The Effectiveness of Educating End Users With a Test-Out Quiz



Quiz card with colorful background with defocused lightsUse a “test-out” quiz as a way to get people who are normally resistant to training to proactively take the training. They think they are taking a quiz to avoid the training, but in actuality, they are taking the intended training. 

I don’t know about you, but when faced with a possibly unpleasant and bothersome training that is interrupting my plans for the day, if it offers a “test-out” quiz to skip the training all together, I’m going to take it. I enjoy the challenge. And if I can spend five to 10 minutes taking a quiz and avoid longer mandatory training, I’m in! What’s the worst that can happen…that I fail the quiz and have to take the full training just as if I didn’t take the test? Turns out, I’m not alone. A whole lot of people would rather test-out of training than take the training.

So, turn that motivation into the desired security awareness training

Make the training you were hoping to accomplish the “test-out” quiz. If you’re a KnowBe4 customer, you can select amongst many pre-built quizzes, and even have people who are automatically registered for longer training if they “fail”. You can even upload your own custom quiz. If you do, create each question with enough scenario detail and training to cover what you otherwise would have during the actual, longer training. Make a lot of the answers “All of the Above” and have all those answers be the training content. If designed correctly, the quiz will be fairly easy to pass. It’s meant to be. You’re more concerned about exposing people to the content and having them learn as part of the process than a real pass/fail test of knowledge.

Example of Easy Quiz Question:

Which of the following statements are true?

  1. Social engineering and phishing account for the majority of all malicious data breaches.
  2. Unpatched software is the second most commonly used hacker attack method.
  3. User passwords should not be easy to guess and should be unique for every network and/or website.
  4. All of the above are true.

Alternately, some people like to make the test-out quiz very hard to make the smarty pants people like me realize they really should be taking the longer training. Either way, you’re exposing them to all the relevant content in the test-out quiz and possibly again if you force them to take the longer education if they fail. It’s win-win. 

A few KnowBe4 customers shared this hint with me and said that not only did some of the usually most resistant learners take the training, but they did so aggressively. Turns out using a test-out quiz is a great way to motivate those normally hesitant employees. Give it a try and see how it works in your environment.


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products-KB4SAT6-2-1New-school Security Awareness Training is critical to enabling you and your IT staff to connect with users and help them make the right security decisions all of the time. This isn't a one and done deal, continuous training and simulated phishing are both needed to mobilize users as your last line of defense. Request your one-on-one demo of KnowBe4's security awareness training and simulated phishing platform and see how easy it can be!

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