Socrative – class quizzes and polling via any device

Having written about ActivEngage I was made aware of a site called Socrative, which I had missed before, that does a similar thing.

Socrative is a web-based system that lets teachers and students set up questions and polling on any device with a web browser (iPads, smartphones, laptops, iPod Touches, etc.). A student clicker IOS App is also available and there’s also one for Android. And the best news is that it’s free.

To get started, the teacher would set up an account (free), then log in at by entering their email and password. Here they can set up a quick question, or a full quiz. They can also download a teacher app which lets them do the same thing.

The students would go to in their browser (or open the clicker app) and enter the “virtual room number” provided by the teacher. Students will then see “Waiting for teacher to start an activity…”.

Teachers initiate an activity by selecting it on their main screen (e.g. Multiple Choice, T/F, Quick Quiz). The simplest way to ask a question is to simply ask verbally or post it on the board and then ask the students to submit their answers. This would be good for “off the cuff” questioning. For more formal assessments a teacher could load up a quiz that had been created in Socrative in advance and saved. Quizzes can be imported from an Excel template too.

When the students visit the site and enter the correct room number, they will see the quiz and be able to answer the questions. Teachers can set whether the quiz runs at the student pace or the teacher’s pace. Students’ results are visible on the Teacher’s screen or sent in an email. They can also be downloaded as an excel file which shows the students answers and overall score.

Socrative quiz

There’s also a “Space Race” feature which allows teachers to create virtual teams for answering questions or prompts and also an “exit ticket” mode which allows students to self-assess their understanding of the lesson (Assessment for Learning). This could be a good alternative to the “traffic lights” system or thumbs up/down that a lot of teachers use. The self assessment score, along with the students name, is then stored and is available to the teacher after the lesson.

Exit ticket

For a free system, I was very impressed with Socrative. I’ve only tried it out quickly, but would like to give this a try with my PGCE students to see what they make of it. Question design was simple – but for a basic multiple choice, short answer or true/false quiz it worked well. There was no scope to add images like you would be able to do in something like Smart Response or ActivEngage, but you could run the quiz alongside a flipchart or powerpoint page with the same questions on it, plus any images. It would mean extra work, but would be possible to do.

For individual testing, it does require every student to have their own computer – but it will work on any device with a browser with no need to have anything installed. This means there’s a lot of flexibility in how it’s used and you could mix smartphones, ipads and laptops without any problems. For a Space Race you could even have students share a device.

It doesn’t have all the whistles and bells of something like ActivExpression or similar, but if you’ve already broken the bank with a class set of iPads and want to do class polling on a budget, then I’d definitely recommend Socrative.

To find out more about Socrative, and to sign up for a free account, visit

Let me know what you think about it in the comments below.

Author: Danny Nicholson

Danny is an author, Science teacher, ICT Consultant, PGCE lecturer and computing / interactive whiteboard trainer. He has delivered training courses across the UK, in Europe, and in Canada. Please get in touch with your training requests.

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  1. To clarify for your readers, the share device option is available for any of the questions. With the space race, you could put students into groups where each group uses one device. On the other forms while using student paced, the student ends with a button to exit or allow another student to use their device to provide answers. This allows for you to incorporate this solution in a classroom even if you don’t have 100% coverage (less than 1 device per student).

    I started training our faculty last fall with this tool. I presented it in an online conference for community colleges back in February and in May I will be presenting it to a larger audience at FSI 2012. The 2 top things about it is its simplicity and the fact that ANY device with Web access can be used… not just app based devices. I definitely agree that it isn’t as robust as other solutions but there are many ways around all of that like you suggested. It is great to see another write-up on this great tool!

  2. Thanks for clearing that up Bob. Sharing devices in that way would be useful.

    It’s defintely a very interesting resource, especially given that it’s free.

  3. I’ve used Socrative as a revision tool with my Yr11’s. They absolutely love it, especially as those without smart devices can use a desktop computer. Not being able to use images does poses problems in my subject, as it is quite visual. But I worked around it by having a PPT on the Promethean board which linked to certain questions.
    Another question clicker app that I like to use is ‘eclicker’, this is also free but only works on devices that share the same wifi connection. It does allow pictures, but at the moment is not as stable. It frequently crashed during my lesson, which was very frustrating.

  4. Can you email students their results after you give a quiz, and if so, how?

  5. I don’t think you can Jennifer. Results get emailed to the teacher. You could edit and send to each student, but I can’t see an automatic way to do that.


  1. Classroom Response Tools for Assessment for Learning « ICT for Teaching & Learning in Falkirk Primary Schools - […] Danny Nicholson on his Whiteboard Blog has provided a useful review and guide to using Socrative classroom response system…

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