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Blackboard Testing Tips

Taking tests online is a simple and straightforward process as long as you follow these test-taking tips...

Very Important:

  • Do not wait until the last minute to take quizzes and tests in Blackboard.
  • Read your professor’s policy on dealing with technical issues. Technical issues are not always accepted as an excuse, especially if you have waited until the last minute to take the test.
  • Try to take the test at a time when Student Computing Services’ Help Desk is open, so you can call for tech support if needed.

Setting up your computer and browser

Make sure you have the right browser. Blackboard recommends using Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox If you are using a Mac, you should download Mozilla Firefox to your computer. Safari users sometimes experience difficulties when taking Blackboard assessments. We recommend you have two browsers available in case one does not function well with some aspect of Blackboard.

Disable all pop-up blockers…or set them to allow Blackboard pop-ups. Blackboard tests often appear as pop-up windows, and a pop-up blocker may prevent the test from displaying properly. You may need to turn off pop-up blockers in your browsers and in other software such as Google or Yahoo toolbars and virus protection programs.

Find out about LockDown Browser. Some professors give Blackboard tests through the LockDown Browser. If your professor uses LockDown Browser, you will need to download the LockDown Browser program to your computer before you take the test. You will need to download the program only once.

To download LockDown browser, log into Blackboard and click the "Download LockDown Browser" link under Campus Bookmarks. Follow the online instructions.

Special considerations for America Online (AOL) users. Use AOL to connect to the Internet, but then use either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox to take your test. Keep in mind, AOL does not recognize activity in another browser and might terminate your connection after a certain amount of inactivity. You may need to occasionally click something in the AOL browser to keep the connection alive.

Taking the test

Be aware of timeouts. Blackboard times out after 90 minutes of inactivity. Your Internet Service Provider may time out sooner with no activity. Make sure you save your answers as you move through the test, so you can avoid losing everything if your service times out or your connection is lost.

Read the test directions carefully. The professor’s directions for the test will appear under the link to the test and again at the top of the screen once you click the test link. Information about the timing and availability of the test will be listed below the professor’s directions. Take note of whether the questions are delivered “All at Once” or “One at a Time”:

• All at Once: If all of the test questions appear on the page at once, the Save Answer button will appear next to each question. Click Save Answer after you complete each question. You can come back later and change the answer and re-save it.

• One at a Time: In this mode, you will have to click Save Answer after each question in order to move ahead with the test. Make sure you check the directions to find out if you will be allowed to go back and review the questions once they have been completed. Sometimes, a professor will give you one chance to answer a question without allowing you to go back and change it.

Starting the test. Before clicking Begin Assessment, it is advisable to read the Instructions and Troubleshooting information provided with the test (see below), especially if you are taking a Blackboard test for the first time. Once you are ready to start the test, click Begin Assessment to open the test window. If you are using a Mac, you will need to open the Instructions and Troubleshooting page and click Begin Assessment at the bottom of that screen.

Submitting the test

"Finish" the test. Once you have finished answering the questions, click the Save All button to make sure all your answers are saved, and then click the Finish button to submit the test. (Clicking the Save All button will save your answers, but does not submit the test.) If you do not submit the test, you will receive no credit for your answers. You should see a confirmation message if the submission was successful.

If you did not receive confirmation, go back to the assessment area and locate the test. If the link to the test is still active, the test has not yet been submitted. Open the test, check to make sure your answers are marked, and click Finish. You must finish the test within the allotted time in order to receive credit for all your answers.

You may start and stop the test as many times as you wish (within the total time limit for the test). Once you start the test, the timer runs whether you are logged into the test or not. If you are given one hour to take the test, you must submit the test within one hour of starting it in order to receive credit for your answers.


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