This question was considered in an attempt to achieve what I want: Create a "choose between " questions with exam class

Background: I'm a math teacher with (very) mixed ability classes. I would like to be able to add "choose between A or B" (or C) questions to my tests, where A gives less credit than B.

Consider the MWE

  • I would like to have only the third question to add to the sum of points.
  • It would be nice if the grading table would include all three parts with their points, such that I can fill in the score the student achieved at the question he/she chose.

This MWE is very minimalistic, I honestly have no idea how I'm going to achieve this.


        \question Choose one of the three following questions
        \begin{parts} % only the third part should add to the total sum of points
            \part[1] Option 1
            \part[2] Option 2
            \part[3] Option 3
  • I took a quick look on the exam manual and I am not sure, that your request can be fulfilled. The code design does not provide for such a feature of optional questions and listing the credits selectively in the table; at least, I did not find it in the manual.
    – user31729
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


From my understanding of the exam class, you can't do exactly what you want with question parts, because the grading table lists questions and not their component parts. However if you restructure things a bit, I think you can achieve your end (assuming I understand you correctly). Instead of treating these as parts of one question, make them three separate questions and give the instructions to pick one with \uplevel{}. In the grading table, you can set the total point count to whatever value you want with \settabletotalpoints{}. Does the following do what you want?

Edit: added definitions to calculate the final total automatically


\newcommand{\questionintotal}[2]{\addtocounter{mytotal}{#1}\question[#1] #2}
\newcommand{\questionnototal}[2]{\question[#1] #2}



    \uplevel{Choose one of the three following questions}
    \questionnototal{1}{Option 1}
    \questionnototal{2}{Option 2}
    \questionintotal{3}{Option 3}


  • So the alternative is to manually set the total number of points? I had hoped there was some way to avoid the points of alternative A and B to add up to the total amount of points?
    – Holene
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 8:33
  • Well, you can keep your own counter and create new commands to either add or ignore the points in the overall total. I've modified the code to show a simple possibility. With more work, you could make things more flexible, but I'm a strong proponent of avoiding unnecessary complications in a solution. How elaborate do you really need to be in running through your point sums?
    – Karl Hagen
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 13:25
  • Yeah I thought one could do something like \nonumber (when numbering equations) when wanting to avoid adding the numbers to the total.
    – Holene
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 16:02

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