Drillster Support & Info

Creating and editing Drills

Creating and editing Drills

Drills are adaptive learning exercises that ensure that you learn more efficiently and retain better what you have learned. Drills can be made manually, you can upload them.  

Drills can be created in several ways:

1. Manual
2. By uploading a file

The quality of the drills that you design is an important element of the success of the course or training for which the drills are designed. We are happy to help you with the instructional design of these drills. We have made a quick start guide. In 10 easy steps you can create drills that meet and exceed your learning objectives. Click here to go to the Drillster instructional design principles


In this article will be explained how to manually create a Drill.


For more information on how to upload a Drill go to Upload a Drill. You can also place different Drills together in one course. For more information on this option go to Create a course


Manually creating a Drill


  • Click "Create new drill" in the menu
  • Drillster now shows some boxes that need to be filled in
    • Drill name
    • Subject
    • Description
    • Tags: these are words that make it easier to find the Drill later. Entering more tags will make it easier to find in your repertoire. Also, when a Drill is published tags are important to make potential users interested in your Drill when they search for a Drill.
  • Click "Create" and the Drill will be created.
  • Now the Drill has been created the columns and lines must be filled in.
  • When creating a Drill, Drillster assumes there is a known (question) side and an unknown (answers) side. The known side consists of information the user is considered to know when practicing the Drill. The unknown side consists of new, to be learned information. Examples of a known side are Dutch words, with the translation of these words in a foreign language being the unknown side. Also, a known side can be questions and the unknown side the answers.
  • Click the word “Question” to change the name of the known column. The new name should be a good description of the known side, like “Dutch”, “Question”, or “Music fragment”, etc.
  • Click the word “Answer” to change the name of the unknown column. The new name should be a good description of the unknown side, like “English”, “Answer”, or “Composer”, etc.


  • When a Drill consists of more than 2 columns additional columns can be added by clicking the orange beam “Add column”.
  • A new column name can be added, just like described above.
  • A new column can also be used to give feedback to the user when they have selected a wrong answer. Context information can be given as well. Context information is additional information that can be shown while answering questions as learning support. See Feedback and context for more information about showing feedback or context in a Drill.
  • To add images or sound fragments: click the "+"-sign and select "File". For other options see Question styles.


  • Next, the Drill can be filled by entering information in the columns and clicking "Save this line". If you wish to use multiple answer options: fill in the question and the correct answer option.
    After that, you can create decoys <Ctrl + D>
  • When using an Office product, please use <ctrl + shift + v> for past without formatting. Otherwise, you will get the mark-up Office is using.
  • To save the changes made in a Drill, a Drill has to be released first. This can be done by clicking “Release this version” on top of the page. Once a drill version is released, the changes that are made can be seen by practicing the Drill. Furthermore, you can publish it in the drill store, forward it to other users, define tests for it *, add it to groups* and more.


*(if your account allows you to)




Advanced options

It is possible to set the practice restrictions and answer options for a Drill. To manage these:

  • Click "Show advanced options".


        • In the drop-down menu several options can be chosen.
          • The language in which the Drill is being displayed can be changed.


        • You can add more tags, display line numbers (questions will be displayed with a number) and display line tags (for every question you can add different tags, this is useful if you want to make different drills with the same questions).


      • You can add a cover to the Drill. The cover is the starting page of your Drill and will make your Drill look professional. Click on "upload image" and find the right image for your cover. Below you see an example of a cover of a Drill.



    • You can add a hotspot question:
    • You can also change the practice restrictions:


There are three options for practice restrictions:

1. No practice restrictions
2. Receptive practicing only
3. Productive practicing only

No practice restrictions

In this case, it will be possible to practice the Drill productively and receptively. The user can reproduce what he has learned (productive) and recognize what he has learned (receptive). Drillster will show elements from both the “Unknown column” and the “Known column”. The participant has to choose the right answer from the other column (multiple choice) or fill in the right answer (open question).

Receptive practicing only

Recognizing what you have learned only. Drillster shows information from the “Unknown column” and the participant has to choose or fill in the right information from the “Known column”.

Productive practicing only

Reproduce what you have learned only. Drillster shows information from the “Known column” and the participant has to choose or fill in the right information from the “Unknown column”.


    • When you make a Drill consisting of multiple choice questions, you can indicate how many answers must be shown with a multiple choice question.



Here you can indicate that for every question in the Drill 2, 3, 4 - 8 answers must be shown. For example, if you choose “4 answers per multiple choice”, Drillster will always show 4 answer options with a question.

When making a Drill you can insert multiple correct and incorrect answers. When less than 4 correct and/or incorrect answers are inserted, Drillster will select incorrect answers from other questions in the Drill to make sure 4 answer options are shown with the question.

You can also choose the option “As many answers per multiple choice question as possible”. In this case Drillster will only show the correct and incorrect answers you inserted when creating the Drill. Every multiple choice question can then have a different amount of answer options.


    • At last, you can choose if the user of the Drill get to see introduction screens or not. 

Introduction screens are the screens Drillster shows once to show the user a new item. The user can then learn (memorize) the new item. Every time a few new items are added with the introduction screen, Drillster will let the user practice these items through answering the questions belonging to the items.


Introduction screens are relevant for information the user has not seen or learned before. This is not always the case. When the user is familiar with the information, for example when they have come across it in a course, lesson, book or video, the introduction screens can be disabled. Drillster then starts with asking questions.

It is also possible to let the user choose if they want to use introduction screens or not. In that case, the user can enable or disable the introduction screens while practicing in “Change settings”.

