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How to create and use your own test

Article 4 of 5 in a series on creating your own tests.

This is the fourth article in a series of five, to help you create your own tests using the TestGorilla platform. The full series includes:

  1. Developing an effective screening test
  2. Choosing a question type
  3. Writing situational judgment questions
  4. How to create and use your own test
  5. Creating a coding question or test (optional)

The option for adding your own tests is available to account owners, admins, and recruiters who are on our Scale and Business plans.

When creating your own test, we recommend outlining it before putting it into the TestGorilla platform. This will help ensure that everything is organized and laid out exactly as you want.

Approx. reading time 8 minutes


In this article

  1. Create a test
    1. Design the landing page
    2. Add questions
    3. Question editor
    4. Final checks
  2. Publishing your test
  3. Adding your test to an assessment
  4. Editing your test
  5. Common questions
  6. Next steps

Create a test

To open the test editor from the TestGorilla dashboard:

blue-1 Select the Tests tab at the top of the page.
blue-2 Click My company tests — next to the green Create new assessment button.
blue-3 Hit Create new test.

Design the landing page

The first page you will encounter is the landing page. This must be completed before you can continue to the actual test content.

pink-1 A message is displayed in a white box at the top of the screen, explaining the purpose of the landing page — you can hit Dismiss at any time to remove this.
pink-2 Test name* (60 characters) This is how you and coworkers will recognize your test to add it to assessments. The test name will also be shown to candidates before it starts. Example: Accounting (Hiring Co.)
pink-3 Test summary (255 characters) Add an optional brief summary of the test contents for yourself and coworkers. This will not be shown to candidates.
Example: This test evaluates candidates’ knowledge of accounting concepts, particularly those used by MyCompany Name.

Basic info. Add information to help others in your company understand the test better. You can select the test type, difficulty level, and primary audience language.


Test type* A dropdown to select one of the following options:

  1. Cognitive ability
  2. Language
  3. Situational judgement
  4. Role specific skills
  5. Programming skills
  6. Software skills


 Question type. Choose between two options:

  1. Coding
  2. Non-coding
It's important you choose correctly here — you will not be able to change this once you've begun to add questions.



Difficulty level. A dropdown to select one of the following options:

  1. Entry level
  2. Intermediate
  3. Advanced


Audience. A dropdown to select the appropriate language for the test. This field will be updated as we begin to add tests in other languages. If your language isn't there, you can still create a test in a language other than the ones we offer — just pick the language that will be associated with the language for the rest of your assessment (or pick English).


This test is relevant for... (255 characters). Here you can add notes on the roles and positions this test is most suitable for.

Once you've filled in all these parts, the Preview button will become selectable, and will pop-up a preview of the test landing page if clicked.


Click Save in the top right corner, once finished. 

*Required field

The toolbar on the left side of the page will now be available for selection. Click Questions to move to the next step.



Add questions

Upon reaching this page, you will be presented with a message explaining its purpose. Click Add questions to begin.

The page will refresh and display the questions section proper:

pink-1 Search and filter your created questions using these boxes.
pink-2 Click this link to view some guidelines for creating your questions.
pink-3 The red bar warns that you must have at least one question in your test for it to be published. This bar will be removed after you have created your first question.

Preview questions is an optional section. This allows you to create sample questions for your candidates. They should be a good representation of the questions you are using in your test, but not be identical to any of them.

Note: This section cannot be removed, but you do not have to use it.

pink-5 You can have between one and four skill areas for your test. We recommend breaking your job role down into key skills required for it, and creating questions based on these skills. Please see the Developing an effective screening test article for further detail on this.

Click the pencil icon to rename the skill area to something more relevant. Click X to remove a skill area, or click Add another skill area for a surprise action which you will never guess. 

Set the number of questions that will be used each time your test is presented to a candidate. Bear in mind the time limit — answering 50 questions in 10 minutes is a tough ask for anyone.

Note: You cannot set a higher number of questions than what you have in your question bank. If you have created 12 questions, 12 is the maximum number you can select.
pink-7 Set the time limit for your test. As above, bear in mind the number of questions you are using. It's a good idea to check out our article on choosing the right time for some tips about setting the time limit.
pink-8 Publish becomes selectable after you have created at least one question for your test. Once published, your test can be added to an assessment.
Clicking the link next to the Publish button will give you a final checklist — this will help you ensure you have created the best test you can!

      Click Add first question in one of the skill areas to start creating.



      Question editor

      The first page of the editor requires you to select a question type. You can choose a different type for each question you create. Click the relevant tile to move to the next screen.

      For the purpose of this guide, we will use a Short text question. You can refer to our custom questions guide for help with all other question types.

      The next screen is the question editor itself:


      Type your question in the left text box. Use the text editor at the top of the box to format your text as required. Remember to include all of the information needed to answer the question.



