Exam Taking Tips

When you are taking online exams there are several steps you can use to ensure that your exam is submitted accurately. The following guidelines are based on actual questions that students have had during exams.


Turn off pop-up blockers.

These are usually found on your Internet Explorer browser window under Tools>Internet Options, but can also be on your browser tool bar especially if you have the Google or Yahoo toolbars.


For best results when taking exams, use the Firefox internet browser window.

This browser seems to work more efficiently with online exams. You can download Firefox at http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/


There is no accurate timer within BlackBoard to show you when your time is up.

When taking a timed exam (this means you have been given an allotted amount of time for the exam such as 1 hour), you should set a timer for yourself. Set the timer for 5 minutes or so before the test time is up so that you will have time to finish up any last minute items.

Force Completion This Test can be saved and resumed later.

You cannot save your exam and come back later unless your instructor specifically states that you can.

When taking a timed exam, you may see a message that says that you can save your exam and come back at a later time. What this does mean, if you are thrown out of the exam due to a power failure, internet downtime, etc. your test is saved and you can get back in and continue with your exam.

If this happens and you CANNOT get back in and finish the test before the allotted time has elapsed, please email your instructor immediately to indicate why you went over your allotted time.

If your exam freezes and you cannot progress, you can close your browser window and start again. All questions answered up to this point should be saved.

Note: If the instructions do not say the test can be saved and resumed later and you have issues, your test will need to be reset by your instructor.

Timed Exams

Once you start the exam the timer starts.

For example, if you have 1 hour to take an exam and you save it after 30 minutes then come back 2 hours later and continue for another 30 minutes, the total time that will be shown once you submit your exam is 3 hours.

Saving your answers

When taking exams where questions are presented one per page, you do not have to save every question.

When you click the next button to proceed to the next question your question is automatically saved. This saves you time.


Late night and weekend BlackBoard support is available by calling academic computing.
They are available on Sunday through Thursday until 11:45 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday until 4:45 p.m. The number is 813-974-1222.

College of Nursing support is available Monday through Friday from 8 until 5. You can reach CON support at 813-974-0961 or email conect@health.usf.edu.