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Tests - open exam

Minerva Tests can be used to deliver both flexible and timed tests to students.

Tests can be used to deliver a set of questions to students, there are over 15 question types including Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and Short Answer questions. Minerva Tests must not be used for essay style questions because if students do not interact with the test for more than 60 minutes, their session will time out and answers may be lost. Random Blocks/Randomisation and Question Pools must also not be used as this puts the test at high risk of technical issues.

Follow the guidance below to minimise the risk of technical issues

Create the Test

First, create the Test. Go to the module where students will go to complete the test. Then go to the Module’s Control Panel (underneath the module menu). Select Module Tools, then select Tests, Surveys, and Pools.

Link to Tests in Control Panel

Select Tests and then Build Tests.

The Build Tests link location

Give your test a name and add a description and instructions. Instructions should contain any restrictions e.g. the deadline. Select Submit. Now your Test is created.

Review the question settings

After creating your test area, you'll be taken to the Test Canvas page. From here you can review the question settings. This needs to be done before creating questions as the settings dictate what options appear when you create questions.

Review the question setting options.

The Question Settings link location

The important sections which you should consider are Feedback, Scoring and Display.


Select whether questions should include feedback for individual answers (feedback on a question level is the default). This option will give your students a more tailored experience, with specific feedback on each answer they submit.


Here you can change options for the default question score (which is 10). Individual questions scores can also be changed as you create them.

If you wish to enable partial or negative marking, you need to do so here. You need to select Specify partial credit options for answers and then Specify negative points options for answers as required. Negative marking is available for multiple choice, multiple answer and matching questions.


Options on how to display answers are listed here. Specify random ordering of answers is the most useful.

Make your changes as required and select Submit to return to the Test Canvas page where you can create questions. Question settings can be changed later if required. The question settings option is always present on the Test Canvas page.

Create the questions

In the Test Canvas, select Create Question.

The drop down menu for selecting questions

Select the required question type from the list in the drop-down menu. Multiple Choice and Multiple Answer are the most frequently used question types. Other question types are available but note that the Essay question should not be used – if you require students to write an essay another tool such as Turnitin should be used.

This guide will take you through how to create Multiple Choice/Answer questions. If you need guidance creating other question types, first see Blackboard guidance on question types (original course view).

There are five steps to create the questions:

Step 1

Enter the Question Text. (Ignore the Question Title field – students don’t see this).

The question text box

Step 2

Next specify your options. What you see here will depend on what you selected in the Question Settings.

In general, you can leave these as default but if you wish to use partial/negative marking this must be enabled for each question by selecting Allow Partial Credit and Allow Negative Scores for Incorrect Answers. For Multiple Answer questions, you have the option to Allow Negative Overall Score for the Question.

Show Answers in Random Order can be selected here.

The question options

Step 3

For a question, 4 answers are created by default. Select the drop down menu next to Number of Answers to create more, or select Remove next to an answer to have less.

The drop menu for number of answers required

Enter answers and select which are correct via the check boxes.

If enabled, options for partial credit will appear under questions as relevant, enter the percentage for each answer, start with the negative symbol for negative marking e.g. -20

Step 4

Feedback can be entered on a question basis (correct and incorrect response) or for each individual answer, depending on the question settings you selected.

Step 5

The sections Categories and Keywords/Instructor Notes can be left blank.

Once you are satisfied with your question, select Submit or Submit and create another if you want to create another question of the same type.

Complete the 5 steps above to create your questions. Next, you need to create a link to the test for your students.

Create a link to the test for your students

Navigate to the Submit My Work content area on your Module menu.

Screenshot of Submit My Work in module menu

This is where students will view and submit their test.

Ensure Edit Mode is ON (top right of the screen).

Screenshot of Edit mode is ON

Add a folder for the Test. Using the menu at the top of the screen, select Add Content, then select Content Folder:

Screenshot of Submit My Work in module menu

Use the item editor to create a folder called the title of your test, for example: 201920 Module Exam. Use the default settings and submit. You’ll now have a folder in your Submit My Work content area.

