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Blackboard Help

Test and Survey Options

This information applies only to the Original Course View.

Test or Survey Options page

When you deploy a test or survey in a content area, you set the options for feedback, due date, restrict by location, timer, multiple attempts, and presentation.

Access a test or survey's menu and select Edit the Test Options or Edit the Survey Options.

On the Test or Survey Options page, you can add instructions or a description that appears to students in the content area.

You also manage the test or survey's availability.

Unavailable and deleted tests and surveys differ in these ways:

  • Unavailable tests and surveys deployed in a content area don't appear to students. When Edit Mode is ON, instructors and course builders can see unavailable tests.
    • You can limit availability to a specific time period. Display dates don't affect a test or survey's availability, only when it appears.
  • If you delete a test or survey from a content area, it is removed from that location. You can deploy the test or survey again as needed—in one location only.
  • If you delete a test or survey from the Tests or Surveys page, it is permanently deleted from your course. The action is irreversible.

Multiple attempts

You can allow students to take a test or survey multiple times. The status of multiple attempts appears to students at the top of the test or survey.

Select Allow Unlimited Attempts to allow students to take the test or survey as many times as they want. Or, select Number of Attempts and type a number.

With multiple attempts for a test, you can also select which attempt's score to use in the Grade Center from the Score attempts using menu.

Force completion, timer, and password

If you select Force Completion, students must complete the test or survey when they launch it. Students may only access the test or survey ONE TIME. The Save function is available for students to save the questions as they work through them, but they may not exit and re-enter the test or survey. In the instructions, Force Completion is noted and explained to students. If you don't enable Force Completion, students may save their progress, navigate away, and return to complete the test or survey.

If students accidentally close their browsers, leave the test or survey page, or lose power or their internet connections, they can't continue. They must contact you and ask for a new attempt.

You may want to reserve the Force Completion option. You can require students to take a test on campus, connected to an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi, and with a proctor. If issues occur, the proctor can reset the test.

Set timer

Alternatively, you can set a timer to reduce the emails from panicked students who accidentally left a test or survey with Force Completion enabled.

Select the Set Timer option and type the amount of time in the box. During a timed test, the time elapsed is displayed to students. Timer warnings appear at set increments when half the time remains down to 30 seconds.

If a student saves and exits the test, the timer continues. A student could start on Tuesday, and save and exit. Then, the student could return on Thursday to finish. The completion time will be 48 hours.

Check out the student view of timed tests (use your browser's back button to return here)

To view the completion time, access a student's submission from the Grade Center and expand the Test Information section.

If you set the timer, turn on Auto-Submit to automatically save and submit a test or survey when time expires. If you don't turn on auto-submit, students have the option to continue after the time expires. Those tests and surveys are flagged as submitted after the timer expired. You can adjust a grade based on the time.

You may find it advantageous to use the Set Timer option and not Force Completion. For example, if a student loses internet connection for 10 minutes on a timed test, at least the test can be accessed and continued again. If you enabled Force Completion, the student can't access the test again and must contact you to reset the test.


You can require and type a password for students to use to access a test or survey. Passwords have a limit of 15 characters and are case sensitive.

Restrict location

You can require students to take a test or survey in a specific location. Students outside of this location aren't able to take the test or survey.

This is based on a range of IP addresses created by your institution. If your institution hasn't created this range, this option doesn't appear.

IP addresses identify specific computers and are a good method to enforce location restriction requirements. On the Test Options page, select a location from the Restrict Location menu.

At times, you might need to allow a student or a group of students to take the test from somewhere outside of specified location (IP range). In this case, you can use the Test Availability Exceptions to exclude specified students or groups of students from the location restriction.

More on test availability exceptions

Students with this exception enabled can take the test from any location, even if the test has the restriction for other students.

In a high-stakes testing situation, you or the proctor can override a restriction that has been enforced by the system. On the Test Begin page, you can see the individual instances when students were prevented access to a test. You will also see an option to override this restriction to allow a student to continue the test.

These restrictions are logged by the system in the event that later review is required.

Test availability exceptions

For existing availability settings, you can make exceptions for individual students or groups. Use exceptions to provide an accommodation to a student who is disabled or for technology and language differences.


For a test with one attempt, you can allow more attempts for a student who is blind and wants to use screen reader technology for the first time.

If the settings exist for a test or survey, you can create these exceptions:

  • Number of attempts
  • Timer
  • Availability
  • Force completion
  • Restrict location

Due date

If you use grading periods in the Grade Center, set a due date to easily include that test or survey in a grading period and on the calendar in the My Blackboard menu.

Due date and late submissions

To prevent late submissions, you can select the check box for Do not allow students to start the Test/Survey if the due date has passed. After the due date, students receive a message that notifies them that they can no longer complete the test or survey.

When you allow late submissions, they are clearly marked on these pages:

  • Needs Grading
  • View All Attempts
  • Review Test Submission
  • Grade Details

Self-assessment options

By default, a deployed test is included in Grade Center calculations. However, you can allow students to take tests for review or practice without impacting Grade Center calculations.

