing team

These tests can then be supplemented with questions of your choosing. The questions could be related to your job role or company, or be used to find out more about your candidate.


Creating an assessment

To create your assessment, you must first log in to your TestGorilla account.

From the My assessments tab, click the Create new assessment button to start the process.

Creating an assessment happens in the following steps:

  1. Name assessment
  2. Select tests
  3. Add questions
  4. Review and configure
  5. Provide survey answers — if applicable
  6. Next steps

Name assessment

The first step of the assessment creation process is where you will:

  1. Name the assessment
  2. Choose the assessment language
  3. Select the job role for the assessment

2-1 Name your assessment
We recommend naming your assessment something that makes it easy for you to distinguish from others. If the assessment is for a position you regularly hire for, you may wish to include the job title and the date the posting went live. If you are hiring for multiple offices, try adding the location to the name.
4-1 Language of assessment
By default, we present all assessment content in English. Changing the language will allow you to create an assessment in that language. This will change the full candidate experience to the chosen language, as well as change the test library to your chosen language.
6-1 Job role
Selecting a job role enables us to recommend tests that might suit your needs. You can search by keyword or scroll through the list for the nearest match. This is optional; you can leave it blank if you don’t want us to suggest tests for you.

Note: While the list of job roles is very comprehensive, it isn't possible to include every job role. If we don't have a close match to the position you are hiring for, please select Other from the list. You can then tell us the job role, so we can improve our algorithms.


Click Next step to continue.



Select tests

In this step, you can choose up to 5 tests to add to your assessment. Think about the skills and attributes required for your role and use tests that match these.

If you selected a job role during step one, the system will suggest tests that might fit that role. If you don’t know where to start, using the suggestions is a good place.

Alternatively, think of what hard and soft skills would make for a good candidate for the role and select tests that make sense for the five most important skills.

On this page, you will find our test library. You can:

2-1 Search for a test by name.
4-1 Filter by test type.
6-1 Read basic information about the test.
8-1 See more in-depth details, preview questions, and Add the test to your assessment.
10-1 Remove a test that you've already added to your assessment.

To add a test to an assessment:

1-1 Find the test you wish to use by either searching by keyword or filtering by test type
2 Click the green Add button to choose it for your assessment.
3 The chosen assessment will appear in gold above the search and filter boxes. You can drag & drop the tests to reorder them. 

When you have finished selecting your tests, click Next step to proceed.

Tip: Customers on a Scale or Business plan can create their own tests for use in assessments. To select from your own library of tests, select My company tests from the filter dropdown. You can then Add tests as you see fit by following the steps listed above.



Add questions

You may want your candidates to tell you about themselves or upload their resume or portfolio. You can do this using custom questions.

Custom questions are questions that you personally choose for your assessment. You can select from up to 5 question types and add up to 20 questions — depending on your plan.

We have a complete article detailing how to use custom questions, you can find it here.

The Add questions page allows you to either create a question from scratch or choose a question from the library, as well as reorder your questions.

2-1 The custom questions table displays your chosen questions in the order they will be presented to your candidates. They can be edited and reordered by clicking the icons to the right of the question.
4-1 Create your own questions by clicking on the required tile. A popup window will appear with the question editor. Questions are added to the table as you save them.
6-1 Select from our library of custom questions at the bottom of the page. This portion can be searched and filtered to help you find the ideal question.

Note: This is a general overview of the functions on this page. Please see our dedicated custom questions article for full details.

Click Next step to move onto the final stage of creating an assessment.



Review & configure

This is the last step of creating your assessment. This is where you can apply the finishing touches before inviting your candidates. Here you can do a final reorder of your tests and custom questions, and apply advanced settings.

The page has 2 sections:


Selected tests
The tests are listed in the order they will appear in the assessment. Hovering over a selection will change its color to indicate it is selected. There are a few options on the right-side:

  • The up/down arrows are used to reorder the tests. You can also click & hold a test to move it up and down the list.
  • The trash icon will remove the test from your list.

Custom questions are displayed as a single option on the list. You can choose when the custom questions section is displayed in your assessment by using the arrow buttons, or remove them entirely. To reorder or remove individual questions, you will need to return to Step 3: Add questions.


