KB1136 - How to "Throw Out" a Question in a Quiz

Faculty sometimes refer to “throwing out” a question after a Moodle quiz has already been taken. Technically, the best way of dealing with it in Moodle depends on how you look at it. Maybe the option chosen depends on the reason the question is thrown out.

If a 25 mark quiz has one “bad” question, worth 1 mark, which of the following explains what “throwing out” a question would look like?

  • Option A: The quiz is now marked out of 24, instead of 25, with the bad question not counting toward the mark.
  • Option B: The quiz is still marked out of 25, but the students all get a mark for that question, regardless of whether they got it right or wrong.
  • Option C: The quiz is still marked out of 25, but the students all get 1 extra mark added to their quiz, so a student who got the bad question right still gets credited for the right answer, but the student who got it wrong, doesn’t get penalized.

Here's an example for the above options, using two students – Erin and Pat:

Erin got 18 out of 25, but got the bad question wrong. Pat also got 18 out of 25 but got the bad question right.

                            Erin                              Pat

18/25 =             72% (18/25)              72% (18/25)

Option A:         75% (18/24)              71% (17/24, rounded) *

Option B:         76% (19/25)              72% (18/25) **

Option C:         76% (19/25)              76% (19/25)

   *The correct answer to the “bad” question doesn’t count toward the final mark.
** Erin gets an extra mark for the bad question, but Pat doesn’t because it was already correct.


To accomplish the options:

  • Option A: Edit the quiz, changing the mark of the bad question to zero. Also, deduct the original amount of that question from the total mark of the quiz. That step isn't entirely necessary, as the final percentage will be the same, but it's "cleaner."
  • Option B: Edit the quiz QUESTION, giving 100% for each possible answer.
  • Option C: Use OFFSET of 1 (or whatever mark was assigned to the question) in the grade item setting. You can access the grade item settings page through the Edit drop-down menu of the grade item in the Gradebook Setup page.


Article ID: 290
Thu 12/5/19 3:12 PM
Thu 3/23/23 10:02 AM