[OS X TeX] Answers to Questions in Exams

Alain Schremmer schremmer.alain at gmail.com
Fri Aug 22 07:30:20 CEST 2008

Off Topic!  Off Topic!  Off Topic!

I have an n questions multiple choice exam system based on Talbot's  
probsoln.sty that uses a databank in which each Exercise(i), i²n,  
comes in a number of Avatar(i, j) and where ExerciseAnswer(i, j),  
which indicates witch one of the choices is correct, is recorded  
after the multiple choices of Avatar(i, j).

(To clarify the terminology, if Exercise(12) is "addition of single  
digit numbers", the ExerciseText of Avatar(12, 1) might be "Add 2 and  
3", the ExerciseText of Avatar(12, 2) might be "Add 7 and 2", etc)

What I would be able to do is to collect in an ExamKEY the  
ExerciseAnswer(i, j) for all the (i, j) probsoln.sty used when  
creating an ExamTEXT.

The way things work right now, for each p ² n,

Ñwith "showanswers" turned OFF, probsoln.sty picks randomly the file  
Exercise(i), then Avatar(i, j) and then places ExerciseText(i, j) in  
the pth position in ExamTEXT,

Ñwith "showanswers" turned ON, probsoln.sty picks randomly the file  
Exercise(i), then Avatar(i, j) and then places ExerciseText(i, j) in  
the pth position in ExamTEXT and then places ExerciseAnswer(i, j)  
right after the choices for ExerciseText(i, j).

This, by the way, is of course a bit dangerous and I once came very  
close to handing out to the students an exam where "showanswers" had  
been left turned ON.

But I cannot just typeset the file twice with the same seed, first  
with "showanswers" turned OFF to get the students' version and then  
with "showanswers" turned ON to get the instructors' version because  
probsoln.sty randomizes twice and, even though the seed remains the  
same, will use different Exercises with different Avatars the second  

The way I see it, one should be able to insert in probsoln.sty  
another boolean so that, with "showanswers" ON, one could let  
probsoln.sty either place the answers as above or place the answers  
in ExamKEY, a separate page at the end of ExamTEXT.

(In fact, using Talbot's datatool package, I think the answers could  
then be displayed in a table.)

Failing that, it would be nice at least to be able to record j for  
each i.

Unfortunately, I will first have to learn a lot before I can read,  
understand and tinker with probsoln.sty.

So, for the time being, what I am looking for is just any information/ 
idea/suggestion/reading, whatsoever, that would help me thinking  
about/experimenting with all this as I don't even quite recognize the  
syntax in probsoln.sty.

Hopeful regards

P. S. In case someone is curious and would like to tinker, I can  
provide off list an example considerably smaller than what is on  
freemathtexts and that I have been using to experimentÑbut not  
minimal in that I kept some of the options.

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