Blackboard Tests: Downloading test results

Important information!
This guide assumes that you have already set up a Blackboard test, students have submitted answers, and now you need to export them for analysis or record-keeping purposes.

Downloading overall test scores

This will download the Test scores for each student, but without any indication of which questions were answered correctly.

Go to Control Panel > Grade Centre > Full Grade Centre  then Work Offline > Download

View of Blackboard Grade Centre, highlighting Work Offline menu button with Download

On the Download Grades screen, under Selected Column choose the test for which you wish to export the results.

Download Screen date drop down menu on selected column. Clicking on specific Test

Then choose the format required (you can accept the default of Tab-delimited, but Comma-delimited may be better as it opens directly in Excel).

To save the file to your PC, leave the Download Location as ‘My Computer’ and press Submit.

On the next screen just click DOWNLOAD to download the file.

Download grade Download button

The file should open directly in Excel.

If you get this warning message in Excel, just click on Yes and the file should open.

Excel warning message

You can then order the columns as desired – e.g. by student number, name, or highest to lowest score.

View of an excel file


Downloading scores per question

If you wish, you can download a complete breakdown of marks per question, for each user.

Go to Control Panel > Grade Centre > Full Grade Centre  (or Tests), locate the Test for which you wish to download results and click on the editing arrow at the top of the column. Select Download Results.

Column Dropdown menu Download Results

On the Download Results screen,  choose the desired file format and then the way the results should be formatted.

Download results screen highlighting By tab and by question and user

The on-screen help text states:

“The format listed By User will include all of the questions for a user in one row.
The format listed By Question and User will list each question for each user in a separate row”.

Examples are shown below:

By User

View of excel with users in each row

·         Each user is shown on a new row.

·         There are separate columns for each question, showing the question text, answer submitted by this student, points possible, points awarded.

By Question and User

view of excel each use in the block of questions

·         There is a separate row for each student’s response (or lack of response) to each question
i.e. if your Test contains five questions, the spreadsheet will contain five rows per student.

·         Separate columns show the question text, submitted answer, points possible, points awarded.

·         Initially the worksheet is arranged by username, but you could also sort it by question.


Important information!
·         Files downloaded from the Download Results screen are named ‘download’, and lack a file extension. Before you can open the file, you will need to edit its filename – simply add .xls to the end of the filename.

·         In some cases the question and/or answer text will be obscured by several lines of html code. This is almost certainly because the text was copied and pasted from MS Word.

Showing a screen of HTML code in the table rows
You can use Find and Replace to strip away this code in the downloaded Excel sheet.

To avoid the problem recurring in future, it would be worth editing the Test questions in Blackboard to remove the unnecessary formatting – there is a ‘Remove Formatting’ tool on the editing toolbar.

Remove formatting highlighted in Blackboard text editor


Analysing the questions in a Test

You can obtain a breakdown of responses to each question, and use this information to identify questions which are not effective, and which may need to be edited before the test is used again.

Go to Control Panel > Grade Centre > Full Grade Centre  (or Tests), locate the Test for which you wish to download results and click on the editing arrow at the top of the column. Select Item Analysis.

On the Item Analysis screen, press Run.

Item Analysis Menu screen

When the Analysis is ready to be viewed, you will be able to access it from the same screen.

Success message on the analysis run screen

A range of information is shown, enabling you to evaluate the effectiveness of each question in the Test.

Analysis of questions screen


If you’d like more on Item Analysis see the Blackboard Help site at



Page last updated on September 1, 2023 by taralehane

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