UB Online

Blackboard Test-Taking Tips



Before you start the test

Preparing your computer

During the test

Completing the test

After the test



A - Before you start the test:


1) Be certain that you are ready to take the test & set aside time in which you will be free from interruptions BEFORE clicking on the link to the test. 

Most tests can only be accessed once and when you click on the link to start the test, you will not be able to come back and finish it later.


2) Find out the dates that the test will be available in the course & don’t wait until the last minute to take the test!   Most tests will be available only

during a certain time period, so contact your instructor to find out if there is a deadline for taking the test.


3) Find a reliable computer & once you start a test, finish it without leaving!   Use a reliable computer with a high speed Internet connection (DSL or cable)

if possible.  Leaving a test that you have started can cause you to be locked out of the test, so once you start a test plan on finishing it.



B - Preparing your computer:


1) Close down all other programs running on your computer.  Do not take a test with other applications running in the background, such as movies, music,

e-mail, or IM (instant messaging).


2) Settings:

·         Disable popup blockers for the course website (http://blackboard.bridgeport.edu) as tests will open in a new window. Popup blockers can be found in various places,

      including popup blocking software, anti-virus software, Yahoo and Google Toolbars, etc, so disable popup blockers prior to beginning a test.

·         Disable firewalls before taking the test if you are taking an exam from a computer or computer network that has a firewall installed.

·         Make sure your computer is free of viruses and/or spyware by running anti-virus & anti-spyware software regularly.

·         Enable your browser's status bar so you can see the timer.  Some Blackboard tests may be timed.  All timed tests display the allotted time in the

      Instructions area of the test.  All browsers should display a one-minute warning pop-up message when there is one minute remaining in the allotted time. 

 You may still submit an assessment after the time limit has expired, although your instructor will be notified that the time limit was exceeded. 

 To enable your status bar:

Internet Explorer:   View  >  Status Bar  >  check ü

Firefox:                 View  >  Status Bar  >  check ü


3) Verify That You Have The Minimum Blackboard System Requirements:

Windows Operating System

Windows 98 or higher

Browsers: Internet Explorer 6.0.x and Firefox 1.0.x or higher

(Note: Internet Explorer 5.2-5.5 & AOL browsers were not tested by Blackboard and are not officially supported.)


Mac Operating System

OS 10.2, Browsers:  Firefox 2.0.x and Safari 2.0.x or higher

OS 10.3, Browsers:  Firefox 2.0.x and Safari 2.0.x or higher


4) Internet connections:

·         America Online (AOL) is not officially compatible with Blackboard. If you are using AOL to access the Internet, once the connection is made,

minimize the AOL window and use a different browser - Internet Explorer or Firefox are recommended.

·         Dialup-Up:  If you use a “dial-up modem” to connect to the Internet, turn off “call waiting” and if you use the same line for voice calls, make sure

no one picks of the phone and disconnects you from the Internet.

·         Wireless:  Students using wireless for test taking should check they have a strong, reliable connection.  If no connection is established or

the signal is weak, move the computer closer to the wireless access point or use a computer with a wired line.


5) Read the instructions for the test carefully:

Each Blackboard test may be set up differently by your instructors.  The options for each test will be listed at the top in the Instructions area.  It is very

important that you read your instructor's directions carefully:

·         Some tests may be taken more than once, while others can only be taken once. Your instructor will inform you if the test can be taken more than once.

·         Some tests may require that they be completed in one sitting (force completion), while some tests may allow you to complete one section, and

then return to finish additional sections.

·         Some tests may be timed. Your instructor will tell you if the test is timed and the time allotted. While Blackboard will not stop the test after the

allotted time has elapsed, it will record the time spent on the test. Your instructor may penalize you if more time was taken than allotted for the test.

·         Some tests are all-at-once assessments, allowing you access to the entire test and move freely item to item (permits backtracking). Some tests are

one-at-a-time assessments, showing only one question at a time, and you may not return to a previous question.



C - During the test


1) Do NOT:

·         Double-click when starting a test.  After clicking on the link to start a test, wait until the test has completely loaded before answering any questions.  If

a student double-clicks on the link to a test, Blackboard reads the first click as an attempt to take the test and the second click as a second attempt, and

will therefore block access. Students will then need to contact the instructor. 

·         Open any other windows, surf the net, or visit any other websites while taking a test, or your work may be lost.  Do not click outside the test area

during an exam, such as clicking on the "Announcements" or Course Materials” buttons. Clicking outside the test area will cause Blackboard to kick you

out of the exam before you have completed it.

·         Click the Back button or the Refresh button on your web browser. Use the Arrow keys to navigate within a test. Using the Back button can kick you

out of the exam prematurely. Instead, use the scroll bar to move back to check earlier questions.

·         Click Submit, Next or Save more than once. It may take a few moments to receive confirmation or move to the next question. Clicking more

than once can actually slow down the loading and can cause test errors.

·         Close the window of the test for any reason.


2) When using a mouse with a scroll wheel, be careful with scrolling. Always click a blank area on the test before using the scroll wheel. This will insure you

do not inadvertently change an answer on the test.


3) If the test involves essay questions, copy your essay answers to a text file or Word document so you will have a backup in case of technical issues.


4) Save your work often during the test using the Save button. While taking an online test it is a good idea to save your work periodically.  To save your test

    answers, you can either save each question individually by clicking on Save on the right, or by scrolling to the bottom right of the screen and clicking on the Save

    button after every 4-5 questions.  When you have answered all the questions, you should review your answers, then click on Save again.  Only click the Save

    button once, wait for the screen to re-appear, then continue.  If you do not see a Save button, you may need to maximize the test screen (by going to the top

    right of the browser and clicking on the middle of the three icons).


5) Answer all of the questions and check your answers before completing the test.  If you do not see all of the questions, you may need to maximize the test

screen (by going to the top right of the test screen and clicking on the middle of the three icons).



D - Completing the test (once you have answered all of the questions):


1) Review all of your answers before submitting the test. Make sure you have not accidentally changed your response to a question or made a typographical mistake,

then save your work one final time.


2) Make sure to click the Submit button when you are done with the test (scroll to the bottom of the page) or you will not get credit for your answers.  The

Save button will save your work, but only the Submit button will submit your test and allow your work to be graded.  You will receive confirmation that your test

has been submitted successfully.


3) Click Submit ONLY ONCE. It may take several monents for your test to be submitted successfully, so do NOT click Submit more than once.  Also, do NOT

close your browser or exit the test until you receive a confirmation from Blackboard that it has been successfully submitted.



E - After the test:


1) If you get locked out of a test, or receive a message saying that you have already completed the test or that the test in still in progress, you will

need to contact your Instructor.  If your instructor resets the exam for you to take again, this clears any answers you have entered previously and you

must start from the beginning of the test.


2) If the instructor allows students to view their grades, you can view your grade by clicking Student Tools then My Grades.  If the test involves essay

questions, the test must be manually grade by the instructor before students can view their grades.


3) Relax, you are now done with your test!