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Blackboard Help


Instructors use tests 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 Grades when your instructor makes them available to you. To learn more, see My Grades.

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

Watch a Tutorial

Double-click the video to enlarge the viewing area.

Taking a Test

Your instructor lets you know when a test is available and where to find it in your course.

Tips for Taking a Test

  • Start your test as soon as you can. If your instructor schedules three days for your test, plan to take the exam early on the first day. That way, if you have an issue, you will have time to contact technical support and your instructor.
  • Be prepared. Have any materials that you need at hand.
  • Read all of the instructions. If you have any trouble taking your test or understanding test questions, contact your instructor immediately.
  • Check your Internet connection. You need to make sure that you have a strong internet connection.
    • A wired connection is usually more reliable than a wireless connection.
    • Check with your instructor and institution before taking a test using a cellular data connection. Most institutions will advise you to avoid using a cellular data connection unless your institution is a Blackboard Mobile Learn-enabled site with a Mobile Learn app available AND your instructor has created a Mobile-compatible test.
  • 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

  1. Navigate to the test and click the title.
  2. Click Begin to 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 Submit to 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 are saved automatically. You can also click Save next to each question or Save All Answers at the top or bottom of the page as you work. If your instructor associated a rubric with an Essay, File Response, or Short Answer question, click View Rubric to display grading criteria.

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  5. When you complete the test, click Save and Submit.

    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.

Timed Tests

If your instructor chose 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:

  1. Auto-submit: Test saves and submits automatically when time expires.


  2. Continue beyond the time limit: You receive 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 your 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.

When the timer runs out with the auto-submit feature, the test saves and submits, and the Test Submitted page appears. Without auto-submit, a pop-up window appears with the choice to submit or continue.

Timer Status Bar

While taking a test, the remaining time appears on a status bar. Click the arrows 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 turns yellow. At 1 minute, the warning is 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. When creating a test, your instructor defines the correct answers and assigns a certain number of points to each question. 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. Your instructor may choose a date in the future before releasing specific test information to allow for your classmates to take the test.

Essay, File Response, and Short Answer questions are not auto-graded. Your instructor must manually grade these question types. Grades for tests with these question types are released after your instructor finishes grading and allows it.

If your instructor 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.

After completing a test, the performance results you receive 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 items:

  • 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 question and made it available, click View Rubric while viewing the graded test to see detailed information.

Retake a Test

If you are allowed to take a test multiple times, this appears at the top of the test. If your instructor placed a limit on the number of attempts, the number is stated. A link to take the test again appears when the test is reopened. 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 you open it. You are not allowed to exit the test and continue working on it at a later date. This is stated at the top of the test. 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.

Prohibit Backtracking

If backtracking is prohibited, you are not allowed to go back to questions you already answered. This is stated at the top of the test. An error appears when you attempt to use the Back function within the test.

Test Presentation

Your instructor can choose to present test questions all-at-once or one-at-a-time.

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

All-at-once options
Function Action
Store answers Click Save All Answers. A saved icon appears in the question completion status indicator. You are allowed to change answers after they are saved.
Finish the test Click Save and Submit. You receive a confirmation followed by a receipt page stating that the test is completed.

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

One-at-a-time options
Function Action
Navigate through questions Use the navigation arrows (<<, <, >, or >>). The question completion status 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 Click Save All Answers. Questions you answered up to this point are saved.
Finish the test Click Save and Submit. You receive a confirmation followed by a receipt page stating that 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 you answered appears at the top of the page. Click the arrows next to the status indicator 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 updated on the next page to show that you answered the previous question. If you do not answer a question and move on to the next page, the status box on the next page shows that you did not answer the previous question. Navigate between questions by clicking 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 save. When you click Save All Answers at the top or bottom of the page, the status indicator shows which questions you completed. You can click it after completing one, three, or more questions on a page.