Quiz and Test-taking Best Practices

Taking a quiz or test in a Blackboard course can be a big deal and you want to do everything in your power to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. Follow these steps and tips to help ensure a successful testing experience.

Before You Start:

  1. Make sure that you have a reliable Internet connection.
    • A wired connection better than a wireless connection.
    • If you are using a dial-up connection, make sure you won’t be interrupted by a dropped connection from incoming or outgoing phone calls, etc.
  2. Run the Browser Check to make sure your software is up to date.
    • Make sure you have all the appropriate plug-ins (Flash player, Quicktime, etc.).
  3. Use a Supported Browser.
  4. Close all open windows and applications before starting the test.
    • Avoid starting any software updates at any point while taking a test.
  5. The Blackboard server has a 90 minute inactivity timeout (which may be shorter than the time an instructor allows to complete the test).
    • Clear your schedule for the allotted time for taking the quiz or test.
    • Typing is not counted as “activity.” Saving an answer within the 90 minute inactivity timeout period will reactivate another 90 minutes on the server (but does not extend the allotted time specified by the instructor).
    • Save your answers after you complete each question.
  6. If you are taking a test in an Online Testing Center facility managed by Engineering-LAS Online Learning be sure to check out the information at the Online Testing Center website.

Starting the Test:

  • Once you click BEGIN, the test has started, so you better be ready to take it!
  • Make sure you read the instructions carefully as there are a few different options your instructor might have chosen.
    • Force Completion: you MUST complete the test once you’ve started. NOTE: if this option is selected, an even minor interruption in your internet connection will cause the test to submit and close. Therefore, do NOT use a wireless connection if Force Completion is specified.
    • Multiple Attempts: you may be permitted to take the test more than once.
    • Timed Test: you must complete the test with in the time period (10 minutes, 1 hours, etc.)
    • Password Protected: your instructor has provided a password that must be entered before the test can be started. This may mean that you need to visit a testing computer lab where a proctor will enter this for you.
    • All at Once/One at a Time: determines how many questions you will see.
    • Backtracking Prohibited: specifies whether or not you will be able to go back to previously answered questions.

Taking the Test:

  • Do NOT start answering questions until the entire page has loaded. Watch the status bar for your browser to verify the entire page has loaded.
  • Use the left and right arrows on the test page to move to the next question.
    • NEVER use the forward/backward/refresh buttons on your browser. You may get locked out of the test.
    • NEVER use the mouse scroll wheel to advance to the next question because it may accidentally change your answer to the question you just completed.
  • Be patient while waiting for pages to load once you click to progress to the next question, to save, or to submit. Do NOT double click.
  • SAVE your answers after each question. This is considered activity and will refresh your 90 minute server inactivity timeout.
  • If you are typing an answer in a text box, be aware that neither Blackboard nor your browser saves text as you type it.  One option is to click the Save button next to the question frequently so the text you have typed so far will not be lost.
  • If you compose essay answers in another program to copy and paste into Blackboard, use a simple text editor such as Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac), then do any desired formatting with Blackboard’s text editing tools.
  • Do NOT navigate to another page while taking a test. This includes other pages within Blackboard.
  • Contact your instructor immediately if you run into difficulty or get locked out of the test.

Submitting the Test:

  • Click SAVE and SUBMIT once you have completed the test. Do NOT close the browser window or navigate to another site until you see the confirmation page.
  • Do NOT ignore warning messages; take a screenshot of the message and contact your instructor.
  • Check the feedback from your instructor.
  • Print the submission receipt screen for your records.

Final Reminders:

  • If you can’t confirm that the test was successfully submitted, contact your instructor.
  • If you do not save as you go and it is not submitted successfully, all your work will be lost.