Instructors use tests to assess your knowledge of 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.
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.
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: Test overview provides an overview of tests in Blackboard Learn in the Original Course View.
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'll 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.
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.
View the details. At the top of each test or survey, you can view the information about multiple attempts, the timer, navigation, and an 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.
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.
- Auto-submit: The test or survey saves and submits automatically when time expires. The Submitted page appears.
- 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're 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about grades and feedback for tests.
The majority of questions in tests are auto-graded. Your instructor defines the correct answers and assigns points to each question. The system validates your answers and assigns the score.
Essay, File Response, and Short Answer questions aren't auto-graded. Your instructor must manually grade these question types. Grades for tests with these question types are released after your instructor finishes grading and allows it.
Your instructor can use a rubric for grading an Essay, File Response, or Short Answer question and make the rubric available to you. Select View Rubric when you review the graded test to view the grading criteria for the question.
You may see your score immediately after you complete the test if all questions are auto-graded and your instructor releases this information. Your instructor may choose a date in the future to release test scores while your classmates take the test.
After you complete a test, the performance results you receive 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 these items:
- 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 My Grades. On the View Attempts page, select the grade link in the Calculated Grade column to access the test, your answers, and any instructor feedback.
Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about accessing tests.
You can access tests from multiple areas, including both in and outside your courses. For example, you can 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.
You can also find tests on the Course Content page. Your instructor may also organize tests in folders and learning modules. Surveys aren't supported in the Ultra Course View at this time.
Your instructor may create groups or ask you to self-enroll for group tests. Learn more about how group assessments work in the group assignments topic.
After you select a test, the Details & Information panel appears. View the due date, number of attempts allowed, the time limit if imposed, and possibly goals and a rubric for grading. Check if the due date has passed and if any submissions are or will be late.
Your instructor may require a 6-digit access code. Instructors issue the access codes, but they might have another person, such as a proctor, deliver the codes. After you type the code, you can open the test. You can use the code to resume a test you saved. You don't need the code to view your grades and feedback posted by your instructor. If your instructor changes the code between attempts, you'll need to ask for it again.
Your instructor can also secure a test with the LockDown Browser. You need to provide the correct access code before the LockDown Browser is launched.
Ready to start?
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.
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.
If set up by your instructor, you may see zeros for work you haven't submitted after the due date passes. You can still submit attempts to update your grade. Your instructor determines grade penalties for late work.
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—the due date, maximum points, 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. If you view the editor on a smaller screen, select the plus icon to view the menu of options.
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.
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.
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.
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 Not graded if it requires instructor grading. Select anywhere in the Grading section of the Details & Information panel to review your submission.
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.
At the end of a test, select Add Content to open 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.
You can use the options in the editor to format the text and embed images and attach files. Visit the previous link to see an expanded view of the editor options and detailed instructions.
If you view the editor on a smaller screen, select the plus icon to view the menu of options. You'll find the option to attach a file to your test.
For example, select Insert/Edit Local Files—represented by the paper clip icon. Browse for a file from your computer. A status window appears to show the progress of the file upload.
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.
As you type in the editor for Essay questions and the additional content area, the word count appears below the editor. After you save, the word count no longer appears.
These items are included in the word count:
- Individual words
- Web links
- Text in bulleted or numbered lists, but the bullets or numbers themselves aren't included
- Superscript and subscript text not part of another word
These items and formatting elements don't affect the word count:
- Images, videos, and file attachments
- Math formulas
- Blank spaces and lines
- Alternative text
When you use punctuation to attach words or numbers, the count is affected. For example, "We went...without you" is counted as three words. The words or numbers on either side of the punctuation are counted as one word.
Edit your content
After you add content, open 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 to insert the file as a link in the editor or embed the file directly so it appears inline with other content you've added.
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.
- Tab to an item's Move icon.
- Press Enter to activate move mode.
- Use the arrow keys to choose a location.
- Press Enter to drop the item in the new location.
Your instructor may attach files that you need to read or use to complete a test. Your instructor decides how files 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, open the menu. Select Download Original File to download images, Word documents, PDFs, or slide presentations to your computer. Select Preview File to open 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.
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.
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. You'll find a countdown at the bottom left corner of the screen that will let you know the remaining time in minutes and, during the last minute, the time you have left down to the last second.
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.
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 Not graded in the Grade column. If your instructor allowed multiple attempts, you'll also see Not graded for each attempt you've submitted.
Your instructor can deliver assignments and tests securely. Secure assessments help promote academic integrity and honesty in student submissions. Your institution may use Respondus tools to administer secure assessments.
Respondus LockDown Browser prevents your access to any other materials, including internet browsers or other software, while you have an assessment open. You can’t refer to external information or copy material from these sources while you take the assessment. Within the LockDown Browser window, the assessment appears like any other Ultra assessment.
Respondus Monitor uses your webcam to prevent your access to physical materials during the assessment. Your instructor may also require you to enable your webcam or show your ID to verify that you're who you say you are.
If your instructor set up assessment security, you can't perform these actions:
- Open the assessment in a standard browser window
- Open other programs or browser windows
- Visit other websites
- Copy and paste
- Add files, links, or videos to your submission content
- Use certain keyboard shortcuts
- Use your phone to submit attempts
Your instructor may allow you to use the Respondus iPad app. Otherwise, you need to submit a secure assessment with the desktop software.
You need to have Respondus LockDown Browser downloaded on your computer to open a secure assessment in Blackboard Learn. If you haven’t downloaded the tools and try to open the assessment, a message appears with links where to download. Select the link to get started.