Drillster will leave the choice to the user (student or employee) by default. If you (the editor) would like to change the settings of the introduction screens:

  • Click “user can choose to get introductions”.
  • A drop-down menu with three options is now shown.
  • To always show the introduction screens, select “introductions are presented”.
  • To never show the introduction screens, select “introductions are not presented”.
  • If you would like to add Drills to leave the choice to the user, select “user can choose to get introductions”. This is the default option.






Multiple Choice:


Setting introductions:



Icons and covers

Icons are displayed in the repertoire, both in the online application and mobile apps. Icons can help to identify the subject or theme of drills. You can use them to give the Drillster app the look & feel of your company or school, learners will easily find the right drill by looking at the icon. 

Icons can be uploaded via the drill editor. When you are in the drill editor, left of the title you see the orange image with the white d in it. Click on this image to change the icon or to upload your own icon. Icons are preferably 256 * 256 pixels with a maximum of 512 * 512 pixels. 



Covers also help to give the drill the identity of your organization or of the specific course or training that the drill is used for. The optimal size for covers is 1.024 pixels (width) * 768 pixels (height). You can upload the cover under the 'advanced settings' in the drill editor. 

You only have rights to upload a cover when you have a premium account or a business or school license. 




Adding and adjusting columns

Every Drill consists of 2 columns by default, the known side and the unknown side. You can add several columns, so you can make an exercise that connects the known side with several unknown sides.



  • To add a column click the orange button on the right side. Then fill in the name of the column.


  • To delete a column; open the drop-down menu and select "Remove".


  • There are five other options for the column:
    • Rename: With this option, you can change the column's name. To do this click twice on the name of the column.
    • Produce speech: Selecting this option will result in a spoken version of the text. The column will be copied automatically.
    • Assign as known: With this option, you replace the current known column.
    • Assign as context: Selecting this option will make the text from this column appear in the Drill. This can be used to clarify the context of the question.
    • Assign as feedback: The text from this column will be shown after answering the question. For more information see Feedback and context.


Question styles options

The question styles can be selected. Pay attention: “Show advanced options” should be selected!




You can choose from:

  • Any question style

Drillster will give the Drill's users the choice to work with open questions and multiple choice questions.

  • Multiple choice only

Drillster will only ask multiple choice questions while practicing.

  • Open-ended only

Drillster will only ask open-ended questions while practicing.




Also, answer types can be chosen.





  • Single answer sought:

Only one answer will be judged as correct when an open or multiple choice question is answered. The option “Single answer sought” will be set as default.

  • Answer set sought:

There are several correct answers and all correct answers must be selected or typed in. An example of a question with several correct answers is “Name all 4 properties of process X?” The answers will only be counted as correct when all 4 correct answer options have been selected or entered. The order in which the answers are given is not relevant.

  • Answer sequence sought:

There are several correct answers. All correct answers must be selected or typed in, in the right order. An example of a question with several correct answers is “In which sequence are the seasons played in Vivaldi's Four Seasons?”. The answers will only be counted as correct when all 4 seasons are entered in the right order.




For more information go to Question styles.


Setting arbiters

An arbiter is a rule applied by Drillster to judge the answer to an open-ended question as given by the user.

The drop-down menu labeled "standard" contains the available arbiters. For example: "numeric" expects a numeric answer, or "case insensitive" does not take letter casing into account.

If "German" is selected, Drillster will allow "ue" to be entered for "ü", and "oe" for "ö", etc. For "French" Drillster will allow "œ" for "oe", etc.




Change settings

Under “Show advanced options” you can choose the settings that are used in the Drill (productive/ receptive, open questions/multiple choice, etc.). If you've chosen a setting for the Drill, you can still select other settings for individual questions.

To adjust the settings of one individual line:

  • Move the mouse over the question you would like to adjust.
  • Click the setting wheel.






  • Drillster opens a window, with which you can adjust the question style and answer style of the individual line.
  • Tick the boxes of the settings you would like to select for this line and click "close".


Adding alternative answers

It is possible to add more than one correct or incorrect answer to a line. This functionality is supported for multiple choice questions, answer sets and answer collections.

When the first correct line has been inserted, you can move the mouse over the text. 



 Drillster shows a new input screen. Here you can insert a new line. You can choose from:

  • Correct alternatives:

This is an additional correct answer.

  • Incorrect alternatives:

These answers are also called distractors. When incorrect answers are introduced Drillster will also show these answers when practicing or testing the questions with the multiple choice option.


Alternatives that have been added as incorrect will be shown crossed so the editor can see a clear distinction between correct and incorrect answers. Per question, a maximum of 8 answer options will be shown when practicing. Per question, you can enter a larger amount of alternatives, but only 8 of these options will be shown when practicing with Drillster.


Release a drill


To save the changes made in a Drill, a Drill has to be released first. This can be done by clicking “Release this version” on top of the page. Once a drill version is released, the changes that are made can be seen by practicing the Drill. Furthermore, you can publish it in the drill store, forward it to other users, define tests for it *, add it to groups* and more. *(if your account allows you to)

Click “Back to drill details” to exit the edit screen. Under the tab “Drill details” you can always change the Drill name, the tags, the practice restrictions, etc.



It is possible to upload a Drill. This option allows you to edit a Drill with multiple users. This can be done by clicking "Co-authors" on top of the page. The following screen appears where you can add a name or email address.



Copyright can be given to other persons, but it can also be withdrawn again. It's important to release the Drill first before you add co-authors to make sure the latest changes are saved.

Have more questions? Submit a request


Please sign in to leave a comment.