Quiz Activity 1.7: Gradual Quiz Entry Feature [Faculty]


This feature will control the initial access to a Moodle Quiz with a set start date, which will cause students to enter randomly with a short delay. This feature improves the reliability and efficiency of the quiz tool during an examination window.

This Guide Will Help You:

Recognize feature benefits

When visiting the quiz page before the quiz opens, the Attempt quiz now button is disabled temporarily. A countdown period will begin. When the countdown ends the Attempt quiz now button is re-enabled and students can start the quiz attempt. 

View of what students see when they enter a quiz prior to its opening; countdown clock in hours, minutes, and seconds is in the center and Back to the course button at the bottom center of the page

This feature will help to lightly spread access to the quiz and discourage the need to select the refresh button redundantly. Overall this feature should help decrease latency between users while taking a Moodle quiz. After the Moodle quiz opens, the countdown will no longer be visible.

Set the time limits on your quiz 

Moodle ISU will calculate the delay entry based on the following components:

  • Number of test takers

  • Quiz time limit

To accommodate this gradual entry, and any other delays at the start of the quiz, the length of  the quiz window (open and close dates and times) needs to be greater than the time limit by a minimum amount. Having a larger quiz window is a good teaching practice even when not using this feature.

The following are recommendations:

For quizzes of 1 hr, we recommend a quiz window of at least 20 minutes longer than the quiz time limit, i.e., 1 hr 20 minutes. Add 10 minutes for each extra hour. 

For quizzes of 30 min or less we recommend a minimum window of 10 minutes longer than the time limit.

For classes of up to 100 students, a quiz window 10 minutes longer than the time limit should allow sufficient time, depending on the quiz length. If the quiz is an hour, use 20 extra minutes instead, as mentioned in the above paragraph. We advise adding 1 minute of extra time to your quiz window for each additional 10 students.

Note: These are all minimums, and it is advisable to set a longer quiz window.


Note: If your Quiz availability time is too short you will receive the following error: “An availability time of # mins is too tight. Please note that some students will be delayed by up to # min, they have # mins to take the test and it is advisable to leave a safety margin for other delays at the start of the quiz.”

Warning message that appears when the time allowed for the quiz is too short



Minimum Recommended minutes to add to scheduling window

Quiz Time Limit

Number of Quiz Takers

10 min

30 min or less

100 or less

15 min

45 min


20 min

50 min - 1 hr


25 min

90 min


30 min

2 hr


35 min

2 hr 30 min


40 min

3 hr



Disable Gradual Entry to the Quiz

Warning: Gradual Entry to the quiz will be turned on site wide and will be enabled at the quiz level by default. Disabling this feature may result in latency issues so please do not disable if you have 75 students or more.

To disable, do the following:

  1. On the course page, locate the quiz for which you would like to disable gradual entry.

  2. Select Settings in the course navigation menu at the top of the page

  3. Expand the Extra Restrictions on attempts section

  4. In the Gradual Entry to the quiz check box, deselect “Set Random-access delay”

Gradual entry to the quiz choice with a checkbox to the right and Sets a random access delay to the right of the checkbox

  1. Select Save and return to course

Seek Further Assistance

For additional assistance, please contact the ITRC at (208) 282-5880 or itrc@isu.edu


Creative Commons License

This work was created by the Idaho State University Instructional Technology Resource Center and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Article ID: 117437
Thu 10/1/20 2:56 PM
Wed 7/27/22 12:19 PM