Information Technology

Tips for Taking an Exam

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Before the Exam: 

  1. If the Instructor has set up a practice exam, be sure to take the practice exam on the computer(s) that you plan to use for your exams. Do this early so that you have time to identify and resolve any issues that may exist. Taking the practice exam an additional time right before the actual exam is a good practice to verify that the computer is still setup properly.

  2. If your computer relies on a wireless connection to access the internet then consider the reliability of the connection to the internet. If the signal is weak or there is a brief interruption in the signal during the exam then the exam may not be able to submit properly. This can also be an issue for users who have a satellite service as their internet service provider.

  3. Whenever you login, Blackboard starts a session for you and tracks your time. After about three hours, Blackboard may close out your session. To avoid unexpected shutdowns, it is a good idea to log out of Blackboard and log in again just prior to starting your exam.

  4. Review the Blackboard Software Recommendations ( web site to check for the correct browser for your system. Verify that the browser you will use is certified by Blackboard, Inc. for your computer's operating system.
  5. When you click on the test link, you will see a page of instructions.  Before you click Begin, please read the instructions to learn whether your test is timed.  If it is timed, the time limit will be stated.  If your test is timed, do not start the test unless you have an uninterrupted block of time to devote to the test. Because the timer continues to run until the test is submitted, do not leave a timed test.

    The instructions will also state whether the exam will be submitted automatically.  If the test instructions do not mention "submitted automatically," please watch for test expiration notices at the top of the test page, and plan to submit your test within the time limit.  If you exceed the time limit, your instructor may reduce your score.

    If you leave a test (intentionally or unintentionally) without submitting, be sure to reenter the test and Submit as quickly as possible.  If you have trouble with your test, please contact your instructor.

  6. Make sure that you have plenty of computer RAM. It is recommended that you restart your computer prior to taking exams. Programs and websites do not always release computer memory. Restarting your computer will ensure that Blackboard has all of the resources it needs to function properly.

  7. Do not use browsers provided by your Internet Service Provider such as AOL, Comcast or SBC. These browsers have been modified and do not work well with Blackboard.
  8. Only one browser window (the one that will be used to take the exam) should be open.

  9. Make sure the browser window is the size you want before going into the exam. Most browsers refresh the page when you resize the screen. This means it will try to reload the exam and may prohibit you from taking the exam.

  10. Turn off third- party browser extensions. Third-party browser extensions include (but not limited to) features such as Google or Yahoo toolbars associated with the browser.

  11. Popups should be allowed. Make sure that the popup blocker feature is turned off on the browser. 

  12. Do not have any other applications running, unless otherwise directed by your Instructor.

 When taking the exam: 

  1. When entering the exam, click the link only once. Sometimes it takes a while to load the exam. If you click twice, you may get a message saying you already took the exam and will be prohibited from completing it.

  2. Do not try to run other applications unless otherwise instructed by your Instructor.

  3. Do not use the browser ‘Back’ or ‘Forward’ navigation buttons.

  4. Do not resize or refresh the browser window after loading the exam.

  5. If you are answering essay questions, save the exam every 10 - 15 minutes. Also perform this operation right before submitting the exam.

  6. Click Submit only once; it may take a few moments to receive confirmation of a successful submission.


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