How universities use quizzes to reach new students

Quizzes have gone full circle. When you hear the word “quiz” it’s probably associated with school and the tests you had to take there. Now universities are re-approaching quizzes from a different angle – a fun one. More than 100 universities around the world use Interact to create fun quizzes as a marketing tool to […]

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Quizzes have gone full circle. When you hear the word “quiz” it’s probably associated with school and the tests you had to take there. Now universities are re-approaching quizzes from a different angle – a fun one. More than 100 universities around the world use Interact to create fun quizzes as a marketing tool to reach new students. Today I’ve selected three of the best to pick apart and discover what they did right and wrong.

1. UCLA

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UCLA has won a lot of championships, it’s a school that prides itself on athletic and academic prowess (I know, I went there). With over 107 championships to choose from, their national championship trivia quiz is a perfect place to start when drumming up interest in the school. For perspective students, learning about the rich athletic history of the university is an excellent way to market the school itself.

The quiz content itself is simple and thought-provoking. The school did a good job mixing up the questions (and not making too many), considering that there’s a lot they could ask about. Overall the questions fun, and this quiz had a 95% completion rate.

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Where I think UCLA could really improve is in the quiz results. While they do provide a simple result, which can be very effective for driving social shares, I think they could have included a call to action and image to really complete the results and make them stick. For example, if someone does poorly on the quiz, UCLA could include a link to read more about athletics at the University which could be the first domino in a chain of events that leads to the prospective student applying.

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Overall I would grade UCLA at a B-. Their quiz is solid and ended up being taken thousands of times, but with a little more planning in the results it could have been something truly great (just like the school).

2. University of Illinois

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An awesome professor at the University of Illinois who has a great sense of humor (why couldn’t she be one of my professors?) made a great quiz full of Gifs and funny images to help students understand where they are in terms of public speaking ability. Getting up in front of crowds is one of the most under-taught but over-important pieces of an education, props to U of I for making this quiz.

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The quiz questions are excellent – full of fun and relevant photos. However, on some of the questions there’s a bit too much going on. When you have nine different gifs moving all at once, it creates some sensory overload that can be annoying and distracting. Also, having that many images can take longer to load and slow people down who are accessing from mobile phones or slow internet connections. I’m being picky though, Illinois did a great job of making a sensitive subject like public speaking fun and visual with their questions.

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As with the quiz questions, Illinois really nailed with with highly visual results. They also are upbeat with their copy. A couple of things they could have improved on would be to give some practical advice rather than just being super positive with the quiz results and providing a link to learn more about public speaking. Both UCLA and Illinois are missing out on opportunities to follow up with eager and interested prospects by not including links to learn more in their quiz results.

Overall, I give the Illinois quiz an A- it’s pretty close to being excellent but is missing a few key features like a link to learn more. Also, it goes a bit too far with Gifs which slows it down on older devices. The positives are great though, very visual and fun quiz.

3. Hillsdale University

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Remember when you learned the Bill of Rights in school? The document is fairly integral to our nation (sarcastic), and its contents are discussed in politics all the time, yet do you really know what it says? That’s what this quiz aims to find out. From private Hillsdale college, the quiz tests your prowess as an American politics buff and provides immediate feedback on how you did.

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The quiz questions are thought-provoking for sure. When we took the quiz here at the office, there was some heated debate as to which answers were correct. That’s a good sign Hillsdale created engaging content, but I do wish they would have thrown some images in here and there. All ten questions on the quiz are pure text, which got a bit bland by the end.

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I really enjoyed the Hillsdale quiz results. Props to them for having a sense of humor in the midst of an otherwise boring subject. When my result told me I’m probably not a citizen I let out an audible chuckle. They were also smart to include the correct answers (an automatic feature within Interact). Only thing I wish they’d done is include a link to the actual bill of rights or at least an article talking about the document.

Overall I’d give the Hillsdale quiz a B+ it’s a great effort, and our team definitely got hooked on taking it, but it lacks the visual prowess to be an excellent quiz.

Quizzes have come back to schools in a much improved way over the ones that are being given in classes. These quizzes are fun and you want to take them rather than being forced to take them. Hopefully the examples above can help you create an awesome quiz for your university,

you can get started making a quiz by heading to tryinteract.com

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Josh Haynam

Josh Haynam is the co-founder of Interact, a place for creating beautiful and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. Outside of Interact Josh is an outdoor enthusiast, is very into health/fitness, and enjoys spending time with his community in San Francisco.

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