Before the Test
- Your instructor will let you know when you can access the test, although this notification may come early in the form of a schedule or suddenly through the form of an announcement. Don't enter a test site before you are ready, as many online tests are set to only allow you to access the test once for a score.
- Before you take the test, review the objectives for the module or modules that you will be tested on. Make sure that you have mastered as many of them as you can before your assessment. Read any study guides your instructor has provided, and re-read your notes and documents as necessary.
- Mail the instructor any questions that you may have about what will be on the test or the format of the test. In Blackboard, tests can include multiple choice, true/false, matching, ordering, short answer, and essay questions. You might also want to review the section about tests in the "Student Manual" under "Student Tools" in the course site.
During the Test
- Find a time to take the test in which you will be free of interruptions. Let friends and family know you will be occupied. Caution: Do NOT click on the "Take Quiz" button until you are ready to take a quiz. If you open a quiz and are not ready to take it, a grade of 0 will be recorded. Also, be sure you can take the quiz without being interrupted. If your computer and telephone share the same telephone line, unplug your telephone while taking the quiz. Finally, use the scroll bar on the side of the screen to move back to check earlier questions. If you click the "back" button on your browser, you will be removed from the quiz and receive a grade of "0."
- Don't cheat. Remember that taking shortcuts in education really deprive you of the education for which you are paying. If that isn't enough to stop you, consider that there are many subtle ways that you might be caught. All of the honor codes of your institution apply, and that may lead to consequences like failed courses and even expulsion.
- Many online tests will be "open book," but if your instructor does not explicitly tell you that you can use other people or materials when taking the test, then they are off limits. If you have questions about this, then ask via email in advance.
- When you first access the test, read the directions carefully. Unless the test has a very short time limit, browse through the questions before beginning and form a plan of attack. The best test takers don't always complete questions in the sequence they are listed on the test. They complete the easy questions or the questions they are worried about forgetting the answers to first. They get hints about the answers to some questions from other questions. They save the more difficult questions for later in the test. They spend more time on questions that are worth more points. Use these strategies to your advantage.
- Make sure that you note if the test has a time limit. The time will show on the status bar at the bottom of your window.
- Don't close the window of the test for any reason. If you have an Internet Service Provider that will break your connection if you don't visit a new site after a certain period of time, then keep another window open and occasionally visit it and load a new page or refresh the page to keep your connection open. If something goes wrong, send email to your instructor immediately documenting the exact problem and asking how you should proceed.
- When you have marked all your answers, read them once more before submitting. Make sure that you haven't accidentally changed your response to a question or made typographic mistakes. When you are satisfied with the result (or have done the best you can) make sure you remember to finish by clicking the "Submit" button.
After the Test
- After you submit your test answers, you will receive a score for all the items that the software could correct, although essay questions and most short answer questions will have to be graded by your instructor. You may also receive feedback on the test. Pay attention to this feedback, and use it as a way to learn the answers to the questions you missed.
- To check your grades, click "Student Tools" then "Check your Grade." You'll see only your own grades.
- Your instructor will probably take varying amounts of time to post grades to the site. If your grade is not posted within a week of turning it in, then send a message asking for clarification.
- Your gradebook shows the total number of points possible for each assignment and your score. The total points possible for the course may include work that you haven't been assigned yet. Some instructors weight the grade on each quiz or assignment toward the total course grade. Other instructors calculate your final grade based upon the total number of points that you earn in the course. Check the Course Syllabus in the Course Information section of an explanation of how your final grade will be determined.
- If you found errors in the test, send your instructor a message immediately. Let him or her know if some questions were unclear. This will allow your instructor to adjust your grade if needed or fix the test for other students.