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Student guide: Blackboard Ultra tests (quizzes / formatives)

Bb test iconThis guide will provide an introductory overview of how to complete Blackboard Ultra tests (quizzes / formatives), check submitted work and access feedback / grading.

Please also visit the following Blackboard help pages for the most up to date and detailed guidance; Bb test help pages.

Step 1:Esssential guidance before taking a test

Essential guidance
  • Ensure you take a test well before any deadline is due. This will ensure you have given yourself enough time to resolve issues / contact the relevant staff contact if you encounter any technical issues or have any queries about the test.
  • Ensure you have read all test instructions and descriptions, as well as potential additional instructions received via other staff communications before you attempt a test (such as via course announcements or accompanying documents).
  • Ensure you have understood and planned for if you will be able to save drafts, have multiple attempts, will be timed, what the due date is etc,. These elements can vary between tests.
  • Do not refresh the page, close the window, or use the browser’s back button while you take a test.
  • Ensure you are taking the test from a stable internet connection from a laptop / PC. Do not attempt to take the test from a mobile device (browser or via the Bb app).
  • Do not use Internet Explorer and ensure to allow pop ups in your browser settings. Please see the following help page for further browser guidance; Bb browser guidance.

If you lose your connection to the internet, you’ll receive a connection lost warning. Do not refresh the page or use your browser back button, and check that you are connected to the internet.Connection lost warning

If your connection has not been restored, another warning will let you know that your most recent work wasn’t saved.
Connection lost and progress not saved warning

Your work will auto-save once the connection is restored and you will be notified.Connection restored and progress saved alert

Contact information

If you have a logistical query such as about test deadlines, test content, how many attempts you can have etc, please contact the test owner. Test owners may include the relevant academic, or the Programme Delivery team (phase1@hyms.ac.uk, phase2@hyms.ac.uk, phase3@hyms.ac.uk), or the Assessments team (exams@hyms.ac.uk for undergraduate,  postgraduate@hyms.ac.uk for postgraduate).

If you have a technical query please contact the Learning Enhancement and Systems team at help@hyms.ac.uk.

Consider test setting variations

Please be aware that test settings can vary and this guide does not cover all setting variations. Please contact the test owner if you have any additional accommodations you wish to discuss outside of standard test settings / workflows.

How grading is calculated can also vary. This can be based on various calculations; average of all attempts, first attempt with a grade, attempt with highest grade etc,.

When grading can be viewed can also vary. This can be after submission, after the due date, only once all grading is complete, on a relevant date such as the end of a period of study etc,.

The context of the test may also limit access (such as high stakes tests). Content, questions /answers after submission, grading etc,. may all be restricted at certain points of the test workflow.

Step 2: Access a test

Access a test

Test notification in a student's activity stream.Tests can be accessed from the activity stream or in the Bb default calendar (if there are due dates).

You can also find tests on the course content page and in folders and learning modules.

Test link in course content

Step 3: Answer test questions
Test information panelAnswer test questions

After you select a test, the details & information panel appears.

You can check key information such as a summary description, the due date, marking criteria, and number of attempts allowed.

Select to view the assessment / start attempt when you are ready. Depending on test settings you may see a warning regarding a test timer.test timer notification





If you start timer you cannot cancel your test attempt.

It is possible to hide the timer reminder at the top of the test page by clicking on/off the eye icon.test reminder iconDepending on test settings (such as test duration) you may see further time notifications.test time reminderEnsure to review any initial instructions / the initial description and key test information at the top of the test page. When you open a test, you are also informed if your submission is set to be graded anonymously.

example test pagequestion tallyIt is also possible to keep track of how many questions you have answered by referring to the question tally bar at the top of the test page.

Question types you may encounter are; fill in the blank, matching questions, multiple choice and multiple answer, calculated formula, true/false, calculated numeric, hotspot, and essay questions.

You may also be presented with further sections of text, attached files, page breaks and media items, or an option to add additional content to the test (text, images, files).

Please access the following link to find out more about question types; Bb question types. Please also click on the following link for further guidance on hotspot questions; Bb hotspot questions.

question filterIf applicable use the questions filter menu at the bottom of the test page to; complete the questions you know first, navigate easily between answered and unanswered questions, quickly view essay questions, and view any extra credit questions.

Step 4: Essential step - Save / submit / check your submission

Save / submit / check your submission

Students must check their work and successful submission

It is the student’s responsibility to check they are satisfied with the final test answers given and that they submit test attempts correctly. Penalties may apply for incorrect or late submission.

Save work

save and close optionIf you wish to come back to the test and are not ready to finish and submit, choose to save and close. You can then click back on the test to continue an attempt.

If a test is timed, the timer will continue to run even if you save and close or leave the test window. Work will be auto-submitted once the timer runs out.


submit optionCarefully review your answers and when ready to finish the test, select submit.

A further prompt will ask confirmation. If you try to submit a test with unanswered questions, an alert will appear also showing the number of unanswered questions. If you are ready, select to submit.submission confirmation

A success confirmation message will appear. Download and keep the receipt as an additional record of submission.successful submission

Also check your school email account for a copy of the receipt. You can run a general search of your emails if it does not appear as a new email in your inbox. Search for the key words ‘assessment submitted’ or from sender ‘do-not-reply@york.ac.uk <donotreply@blackboard.com>’.email receipt of submission

As well as checking your receipt, you need to review the status of your submission directly in Blackboard, and if possible, also review that your submitted answers appear as expected.

test attemptsClick back on a test link and access your attempts from the information and details panel. Under attempts there will be a link to any submissions and you can check that it says submitted.

