Blackboard Tests – Tips for Success! (Students)

Browser and Internet connection information

Check these items BEFORE you begin the test!

  • Clear your browser's cache!

  • Internet Connections:
    1. Wireless or Dial-up Connections are NOT recommended
      1. Always use a hard-wired connection while taking tests in Blackboard
      2. High-speed access is strongly recommended!
    2. Use the newer versions of Firefox, Google Chrome
      • Internet Explorer or Edge browsers are not recommended
  • Add Blackboard as a trusted site in each browser you use:
    1. See your browser’s Help menu for specific instructions

Starting the Test:

  • DON'T click on the link to the test/or quiz unless you are ready to take it at that time!
  • DON'T double-click the link to the test or the “Begin” button – you may see "The assessment has already been taken" and you may not be able to proceed with the test!
  • Close ALL other applications (Facebook, Twitter, instant messaging, email, etc.)
    1. Avoid opening other windows once you've started the test
      1. If the instructor allows the use of additional windows or websites, open them first
  • Maximize your browser window - if you resize the window or launch a second browser window after starting the test you may be locked out of the test!

While taking the test:

  • Wait for the entire test to load before you answer or save the first question
    1. Scroll down to the bottom of the test to make sure all questions appear (unless questions are presented one at a time)
  • DON'T click the browser’s Back, Forward or Cancel buttons, close the browser window, use the scroll wheel on your mouse to navigate, or try to go to another area of the course
    1. If the instructor set the test for "single attempt" or "force completion" you may be locked out and unable to open the test again
    2. If you get 'locked out' of the test, contact the instructor immediately and ask them to clear your attempt

– you may have to retake the test from the beginning!

  • If you see a text box editor window for any question with only one row of toolbar buttons displayed, click the “Show More” button on the far-right end of the toolbar to display more tools
  • Stay active in the test window – Blackboard tests are set to "time out" after a certain period of inactivity – click Save periodically to avoid this problem!


  • Saving and Submitting are two different things! If you click Save All Answers, but never click Save and Submit, the test has not been submitted to the instructor for grading
  • DON'T click Submit more than once!
  • If you lose your Internet connection during a test, do not close your browser window
    1. Try to re-establish the Internet connection first, then complete the test and try to submit it
    2. Print a copy of the submission confirmation page that appears as verification if possible, then contact your instructor
  • If you see "This test must be completed now" it cannot be resumed later!
    1. DON'T exit the test – you must click the Submit button to submit the test for scoring
  • If Save buttons are available, click Save periodically in case problems occur during the test
  • Do not wait until the last minute to take the exam. If you do have a technology problem, it may not be possible to get it corrected before the exam’s due date/time.

Timed tests:

  • Check to see how much time is available before you start
  • A timer appears at the top of the screen immediately after you click OK to begin the test
  • Five-minute and one-minute warning messages appear before the time expires
  • If allowed by the instructor, you can finish and Submit the test after the time has expired! Your instructor will see how much time you took and may adjust the test grade accordingly
  • If NOT allowed by the instructor, the test will close and answers will be submitted automatically if you exceed the time allowed
  • If the instructor did NOT choose "Force Completion", you can Save the test, logout and continue the test again at another time – If it is a timed test, the timer continues to run until you click Submit!

Problem Description

Blackboard sessions timeout after 4 hours of inactivity. Any work that was done but not saved or submitted prior to the timeout message is unfortunately unrecoverable. Web Browsers DO NOT register typing as an activity. If you're typing an assignment, assessment, or discussion submission for longer than 4 hours, the session may timeout when the submit button is pressed. This means that you may lose your work.


To prevent lost work, create your content in a word processor, and then copy & paste the content into Blackboard. If you are taking a test or working on anything within Blackboard, be certain to save answers as you are working in tests, or click within the application every now and then so it does not time you out. If you had done work previously but had not submitted it or saved and left the window idle for more than four hours, any work that was done prior to the timeout message is unfortunately unrecoverable.

Dialup and DSL users may also experience timeouts set by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is not related to Blackboard timeouts. If you need assistance with changing ISP timeout settings, please consult with your ISP.





It is the student’s responsibility to have access to a computer with a reliable Internet connection and a computer that is compliant with recommended browsers and settings in order to effectively utilize Blackboard. Blackboard Support does not provide technical support for making sure a student’s computer settings are compliant with the recommended configuration. If a student’s computer does not work properly, it is the student’s responsibility to either acquire –or- locate a computer to use that meets the recommended configuration settings.