      Type the answer to your question in the right text box. In a short text question, the candidate’s answer must be an exact match to yours but is not case-sensitive.

      If there are multiple variations of the answer, click +add another correct answer to produce another text box. Click X next to a text box to remove it. You can have a minimum of one and maximum of ten answers for this question type.

      pink-3 Save and add another will save your question and reopen the selector for your next question.
      Save will save your question and return you to the Add questions page.

      Cancel will exit the editor without saving your questions.


      Your question will now be added to your selected skill area, and can be viewed by expanding the skill area.

      Hovering over a question will change its color and provide the following options:


      Click the green toggle to turn the question on or off. It will not be used in your test if it is turned off.


      The type of question you selected.

      pink-3 You can preview the question itself in the middle of the box.
      pink-4 icon_folder The folder icon allows you to move the question to a different skill area.
      icon_edit The pencil icon reopens the editor, so you can make changes to the question.

      Trash, Delete, Bin The trash icon will permanently delete the question, after confirmation.


      The dropdown arrow will expand the question. This allows you to view the question in full, along with its possible answers.

      pink-6 Add new will open the question editor to create a new question for this skill area.

      Continue adding questions until you've created all of the questions for your test.



      Final checks

      Before publishing your test, we recommend checking it against the Final checks checklist. This helps you ensure your test is of the highest standard possible.

      • Do your questions cover the skill areas appropriately and fully? Are your questions relevant to the skill area they are in? If not, they should be moved to the correct area or removed entirely.
      • Are the questions sufficiently varied, to avoid duplication of knowledge tested? Asking the same question twice has very limited use.
      • Is every question and answer option clear? You don’t want to deliberately attempt to confuse your candidates.
      • Is all information provided relevant to the answer? Proof-read and fact-check your questions to ensure they are foolproof and don't include extraneous information.
      • Are the pictures, audio, and/or video materials you use clear and relevant? Are graphs and diagrams properly and correctly labeled? Preview your questions to see exactly how they will be presented to your candidates. 
      • Did you check grammar and spelling in all questions? Even if you have written your questions in a different language, correct spelling and grammar is very important.



      Publishing your test

      When you have finished creating your questions — and have conducted your final checks — you are ready to make your test available for use.

      Upon completing all the steps, the Publish button will turn green and be selectable. Simply click this button, and you will receive a message at the bottom of the screen confirming that it has been published. You are now ready to add your test to an assessment.


      Adding your test to an assessment

      To add your test, you will need to either create a new assessment or edit an existing one. Our Comprehensive guide to creating an assessment will help you with this. Navigate to the assessment creator.

      From Step 2: Add tests, select My company tests from the Test type dropdown menu. The page will refresh to display your custom tests.

      Add your desired test in the same manner you would any test from the TestGorilla test library, and then continue through the rest of the assessment creation process. You can add more tests, custom questions, and advanced settings.



      Editing your test

      Edits can be made for a number of reasons. You may have found a mistake in one of your questions, or you may simply want to refresh the selection of questions being used. You can do this by returning to the My company tests screen and clicking Enable edits.

      This will unpublish your test, making it unselectable for future assessments until it is published again. If the test is currently being used in an assessment, the unedited version will continue to be used.

      Note: Any edits you make will only apply to future uses of the test. They will not reflect in any current assessments that are using it.

      After unpublishing the test, you can select it to be taken to the test creator. From there, you can make your alterations.

      Don’t forget to publish it again for the changes to take effect!



      Common questions

      Why can’t the Preview questions skill area be removed?
      This is the same platform that our Subject Matter Experts use to create the tests in our test library. As preview questions are an important part of our tests, we do not allow the section to be removed. However, you do not have to include any preview questions on your custom tests.

      Why can’t I press the Publish button?
      There are a few things you should check:

      • Do all skill areas have at least one question? Remove any empty skill areas.
      • Have you set the number of questions to be used? This is at the bottom of the Add questions page.
      • Have you set a time limit for your test? This is right below the number of questions you want to use.

          If any of these steps are missing, you won’t be able to publish your test. The Publish button will turn green and be selectable as soon as everything has been completed. If all steps are completed and you still can’t publish your test, contact our success team.

          What are Recommendations and Test-taker feedback used for?
          This is the same platform that our Subject Matter Experts use to create the tests in our test library. These fields are only applicable to our SMEs and are not used in custom test creation. You can disregard these sections.



          Next steps

          As mentioned above, this is the first article in a series of five, to help you create your own tests using the TestGorilla platform.

          The full series includes:

          1. Developing an effective screening test
          2. Choosing a question type
          3. Writing situational judgment questions
          4. How to create your own test
          5. Creating a coding question or test (optional)

          If you're going to make a coding test, we recommend you next read article five: Creating a coding question or test