Student Orientation: Taking an Online Course

Using Sakai—continued

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All courses include some way of assessing what you have learned. Assessments may include quizzes, exams, papers, or projects. Your instructor will provide more specific information about them in the syllabus.


The types of assessments your instructor asks you to complete will depend on the kind of course you take. In some courses, your assessments may be in the form of papers or projects. In most courses, you’ll be asked to take quizzes or exams.

To learn how to take an assessment in Sakai, you can either watch the video or continue reading below.

VIDEO: How to Take an Assessment in Sakai

If the quiz or exam is in Sakai, select the “Tests and Quizzes” tab to access it. (Depending on your course, it may have a slightly different name, such as “Assessments,” “Exams,” and so on.) Select the name of the assessment that you need to take. Before you begin the assessment, you will see an instructions page that looks much like the one below. Read over the instructions carefully. When you are ready to start, click on the “Begin Assessment” button.

If your exam is timed (which will be indicated in the instructions), the timer will begin counting down as soon as you click the “Begin Assessment” button. Make sure not to click it until you are ready to begin.

Assessment instructions

As you proceed through your exam, make sure to save your answers frequently. Click the “Save” button (at the bottom of the page) regularly. This will simply save your work up to that point and you can continue taking the test. This is especially important in case you lose your connection or experience some other unavoidable interruption. When you’re finished, click the “Submit for Grading” button at the bottom of the page.

Submit assessment


Though a few courses ask you to complete a final project or paper, most SPC courses require you to take a final exam. If your course has a final, you may take it once you have completed all of your assignments. Some courses have online final exams, in which case instructions will be provided in the course syllabus and at the end of your last lesson.

Most SPC courses require a supervised final exam, which means that you will need to apply to take it at the Friday Center or another approved testing location. It’s a good idea to start making those arrangements well in advance. The Scheduling Your Final Exam page contains detailed information about how to apply to take your exam and when you should submit your application.

You instructor will provide course-specific information about how to study for your exam and what you can bring with you to the exam (a calculator, for example).

  • Check your syllabus carefully for information about how to study for your assessment(s).
  • If your instructor suggests specific ways that you should prepare, make sure to follow those suggestions.
  • If your assessment is timed, budget your time carefully. You should consider looking over the entire exam before starting it so that you have an idea of the types of questions you’ll be answering. If you have to respond to essay questions, consider outlining your answer before writing the essay, and keep careful track of the time you spend writing those responses. Try to save a few minutes at the end of the exam for checking and/or rereading your answers.
  • For CCO courses, save your assessment in Sakai frequently just in case there are any Internet connectivity problems.
  • For SPC courses, read over the instructions for scheduling your final exam and submit your application form well in advance of when you would like to the take the exam.