Respondus Monitor is included in the LockDown Browser software. Your institution uses a unique LockDown Browser download link and application. Your instructor or your institution's help desk can provide you with the download URL.
On the Course Content page, you can see the tools you need to open secure assessments and submit attempts. When you open a secure assessment, the Details & Information panel appears to provide more information about the grade, number of attempts, and other settings. You see which tools you need to continue.
Before you begin an attempt, be sure to download the required software. Reminder: If you haven’t downloaded the tools and try to open the assessment, a message appears with links where to download.
Select View assessment. LockDown Browser launches in a new window. If your instructor required Respondus Monitor, the startup sequence begins.
Add text and answer questions in the assessment just as you do in a standard browser. You can save drafts of your work and return at later points to continue work or submit. Reminder: You can't add files, links, or videos to the editor when you submit a secure assessment.
You'll also need Respondus LockDown Browser to view submitted attempts for secure assessments. After your instructor posts your grade, you can find it in multiple places without additional software.
To view the correct answers for your submission, you need Respondus LockDown Browser. Open your attempt and select Review results in Respondus LockDown Browser to launch the tool.
Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about grades and feedback for tests.
Your instructor may choose not to reveal the correct answers to automatically scored questions until all students have submitted. A banner appears at the top of the assessment with this information. Check back later to see if answers have been revealed.
Your instructor must manually grade some question types such as Essays, and then post the test grade and feedback.
Surveys aren't supported in the Ultra Course View at this time.
When grades are posted, you'll find them in your activity stream. Select View your grade to display your grade. If your instructor added feedback, you'll see it after the test title.
Your grades also appear on your global and course grades pages.
You can also open the test in your course to review your grade and feedback in context. Select the test title on the Course Content page and the Details & Information panel opens. Select anywhere in the Grading section to review what you submitted, available correct answers, and your grade and feedback. If your instructor left feedback, select the speech bubble icon to view it. If your instructor left feedback for multiple attempts, you can read each attempt's feedback.
For questions where you chose from more than answer, you can select Show other options to review the answer choices.
If your instructor needs to grade questions in your test, Not graded appears in the Grading section in the test's side panel.
Your instructor determines how Matching and Multiple Answer questions are scored.
Example: Graded Matching question
- The question's grade pill displays the points earned. Matches are scored based on the scoring option your instructor chose.
- A summary of how many pairs you matched correctly appears above the prompts and answers.
- Correct matches appear with a check mark icon and have a green background.
- Incorrect matches appear with an X icon and have a light red background.
Partial credit. You receive partial credit if you answer part of the question correctly. Pairs are equally weighted.
All or nothing. You must match all pairs correctly to receive full credit. One or more incorrect matches = 0 points.
Subtract points for incorrect answers, but question score can't be negative. You lose points for incorrect matches or empty answers. Pairs are equally weighted. The question score can't be less than 0 points.
Allow a negative question score. You earn points for each correct match and lose points for each incorrect match or empty answer. The total question score can equal less than 0.
A question has 5 pairs worth 2 points each for a total of 10 points. You match 2 pairs correctly:
You earn 4 points for 2 correct matches and lose 6 points for 3 incorrect matches for a negative score of -2 for the question.
- All or nothing: You must choose all answer choices correctly to receive full credit. One or more incorrect answer choices = 0 points.
- Allow partial credit: You receive partial credit if you answer part of the question correctly.
- Subtract points for incorrect answers: You lose points for incorrect answer choices. The question score can total less than 0.
Your instructor can make changes to points for a question after grading is complete. Your updated grade also appears in the activity stream and on your Grades page.
Your instructor may also give full credit for a question that wasn't fully covered in the lecture or explained well. After grading is completed, you can see which questions your instructor awarded full credit. Full credit given appears next to the grade pill and is also noted in the answers section.
Tests in the Original Course View don't use SafeAssign.
Instructors can use the SafeAssign service to check test submissions for originality. SafeAssign compares your submitted tests against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between your submission and existing works.
SafeAssign is based on a unique text matching algorithm capable of detecting exact and inexact matching between a test attempt and source material.
Tests are compared against several different databases that contain millions of articles dating from the 1990s to the present. After the comparison, a report is generated that provides detailed information about the matches found.
Your instructor uses SafeAssign if you see Originality Report enabled in the Details & Information of your test.
You can add files at the end of your tests for your instructors to view. Your instructor can also create a test with no questions and ask you to upload a file to fulfill the test. For example, instead of a traditional final test with Multiple Choice questions, you may be asked to upload an essay you've worked on. Or, you may be asked to upload the research you've compiled.
When inline viewing is on, you can open submitted files in the browser. Many file types open in the viewer, but your instructor can annotate only DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, and PDF files. Original formatting and embedded images are preserved.
The inline viewer is supported on current versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
Select Preview File in the file's menu to open your file in the browser. If you don't see the menu option, your institution hasn't turned on inline viewing or the file isn't supported.
Starting on Dec 10, 2020: there is a maximum file size limit of 300MB in order guarantee no data loss and good performance. Please, make sure your submissions comply with it.
Point to a comment icon to view your instructor's comments. Select highlighted text to see if your instructor provided a comment.
Point to the bottom of the screen to access functions. You can zoom in and out, and navigate to other pages in your file.
You can download your original file or a PDF with your instructor's annotations. The time to create the PDF depends primarily on the size of the original file. Use your browser's print function to print the downloaded file.
Visit the assignment grades topic to see how multiple comments appear in your annotated PDF.
A known issue with Chrome's built-in PDF viewer may not display all the annotations. Please view annotated PDFs in a native PDF viewer such as Adobe Acrobat.
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.