How do I set up passages for assessments and practice questions?

Ryan Richins
  • Agilix team member

Passage is listed in the question type dropdown, but it is not an interactive question template. You can use it to create and provide a passage of text, and ask students to refer to it in order to answer other questions in the assessment. You can provide a single passage for an entire activity and/or attach a passage to specific questions.

Passages can be added to assessments and practice question activities.

  1. Add the Assessment or Practice Questions activity.
  2. Add a passage to the activity from the question type dropdown.
  3. Follow the directions, below.


To create the passage:

  1. Type or paste text into the content field.
  2. Click the picture (insert media) icon to use graphic, audio (mp3), and or video (flv) files.
  3. Click the equation icon to insert equations.
  4. This section pictures and explains the default Visual editor; select Text to create and edit questions with the advanced Text editor.


From the Properties section on the right, you can:

  • Assign a Passage to this item using the desired passage's ID (it is unlikely that you'll need to attach a passage to another, but the option is available).
  • Place the passage in a specific Question group.
  • Provide a Custom question definition (contact support for additional assistance).
  • Find the unique passage ID that Buzz automatically assigns.
  • Indicate how you want the passage displayed using the Side passage and Single checkboxes (see the Passage display options section for more).

Assigning passages to questions

You can easily assign a passage to one or more questions by:

  1. Creating the passage.
  2. Opening the Passage dropdown in the Properties panel of the question you want the passage attached to, and selecting the passage.
  3. Clicking Save.
Assigning passages to questions

Passage display options

If you leave the Side passage and Single boxes unchecked, don't assign the passage to any question(s), and don't check the Randomize question order box in the Assessment Settings or Practice Questions Settings tabs, the passage appears wherever you place it in the question list.

Passage display options

If you check the Side passage box, you must assign the passage to one or more question(s), and the passage appears to the left of the question.

If you check the Single box, you must assign the passage to more than one question.

  1. The passage appears above each of the assigned questions.
  2. Buzz displays each question individually.
  3. Numbered navigation buttons are provided underneath to allow students to move through all of the questions associated with the passage.

If you check both the Side passage and Single boxes, you must assign the passage to more than one question.

  1. The passage appears to the left of each of the assigned questions.
  2. Buzz displays each question individually.
  3. Numbered navigation buttons are provided underneath the question to allow students to move through all of the questions associated with the passage.


Use the Objectives section to review and align objectives with the passage:

  • Use the dropdown to limit the displayed objectives to those that are created in the Course, to those inherited from the activity's Parent folder, or to only the Selected objectives. Any selected objective remains in the list for all three settings.
  • Check the boxes next to objectives to align them with the question. This makes it possible to set up Formative and Remediation assessments.


With the Variables section you can create a range or list of variables for use in the passage.



Check the appropriate box(es) to provide students with one or more of the following calculators to use with this question:

  • Basic
  • Standard
  • Scientific

Companion Material

Click Add in the Companion Material section to attach any supplemental documents students need to complete this passage. You can do this by pointing to existing resources in the course or by uploading new files (you can only use PDFs).

Companion Material

Comments (8)

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RCSD eLearning Team

Can you include directions for how to create passage type questions in the advanced editor?

Scott Taylor
  • Agilix team member

This documentation will be updated shortly with the full explanation on how to create the passage type questions in the text editor in Buzz. In the mean time here's a quick run down.

The format for the passage question itself (not the additional questions that will be utilizing the passage text/media) will look like so:
Type: P
Id: {Use the QuestionID assigned to this question itself}
Options: Side, Single {Either, both, or none may be selected}
1) {Enter the question content in this section}

To link additional questions to the passage you would add the following to the question data in the text question editor below the question type:
Passage: {QuestionID of the passage you wish to reference}

For example:
Type: F
Passage: 5cf516954c4f469cbc57d137220b92ee
2) Fill in the blank: blah, ____, blah
a. blah

Another suggestion if more information is required before this article is updated is to format the passage question as needed with the visual question editor and view how the text is formatted in the text question editor after.

RCSD eLearning Team

Thank you.  We figured it out by doing exactly what you mentioned at the bottom - figuring out how to do it in the basic editor and seeing what that translated to in the advanced editor.  It is just easier/faster for us to work in the advanced editor.  We already added this to several of our assessments and really like it, except that it appears every other type of question has a line above it and below it to separate it from the previous and following question.  We noticed that this passage type only has a line above, not below which is a bit confusing.  We submitted an enhancement request about this.  It would be nice if all question types were the same - separated by a line.  Thanks!

Scott Taylor
  • Agilix team member

The horizontal line below the passage question is actually slated to be updated in the next update. Thank you for the feedback!

RCSD eLearning Team

Perfect.  Thank you! 

Kevin McBride

This is really great. I love that you took the extra step to allow for variables within the passage. This saves a lot of scrolling and better mimics what the students see on their state standardized test.

Kelly Calderone

I have a question about test banks and passages. Let's say I have a bank of 100 passages and each passage has maybe 5 questions associated with it. I want my test to be 50 questions long, randomly pulling from the bank. Is there any way to make sure that if a passage is randomly pulled from the bank that ALL the associated questions come with it? I'm afraid that there is the potential for some students to get a test of 50 passages with one associated question each, while other students get a test of 10 passages with 5 associated questions each. While the amount of questions would be the same, the amount of reading wouldn't be equitably distributed.

Scott Taylor
  • Agilix team member

Thank you for your question Kelly!

Unfortunately at this time there is not a way for question banks to ensure that all of the questions associated with a passage are pulled, so it couldn't be guaranteed that there would be 10 passages with 5 questions each pulled. We will flag this suggestion for inclusion in discussions to further improve question banks.

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