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How to Create Long Answer Questions in 6 Steps

How to Create Long Answer Questions in 6 Steps

A proper question will get you the right answer, isn’t it? Creating a question paper takes so much time because teachers know the importance of selecting the necessary topics and framing the questions correctly. Each educational institution has a different format for the exams. 

We have discussed ways to create MCQs and factors to consider. But what about long answer questions? These questions belong to the descriptive type, where students are expected to write their answers and explain things in detail. For example, a history question on World War II would be about the particulars of the event. However, you cannot expect students to summarize the entire event in a long answer. The question has to be more specific. 

What happened in Germany during WWII? This narrows the scope but still has a lot of years to cover. So how do you frame a long answer question for an exam? Furthermore, how do you create the questions using a question generator tool? After all, manually going through the entire syllabus, question banks, and previous question papers is a stressful and time-consuming task. 

How to Create Long Answer Questions 

There are various question generator tools in the market. Some are easy to use and rely on artificial intelligence algorithms to process input data and automate the creation of a question paper. PrepAI is an AI-based question generator that automatically creates questions or the given input data. Instead of spending hours and days creating a question paper, you can finish it in a few minutes by using the online tool. 

Automate the question paper setting process

PrepAI has a user-friendly and clean interface that makes it convenient for everyone. Teachers don’t require technical expertise to use PrepAI. Follow the below steps to use the platform to create long-answer questions anytime you want. 

1. Free Signup and Registration 

Go to the PrepAI website and click on the Get Started button. Then, select Sign up and fill out the registration form. Submit the application on the site to create a free account. Your details will be verified, and a code will be mailed to your Email ID. Enter the code on the PrepAI website and complete the verification process. 

2. Creating the Questions 

Every user gets their own dashboard to create question papers and save and access them. Start by entering the topic name for the question paper you want to create. Then choose the input format/ type to data to the platform. The AI algorithm will ‘read’ this data and generate questions automatically. 

3. Input Formats 

There are four input options to use. 

  1. Topic search is PrepAI’s search engine. It lets you select the topic and collects relevant content from its database..
  2. Type/ Copy-paste text is where you can manually enter the input data. 
  3. The video option allows you to upload video files from your local system or provide a YouTube video URL. The platform will convert video data to transcripts. 
  4. PDF/ Docx files can be uploaded from the device, drive, or cloud. 

Click on generate questions at the bottom of the dashboard and move on to the next step. 

4. Selecting Question Type 

It is important to select the type of questions you want to generate before you begin editing. PrepAI has multiple options, so you can use the same platform for all kinds of question papers.  

Since you want to create long answer questions, you can click on ‘not required’ for questions in other formats and retain the descriptive questions. The other question formats are MCQs, fill-ups, and true or false questions. PrepAI generates the maximum number of questions it can for the given input data so that you can retain what you want and remove the rest. 

5. Editing Questions

Now that the questions are ready, you can go through them to make the necessary changes. Edit the questions or delete the ones you don’t want. Add more questions if you can’t find them in the generated list. Check whether the answers are correct and rate the questions to give feedback to the platform. 

6. Output Formats 

Preview the long answer test paper and finalize it. Save it in your account and get the output. There are three output formats: 

  1. PDF
  2. Docx (MS Word) 
  3. MS Excel

Factors to Consider when Creating Long Answer Questions 

Creating a descriptive question sure isn’t as easy as it appears. You need to think from multiple perspectives before finalizing each question. The following factors should be considered when creating long answer questions. 

Clarity and Crispness 

The language used to frame the question has to be clear and concise. It should be free of grammatical errors. The question should make sense to the student. Convoluted sentences might work for multiple choice questions but can be tricky for long answer questions. Students shouldn’t waste their time trying to understand the question instead of answering it. 

That said, the questions don’t have to entirely be straightforward. You can make it complex but not messy or too confusing to even understand what the answer should be. 

Don’t Use New Terminology 

Don’t use new words or phrases you haven’t used during the classes. The terminology should be something the students are familiar with. For example, if you haven’t used abbreviations during the classes, make sure not to use them when framing the long answer questions. This rule applies to all kinds of questions. 

Relevance & Purpose 

This is an important factor. How relevant is the question in the overall scheme of things? What is the purpose of asking this question in the exam? It depends on why you are conducting the exam and whether you want to test the student’s memory power or understanding capacity. 

Going through previous question papers and question banks will make it easy to list the important and relevant topics for the exam. For example, a biology paper would have questions about the human digestive system, layers of the skin, nervous system, the functioning of the heart, and so on. However, you need to determine which of these topics should be long answer questions and which ones can be used for other question formats. 

Guide the Students

A good question is the one that guides the students towards the answer but doesn’t lead them to it. 

The question should trigger a memory about the topic and nudge them in the right direction. It shouldn’t be so detailed and explicit that students are practically told what to write. It’s a fine line to balance. 

Furthermore, a question about opinions and evaluations shouldn’t be biased or point towards the answer you want the students to write. If you ask students to discuss the pros and cons of using the internet, the question shouldn’t tell them which side to take. It’s the students’ responsibility to weigh both sides carefully and present their opinions with explanations and examples. 

Weightage & Time  

How many marks does the question carry? What is the entire duration of the exam? A three-hour exam cannot have twenty or twenty-five long answer questions that require two to three-page answers. The question’s relevance and purpose should be directly proportional to its weightage and the time a student can spend on each question. 

Moreover, questions that require graphical representations (drawings, sample programs, balance sheets, graphs, etc.) should be balanced with text-only questions. After all, all students don’t have the same drawing skills, and this shouldn’t become a disadvantage. 

No Controversial Questions 

Questions related to race, gender, sexuality, religion, politics, disabilities, etc., should be carefully framed to prevent misinterpretations or favoritism. Personal opinions shouldn’t influence the questions or lead to controversial statements. 

Use Open-Ended Questions 

A long answer is supposed to be detailed, so make sure to create questions that allow students to write more. For example, if a question is about the pyramids, it should be more along the lines of ‘why are the Egyptian pyramids famous?’ or ‘what is the historical significance of the pyramids?’. This will allow students to talk about when and how the pyramids were built and explain their importance. 

But if the question is limited to ‘are the Egyptian pyramids among the eight wonders of the world?’, it would be a short answer question with a yes/ no answer, followed by a couple of lines. 

Determine the Scope for Creativity 

The last factor to consider is the extent of creativity the question can allow. Science, math, and social studies leave less chance for creativity. Students have to adhere to facts. However, questions in language papers, especially the ones related to comprehensions, letter writings, etc., are used to test the creative ability and thought process of the students. 


There’s no denying the advantage of using online tools to ease your workload. PrepAI, with its artificial intelligence algorithm, will automate most of the process while allowing you enough control over the questions. Automation and customization are the two highlights of PrepAI. 

Reduce your workload. Generate question papers with PrepAI.

Use it to conduct tests anytime you want in a format of your choice. The basic version is free to use once you signup and register. Talk to our team for more information.