Tests are used 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.

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

How to Take a Test Online (3:02)

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

Preparing for Exams in Blackboard
Reliable, Wired Internet Connection If at all possible, use an Ethernet (wired) broadband connection, which are more reliable than wireless connections.
Updated and Compatible Internet Browser Make sure your browser is up-to-date. We recommend using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome for Blackboard exams (unless otherwise specified by the instructor) because they tend to be the most compatible with Blackboard.
Up-to-Date System Software and Java Make sure your computer is up-to-date. This means making sure you are regularly running your software updates and that you are running the latest version of Java.
Review Tests Dates Review test dates and times. If you are unsure when a test is scheduled and it is not listed in your course materials, contact the instructor for verification.
Start Early 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.
Read the Instructions! If you have any trouble taking your test or understanding test questions, contact your instructor immediately.
Also … 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.

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 timer status bar. Click the arrows next to the timer to collapse or expand it.


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 will turn yellow. At 1 minute, the warning will be red. At 30 seconds, both the status bar and the warning will turn red. If the timer is collapsed, the color changes are not visible.


Feedback and Grades

The majority of questions in tests are auto-graded. Your instructor defines the correct answers and assigns a certain number of points to each question when the test is created. 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.

Essay questions, file response, and short answer questions are not auto-graded. Your instructor must grade these questions manually. If a test contains these question types, the grade for the test is released after your instructor finishes grading.

If your instructor has 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.

The performance results you receive after completing a test 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:

  • 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.


If your instructor used a rubric for grading an essay, file response, or short answer test question and made it available, click View Rubric while viewing the graded test to display detailed information.

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 have been answered is displayed at the top of the page. Click the chevron next to the question completion status to collapse or expand it.


When you answer a question and move to the next question in a question-by-question test, the status box is edited on the next page to show that the previous question was answered. If you do not answer a question and move on to the next page in a question-by-question test, the status box will show on the next page that the previous question was not answered. Navigate between questions by clicking on 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 the bottom of the page to save. Saving either a single question or all of the questions that have been answered (with the Save All Answers at the top or bottom of the page) changes the status indicator to show which questions have been completed.