Student Test Taking Best Practices

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Best Practices for Students when taking Tests

When your professor has scheduled an online test, there are some precautions that are recommended for you to have the best online experience for your test as possible. We list this collection that has been built from the experience of many Blackboard users, both on this campus and at other institutions. You might want to print this out to have on hand as you approach your online test. Please follow these steps and practices below:


  • You have access to a Student Orientation Course site for Blackboard (that looks something like this SO-18-19: Blackboard Student Orientation 2019-2020), and in there, you can practice submitting assignment and taking two practice tests. We recommend doing this so you can experience the tool before your course test!
  • If you have been working in Blackboard on other course work, please close the browser down and start a new session before starting the test. Better, reboot your computer to clear out any potentially problematic programs from running at the time you are completing the test.
  • Clear your browser’s cache (i.e., temporary Internet files and cookies) before starting an exam.
  • Close all other applications; particularly instant message applications e.g. Messages.
  • Try to avoid waiting until the last minute to take an exam. If you experience technical issues, it may take some time to resolve the problem, so always allow plenty of time to complete the test.
  • Ensure no distractions while taking your exam.
  • Do not access the exam until you are ready to take it, and once you have entered the test, do not leave until it is finished.
  • Ensure you have the latest browser version available, and DO NOT USE IE EXPLORER as it is no longer supported by Blackboard. Chrome or Firefox are the browsers of choice.

Desktop Computers to take Test

  • Avoid using mobile devices if possible, to take the test.
  • It is preferable to take the test on a computer that has wired internet access, not wireless wherever possible.

During the Test

  • Save your work every 10-15 minutes, regardless.
  • Don't "go away" for more than 20 minutes. Always make sure you touch the actual exam every 15 minutes or so just to keep the exam session alive.
  • Type answers to essay questions in WordPad or Notepad then copy and paste the answers into the text fields provided for each essay question. This way, you have a copy of your answers just in case you lose your Internet connection and need to re-take the test. DO NOT USE MS WORD! If you paste directly from MS Word, you will bring in some HTML coding that could interfere with the instructor viewing the answer to the essay question or the rest of the test.
  • If an issue arises during the test, immediately notify your instructor and submit a TeamDynamix ticket ( and include any error messages you noticed or screen captures.
  • Maximize the browser window and do not resize or refresh during the test.
  • Do not use the browser navigation buttons; use the navigation buttons provided within the test.
  • Avoid using the ENTER key, arrow keys, and mouse scroll wheel. Use the browsers scroll bar and navigation buttons provided within the test.
  • Do not double click test links or buttons (single click only). Double-clicking can cause multiple instances of the exam to open, leading to problems.
  • Do not click outside the test area. For example, do not click on Blackboard course menus links such as Assignments or Announcements.
  • Do not answer any questions until the entire test has loaded. You can follow the download progress by monitoring the browsers status bar indicator found at the bottom of the page.
  • When the test questions are presented one at a time, do not click the save button, the answer is saved when you use the navigation buttons within the test.
  • At the end of the test, make sure you click the Submit button, not the Save button. Only Submit will send the completed test to the instructor. Click the Submit button only ONCE. If your Internet connection is slow, you may think the test is not being sent, wait three to five minutes for a confirmation that the test was received.
  • If a popup happens, go into red alert, try to fix the networking issue WITHOUT restarting the browser and fix it as soon as possible. If you can't fix it without restarting the browser then do the full "Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again" to restart the computer and re-establish the network connection, then continue the test. Before that, you should save any unsaved answers so you don't have to re-do them.
  • It is better to type your answers to essay questions into the Blackboard editor instead of typing it offline and copying it, as the editor will save as you go and prevent possible timeout issues.
  • Only take tests using a reliable network connection that won't drop on you in the middle of the test.
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