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If the participant has several attempts at a solution, individual and successive hints can be provided to help them answer the question. In such scenarios, it may be especially desirable to have points deducted from the participant's total score for each additional attempt. Participants solving the task on the first attempt will receive the full score. The more hints and attempts they need, the lower their score.

In the following, the Example "Transport" will be used to show you how to perform a point deduction for each attempt using variables. Therefore, the maximum possible score of the task will be increased to 10 points. For each additional attempt, the score should be reduced by one point. In other words, if a task is attempted multiple times within one test run, points will be deducted for each additional attempt. The number of test attempts is not considered. To make the point deduction visible to the participant, you may embed appropriate text elements in the task and feedback.

Variables for deducting points in the example task

To perform the points deduction, the following variables need to be defined:

  • The numerical variable {deduction_attempt} stores the point deduction for each attempt.

    In this example, the total score should be reduced by one point. Therefore, the variable {deduction_attempt) is set to a static value of 1. Since the value is static, it can be created as a pre-variable (pre-processed variable).

  • The numerical variable {deduction} stores the current point deduction depending on the attempt.

    The point deduction {deduction} is calculated as the product of the number of attempts (system variable NUMATTEMPTS) and the deduction of points per attempt {deduction_attempt}. Since this value is computed per attempt, it must be calculated as a post-variable (post-processed variable).

In addition, the score of the task must be recalculated according to the points deducted by setting the system variable SCORE and verified by the author. This includes the definition of a new condition: If the point deduction is greater than 0, the score of the task is reduced by the respective value.

Note: For the sake of simplicity, all of the variables for generating the general task and feedback content have been hidden in the screenshot.

Note within the task:

 Note on point deduction within the task

Note as individual feedback:

Note as individual feedback

A general note will be included in the task to make the learner aware of the fact that points may be deducted, and an individual note will be displayed as a feedback message immediately after the deduction.


Please note that if there has been a point deduction, the follow-up attempt can no longer be considered as completely correct because the maximum score can no longer be achieved. This also affects the presentation of the points achieved (colour marking), the correct/incorrect marking, and the general task feedback, which depends on the condition whether or not the participant has reached the maximum score. By using individual feedback, the logic for displaying feedback content can be individually adapted to the task.

Example task in different attempts

Points will now be subtracted for each attempt, according to the number of attempts needed. 

  • Participants who enter the correct answer on the first attempt will receive the full score.
  • Participants who enter the correct answer in a follow-up attempt will receive partial points. Through appropriate feedback, these participants can be given individual hints at the solution to encourage them to continue processing the task on their own.
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