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Blackboard Help: Tests and Surveys

How to Successfully Take a Test

Tests are used to assess your mastery over course content and objectives. Your instructor assigns point values to questions in the test. Your answers are submitted for grading, and the results are recorded in the Grade Center. You can view your grades in My Gradeswhen your instructor makes them available to you.

You can find tests in any content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder.

Taking a Test

Your instructor lets you know when a test is available and where to find it in your course. Before you begin, make sure you have a strong internet connection. A wired connection is more reliable than a wireless connection in some instances. Have any materials you need at hand before you begin. Click the link to launch the test. Read all of the instructions. If you have any trouble taking your test or understanding test questions, contact your instructor immediately.

Do not refresh the page, close the window, or click the browser's back button while taking a test. If you experience problems during a test, contact your instructor immediately.

How to Take a Test

Contact your instructor if you encounter issues or problems while taking your test.

  1. Navigate to the test and click the link associated with it.
  2. Click Beginto take the test.

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  3. Your instructor may choose to have you type a password to begin taking a test. If necessary, type the valid password and click Submitto begin the test. The test continues to prompt for a valid password until the correct one is provided.

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  4. As you work, answers will be saved automatically, or you can click Save next to each question or Save All Answers at the top or bottom of the page as you work.

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  5. Click Save and Submitwhen you complete the test.

    Do not use the browser's back button during a test. This may cause loss of data. If you have difficulties while taking a test, contact your instructor.

    If your instructor has associated a rubric with an essay, file response, or short answer question on a test, click View Rubric to display grading criteria.

Timed Tests

If your instructor chooses a timed test, the scheduled time is included in the instructions before you begin.

You are notified of the instructor's choice of Timer Setting, which determines whether the test saves and submits automatically when time expires, or if you have the option to continue beyond the time limit.

There is no automatic penalty for continuing beyond the time limit, however, final scoring decisions are made by your instructor. Talk to your instructor if you have questions about this setting.

The total time you spend on the test is recorded and available to the instructor when the test is submitted.

If you save and exit the test, the timer continues running. If you start your test on Tuesday, save and exit it, then complete it on Thursday the timer will show that it took you 48 hours to complete the test.

If the auto-submit feature is selected, when the timer runs out, the test saves and submits and the Test Submitted page appears. If the option is not selected, a pop-up window appears with the choice to submit or continue.

The remaining time appears on the test page. Click the chevron next to the timer to collapse or expand it.

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Timer warnings appear when half the time, five minutes, one minute, and thirty seconds remain. When the remaining time reads 1 minute, 30 seconds, the status bar will turn yellow. At 1 minute, the warning will be red, and at 30 seconds, both the status bar and the warning are red. If the timer is collapsed, the color changes are not visible.

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Feedback and Grades

The majority of questions in tests are auto-graded. Your instructor defines the correct answers and assigns a certain number of points to each question when the test is created. The system validates your answers against the key and assigns the score. You may see your score immediately after completing the test if all questions are auto-graded and your instructor releases this information.

Essay questions, file response, and short answer questions are not auto-graded. Your instructor must grade these questions manually. If a test contains these question types, the grade for the test is released after your instructor finishes grading.

If your instructor has associated a rubric with an essay, file response, or short answer question and made it available, View Rubric appears next to the Save Answer function. Click View Rubric to review the criteria your instructor has chosen.

The performance results you receive after completing a test depend on the options selected by your instructor. For example, your instructor may only show the final score for one test, while for another test the final score and correct answers are displayed. Feedback includes one or more of the following:

  • Final score for the test
  • Answers submitted
  • Correct answers
  • Feedback for the questions

To access feedback and grade information, select the test in the content area or use My Grades. On the View Attempts page, click the grade link in the Calculated Grade column to access the test, your answers, and any instructor feedback.

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If your instructor used a rubric for grading an essay, file response, or short answer test question and made it available, click View Rubric while viewing the graded test to display detailed information.

Retaking a Test

If you are allowed to take a test multiple times, it is noted at the top of the test. If the instructor has placed a limit on the number of attempts, it is also noted at the top. A link to take the test again appears when the test is re-opened. Your instructor determines whether one or more of the test attempt scores are recorded in the Grade Center.

Presentation Options

Force Test Completion

If force completion is enabled, you must complete the test the first time it is launched. If force completion is enabled, it is noted at the top of the test. You are not allowed to exit the test and continue working on it at a later date. The Save function is available for you to save the test as you work through it, but you are not allowed to exit and re-enter the test.

Backtrack Prohibited

You are not allowed to go back to questions you have already answered if backtracking is prohibited. If backtracking is prohibited, it is noted at the top of the test. When you take a test that does not allow backtracking, an error appears when you attempt to use the Back function within the test.

Test Presentation

Your instructor has two different options for presenting questions in tests: all-at-once and one-at-a-time.

