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

Ryan Richins
  • Agilix team member
  • Updated:

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.

Passage content

Enter the desired passage in the field provided. Use the rich text editor to attach media (images, audio (mp3), video (flv)), insert equations, create tables, etc.

This section pictures and explains the default visual editor; enable the Text editor to create and edit the passage with the advanced Text editor


In the Interaction card you can provide a Custom question definition (contact support for additional assistance) and indicate how you want the passage to appear.

Define how the passage appears

1. Side and Single passages appear next to multiple questions

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.

2. Single passage appears above multiple questions

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.

3. Side passage appears next to the question

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.

4. Passage appears where you place it

The passage appears wherever you place it in the question list if the following conditions are met:  

In this example, the passage has been placed first and can be used for the full assessment or practice questions activity.

Passage display options

Assign the passage to questions

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

  1. Create the passage.
  2. Open the Include passage dropdown in Activity editor > Questions tab > Interaction card of the question you want the passage attached to, and selecting the passage.  
  3. Save.
Assigning passages to questions


Add the question to an existing Group with the associated ID, or create a new one. Groups allow you to vary settings for different questions.

Learn more: How do I vary attempt limits by question?

Objective mastery

Click Choose objective in the Objective mastery card to review and align the question with objective(s). Once you've clicked it, you can:

  1. Use the Filter field to search for specific objectives.
  2. 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 question.  



Check the appropriate box(es) to provide students with one or more of the following calculators to use with this question (Basic, Standard, and/or Scientific). This can also be specified for the entire activity with the Assessment activity editor.

Companion Material

Click Add material in Companion Material to attach any supplemental documents students need to complete this question. You can do this by:

  1. Pointing to existing resources in the course.
  2. Uploading new files (PDFs only).

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

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

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

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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