What's the difference between a test and a survey?

Instructors use tests to assess your mastery over course content and objectives. Your instructor assigns point values to questions in a test. You submit your test for grading and the results are recorded. You can view your grades when your instructor makes them available to you.

Instructors can use surveys for polling purposes and evaluations. Surveys aren't graded, but they do appear as complete or incomplete. Your responses to survey questions are anonymous.

Surveys aren't supported in the Ultra Course View at this time.


Where do I access tests and surveys?

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about accessing tests.

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


Watch a video about tests

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.


Video: How to Take a Test Online shows how to locate tests, understand the timer, and save answers.


Tips for taking a test

Start your test as soon as you can. If your instructor makes a test available for three days, plan to take the test early on the first day. If you have an issue, you will have time to contact technical support and your instructor.

Read all of the instructions. If you have any trouble with your test or understanding test questions, contact your instructor immediately.

Check your internet connection.

  • A wired connection is usually more reliable than a wireless connection.
  • Check with your instructor and institution before you take a test with a cellular data connection. Most institutions will advise you to avoid a cellular data connection. Exceptions: Your institution is a Blackboard mobile-enabled site with the Blackboard app available and your instructor has created a mobile-compatible test.

Don't refresh the page, close the window, or use the browser's back button while you take a test. If you have problems during a test, contact your instructor immediately.


Take a test or survey

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about taking tests.

Navigate to the test or survey and select the title. On the next page, select Begin. Your instructor might require that you type a password to begin. If necessary, type the password and select Submit. The system continues to prompt for a valid password until you provide the correct one.

Don't use the browser's back button during a test or survey as this may cause loss of data. If you have problems during a test, contact your instructor immediately.

Take Test or Survey page

View the details. At the top of each test or survey, you can view the information about multiple attempts, the timer, navigation, and any optional description and instructions. You're also informed if you must complete the test or survey after you open it. Select the arrows next to the information section to collapse or expand it.

More on forced completion and no backtracking

If your test or survey is timed, you're informed of the instructor's choice. The timer status bar keeps you updated on the time left.

  1. Auto-submit: The test or survey saves and submits automatically when time expires. The Submitted page appears.

    -OR-

  2. Continue beyond the time limit: You receive no automatic penalty if you continue 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 or survey is recorded and available to your instructor when you submit.

    If you save and exit, the timer continues to run. For example, you start on Tuesday, save and exit, and then complete the test on Thursday. The timer will show that you took 48 hours to complete.

View completed questions. The Question Completion Status section displays a saved icon for each question you have answered. You can select a question number to jump to that question. Select the arrows next to the status section to collapse or expand it.

Clear your Multiple Choice answer. If you are unsure of your selection on a Multiple Choice question, you may double-click to clear your answer choice.

Your answers are auto-saved. You can also select Save Answer next to each question or Save All Answers as you work. When you save an answer, Saved appears in the question's row.

Ready to submit? When you're finished, select Save and Submit. You may see your score immediately if all questions are auto-graded and your instructor releases this information. However, your instructor must manually grade some question types such as Essays.

More on grades and feedback


View a test question with a rubric

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about viewing rubrics.

If your instructor associated a rubric with an Essay, File Response, or Short Answer question, select View Rubric. You can view the grading criteria before you answer the question.


Timer status bar

When you take a timed test or survey, the remaining time appears on a status bar. Use the arrows next to the timer to collapse or expand it.

Timer warnings appear when half the time, 5 minutes, 1 minute, and 30 seconds remain. When the remaining time reads 1 minute, 30 seconds, the status bar turns yellow. At 1 minute, the warning is red, and at 30 seconds, both the status bar and the warning are red. If you collapse the timer, you won't see the color changes.


Presentation options

In the test or survey information section, you're informed about which presentation options your instructor chose.

If force completion is enabled, you must complete the test or survey the first time you open it. You can't exit and continue the test or survey later. The Save option is available for you to save your answers, but you can't exit and re-enter.

If backtracking is prohibited, you can't go back to questions you have already answered. An error appears when you attempt to use the Back option within the test or survey.

Your instructor can choose to present questions all-at-once or one-at-a-time.

