Gradescope for Instructors & TAs

Modified on Tue, 05 Dec 2023 at 04:25 PM



GradeScope is designed to improve efficiency, quality, and equity in grading exams.

With Gradescope, there are two main ways to assess remotely: paper-based assessments and digital assessments (like the Canvas Quizzes function but within Gradescope). 

We recommend using paper-based assessments with the variable-length submission type.

How-To Video

Paper-Based Handwritten Work submitted by Student

diagram showing the steps for a paper based handwritten work, three circles showing upload assignment, students submit work, and grade submissions

With paper-based assessment (handwritten work), you provide students with the assignment instructions and they work on the assessment on looseleaf paper or on a printed out pdf copy of the exam/homework/etc.  Students submit handwritten, paper-based work directly to Gradescope by scanning it using a mobile app. The instructor then grades the work and returns scores and feedback to students within Gradescope. 

Getting Started

The first step for getting started with Gradescope is syncing your course and your roster.  

Once the first step is out of the way, you will create an assignment in Canvas and link to the Gradescope LTI  in submission type.

Save that canvas assignment. Then you will open up Gradescope and follow the directions below.

We recommend using the same name for both the assignment in canvas and the connected assignment in Gradescope.

Setting Selections In Gradescope for your Paper-Based Assessment

If you would like to use the paper-based assessment option, here are the settings we recommend:

After you select Create Assignment, please select Exam/Quiz

Create assignment graphic

After selecting Exam/Quiz and filling out the Assignment Name, please upload the blank exam as a pdf underneath the template section. You will then select Student as the person uploading the submissions. Please also set the Release Date (when the Exam will be accessible to students), the Due Date (specifies when students will stop being able to submit their work without any late penalties), and the Late Due Date (specifies the last date when students will be able to submit their work on Gradescope). 

Submissions uploaded between the due date and late due date will be marked ‘late’ on the Manage Submissions page, Review Grades page, and in the grading interface. You will be able to apply custom late penalties to late submissions during grading, via the submission-specific point adjustments field on the grading page, or by creating a “Late Deductions” question with its own rubric. 

Once you have completed that section, you will then move to the Submission Type field.

This lets you configure what format you expect students to submit their work. We recommend Variable-length.

variable length and fixed length submission graphic, variable length radial selected

  • Preferred Selection: Students may be unable to print or they may not have access to a printer, you can allow them to upload freeform work on blank paper directly to Gradescope. The student would then designate where they responded to each question when they upload the freeform work. This submission type is known as variable-length.
  • If you can distribute paper copies, or your students have printers, you can use a template-based assignment. For this, you’ll select a fixed-length submission type. (We do not recommend this type since many students do not have access to a printer) If you want to learn more about this option, please reach out to

In other words, variable-length assignments are open-ended and there is no specific location where students write their answers, they would number the answers on looseleaf paper. Whereas in a fixed-length assignment, students would write their answers in dedicated answer areas, such as a worksheet being completed.

We recommend adding How to Submit Your Exam via Gradescope pdf to the assignment for easy instructions that students can follow for uploading their assessment.

Once all student submissions are in, you can move on to grading in Gradescope.

Please refer to this helpful guide on Grading in Gradescope. 

If you have questions concerning how to set up a particular Gradescope assessment, please reach out to If you encounter an issue with in Gradescope, please reach out to or

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