Certify'em Instructions

Certify'em allows you to harness the power of your Google account to create online certification exams and email customizable PDF certificates. Follow the detailed instructions below to get started creating your own exam today!

1. Installing or Enabling Certify'em:

The Very First Time: To install and authorize Certify'em for the very first time in your account, see here. You only need to do this once. Once you're done, return to this page to get started!

In a New Quiz: If you've previously installed Certify'em, and just want to use it again in a new Quiz, see here for instructions on how to enable it in your new Quiz. Once you're done, return to this page to get started!

2. Opening the Certify'em Menu:

Click "Certify'em" from the puzzle piece menu at the top of the Google Form editor, and then click "Show Certify'em Controls", as shown on the right.

3. Adding Identifier Questions

Once you have Certify'em installed or enabled, you can begin by adding questions to your exam. You'll want to start with those that identify the student.

EMAIL ADDRESS (First Question): Certify'em will always insert a first question that collects the email address of the exam taker. This is required so that Certify'em can email them a certificate if they pass. This question must always appear first, and cannot be moved or left out.

FULL NAME (Second Question): Certify'em expects that after collecting the email address, the next question will always collect the exam-taker's Full Name. This name is what will appear on their certificate, and in the records kept by Certify'em. This will generally be a "short answer" type question. Ensure that you do not make this question worth points (more on this later).

OTHER IDENTIFIERS (Optional 3rd & 4th Questions ): You may wish to add a question or two that help identify the exam-taker. For example, you may want to know the name of their department, team, location, etc. To do this, you may add up to two optional "other identifier" questions in a row immediately following the Full Name question. To differentiate these questions from actual graded exam questions, you must ensure they are not assigned any points (0 points), and immediately follow the Full Name question. Once Certify'em sees a question that is worth 1 or more points, it will stop looking for these "other identifier" questions.

4. Adding Exam Content and Questions

Google Quizzes (aka Forms) allow for a large variety of question types, as well as insertion of images and videos. Click on the (+) icon on the right to insert a new question, or use the icons below it to insert text, an image, or a video.

For example, you can embed a video that discusses important training topics, and then add multiple choice questions to test the exam-taker on their comprehension. If your exam is very long, you can also insert different sections to split it up, and even use branching logic to ask the exam-taker different questions based on their prior answers. Google Quizzes (aka Forms) can be a very powerful and flexible assessment platform in this way.

Certify'em can grade any question that can be assigned points and a correct answer, with the current exception of "grid" questions. To assign points and a correct answer, first create your question with all possible answers for the exam-taker to select from. Then, click on "Answer Key" at the bottom. If you don't see "Answer Key", it's likely because you have not yet installed or enabled Certify'em in this Quiz.

For multiple choice and checkbox questions, you can specify one or more correct answers, which the test takers much match exactly to get credit for the question. For short answer, text questions, you can specify a correct answer as well, but the students response much match yours exactly (including upper/lower case).

5. Choosing a Passing Percent

Use the Certify'em pop-up menu to select a passing percentage from the "Passing" drop-down menu. If exam-takers score this percent or higher, they will be emailed a certificate. By default, the passing percentage is set to 80%.

For example, if you have 10 graded questions worth 1 point each, and you choose a passing percent of 80%, then only exam-takers who get 8 or more questions correct will receive a certificate.


6. Selecting a Certificate Template

Use the Certify'em pop-up menu to select a Certificate Template from the "Template" drop-down menu. Several professionally designed templates are already supplied for you to pick from (see samples here), with the default set to "Golden".

Each of the included certificate includes the exam-taker's Full Name, their Other Identifiers (if any were included), and a 7-digit serial number ("Certificate ID") that's unique to your certification exam.

You may also want to use your own, custom template, such as one that features your organization's logo, or other information specific to your certification. To create your own custom template, you'll need to create it in your Google Drive account and then select it in the Certify'em pop-up menu using the "Use a Custom Template" option at the bottom of the"Template" drop-down menu. For more detailed instructions on how to create your own template, see here.

If you want to see how a certificate will look for your exam, choose a template and then click the "Email Me Sample" link. You will receive a sample PDF certificate by email.

7. Turning ON Certification

Once you have selected a passing percent and certificate template, click "Turn ON" at the top of the Certify'em pop-up menu to turn on certification. Once certification is ON, you'll be presented with an option to turn if OFF, as well as a link to the exam. You should use that link to direct exam-takers to your exam. You can email it directly to exam-takers, post or embed it in a web site, etc.

Note that when certification is OFF, exam-takers accessing that link will see a message that the exam is not currently accepting submissions (shown below). This is to ensure that you don't miss any exam submissions when certification is OFF. When you turn certification back ON, the exam will again be accessible at that link.

8. Adjust Google Form / Quiz Settings:

You can adjust a variety of settings for your exam via the Google Form (Quiz) settings.

You should absolutely review and adjust these settings to your needs before sharing the link to your exam with anyone!

For example, you can control whether exam-takers can:

  • Email themselves a copy of their responses upon submission: This copy will includes the questions of your exam. This setting is ON by default. It can be disabled in the Google Form settings (gear icon) under "General" > "Collect Email Address" > "Response Receipts". You may uncheck "Response Receipts" to disable this behavior, but do not uncheck "Collect Email Address", as this is needed by Certify'em.
  • Review their performance immediately upon submitting the exam (whether or not they passed): You can adjust this in the Google Form settings (gear icon) under "Quizzes" > "Release Grade". Adjust to "Manual" if you don't want exam-takers to be able to review their score upon submission, or "Immediate" if you do.
  • See which questions they got correct/incorrect, and the points for each, when reviewing their performance: You can adjust this in the Google Form settings (gear icon) under "Quizzes" > "Respondent Can See:".

You should absolutely review and adjust these settings to your needs before sharing the link to your exam with anyone!

9. Google Quiz Records

Google Quizzes keep their own records for each submission (whether Certification is ON or OFF). You can view these from the "RESPONSES" tab in your Quiz. Detailed information is available per QUESTION, INDIVIDUAL response, or as an aggregate SUMMARY. These records are extremely useful and informative. For example, you can find out if there are particular questions that people commonly get wrong.

10. Certificate Records:

Certify'em also keeps its own records for each exam, which are more certification oriented. When certification is ON, Certify'em writes each submission attempt to a new row in a Google spreadsheet (see below). The row contains information about the exam-taker, their score, whether or not they passed, and their unique Certificate ID. By default this spreadsheet is called "Certify'em Records", but you can rename to something more specific if you like.

To access these records, just click the "Certificate Records" link in the pop-up menu.

Some Terms:

You may see terms like "Quiz", "Form", "Exam", and "Certification" thrown around on this site. For clarify, here's exactly what those mean:

  • Google Quiz: Google Forms have an optional "Make this a quiz" setting. For ease of reference, Certify'em refers to a Form with this setting turned on as a "Google Quiz".
  • Exam: A Google Quiz in which Certify'em is installed and enabled (e.g. "Share this Exam link with your clients").
  • Certification: The action of certifying someone (grading and emailing certificate) on an exam (e.g. "Certification is now ON for this Exam").