Advanced settings
Scrolling down the page will bring you to the Advanced settings section. We have a full article here that goes into more detail about these, but here is a quick rundown of the features:

  • Manage access. Allows you to restrict access to your assessment for certain users.
  • Qualifying questions. Questions asked before the assessment to establish if the candidate meets the minimum requirements for the role. Candidates who answer any of these questions incorrectly are disqualified.
  • Welcome video. Upload a branded video to appear at either the beginning or end of your assessment.
  • Anti-cheating settings. Choose whether you want to use snapshots as part of your assessment.
    • Extra time for tests. Apply up to 90% additional time to your selected tests. This only applies to TestGorilla tests — not custom questions or My company tests.
    • Accommodation for candidates. Choose whether you want to allow candidates to request an accommodation based on a disability or language difficulty.

    Expand the relevant section to see the complete options for each and to add them to your assessment.

    Click Finish to complete creating your assessment. This will direct you to the assessment overview. 



    Provide survey answers - if applicable

    Our test library features two tests which need input from you; the culture add survey and the motivation test. Both of these tests require you to choose your own answers, to provide the most accurate results for your company. We have an in-depth guide here that can help you with doing this.

    Warning: While you can still invite candidates to take your assessment without completing the survey on your end, no results will be displayed for this test until you have completed it yourself.



    Next steps

    Once you’ve created your assessment, it’s time to have people take it. We recommend doing the following:

    • Customize the invitation email. You have the option to personalize the invitation email rather than using our default messaging. This allows you to ensure the tone of it matches your company’s tone, while also giving the opportunity to include more information. You can do this from the assessment overview page. 
    • Take the assessment yourself as a preview. This gives you the opportunity to see the questions that will be asked, ensuring they suit your advertised job role. If you notice anything in your assessment you're like to change, you can clone your assessment and make those changes.
    • Invite candidates. You can invite candidates through single or bulk email, or through public links. Our guide to Candidate communications provides more details about this.


          Editing an assessment

          You may wish to choose different tests, or reorder your custom questions. You can edit an assessment right up until you invite your first candidate to take it. After this, it isn’t possible to make any changes.

          There are two ways to edit your assessment:


          From the My assessments page, highlight your required assessment and click the 3 dots icon.
          Choose Edit from the menu.


          Access the assessment from the My assessments tab by clicking on it.
          Click the pencil button in the top-right corner of the assessment overview page.

          Note: If you have already invited a candidate to take your assessment, you can't select the edit option. You'll need to clone your assessment to make any changes.



          Cloning an assessment

          Cloning allows you to make a copy of an existing assessment. The tests you previously selected will carry over, but with a different selection of questions. Your custom questions are directly copied, along with any advanced settings you applied. You can then edit the assessment to make any necessary changes, or begin inviting candidates to take it.

          There are two ways for you to clone an assessment:


          From the My assessments page, highlight your required assessment and click the 3 dots icon.
          Choose Clone from the menu.


          Access the assessment from the My assessments tab by clicking on it.
          Click the double pages button in the top-right corner of the assessment overview.

          Both methods will create a cloned assessment that will appear at the top of the assessment list with the name Copy of {assessment name}.



          Archiving an assessment

          Once you have finished hiring for your role, you can archive it to remove it from your assessment view. This helps reduce clutter, if you have a large number of assessments running at the same time.

          There are two ways for you to clone an assessment:


          From the My assessments page, highlight your required assessment and click the 3 dots icon.
          Choose Archive from the menu.


          Access the assessment from the My assessments tab by clicking on it.
          Click the folder button in the top-right corner of the assessment overview.
          A popup will appear, asking you to identify who you hired and will disappear after you make your selection.
          A notice will appear at the top of the assessment, advising that This assessment has been archived.

          Archived assessments will appear in the Archived section of the My assessments tab. To Unarchive the assessment, follow the same steps as above, but choose Unarchive.


          Common questions

          How can I try out my assessment before inviting candidates?
          Both you and your registered account users can take the assessment before inviting candidates. Simply send an invitation to the email address of any registered account user. Our system will recognize you as an account user, so no credits will be used.

          Why can’t I edit my assessment?
          In the interest of fairness, all candidates must take the same assessment with the same time limits. Because of this, assessments cannot be edited after a candidate has been invited.

          I have selected the wrong test for my assessment. How can I change it?
          If you haven’t invited any candidates to your assessment, you can edit it by clicking the edit icon on the assessment overview. If you have already invited candidates, you would need to make a clone of it and edit the clone to make any corrections. We also recommend that you archive the original assessment to take it offline.