All-at-once presents all of the questions at the same time. These options are available:

  • Store answers. Select Save All Answers. The Question Completion Status section displays a saved icon for each question you have answered. You may change answers after you save them.
  • Finish the test or survey. Select Save and Submit. You receive a confirmation and a receipt page that states that the test or survey is completed.

A one-at-a-time test presents questions separately. Only one question appears on the screen at a time. You decide when you're ready to move on to the next question. These options are available:

  • Navigate through questions. Use the navigation arrows (<<, <, >, or >>). The Question Completion Status section shows the current location in the test and the overall number of questions. When backtracking is prohibited, the arrows don't appear.
  • Save answers. Select Save All Answers. Questions you answered up to this point are saved.
  • Finish the test or survey. Select Save and Submit. You receive a confirmation and a receipt page that states that the test or survey is completed.

Retake a test or survey

When you first open a test or survey, you're informed if you have multiple attempts. If your instructor placed a limit on the number of attempts, the number is stated. You can also see which attempt you're starting.

When you return to a test or survey to start another submission, you can see how many attempts exist and how many you've used.

Your instructor decides which test attempt score is recorded for your grade such as the average of all attempts or the highest attempt score.


ULTRA: Where do I access tests?

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about accessing tests.

On the Course Content page, select the title of your test. Your instructor may also organize tests in folders. Surveys aren't supported in the Ultra Course View at this time.

You can also access tests in the activity stream or in the calendar if your instructor added due dates. If the due date has passed for a test, you’re alerted in the Important section of the activity stream.

More on late work

After you select a test, the Details & Information panel appears. You can see the due date, number of attempts allowed, the time limit if imposed, and possibly goals and a rubric for grading. You can also see if the due date has passed and if any submissions are or will be late.

If no time limit exists, you can view a test and you don't have to submit it. When you select View assessment, you can just view the test or add some work. Not ready to submit? Select Save and Close in the panel. If you previously started the test, your work was saved. Select View assessment to resume working.

If your instructor added a time limit, it appears alongside other test details on the Course Content page. You'll also see the time limit on the test's Details & Information panel and within the test, as you work. You'll see Start attempt instead of View assessment. When you select Start attempt, you'll receive a pop-up window to start the timer before you can access the test. If you're not ready to start, select Cancel. After you start, the test auto-submits when time is up.

More on time limits

Your instructor may also assign tests to groups of students. Your group name is listed after the group test title.

More on group tests

Late work

After the due date has passed and you open a test, you’re alerted that your submission will be marked late. You can view the alert in the Details & Information panel and on the test page. In the Details & Information panel, you can also see if any submissions are or will be late.

On the test page, you can also see that you made a late submission.

More on multiple attempts grades


ULTRA: Take a test

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about taking tests.

View the details. In the right panel, view all the information you need to complete a test, including the due date, maximum score, and time limit and rubric details if your instructor added them.

Type or choose your answers. You can use the options in the editor to format the text and embed images and attach files.

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.

View files. Your instructor may attach files that you need to complete a test.

More on viewing attached files

Add to the conversation. If your instructor enabled conversations, select the Open class conversation icon. Anyone can make a contribution to the test conversation, including your instructor.

More on conversations

Add additional content. At the end of a test, you can add text and files that support your answers, or add comments for your instructor.

More on adding additional content

Not ready to submit? Select Save and Close to save your work and continue later. Your answers are saved on the page. When you return, you can resume working. However, if your instructor added a time limit, the test auto-submits when time is up.

Submit your test. Finished? Select Submit when you're ready for your instructor to grade your work. You can see your score immediately if all questions are auto-graded. When you submit, a panel appears with the date and time you made the submission. Your submission is labeled Pending if it requires instructor grading. Select anywhere in the Grading section of the Details & Information panel to review your submission.

More on test grades

If your instructor allowed multiple attempts and you submit an attempt past the due date, the attempt is marked late. Any attempts you submit before the due date aren't marked late.

If your instructor allowed one attempt, you can't edit your work after you submit.

Add additional content

At the end of a test, select Add Content to access the editor. You can add text and files that support your answers. Your instructor may ask you to provide a file with sources. You can also add comments about the test. Only your instructor can view the content you add.

