Blackboard Tests

As a student in Blackboard, you may take a variety of tests online such as practice exams, pop quizzes, mid-term exams, and final exams. In fact, you may have already experienced your first online test in the other sections of this course. If so, what did you think about the experience? What was different from taking a test in class? As you will see, Blackboard tests can vary in their display and can contain a lot of different types of questions such as True and False, Matching, Ordering and more.

Topic What’s Covered
Preparing to Take Tests in Blackboard Tips for preparing your system (and yourself) for taking tests in Blackboard
Accessing Tests and Quizzes How to access Tests and Quizzes in Blackboard
Types of Test Settings A list of the types of test settings you might encounter in your courses
Test Receipt Page Information about the test submission verification page
Viewing Test Results How to view your test results and grades
Taking Tests in the Lockdown Browser Information about taking and submitting tests in Respondus Lockdown Browser

Preparing to Take Tests in Blackboard

One of the most important—and most neglected—steps in the exam preparation process is making sure your computer is ready for an online exam. This means having a reliable, preferably wired, Internet connection; an Internet browser that is compatible with the type of exam you are taking; up-to-date Java installed; and all necessary software downloaded and tested to make certain it works on your system.

Below are the major things you need to check for before beginning any exam in Blackboard.

Preparing for Exams in Blackboard
Reliable, Wired Internet Connection Make sure you are using an Ethernet (wired) broadband connection of at least 1.5 Mbps or higher. If you have questions about Internet connection speeds, please review the resources under Getting Started: Bb Hardware And Software.
Updated and Compatible Internet Browser Make sure your browser is up-to-date. We recommend that students use Mozilla Firefox for their Blackboard exams (unless otherwise specified by the instructor) because it tends to be the most compatible with Blackboard.
Up-to-Date System Software and Java Make sure your computer is up-to-date. This means making sure you are regularly running your software updates and that you are running the latest version of Java.
All Necessary Software Installed If you have any additional software you need to download, like Respondus Lockdown Browser, you need to get that downloaded and tested several days before you intend on taking the exam.
Review Tests Dates Review test dates and times. If you are unsure when a test is scheduled and it is not listed in your course materials, contact the instructor for verification.
Start Early You should never wait until the last possible moment to start an exam. If your instructor schedules two days for your exam, plan to take the exam early on the first day it is available. If something goes wrong, you have time to contact technical support and your instructor.

Remember, when you start early you have time to recover from most minor setbacks or make arrangements with your instructor for circumstances outside of your control.

Important Note:

If you use a wireless, UBS modem, laptop connect card, or mobile hotspot connection during an exam, you are more likely to run into problems due to dropped/interrupted connections to the Blackboard server.

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Accessing Tests and Quizzes

You can only access a test or quiz when it has been deployed by your instructor in a Content Area of the course. Your instructor may have an entire area in your course dedicated to just tests and quizzes or the tests and quizzes may be placed along with related lesson material. When the instructor informs you that the test is available, and where to find it, enter that area of the course and click on the test link to launch it.

This will take you to the entry page of the exam where you can view the instructions for the exam, how much time you have to take the exam, and any additional settings the instructor may have set. This will be your last chance to navigate away from the exam without penalty. Once you click the Begin button, the attempted will be logged and your exam timer will start counting down.

Important Note:

You can identify Tests and Quizzes by the icon located to the left of their titles in the content area of the course.

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Types of Test Settings

Instructors will vary the types of questions included in tests as well as the way the questions are displayed. Also, there are a number of settings the instructor can enable on exams. These will be explained in the instructions before you begin the exam. Review the test instructions carefully for each test before starting.

Below is are some of the types of test settings your instructors might implement on their exams.

Types of Exam Settings
Force Completion When Force Completion is enabled, you are required to finish the exam in one sitting. This means that if you leave the exam without completing all of the questions, you will not be able to come back and finish it later. If Force Completion is NOT enabled, you can exit the exam and return at a later time. However, the exam timer will continue counting down regardless if you are in the exam or not. This feature is useful if you experience an error because if you are forced to restart your computer, you still have an opportunity to go back in and complete your exam.
Multiple Attempts Some instructors allow you to take an exam more than once. The exam may be set to record your highest score or only the last exam attempt. Sometimes an instructor may allow multiple attempts to account for technical issues. Be careful not to go back into the test unless you truly want to start over and take it again.
Timed Test Most instructors set time limits on exams. The elapsed time appears above the questions in the browser window, and you are notified when time expires. The remaining time appears on the assessment page. Click the chevron next to the timer to collapse or expand it.

Timer warnings will 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 will be red. If the timer is collapsed, the color changes will not be visible.
Auto Submit If the instructor has set a time limit, they can also set the system to force submit your exam when that time expires. Blackboard will send a message warning that time has expired and it will submit the exam for you.
Password Protected Your instructor may safeguard the test with a password, which s/he will provide to you before test time.
Questions All at Once The entire exam will appear on a single page and each question will have a Save Answer button so you can save as you go. There will also be a Save All button toward the top of the exam to save all questions at once. And, the Blackboard system is set to saved answered questions automatically after a few seconds.
Questions One at a Time Questions appear one by one as you click a forward arrow. Clicking the arrow automatically saves each question as you go. If settings permit, you can use the question navigation at the top of the screen to revisit unanswered questions.
Backtracking Prohibited On exams with questions delivered one at a time, you may be prevented from going back to any of the questions once you’ve answered (or skipped) them.
Important Note:

When taking an exam in Blackboard, never use your browser’s Back button to navigate between questions in the exam. This will cause issues within the exam, including loss of your exam attempt.

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Test Receipt Page

At the conclusion of the test, you will receive a receipt page. You can print it using your browser’s print command and keep a copy of the page.


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Viewing Test Results

Some exams submitted in Blackboard are scored automatically. Other exams—like those that include short-answer, essay, or file response questions—will need to be reviewed and scored by your instructor before a total score will be provided. After the exam score is released, you will be presented with your results based on the options selected by your instructor. At times, you may only see your score or you may be allowed to see which questions you answered incorrectly and feedback.

Once the score is released to students, you can review your test results using My Grades or from the test itself if it is still available. The steps for both methods are included below.

To review test results through the Test link:

  1. Click on the Test link.
  2. Click the Begin button to launch the Test Previously Taken page.
  3. Click on the OK button.
  4. The exam and its results should display.

To review test results through the My Grades Area:

  1. Look for the Test for which you want to review the results. Click on the grade/score you’ve received for that test to go to the View Attempt Page.
  2. Click the grade in the Calculated Grade column to view your exam attempt.
  3. The exam and its results should display.
Important Note:

Viewing Test Results
You can only view your answers and the correct answers if your instructors has enabled these feedback option on your exam. If these options have not been enabled, the Calculated Grade link will not allow you to view the test questions and/or answers.

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Taking Tests in the Lockdown Browser

For more information about using the Respondus Lockdown Browser with Blackboard exams, please visit our Lockdown Browser support page. For information about troubleshooting Respondus Lockdown Browser, please review our Troubleshooting Lockdown Browser documentation.

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