Uploading questions into Tests or Pools using a text file

Blackboard's Test tool enables you to upload test questions in bulk using an Excel spreadsheet or text file. You can also upload these into the pools section.

To complete this you need to generate a Tab Delimited text file. We recommend using Excel and then saving the final document as a text file. For guidelines please refer to the bottom of this page.

We have a template to help you construct the different question types. The template is a text file, which you can edit directly if you wish. To open the template as a spreadsheet, first open Excel, then browse with Text Files selected. This will allow you to convert the text file to an Excel file. You can then edit the document to include your own questions.

Template Questions file

Please note: The link above will open the Template Questions text file in a new browser tab. Right click the screen and select 'Save as' to save a copy.  

Uploading test questions to Blackboard from a text file

  1. Structure your questions and answers in an Excel document. Below is an example with each question type.

Excel spreadsheet with a range of question type examples

  1. Save the document as a Tab Delimited Text (.txt) file.

  2. Go to Blackboard and open the course where you want to add the questions.

  3. Go to Course Management > Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools.

  4. Click test or pool depending on which area you want to add it to.

  5. Click Build Test/Pool.

  6. Enter a title and any description/instruction text.

  7. Click Upload Questions.

  8. Click Browse and find the text file you created.

  9. Set a points per question if you want to have the same for all questions (the default is 0).

  10. The questions will now appear in the test canvas, you can make any additional amends as needed.

Find out more about uploading questions to Blackboard, including details of all question types available.


Some guidelines when making the Excel file:

  • Each file must be a tab-delimited TXT file. These can be created in Excel or a text editor, such as Notepad.
  • We recommend no more than 500 questions uploaded at once to prevent any timeout of browsers.
  • Don’t include a header row in your file.
  • Don’t have any blank lines between questions.
  • Only one question per row.
  • Check you have included TABS correctly to separate questions from answer options (looking at the example Excel document above, a blank column in a row refers to a double TAB).
  • You can not make the answers show in a random order via this method, you would need to edit this after upload.