Respondus Exam Authoring Tool

The Respondus exam authoring tool can be used by instructors to create and manage exams, quizzes, surveys, and self-tests that can be printed on paper or published directly to a Canvas course.

  • Import exam questions from Word or text files.
  • Create a pool of questions such that no two students would receive the same exam.
  • Print a version of the exam for students with accessibility accommodations.
  • Push exams and questions directly to Canvas.

Getting Started

The Respondus Exam Authoring Tool is used outside of Canvas. Content created in the tool can be pushed directly to a Canvas course.

Instructor Resources

Downloading the Respondus Exam Authoring Tool

  1. Complete the form to Request a Respondus Exam Authoring Tool license. When you click Order Now, an email will be sent to you with further instructions. 
  2. Go to your email follow the link to download the file. Note: It’s important to note that you are not able to download the software directly from the Respondus website, nor are you able to use the password listed below to activate a copy previously downloaded from their site.
  3. Make note of the exact activation information contained in the email, including:
    1. Institution Name
    2. Name of Support Contact
    3. Installation Password
  4. Locate the file (Respondus4Campus.exe) on your hard drive and double-click it to start the installation program. Note: It is recommended that you accept the default settings for where the program is installed on your computer.
  5. Enter the activation information from above.
  6. Finish the installation wizard.

Building exam questions with the Respondus Exam Authoring Tool

  1. Open the Quick Start Guide as a reference.
  2. Open Respondus and select a “Personality” (choose Canvas) from the Start Menu.
  3. Select either Exam Wizard or Test Bank Network, then follow the steps in these sections:
    1. Using the Exam Wizard and Importing Questions from Other Formats
    2. Register a Publisher Test Bank
  4. Follow the steps in Using the Edit Menu to edit any questions.

Creating the Exam

Follow along with these directions in the Quick Start Guide, in order:

  1. The Settings Menu
  2. The Publish Menu
  3. Using the Publish Wizard
  4. Printing an Exam (if necessary)

Retrieving Exam Questions from Canvas

Quiz questions can only be extracted from a Canvas quiz. To extract questions from a question bank, you must:

  1. Go to your Canvas course.
  2. Create a quiz by finding questions in your question bank(s).
  3. Export the quiz content.
  4. Start the Respondus Exam Authoring Tool
  5. Go to the Start menu:
    1. Change the Current Personality to “IMS QTI”.
    2. Select Import Questions.
    3. Under the File name, click Browse then change the file type to *.zip.
    4. Locate the downloaded QTI zip file.
    5. Choose to add the new Questions to a new document and provide a name.
    6. Click Preview, then Finish.
  6. Go the to the Preview + Publish menu:
    1. Choose Print Options.
    2. Select your format and adjust Settings.
    3. Select whether to randomize questions.
    4. Choose whether to Print or Save to a Word document.


Iowa State University has a university-wide license for the Respondus Exam Authoring Tool.

Our license DOES permit you to install a copy of the Respondus software on a home computer. However, please note that you are not permitted to provide the Respondus software or the password information to anyone who is not affiliated with our institution. Such an action is a violation of our licensing agreement with Respondus and is also illegal. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and that you find the Respondus software useful.

Our license with Respondus, Inc. DOES NOT permit instructors to obtain support for Respondus directly from Respondus, Inc. If our staff is unable to solve a particular question or problem, we will contact Respondus, Inc. on your behalf.

About Your Activation Password
Each year a licensing institution is provided with a new “activation password” that can be used to reactivate a copy of Respondus and/or StudyMate Author that was previously installed or to install a new copy of the software.

Please note the following:

  1. You can begin using this password information immediately for new installations of Respondus and/or StudyMate Author.
  2. For copies of Respondus or StudyMate Author that were previously installed, users can update their activation password as follows:
    1. prior to August 1, start the application and select File > Update License (if “Update License” isn’t shown, first upgrade to the latest version of the software),
    2. after August 1, upon startup, the software will automatically prompt you for the new password.

To find the most recent password, visit the Respondus Download website at Iowa State University.


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