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Matching type items allow you to pair items (textual content) defined in a vertical two-column layout, to provide a one-to-one match between Tokens (the objects the candidate will drag) and Targets (the location where the Tokens will be placed).

  1. Select the Develop Questions → Write Item menu.
  2. Click the Write Question link. 
  3. On the Write Question page, select Matching from the Question Type drop-down list.

    Each Token and its adjoining Target are defined as a pair.

    Please visit the Language-related features in Items page to learn about the Language Code drop-down list.

Create a Matching Item

  1. Enter a Question Stem. The Question Stem is the question which the candidate must answer. It should have all of the information required for a candidate to answer it.
  2. You can modify the Header for both the Tokens and the Targets. Replace the text in the Tokens and Drop Here text fields.
  3. Enter the Tokens and matching Targets in the designated areas.

    Why can't I change the number of pairs?


    If your project configuration for Allow Differing Option Count is not selected, the number of matched pairs is fixed at the number of options in the box. For more information, please refer to the Project Configuration section.


    The default setting is four matching pairs, but the writer might choose to add or remove pairs. The minimum number of allowable pairs is two. The writer can click the Add Distractor icon after the stem to add a pair and Remove Distractor icon to remove the corresponding pair. The default number of pairs can be altered by specifying a number and selecting the Allow Differing Option Count setting on the Questions tab of the project's Configuration page.

  4. Select the Randomize check box to randomize the order of the Token column or the Target column on an exam.

    Randomize will reorder the list once


    When using export formats (such as QTI), the Tokens and/or Targets are reordered once when the items are exported from the system. Test delivery provider may or may not be able to support randomizing the order of the pairs on-the-fly for each candidate. Please check with the test delivery provider for more information.

  5. Assign Weights - Weights affect the candidate’s total score on an item, depending on which (and how many) are answered correctly or incorrectly.

    Assigning Weights


    Weights affect the candidate’s score for an item. If weights are assigned to individual Answer Options, then they affect the total score of an item depending on which (and how many) Answer Options are answered correctly or incorrectly. Assigning weights is optional and can be done via the Weight drop-down list.

    The default selection item is Default, which assigns a score of "1" to the item. The candidate scores "1" only when he/she selects all the correct Options and does not select any incorrect Options. Upon selecting even a single incorrect Option, he/she scores "0".

    If you choose to assign custom weight for the item, then you must select Item from the drop-down list. A text box appears next to the drop-down list, where you can enter the weight value for the item. The candidate scores the specified weight value, only when he/she selects all the correct Options and does not select any incorrect Options. Upon selecting even a single incorrect Option, he/she scores "0".

    You can assign custom weights to individual Answer Options by selecting Option from the drop-down list. A Weight text box appears next to the Answer Options, where you can enter the weight value for the respective Answer Options. Weights assigned to incorrect Answer Options are ignored.

    The candidate scores the specified weight value of the correctly answered Option(s), regardless whether he/she also incorrectly answers one or more Options. The maximum score of the item is equal to the sum of the weight values for the correctly answered Options.

    Item weight can be a positive decimal or integer value. It can range from ".001" to "9999".
    Option weight can be a positive or negative decimal or integer value. It can range from "-.99" to "9999".

  6. If this item type is exported to a Pearson compatible QTI export format, you have the option of specifying how to display the Tokens, Targets, and drop zones (the area between Tokens and Targets and on which the Tokens are dropped). The display options specify whether or not to include borders and background shading for each Token, Target, and drop zone.

Save the Item

You have several options to Save the item.

  1. Click the Add Question to Case button save the item and create a new case. The item is automatically attached to the case. Only users with permission to create cases see this button.
  2. Click the Save button. The item is saved and the item is checked-out preventing other users from making edits to the item. You remain on the Write Question page where further edits can be made to the item.
  3. Click the Preview button. Changes to the item are saved, the item is checked-out, and the item is opened in the Preview window. Only users with permission to preview items will see this button.
  4. To save an incomplete item, click Save and Exit. The item is saved in a Draft state and checked-in so any user with access to the item may make edits to the item. It is visible in the Draft/Returned Questions tab of the Project Writing Summary page.
  5. To submit the item for review, click Submit. The item is saved and checked-in so any users with access to the item may make edits to the item. The item is advanced to the next reviewer in the list or to the next stage in the workflow.



A user can click the Submit on Behalf of drop-down control and select one of the user names in the list to submit an item on behalf of the selected user. The user list contains names of users enabled in the current project, except for the user currently logged in and viewing the list. The list is displayed in ascending order by last name, first name, and user name. Once you click the Submit button, the item is saved to the Draft mode and does not show for the current user.


Submit on Behalf of drop-down list is not available at the time of Modify Question.


Click the Check All Spellings link to check spellings for text in Stem and Options. The spelling is checked first against the built-in or installed dictionary and then against the words specified for exclusion on the Dictionary tab of your project's settings.


Keep in mind that for users to write this type of item, it must be enabled on the Questions tab of the project's Configuration page. From Manage → Settings → Configuration → Questions → Allow Question types, select Matching from the list and click Update. If you do not see this type of item in the list, please contact your Project Manager to change the project settings.



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