Best Practices for Taking Online Tests (Students)

Best Practices for Taking Online Tests

Taking a quiz or exam in a Canvas course can be a big deal and you want to do everything in your power to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. Follow these steps and tips to help ensure a successful testing experience.

If anything is unclear or confusing, please contact Canvas Support – Canvas offers 24/7 support options listed in the ? Help icon on the Global Navigation to the far left or call the Canvas Support Line (which includes how-to assistance) call 515-294-4000 then follow the prompts.

Before you start your quiz

  1. Do not wait until the very last minute to complete your quizzes.
  2. Clear your schedule for the allotted time for taking the quiz.
  3. If using your own computer, ensure that you have an updated and supported browser that is capable of handling Canvas. Use a Canvas supported browser and make any necessary browser updates. To do so, use the Which browsers does Canvas support? web guide.
    • Panda icon Tip: If you are taking your test in an ISU Online Testing Center facility review the pertinent information available on the Online Testing Center website.
  4. Make sure that you have a reliable internet connection. Canvas is designed to perform on wireless machines and mobile platforms (check out Canvas’s convenient student application), it is best to take high stakes assessments on a wired computer, especially if you have an unreliable data and Internet service.
  5. A wired connection is best for high stakes assessments, especially if you have an unreliable data and Internet service.
  6. If you are using a dial-up connection, make sure you won’t be interrupted by a dropped connection from incoming or outgoing phone calls, etc.pandaicon.png Tip: Mobile browsers are not supported for test-taking in Canvas, so features may not function as expected compared to a fully supported desktop browser. If you decide to use your mobile device, learn how to take quizzes on an iOS device or an Android device.
  7. Close all software and applications before starting the quiz.
  8. Avoid starting any software updates at any point while taking a quiz.
  9. Restart the browser which you will use for taking a quiz (it is also a good practice to clear your browser’s cache) and log into Canvas without opening any other tabs and windows or logging into other site. Follow the guides available on the Refresh your cache website. These practices will help you to identify what happened to your quiz as it helps Canvas the capture the details of your quiz session.
  10. Allow pop-ups for the browser you will use for taking the quiz. The ISU Canvas web address is:
  11. If your instructor provided a self-test or practice test, take it! The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become for your graded quiz!

While you take your quiz

  1. Be aware of how your mouse works: double-clicking on the links in Canvas can interfere with your quiz experience. When you use the wheel on your mouse, be careful not to change your answers on your quiz.
  2. Take a look at your answers to see if they are the right ones you selected before you hit submit or finish. You can inadvertently change your own answers before submitting.
    • These are the two ways that can make this happen:
    • Scroll clicking. The clickable area of an answer is the entire answer itself—not just the radio button. If you are a compulsive clicker who happens to click each time you scroll, as if to stabilize the page, you may inadvertently change your own answers without noticing it.
    • If you use the arrow keys to navigate make sure to see if that changes your answers.
  3. Do not use the back, forward, delete or refresh keys on your keyboard when taking a test. This might result in a warning that your quiz has not yet been submitted. You may be also kicked out of the quiz.
  4. It is best to complete your quiz in one sitting. If your quiz is timed, the timer begins running as soon as you open the quiz. You will receive a visual clue as your time is running out. Although you can leave the quiz and return back to it, the timer will continue running. Note: If you navigate away from an unfinished timed quiz, the timer will continue running and the quiz will auto-submit when time runs out. View the How do I resume a quiz that I already started taking? web guide.

After you take your quiz

  1. Sometimes your quiz grade is hidden, which means your instructor will not release feedback until the last quiz submission is graded. If your instructor chooses to release the quiz score, read How do I view quiz results as a student?
    • Panda icon Tip: If the instructor provided quiz feedback, make sure you aren’t misinterpreting your quiz results. Arrows point to your answers, while the bold text refers to the correct answers.
  2. The Grades page in a course displays all current grades for all course assignments. You can also view scoring details, comments, and rubrics. To learn how to use Grades in Canvas, view the How do I view my grades in a current course? web guide.
    • Panda icon Tip: Some details in the Grades page, such as scoring details and the total grade, may be restricted in your course. If you have questions about your course, contact your instructor.
  3. Become familiar with the legend for your Grades area in Canvas and know what each icon means if you see it in the column associated with a quiz. View the How do I use the icons and colors in the Grades page? web guide.