Click on a submission link to access further information about the status of your test and review your answers (if the test allows).submitted tests

You can also review the status of your submission via the gradebook, accessed via the gradebook tab at the top of the course homepage. You can check number of attempts submitted under the test title in the gradebook listing. You can see under the status column if it is submitted. It may already say graded if grading was automatic. Click on the test to be taken also to the information and details panel to review individual test answers.gradebook

marks menu optionAnother route to the gradebook is via the marks option on the homepage menu/relevant course/ select the view all work direct link to that course gradebook.


late submissionIf a test allows late submissions you may see a warning that your work will be considered late in the initial details and information panel and also at the point of submission.

Also if your instructor has enabled the prohibit late submissions option, the test will be automatically submitted at the due date.

Step 5: Access feedback and grading
Feedback and grading

Depending on test settings you may see any feedback and grading straight away, or this may be at a later date. This may be specified in the test instructions / description. When feedback and grading are made available you can access content by following the same steps above for checking on a submission.

You can go via the marks link on your homepage / directly to the gradebook listing for the test, or click on the test link back in the content area where it was made available to you (if it has not been subsequently hidden). You can then, as with the above steps, click through to specific test attempts and see feedback and grading in context (the gradebook view will only show summary information – it is best to view all feedback and grading in context  back in the test). Please refer to the images in the previous section.

Please also ensure to check for any feedback speech icons, such as in the image below.feedback and grading

Your instructor may manually grade some question types, such as essays, and then post the test grade and feedback. When such grades are posted, you’ll find them in your activity stream. Select view your grade to display your grade. If your instructor added feedback, you’ll see it after the test title. Please navigate to the test to see feedback and grading in context.Students can view their grade by clicking on View my grade on their activity stream.

Step 6: Essential guidance for online MB BS formative quizzes (tests)

MB BS Formatives

Please also read through all above general guidance on this help page. Please also refer to instructions in the relevant Blackboard year course. In particular, some instructions / test settings may differ for the Year 5 online end of block formative tests.

What are online end of block formative tests?
  • The tests are an essential part of the learning and development process for students at Hull York Medical School. They give students the opportunity to test their learning at the end of each block / rotation of the HYMS MB BS programme.
  • They also allow students to gain experience in exam technique by answering questions in two of the formats used in summative assessment: extended matching questions [EMQs] and / or multiple choice questions [MCQs].
Do all tests need to be completed and what is the deadline?
  • All students MUST attempt all formative tests. We strongly recommend that students complete the tests as soon as possible, once available for each block. This ensures that students are reviewing the subject content while it is fresh in their minds – identifying strengths, areas of weakness and further learning needs, before they are too focused on the next block of new learning.
  • Each formative test will be available for a period of three weeks, and will go live two weeks before the end of the block.  Announcements will be posted on Blackboard prior to each test, reminding students when they go live / close. The tests cannot be reopened once the deadline has passed.
  • It is each student’s responsibility to ensure that they complete the formative test within the given timeframe. Students’ completion of formatives will be recorded through Blackboard. Students who do not complete formatives will be referred to the Phase Lead, for onward referral to the Case Management Group if deemed necessary.
Who should students contact if they have a query?
  • All queries relating to the tests (such as being locked out of a test mid-way through, or queries relating to specific questions) should be sent to the relevant Programme Delivery team (phase1@hyms.ac.ukphase2@hyms.ac.uk, or phase3@hyms.ac.uk).
  • Queries related to access can only be dealt with while the tests are live, and only up to 12pm (noon) on the final day of the three-week period. Note that you may not get an immediate response, so make sure you attempt the test far enough in advance of the deadline, in case of any problems.
Complete a formative test

To avoid technical issues, please do not attempt any Blackboard assessment / test from a mobile device or from the Blackboard app. Please also do not use the browser ‘Internet Explorer’, as this is an unsupported browser. Please also refer to the essential guidance at the top of this page; Step 1:Esssential guidance before taking a test.

  1. Navigate to the relevant course / Assessment and Portfolio folder / Formative Assessments / Online End of Block Formative Questions (folder titles may differ across year courses).
  2. Click on the relevant test. Read any instructions included.
  3. Complete the test. You will be expected to complete the assessment in a single sitting. This is to try and replicate the ‘pressure’ of a summative assessment, where you are limited in the amount of time available and you would not be able to ‘look up’ any answers.
How do I get access to test results?
  1. Access to the test, scores and answers / commentary is only possible if the test was successfully completed within the given timeframe. If you have successfully completed an online end of block formative test, click on the test link to see full content. You can view all correct answers / commentary in full and within the context of the question and answers.
  2. You should print / save a copy of your test paper / responses and discuss any uncertainties with your PBL tutor / Educational Supervisor.  Select control + p on your keyboard / select print from your browser. You can also choose to then save as pdf.
And the unmarked copy of test questions?

Access to the unmarked copy of test questions is only possible if the test was successfully completed within the given timeframe.

  1. Navigate to Assessment and Portfolio / Formative Assessments / Online End of Block Formative Questions (folder titles may differ across year courses). Once you have successfully completed a formative test, a corresponding document will become visible in this folder. This will be beneath the access point to the corresponding formative test. This document will remain visible to you for the duration of the academic year. The document consists of the test questions without answers and is for your reference.

If you do not attempt a formative by the stated deadline, then neither the marked online test nor the unmarked copy of questions will become available to you. *An additional opportunity to attempt tests and access test results and the unmarked copy of test questions is again provided for revision purposes prior to the summative assessments, during the assessment period.

Updated on 29/08/2023

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