All-at-once test present all of the questions at the same time. The following options are available while taking this type of test:

FunctionAction
Store answers Select Save All Answers. A saved icon appears in the question status indicator. You are allowed to change answers after they are saved.
Finish the test Select Save and Submit. You receive a confirmation followed by a receipt page stating that the test is completed.

One-at-a-time test present questions separately. Only one question appears on the screen at a time. You decide when you are ready to move onto the next question. The following options are available while taking this type of test:

FunctionAction
Navigate through questions Use the navigation arrows (<<, <, >, or >>). The question/section indicator describes the current location in the test and the overall number of questions. When backtracking is prohibited, these arrows do not appear.
Save answers Select Save All Answers. Questions answered up to this point are saved.
Finish the test Select Save and Submit. You receive a confirmation followed by a receipt page stating the test is completed.

Question Completion Status

The question completion status indicator provides an up-to-date look at complete or incomplete questions in a test.

The status of which questions have been answered is displayed at the top of the page. Click the chevron next to the question completion status to collapse or expand it.

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When you answer a question and move to the next question in a question-by-question test, the status box is edited on the next page to show that the previous question was answered. If you do not answer a question and move on to the next page in a question-by-question test, the status box will show on the next page that the previous question was not answered. Navigate between questions by clicking on the question number in the status indicator.

When you take an all-at-once test (a test where the questions all appear on the same page), click Save Answer to save a specific question without scrolling to the bottom of the page to save. Saving either a single question or all of the questions that have been answered (with the Save All Answers at the top or bottom of the page) changes the status indicator to show which questions have been completed.

Avoiding Lockouts

I was in the middle of taking a test or writing a post when I lost everything.

Unfortunately, the information is probably lost permanently. You will need to recreate the information. If you experience problems during a test and cannot continue, contact your instructor immediately. Blackboard does not have access to your institution's Blackboard Learn site and cannot help you with these types of questions.

Here are some reason why you might lose information that you are entering in Blackboard Learn:

  • The internet connection dropped.
  • The browser was refreshed.
  • Your browser timed out due to inactivity. Blackboard has a security setting that logs you out if it doesn't receive any input for a period of time. That period of time is different from institution to institution.

The following tips can help you avoid this issue in the future:

  • Use a wired connection if possible when taking a test. Wireless internet connections are less reliable.
  • Do not refresh the browser page.
  • Do not close the browser window
  • Do not click the browser's back button.
  • If possible, write out the text in an external application and then paste it into Blackboard Learn. Working offline first ensures that your work in progress will not be lost.
  • If you are working in assignments, save your work in progress. Saving often helps avoid any browser timeout issues.

Need Help?

Students should seek assistance from a librarian by visiting the Service Desk on the second floor of Goebel Hall or by calling (630) 617-3767.

  • Your Blackboard username and password are the same as your technology account name and password.
    If you change your password on Blackboard, you are NOT changing your technology account password.

Faculty should consult with their Departmental Library Liaison for Blackboard assistance.

Additional Resources:

System Requirements

1. Browser Choice

Desktop OS
Browser Versions
Mobile and Tablet OS
Browser Versions*
Android Browser Not available 4+
Chrome                           56+ 56+
Edge 30+ 30+
Firefox 50+ Unsupported
Internet Explorer Unsupported Unsupported
Safari 11+ 11+

 

  • Microsoft Edge does not support NPAPI-type plug-ins including Java plug-ins and many media browser plug-ins. Blackboard doesn't support these browsers for use with the Virtual Classroom and Lightweight Chat tools, the multiple-file upload interface, or embedded media that require NPAPI plug-ins for viewing.

Use the browser checker tool to check for compatibility and recommended software upgrades.

2. Devices & Operating Systems

Category

Tested

Operating Systems

Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, MacOS 10.8, MacOS 10.9, MacOS 10.10, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Chrome OS

iOS Devices

iPod Touch , iPhone 4S, iPhone 5S, iPhone5c, iPhone 6, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad Mini 3, iPad Air 2

Android Devices

Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, HTC G1, LG C800 Mytouch, HTC One, Galaxy Note 2014, HTC One M8

Windows Mobile Devices

Venue 8 Pro, Lumia 520, Lumia 930

Chrome OS Devices

Chromebook

Note that mobile and tablet browsers for both Android and iOS are much better equipped to handle the Ultra Experience than the Original Experience. 

3.  Java Installation & Java Runtime Environment 7 & 8

 

4.  Third Party Plug-ins

  • You may require third party plug-ins to view certain content.
  • Check to see if you have the updated versions of Flash, Acrobat Reader, and Quick Time.

5. No longer supported by Blackboard:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows, MacOS, and Linux systems not running a supported browser
  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox versions 50 and lower on desktop; all Firefox versions on mobile devices
  • Chrome versions 56 and lower (version 34 and lower on mobile devices)
  • Safari versions 10 and lower
  • JRE 6 for Blackboard Learn Original user interfaces

The most current information on System Requirements for Blackboard Learn  can be found here.