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Blackboard Student Test-Taking Tips

The practices below can help ensure a smooth online testing experience.

If you experience difficulty while taking an online exam, contact your instructor immediately via email and inform them of your situation.  Be sure to include the time, course ID, and test title in your email.

Internet disruptions, power failures, and browser crashes can occur during a test.  To protect yourself from the impacts of these potential problems, follow these steps:

  1. Using a mobile device to take an exam is not recommended.
  2. Use only Chrome or Firefox on a laptop or desktop computer. (Do not use Safari or other browsers.) NOTE: This doesn’t apply if your instructor is requiring you to use the Respondus LockDown Browser, they will give you instructions.
  3. If you experience trouble during an exam,  first, contact your instructor immediately to let them know you are having trouble. Then, try one or more of the following: 1) quit/close the browser and reopen it, log in again to resume the exam. If necessary, restart your computer.
  4. Close all other applications first: While you are taking your exam you should close other programs or applications that are not essential for completing your exam (e.g. chat programs, iTunes/Spotify, Email).
  5. Jump back to earlier questions: When taking a test, if your instructor set it up so that backtracking is allowed, click “Question Completion Status” to see the question numbers and link back to them. See image.
  6. Start any and all Blackboard tests with a fresh log-in session and a reliable connection. To reduce the chances of getting dropped in mid-test, close all windows of Chrome (or Firefox), restart the browser afresh, you should be asked to log in again to access Blackboard. Do this just before beginning your test.
  7. Be sure your Wi-Fi signal is stable. A cable connection is considered stable but a Wi-Fi signal may be less stable and can occasionally drop the connection closing your Blackboard test. If you are testing remotely from home, consider requesting that other family members not share the Wi-Fi in the home during your test. If you do not have a stable connection, contact your instructor to let them know.
  8. Compose long answers or essays outside of Blackboard. Don’t lose your hard work! Compose this type of answer in a text editor such as Word, NotePad, or TextEdit and SAVE it. Then paste or upload it to your Blackboard test.
  9. Keyboarding “Oopsies!” Be careful! Below is a list of common keystrokes that might accidentally take you out of your test session in the middle of typing.
    Possible test-killing keystrokes include:

    • the “Backspace” button on your keyboard
    • the “Enter” button on your keyboard
    • the “Back” button on your browser
    • the “Tab” button on your keyboard
    • the “Delete” button on your keyboard
  10. Save answers as you go. If your test questions are displayed all at once (rather than one-at-a-time) make sure you save EVERY answer before moving on to the next question.
  11. Don’t confuse your browser, computer, or Blackboard.
    • If possible, have only the browser window where you are taking the exam open. Close all unrelated browser windows. This will give you a better chance of completing your test without errors.
    • If you can, make sure there is only one Blackboard session per browser open at a time. If you need to navigate your course during an exam (i.e. if it’s “open book”), use a different browser.
Accessing your grades

Not all tests are graded automatically, and your instructor may not release grades and feedback immediately. This soundless video [56s] illustrates how to access your feedback and grades once they have been posted.

Updated on August 24, 2021

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