Creating an Online Test in Blackboard

To CREATE a test , start in the appropriate Content Area and click on Assessments then Test.


Choose a test that you have previously BUILT or Imported, and continue on with these instructions or click on Create a New Test and use these instructions:

Building the Test:

When you BUILD a test, it contains the name of the test, the test questions, answers, feedback, points for each  question and some sorting information which can be used to categorize questions.

The test will not be available for the students until it is CREATED as an item.

To BUILD a test in the Control Panel:

  1. Select Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools, then click on Tests and Build Test.
  2. Fill in the name for the test.
    (Make the name descriptive and distinctive so you can find it again.)
  3. Enter a Description and Instructions if desired.
  4. Click Submit
  5. Then click on Create Question and choose which question format to use.
  6. Click OK when all questions have been built.
    (You will be taken to the Test Bank page.  Your test has not been deployed at this point.)

Questions can be forced-choice, and therefore graded automatically by Blackboard: calculated formula or numeric, multiple choice, multiple answer, fill in the blank, either/or, jumbled sentence, hot spot, matching, ordering, true/false, and ordering.

Or, questions can be open and will require grading by the instructor: file response (attached file), essay, and short answer.

Tests can have combinations of any types of questions.

When editing a test, a new test question can be placed in the desired location with respect to other questions that have already been created.  Just click on the + sign in between the two questions on either side of the new question location.


Pools can be created with a superset of questions, then the instructor can build a test using the questions in the pool.  To add questions from a Pool to a Test, click on Reuse Questions, then Find Questions.  Click on Pools to choose the questions you want to add to your test.

Once your test has been built, it can be deleted, edited or exported by clicking on the down chevrons from the Tests page.

Assigning the Test

1. Test Name and

  • Description
  • Whether or not to open the test in a New Window

2. Whether or not to make the test available and

  • Whether or not to put out a new announcement
  • Whether to allow multiple attempts and if so, how many
  • Please note! Never set Force Completion for a test. If you set Force Completion and the student has a network or browser disconnection, it means they cannot go back in and complete the test even if it is within the time limit. The only way the student can complete that test is if you reset it for them, hours or days after they have seen some or all of the test questions.
  • How long the student will have to take the test:
  • Whether to release a test during a specific period – from date X to date Y – please note that Blackboard doesn’t work very well with typed in dates, use the calendar icon, and midnight is START of day, not END of day.
  • If a password is required to take the test.

3. Test Exceptions:

Tests can be set up to make an exception to a rule for a student or for a group of students (for example, if they need extra time because of a documented disability). To set test exceptions, under Test Options, Section 3 click on Add User or Group and then change the Attempts, Timer, or Availability options.


 4. Due date for test. Do not enter dates and times manually, click on the Calendar or the Clock. Remember End of Day is 11:59 NOT Midnight.

5. Self-Assessment Options. If this test is not be added to the Total in the Grade Center, unclick the top box in this section.

6.  Usually for a Final Exam, you would not show the student their Score Per Question, so you may want to unclick this box.

Blackboard has an event-based method for releasing test feedback with additional feedback options to provide faculty with more control over what kinds of feedback students can or can’t see. Events can be specified to trigger specific feedback settings. One way this might be useful is if you want to show your students their grade now, but not show the correct answers until after you have finished grading all the work.  Or you can specify a date to release that grading feedback. This is where you can show or hide their Grade, All answers, their Submitted Answer, the Correct Answer, whether or not a question was answered incorrectly, and Instructor Feedback for the question, and you can decide at which stage what feedback to release.


7. Test Presentation: Decide whether to show the questions all at once, or one at a time. If you choose one at a time, you can also prevent backtracking (which you might want to do if, for example, the answer to question 5 was part of question 7.)

8. Click Submit

When you CREATE a test, Blackboard will add a column to the Grading Center. If it is a test with forced choice questions then Blackboard will grade those questions when the test is completed and give the score and feedback you have selected to the student immediately if that is how you have set up the test options. If the entire test is forced choice, Blackboard will enter the final grade in the grading center, otherwise it will enter a (!) in the grading center so that the instructor will know the remainder of the test still needs to be graded. If you have set a timer and the student uses more than the timer limit, the test will also be marked with a (!) in the grading center so you can make a decision about whether or not to deduct points.

Video showing how to create a final exam in Blackboard is here:

Item Analysis.  Item analysis can be run on tests after they have been taken by students.  The Item Analysis can be useful in determining which questions might need to be looked at more closely.  For example, if most of the students who scored in the top quarter of the class in their test scores got this one WRONG, then you might want to look at either the way the question is worded, or the way you (or the textbook) are explaining this concept. This is difficult to visualize until you have students with test grades in your course.  Here is a link to a short video created by Blackboard staff that explains how Item Analysis will work. Link