Electronic and Online Testing Tips

Our office provides testing services and support to faculty and students at the Texas A&M School of Public Health. Blackboard and ExamSoft are used for an onsite-testing as well as offsite-testing. The tips below provide users with suggestions that are useful when using Blackboard and ExamSoft. For secure off-site testing, Texas A&M University offers ProctorU. For instructors who are interested, visit the instructor portal for more information on how to set up your exam with ProctorU.

Tips for Faculty

      • If you have a planned testing schedule made for your department (with dates, times, and locations), forward it to John Lingsweiler, the coordinator of online learning . This is very helpful when it comes to using ExamSoft LockDown Browser. Lingsweiler will be on standby, should an emergency happen.

      • Let students know all of the directions for the test (timed, number of attempts, requires LockDown Browser, requires password). Give clear, specific directions and instructions. This can be done in Blackboard. Click the drop down arrow next to your exam, then you can edit the Test Options.

      • Take a trial run of the test. If you have reserved lab space. If the test requires ExamSoft LockDown Browser, you can schedule with our office to take a trail run of the test.

      • Firefox is a preferred browser for Blackboard, especially for testing.

      • Encourage students to use a hardwired connection when testing and make sure students are connected to Texas A&M Health Science Center student wireless network when using their laptops.

      • Encourage students to bring short ethernet cords and plug into the ports at their seats if their laptops have spotty Wi-Fi. Be aware that an ethernet cord gives the most reliable connection.

Tips for Students

Contact your instructor ahead of time if you have any questions about the exam format and review the following tips. 

Before Starting an Online Quiz/Exam:

      • Make sure you have a hardwire connection. Using wireless when testing leads to problems.

      • Make sure you use Firefox/Safari and a Blackboard certified operating system. 

      • Close all applications not related to your quiz or exam.

      • Disable pop-up blockers before the exam.

      • Click the exam link only once and only when you are ready to take the exam.

      • Please wait for the entire quiz to load before answering questions.

      • Do not click "Cancel" or "Back" during an exam.

      • Log in early before your test starts to ensure a good connection.

      • Do not wait until the last minute to do your test.

While Taking the Exam:

      • Read the heading of the exam page to make sure you are in the right exam.

      • Check if the exam is timed. The heading of the exam page will indicate the time limit.

      • Use the provided arrow keys and/or the window side scroll bar to navigate the exam.

      • Click the Next button only once if the exam is set to show one question at a time.

      • Do not click back, forward, refresh or home on your web browser's navigation.

      • Always review your answers before submitting them. Any unanswered questions will prompt a reminder.

      • Click the Submit button only once when finished.

      • Do your test or quiz in one sitting. Do not pause for a long time.

      • Avoid closing the browser if the connection is lost during the exam. Try to reconnect first. If the exam is still displayed, complete it and try to submit it. Let your instructor know what happened right away and capture your screen for proof of a technical difficulty.