Advanced Online Tests with Zoho Challenge

When you’re working every day to evaluate test submissions, it can prove to be a very long and daunting task that looms over you until that last paper is marked. It need not be a worry thanks a very nice web app from the app giant that is Zoho, Zoho Challenge.

It is a new way to handle submissions in a streamlined environment. Find out more after the fold.

Like the intro. graphic? Get “Team with Speech Bubbles” at GraphicRiver.net by solarseven.

Overview

Zoho Challenge is a web app that allows you to create, customise and evaluate online tests and recruitment applications. It is perfectly tailored to the task at hand and modestly priced, it is a good asset to every establishment – for one reason or another.

Overview

Overview

With great features to handle test assignment, advanced customisation and much more, it can prove very useful in offering a way to better monitor and examine your candidates, giving you time to worry less about presentation and more about the questions themselves.

Pricing

Zoho Challenge follows the highly successful freemium business model. Though free plans can create tests that have up to 100 test takers, each test is accessible publicly and there is a limit of 50 tests per account. Though this is quite a big number and should be enough for anyone, it would probably be best to upgrade to a higher plan if you are part of an educational or business establishment and require a person to be allocated to manually evaluate tests with descriptive answers.

Pricing

Pricing

Premium plans also have more security in place with regards to the testing itself. Overall, the app is priced extremely well and it is an affordable investment to anyone that has to complete this often.

User-Interface

Zoho Challenge’s interface is quite clean but can also feel a little outdated at times. Using the app is a nice experience and the few design flaws are barely noticeable when placed with the quality of the app itself. It rarely requires a page load as each page is loaded and displayed inline, meaning that important assets are already loaded – speeding overall page load time. The app can feel a little too cluttered at times but it is probably for good reason; it is easy to understand how to use the app as everything is perfectly explained.

User-Interface

User-Interface

Getting Started

The app offers several ways to register and login; you can use authentication from other services you probably use such as Google, Yahoo! and Facebook. It’s quick and easy to get started and I simply signed in using my Yahoo! account. Once you’ve chosen a name for your Zoho Challenge account, that will comprise the publicly accessible URL where your tests are shown when accessed by other people. There is no manual email activation required so once you’ve created the account, you are ready to go.

External User Authentication

External User Authentication

Creating Tests

The first page you are taken to after registering for your account is the “Tests” section of the administration panel. Since there’s none already created, it’s time to make one. The process for this is extremely straightforward and is a concept that can be grasped immediately; add a test, add sections, add questions.

Adding Tests

Adding Tests

Once a name has been chosen for the test, you’re then taken to another page where you can see an overview of all questions already created. Since there is none, we can add them. There’s a range of different field types available depending on the sort of information you’d like to receive.

Adding Questions

Adding Questions

It’s pretty simple to add the questions and can be done quite quickly if you have questions already written that you can simply copy and paste. All in all, it’s quite a straightforward and pleasant experience to use Zoho Challenge to create tests themselves.

Question Grouping

Questions that could be used again for other tests can be grouped and sorted into a bank where it is possible, when creating a new test, to simply import certain questions from that bank. This is useful if, for example, you’re using Zoho Challenge as a way of testing job suitability for different roles and there is certain information that you must know from all tests. Questions can also be shared to multiple evaluators.

Managing Templates

Another nice little feature of Zoho Challenge is the ability to create tests that are based on others. This is quite good if you’d like to further re-assign your test but to a different group of candidates. You can also change most aspects of the child form and manage questions and sections themselves, allowing you to add and remove questions – based on the needs of the new candidates. Once you’ve created your first test, when creating a new one, you are now given the option of creating one from scratch or importing another.

Importing Questions

Importing Questions

Customization

The questions themselves can be customized heavily and as if the various different question types are not good enough already, you also have an array of options available to format the questions to your needs. There is also a WYSIWYG editor for each question so that you can be sure of what your question will look like before the assignment of the test, and add useful things to your question like links, highlighting, lists and above all, smileys. Its advanced form logic is already suited to the actual answering of tests rather than gathering regular input so it has a nice selection of options relating to the sorts of input you can allow from candidates.

Customizing Questions

Customizing Questions

Tests can also be assigned an amount of time in which the candidates must complete it and can be blocked from access until the date you specify. You can customise the pass percentage too, allowing a lot of work to be already done for you by the time you actually then proceed to evaluate the forms.

Final Thoughts

Overall, my thoughts on Zoho Challenge are quite high. It is obviously a niche market for this type of app but it plays its part well – allowing people full control over their online tests. Though the interface can seem a little confusing at times, it does not hinder the overall usability of the app. Its knowledge of test input fields is also a credit as it takes all of the good things HTML forms are useful for and makes them suitable for tests.

It is priced extremely well for a web app nowadays and even the highest plan is affordable to establishments who only have a small budget for examination. Overall, my review probably doesn’t do the app justice, but it is really good at working with online tests. It would definitely be a necessity to those who handle testing regularly.


Summary

Create Online Quizzes - evaluate your candidates or give them practice tests.

9