West Texas A&M University

Test Taking TipsPrint This Page


Before the Exam

  • Practice - If the Instructor set up a practice exam, take it on all computers you might use. Do this early so that you have time to identify and resolve any issues. If allowed, taking the practice exam an additional time before the actual exam will help you verify that your computer is still setup properly. Contact your instructor to report any problems before taking the real exam.
  • Avoid Wifi - Avoid using a wireless (WiFi) or satellite Internet connection because a weak signal or a brief interruption in the signal (that you may never see) during the exam can make it impossible to save or submit it properly.
  • Start a New Session - When you log in, WTClass starts your session and tracks your time. After about three hours of non-navigation (not clicking to go to a different page) WTClass may close your session. Answering questions does not always count as active use in WTClass. To avoid an unexpected lock out, you can log out of WTClass and log in again just prior to starting your exam.
  • Use the Right Browser - Review the Technical Requirements page to find the best browser for your system. If the browser and version you use is Certified by Blackboard, Inc., for your computer's operating system, you will avoid most problems.
  • Use only one browser window - Open only one browser window - the one you will use to take the exam, unless the exam has an embedded link for a file. After reviewing the content, close that window and continue the exam.
  • Third-Party Extensions - Turn off third- party browser extensions. Third-party browser extensions include (but are not limited to) features such as Google or Yahoo toolbars installed on the browser.
  • Allow Popups - Turn off the popup blocker before starting the exam. Turn it back on after you submit it. If you have a firewall installed, it may not let you take the test. Either disable it temporarily or go to a non-firewalled computer to take the test.
  • Other Applications - Do not use any other applications, unless otherwise directed by your Instructor. You may wish to write longer essay answers in a plain text editor. Although using a word processor gives you a backup copy, switching between applications or leaving WTClass alone could cause problems or log you out of the test. WTClass times out after 3 hours of inactivity. Typing an answer in a text box does not count as activity. Clicking a Save button will reset the 3-hour Bb clock, but not your ISP clock.
  • Start ASAP - If you have a time frame given by your instructor, begin as soon as possible. If you have a technical problem, you are more likely to have time to find a solution. Waiting until the final hour of the final day of the appointed time may be your ticket to serious problems.

Taking the Test

  1. It is highly recommended that you use a computer that is hard-wired into the internet. Please avoid wireless (WiFi) connections while completing an exam.

  2. To enter the exam, click the link once and wait. Sometimes it takes a while to load the exam. If you click twice, you will get a message saying you already took the exam and will not be able to begin. Wait for the page to load completely before starting the exam.

  3. Read the instructions carefully.
    • Force Completion = you must complete the test in one session. You cannot save and resume the test later. Leaving the exam by clicking outside of it may also lock it, so do not use other applications, or browser windows/tabs unless embedded in the test or required by your instructor. Answers not saved will not be recorded.
    • Time Test = In a Timed Test, if you are allowed to save and resume the test later, the timer will continue to count. The timer is usually visible above the test. The timer begins when you start the test and continues until you click the Submit button.
    • Allow Multiple Attempts = you may return to the exam within the limits set by your instructor. Click the Save button as you work. Click the Submit button to submit your test for grading. A timed test continues running the clock until the you click Submit, even if you leave WTClass.
    • All at Once = all questions are on one page. Click a Save button often, preferably for each question to record each response.
    • One at at Time = each question appears in its own window. Click the forward arrow once to save the question and move to the next question. Some tests will be set to allow you to return to previous questions, others will only let you move to the next question.

  4. Do not run other applications while taking an exam unless otherwise directed by your Instructor.

  5. Do not use the browser Back or Forward buttons for any WTClass navigation. Always use the navigation links on the WTClass page.

  6. Do not resize or refresh the browser window after loading the exam.

  7. Remember to save the exam often. Click Save once more before clicking the Submit button. The Submit button sends the exam to the instructor for grading. The Save button does not.

  8. Click the Submit button only once; it may take a few moments to receive confirmation of a successful submission. If you don not see a confirmation, return to the page where you started the test and click the link again. If your exam is submitted, WTClass will say the exam is completed. Contact your instructor if the test is not completed.

  9. Check My Grades. An exclamation point (!) means the test is submitted and waiting for the instructor to complete the grading. Blackboard scores objective tests and displays a score. A lock icon indicates a problem, and you should contact your instructor as soon as possible. Tell your instructor exactly what you did, what you clicked, what you saw, and when you did everything.

  10. OOPS! If you lose power, your browser quits, you lose Internet connectivity, or have any other technical issue, contact your instructor immediately and explain in detail what happened. The instructor will decide how to handle your issues.

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