Insert from Cloud Storage: You can instantly connect to multiple web apps where you store files, such as in OneDrive® and Google Drive™. The files you add are copies. If you make a change to a file in cloud storage, you need to upload a new copy in your course. If your browser allows, media files you add from cloud storage display inline.

More on cloud storage

Edit your content

After you add content, access the menu and select Edit to make changes or add more content.

You can edit settings for the files you've added. Select a file in the editor and then select the Edit Attachment icon in the row of editor options. You can add a Display name and Alternative text. Alternative text describes the image for people who use screen readers or visit web pages with images turned off.

You can also choose whether to insert the file as a link in the editor or to embed the file directly so it appears inline with other content you've added.

Reorder your text and files

Point to a text block or a file to access the Move icon. Press and drag the text block or file to a new location.

You can use your keyboard to move an item.

  1. Tab to an item's Move icon.
  2. Press Enter to activate move mode.
  3. Use the arrow keys to choose a location.
  4. Press Enter to drop the item in the new location.

ULTRA: View attached files

Your instructor may attach files that you need to read or use to complete a test. Your instructor decides how files will appear, such as inline or as attachments.

For video and audio files that appear inline, select the title to open them in new windows. You have controls for play, pause, and volume control. For video files, you can view the video in full screen. You can also download the file.

For media files that appear as attachments, select the More options icon to access the menu. Select Download File to open image files in a new window or tab, or download Word documents, PDFs, or slide presentations to your computer. The View File option opens the file on the course page, such as an image.

For image files that appear inline, you can select an image to view it separately.


ULTRA: View the rubric

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about viewing rubrics.

If your instructor added a rubric for grading to a test, you can view it before you open the test and after you start the attempt. Select This item is graded with a rubric to view the rubric.

If you want, you can view the rubric alongside the test instructions. You can expand each rubric criterion to view the achievement levels and organize your efforts to meet the requirements of the graded work.


ULTRA: Timed tests

Your instructor may limit the amount of time you have to submit your test. If you have a time limit, it appears alongside other test details on the Course Content page. You'll also see the time limit on the test's Details & Information panel and within the test, as you work.

When you select Start attempt, you'll receive a pop-up window to start the timer before you can access the test. If you're not ready to start, select Cancel.

If you see View assessment instead of Start attempt, the test isn't timed. You don't have to submit a test with no time limit when you open it.

If your instructor allows you to submit multiple attempts, the time limit applies to each attempt.

The timer keeps running whether or not you're actively working on the test. If you save a draft or leave the test window, the countdown continues and your work is saved and submitted when time is up. When you select Save and Close to return to the test later, you're reminded that the timer will continue.

The timer appears at the bottom of the window to let you know how much time is left. Your work is saved and submitted automatically when time is up.


ULTRA: Anonymously graded tests

When you open a test, you're informed if your submission is set to be graded anonymously:

This assessment will be graded anonymously. Don't include any personal information, such as your name.

Your instructor won't see your name during grading. Your instructor may choose to grade anonymously to eliminate bias. Your instructor can't enable anonymous grading for group tests.

You shouldn't include any identifying information with your submission. Don't add your name to files you upload or use your name in any text you add.

You won’t see any indication of anonymous grading on your Grades page. Until your instructor posts grades, you'll see Pending in the Grade column. If your instructor allowed multiple attempts, you'll also see Pending for each attempt you've submitted.

Offline Submissions


ULTRA: Offline submissions

Your instructor can add assessments that don't require you to upload a submission.

Examples of offline work:

  • Oral presentations
  • Science fair projects
  • Acting performances
  • Artwork delivered in person
  • Face-to-face team building exercises, panel discussions, and debates

You can view the assessment alongside other content on the Course Content page and on your global and course grades pages. When you access the assessment from these course areas, you're informed you can't submit work online. Your instructor can add instructions, files, a rubric, and goals to help you prepare for the offline work. You can also participate in the assessment's conversations if enabled.

For offline submissions, you can't submit multiple attempts and your instructor can't add a time limit.

When your instructor assigns a grade, you're notified in your activity stream.

On your Course Grades page, your grade appears with Submitted offline. If your instructor used a rubric to grade, the grade pill displays a rubric icon.