Screenshot of Submit My Work in module menu

Click on the folder you’ve created; the test will be deployed here. Select the Assessments button, then select Test from the list in the drop down menu.

Screenshot of selecting to add a test

Select the name of your test from the Add an Existing Test list and select Submit. You are now on the Test Options page.

It is important that you review this section carefully and use the settings as specified, otherwise the test is at risk of technical failure.

Test Information

  • Name (this is the name of the link students select to launch the test): The name of the test automatically populates the Name field but can be changed if required.
  • Content Link Description: Enter a description of the examination. It is advisable to give key details here e.g. the time the test will be available and whether it is a timed test.
  • Options to show the Test Description and Test Information if entered when you created the test, appear here. Enable those as relevant.
  • Open test in new window: Can be left as default (No)

Test Availability

  • Make available to students: Change to Yes (the Display After/Until dates, which are covered later in the guide, control when students will see the link)
  • Add a new announcement for this test: Set to No.
  • Multiple Attempts: Do not select this option - students should only have one attempt at the test.
  • Score attempts using: NA.
  • Force Completion: Do not select this option
  • Set Timer: For a Flexible Test, do not select this option. For a Timed Test, select this option (e.g. the student must complete the test within 60 minutes of opening the test). Enter the number of minutes as required. Change Auto Submit to ON for a timed test.
  • Display after: This is when students see the link to the test. Select the date and time when students should be able to see the test from.
  • Display until: When this date and time is reached, students can no longer see the link to the test. This date and time should be 48 hours after the Display after date/time. Note the due date and time must also be set as described later in this guide.
  • Password: Do not set a password.

Test Availability Exceptions

Test availability exceptions: These can be used if an individual requires longer to complete the test. To do this you select an individual via Add User or Group and extend the availability dates of the test for the individual. For a timed test, this feature can be used to allow individuals to have more time where necessary.

Screenshot of test exceptions

Due Date

Due Date: A due date and time should be entered

Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed: This should not be enabled in case you have students who require exceptions (all tests submitted late will be flagged in the interface)

Self-Assessment Options

Include this test in Grade Centre score calculations: uncheck this setting to ensure grades aren’t released early in error.

Hide results for this test completely from the instructor and the Grade Centre: leave as unchecked (this must not be enabled as this means student answers and scores cannot be accessed by staff).

Show Test Results and Feedback to Students

Change After Submission to Choose and uncheck Score Per Question. Ensure no options are selected.

Screenshot of returning results and feedback to students options

Test presentation

  • Enable One at a time (All at Once must never be enabled)
  • Prohibit Backtracking: Do not enable as this can cause technical problems.
  • Randomise Questions: Do not enable as this can cause technical problems.


Once you have reviewed all the settings, select Submit. The test will now be added and available to students once the ‘Display After’ date has passed.

Check the Test

Select the test name and preview the test before students can access it. Check the test thoroughly before it is released to students. You can also use the Student Preview function to check that students cannot access the link before the Display after date you selected.

Review the Grade Centre

Once the Test has been set up, you must review the Grade Centre and hide the Test column and Total column to ensure students do not receive their grade on completion of the test.

Go to the Module’s control panel (underneath the module menu). Select Grade Centre, then select Full Grade Centre.

Screenshot of link location for Full Grade Centre

The Grade Centre will load. A column will have been created for the test. Select the drop down menu next to the column name.

Screenshot of drop down menu for grade centre column

Select Hide from students ON/OFF

Screenshot of option Hide from Students ON/OFF

Note the column header now has a no entry sign next to it which confirms students cannot see the score.

Screenshot of column with no entry sign

Now you will need to hide the Total column from students. Select the drop down menu next to the Total column name. Select Edit Column Information.

Screenshot of Edit column information option

Scroll down to the Options section, change Show this column to students to NO. Leave all other options as the default and select Submit.

The Total column will now also have a no entry sign next to it.

Screenshot of column with no entry sign