Quiz: Importing Questions in GIFT Format Moodle ISU


GIFT format allows someone to use a text editor to write multiple-choice, true-false, short answer, matching, missing word, and numerical questions in a simple format that can be imported. The GIFT format is also an export file format available in the question bank.

This guide will help you to:

Note: If you are only creating multiple choice or true/false questions, we recommend the use of the Aiken format, a more simple system.

Additional guides for more information about quizzes:

What You Need to Know Before Importing Questions in GIFT Format:

Question Types in GIFT Format

Attributes Common to all GIFT Question Types:

Each type of question has two parts, question text and answer choices. Answer choices are always typed within a pair of curly brackets (i.e. {…answer choices…} ). For all questions, except missing word, the answer choices appear after the question text. For missing word they appear at the location of the missing word (Note: the missing word cannot be the last word in the sentence).

The following is a brief discussion on the formatting of answer choices for each question type.

The following chart provides a list of available question types and an example of how they should be written within the GIFT Format.

Question Type

Example Format

Multiple choice or True/False

Who's buried in Grant's tomb?{~Grant ~Jefferson ~George =no one}

Washington was our first president {T}


Discuss the problems encountered when troubleshooting within Moodle. { }


Match each country with its capital city: {

=Canada -> Ottawa

=Italy -> Rome

=Japan -> Tokyo

=Pakistan -> Islamabad

=India -> New Delhi}

Missing Word

The ISU mascot, a {~snake ~llama =bengal}, is named Benny and appears at all athletic events.


Ray Tomlinson was the first man to send an email. This occurred in what year? {#1971}

Short Answer

Who currently uses the Oval Office? {=President Obama =President of the US}

Format Symbols

The following table is a breakdown of the above table of the written format symbols and what they are used for in GIFT.



// text

Comment until end of line (optional)


Question title (optional)


Question text (becomes title if no title specified)


The format of the following bit of text. Options are [html], [moodle], [plain] and [markdown]. The default is [moodle] for the question text, other parts of the question default to the format used for the question text.


Start answer(s) -- without any answers, text is a description of following questions

{T} or {F}

True or False answer; also {TRUE} and {FALSE}

{ ... =right ... }

Correct answer for multiple choice, (multiple answer? -- see page comments) or fill-in-the-blank

{ ... ~wrong ... }

Incorrect answer for multiple choice or multiple answer

{ ... =item -> match ... }

Answer for matching questions

#feedback text

Answer feedback for preceding multiple, fill-in-the-blank, or numeric answers


Start numeric answer(s)


Numeric answer accepted within ± tolerance range


Lower and upper range values of accepted numeric answer


n percent credit for one of multiple numeric ranges within tolerance from answer


End answer(s)


Backslash escapes the special meaning of ~, =, #, {, }, and :


Places a newline in question text -- blank lines delimit questions

GIFT Format Importing Instructions

  1. In the Admninistration block click on the question bank link.
  2. Click on the Import option.

  1. In the file format section click on the GIFT format.
  2. Scroll down to the Import From This File section and Click on the Choose a File…button.


  1. In the File picker pop-up screen click on the Upload a File option
  2. Click on the Browse button.
  3. Select your file
  4. Click on the Upload this File button.

Hot Tip: You can also select the file on your computer, drag it to the central area of the above block, and drop it there to upload.

  1. In the Import from this File section Click on the Import button.


Note: The next screen should show that the questions and answers have been imported into Moodle ISU.  If you encounter an error when importing, please contact the ITRC.

  1. Click on the Continue button.

Hot Tip: In order to keep your questions organized, you can choose to create categories in which to keep your questions by clicking on the Categories option.

For more information on GIFT format, please see http://docs.moodle.org/2.5/en/GIFT_format

This work was done by Instructional Technology Resource Center at Idaho State University and is licensed under the Creative Commons Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit Attribution Noncommercial 3.0 United States or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.