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Making Digital Prelim Papers

Question-only DQPs

A question-only DQP is a PDF version of your prelim, so you just need to design the assessment with Word, Google Docs or a publishing program and save it as a PDF.



Question-and-answer DQPs

With some publishing programs like InDesign and LibreOffice (free) you can draw in answer boxes as you create the paper. 

You can't do this in Word or Publisher, so once you save your paper as a PDF, you need a PDF editor to draw in answer boxes or form fieldssuch as Adobe Acrobat Professional or Foxit PhantomPDF.

Alternatively, you can draw in text boxes with the free Adobe Reader. The learner experience is not the same as using a DQP from SQA, but it may be a practical technique for routine assessments and you don't need to buy one of the PDF editors. 


Ways to create a digital prelim paper

1. Create your prelim

  1. Design your prelim using Microsoft Word, Publisher, Google Docs LibreOffice or a publishing package such as Serif PagePlus or Adobe InDesign.
  2. With LibreOfficePagePlus and InDesign you can also draw in answer boxes (form fields) while you design the paper, and then save the file as a PDF ready to use.
  3. With Word, Docs or Publisher, save the prelim as a PDF.

2. Buy a commercial prelim paper

  1. Buy PDF digital prelim papers from P&N, Perfect or Pegasys;
  2. Insert answer boxes or text boxes.

3. Scan a paper prelim

  1. Scan a paper prelim using a digital scanner;
  2. Convert the scanned paper to readable text with Acrobat Pro or e.g. FineReader;
  3. Insert answer boxes or text boxes.

4. Insert answer boxes or form fields

To draw in answer boxes to your PDF you need a PDF editor such as:

‚ÄčClick here to download a comparison of the various tools.

4. Insert text boxes

If you don't have a PDF editor, consider drawing in text boxes. You can do this with free Adobe Reader and other PDF readers. For the learner, the experience is similar to using DQPs from SQA, but there are some important differences which might confuse learners. The advantage for schools is that assessments of this type can be created by any teacher using software that is free and readily available.