You can turn a test into a self-assessment by hiding students' scores in the Grade Center. Students can take the test to reinforce learning without feeling pressure about a score affecting their total grades. Select the appropriate options in the Show Test Results and Feedback to Students section so that they are able to see how they did. If you select all options, students will see the answers they selected and which ones are correct.

Self-assessment options
Option Description
Include this Test in Grade Center Score Calculations You can include this test in Grade Center calculations. If the test isn't included, the score doesn't affect any Grade Center calculations.
Hide Results for this Test Completely from Instructor and the Grade Center You can hide this test score from you and exclude it from Grade Center calculations. The display in the Grade Center will read Complete/Incomplete and N/A or zero appears on the Grade Details page. You can't see students' answers to questions. Students can view their own scores.

When you select this option and edit column information in the Grade Center, these will be unavailable:

  • Include this Column in Other Grade Center Calculations
  • Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades

Results and feedback options

You can set which results and feedback are available to students after they complete a test or survey. You can set one or two rules with the menus. You can't choose some rules in combination. After you select a rule in the first menu, some may not appear in the second menu.

If conflicts in rules occur, the most permissive settings for that student or group of students is granted. For example, students will receive the greatest number of attempts and longest availability time.

The image shows the two default options applied to tests: After Submission and Score per Question. If you make no changes, students see their overall test scores and the scores earned for each individual question after they submit their tests. Select more options to determine what else they see, such as the correct answers or your feedback.

Students can always see their overall test scores. You can't change that option from this page. If you don't want them to see their scores yet, access the Grade Center column's menu and hide the column from students. However, when you hide a test column from students, they see nothing about the test in My Grades. When they access the test in the content area, they receive a message that states when they submitted their tests. No scores appear.

This table explains the test and survey results and feedback options.

Test and survey results and feedback options
Option Description
When You must make a selection. Set when appropriate test results and feedback are shown to students:
  • After Submission: This option is the default.
  • One-time View: After students submit their tests or surveys, the selected results and feedback options are in effect for students to view ONCE. However, students can always view the scores they earned unless you hide the Grade Center column from students. Immediately after a student navigates away from the test or survey, any other results and feedback are restricted. You can change the setting or add another rule for a second viewing. A second rule is not combined with the one-time view rule, but is applied separately.
  • On Specific Date: View results and feedback after the selected date and time.
  • After Due Date
  • After Availability and End Date
  • After Attempts are graded: After all students submit the test or survey, and all attempts are graded, results and feedback are made available to students. If one or more students don't submit an attempt, you must assign a grade of 0 so that all students can view the chosen results and feedback.
Score per Question Show the score earned for each test question. This option is a default for tests only. Clear the check box if you don't want to show scores for individual questions.
Answers You can allow students to see information about their answers:
  • All Answers: Show all answer options.
  • Correct: Show the correct answers—tests only.
  • Submitted: Show all of a student's submitted answers.

Example 1: Show more feedback

When students access their tests, they see their overall scores, each question's score, and all answer options. They see their submitted answers marked as correct or incorrect, and any feedback provided.

Example 2: Show less feedback to discourage cheating

If students take a test at different times, you can make a limited amount of feedback available until all students submit the test.

For the first rule, select After Submission in the first menu and clear the check box for Score per Question. Make no other selections. After they submit their tests, students can only see their overall test scores.

For the second rule, select After Due Date and select options to show more results and feedback. You can create an announcement to notify students that additional feedback is available to view.

Feedback Show instructor-generated feedback for each question. This option appears for tests only.
Show Incorrect Questions Show the questions a student answered incorrectly or partially incorrectly. This option appears for tests only. You might show incorrect questions and allow multiple attempts so that students can focus their studying on those areas.

One-time view for results and feedback

In the Show Test Results and Feedback to Students section, you can select One-time View. After students submit their tests, the results and feedback options you selected are in effect for students to view ONCE. However, students can always view the overall test scores they earned. Immediately after a student navigates away from the test, any other options you chose are restricted. You can apply a second rule to allow students to view newly selected options at a later time. The second rule is not combined with the one-time view rule, but is applied separately.

The ability to select different options for each rule allows you to show some test results and feedback initially, and then show more later.


Rule #1: Select One-time View and Show Incorrect Questions. Select no other options so that while other students are still allowed to take the test, no one can share the correct answers.

Rule #2: Select all of these options:

  • After Due Date
  • Score per Question
  • All Answers
  • Correct
  • Submitted
  • Feedback

After the due date, students see their scores along with all answer options. They also see their submitted answers marked as correct or incorrect and any instructor feedback.

Test or survey presentation

This table explains the options for presenting questions in tests and surveys.

Question options
Option Description
All at Once Present all questions on one screen. Students scroll through all the questions and can move up and down from question to question. When selected, you may not choose Prohibit Backtracking.
One at a Time Display one question at a time. The screen includes navigation tools to move between questions. The Submit function only appears on the last page of the test or survey. You may also select Prohibit Backtracking and Randomize Questions.
Prohibit Backtracking Prevent students from going back to questions they have already answered. If you don't allow backtracking, questions are presented one at a time and the <<, <, and >> functions don't appear to students.
Randomize Questions Display questions in a random order each time the test or survey is taken. If you include references to the question numbers as they appear on the Test Canvas, don't use this option because the random order changes the question numbering.