Authoring Examination Papers using LaTeX (and a GUI front-end for non-coders)

Part of my current job involves preparing examination papers, which is supposed to follow certain formatting guidelines. During my first time doing it, I used the sample Word document file everyone else is using. Suffice to say that once was enough. ( ̄▽ ̄)

So I wrote my own LaTeX document class based on exam.cls for authoring our examination papers. I held a basic LaTeX workshop for my colleagues, and one of them was game enough to dive right into it and started using my document class for setting her exam papers too (and loved it).

Other colleagues enquired about the possibility of having a GUI front-end, so that they wouldn’t have to deal with the code at all. The idea was turned into an undergraduate final year project. My student built a examination paper preparation system which saves the questions as XML, transforms them using XSLT into a LaTeX file, an then generates PDF file by invoking pdflatex on it. You can read more about the project in this paper.