Student Help

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How do I avoid problems when taking a test in Courses.SMU?

Tests are already stressful. When your test is online in Blackboard, you can have even more to worry about. Make online test-taking easier for yourself by following these tips.

Use only supported browser versions when taking online tests. Supported browsers are listed on the Center's Blackboard login page under system announcements. Please see the following link for more details.

Blackboard Learn SP12 Supported Browsers

Before starting your quiz or test, it is important for you to follow a few guidelines to better ensure that you will not experience technical problems that might cause your assessment to "lock."

  • Close all windows on the computer and then launch a new window to login to Blackboard.
  • Close other applications before taking the quiz/test (including chat programs).
  • If there is a specific start time for the test, login 10-15 minutes early to test the connection
  • Do NOT double-click the start button on a test while waiting for it to load. This can cause multiple instances of the exam to open, leading to some confusion.
  • Do NOT resize or refresh the window during a test.
  • Do NOT navigate to other locations or applications in Blackboard after the test opens or the assessment will lock.
  • Do NOT use the “Enter” key. That will cause the exam to submit in most instances.
  • In some questions, the scroll wheel can change answers, e.g. multiple-choice. Do not use the scroll wheel because it may cause a browser to go back or refresh, and/or leave the test. IF you click outside a question (within the test window) scrolling with your mouse or pad may work as expected.
  • Do NOT close the window of the test for any reason.
  • Never click the “Back” button or the “Refresh” button on your web browser while you’re taking a test.
  • Do NOT use any of the browser navigation buttons (i.e. Back, Forward, Home, etc.) during the quiz/test.
  • Do NOT open other browser windows or applications while taking a quiz/test
  • Do NOT click on buttons in the Blackboard navigation while taking a quiz/test.
  • If you are only able to answer one question at a time (questions present themselves on separate pages), make sure you only single-click the Next button to move forward.
  • Review all of your answers before submitting the test.
  • Do NOT leave the assessment page without completing the assessment and clicking the Save and Submit button at the end (if it is a forced completion test).
  • Make sure to click the “Save and Submit ” ONLY ONCE when you are done with the test. You will not get credit for your answers unless you have clicked “Save and Submit.”
  • Only Instructors or Teaching Assistants can reset tests.
  • If you are typing an answer in a text box, be aware that neither Blackboard nor your browser saves text as you type it. One option is to click the Save button next to the question frequently so the text you have typed so far will not be lost. Another option that perhaps is more secure is to type answers to essay questions first in Notepad, save it there, and then copy and paste the answer into the test’s text box.