Systems and methods are provided for rendering an assessment item. A document encoded in a markup language is received. The document includes data that relates to at least one of an appearance and content of an assessment item, and the document includes a reference to a content file. The content file is retrieved, where the content file includes computer-executable instructions for generating an interactive graphical representation for display on a display device. The interactive graphical representation includes one or more features with which a user interacts to respond to the assessment item. The computer-executable instructions are executed based on the data of the document to generate the interactive graphical representation. Data generated based on user manipulation of the one or more features is received. The data generated from the user manipulation is processed to generate a modified graphical representation responsive to the assessment item.