For Students

Most tasks for students are very simple in Sakai. The User Guide link in the lower left of Sakai contains information about using each of the tools Sakai offers.

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Missing Site

As of the spring '13 semester, instructors must publish their site in Sakai for each course to give students access to course materials. If you are missing your course site(s) in Sakai, it may be due to one of the following:

  • Your instructor may not have published the Course Site yet
  • Your instructor may not be using Sakai at all
  • You may need to adjust your course site display by clicking More Sites, which displays all your sites

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Helpful Information

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Sakai Testing Tips

Taking a test or exam electronically can be a better experience than using pen and paper, often providing immediate feedback and quicker retakes. Come prepared and be deliberate when taking the test for the best results.

Before the test

Do not take a test on a mobile device.

Tests & Quizzes is currently not supported on mobile devices. Firefox and Chrome browsers are recommended.

Open only one window and one browser.

Lost answers. Error messages. Transposition of answers to the wrong questions. Inaccurately displayed count-down timer. These errors have been reported when a student is logged into Sakai in more than one window or tab of the same browser. Login to Sakai, and to the test,  once.

Use a wired connection when possible.

If the internet connection is lost or the browser closes unexpectedly, your answers may be lost.

Confirm that your laptop is fully charged, or plug it in when available.

If you notice that your battery is waning, save your work promptly.

During the test

Be sure you understand how your Instructor set up the test.

The initial test screen not only contains the Professor’s instructions, but also any settings you need to know about, such as whether it’s timed, whether you can take it more than once, whether the highest score of multiple submissions will be retained, etc.


Save your answers frequently.

  • If the test displays one question per page, your answer will be saved automatically when you click Next and move to the next question.
  • If all of the questions are on one page, the save button will be at the bottom of the page. Periodically click “save” and then scroll back up to answer the questions. Click only once when saving your answer. Even if page refreshes seem to be slow, clicking more than once could cause further delay.
  • If the test contains an essay question that takes time to answer, click Save periodically to save your work.

Complete long essay questions outside of Sakai.

Compose your answer in a text editor such as Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Macs) and then copy and paste your finished essay into the essay box on Sakai. WARNING: If using an editor containing formatting code, such as Microsoft Word, click “Show/Hide Rich-Text Editor” link and paste using the “W” tool as seen below.


Don’t use the Backspace key unless your cursor is in a field where you can enter text.

Pressing Backspace under other circumstances may throw you out of the assessment and/or generate an error message.

Complete the exam promptly.

Open the exam only when you are ready to complete it. Do not leave the exam open while you do other things, because you could get distracted and lose your answers before they are submitted.

Never click your browser’s Back and Forward buttons during a test.

Doing so may throw you out of the test or generate an error message. Instead, always use the navigation buttons within the test to move to the next question, to go to a previous question (if allowed), to Save or to Submit.

Don’t click through the test rapidly while reviewing questions.

Clicking the Next or Previous buttons too quickly to navigate through questions, particularly on a large test or exam, can cause errors and possibly take you out of the exam completely. Allow the screen to reset each time you click the navigation buttons.

Wait for a confirmation number.

After clicking “Submit for Grading”, wait for the submission screen that includes your confirmation number. If you close your browser before seeing this screen, your test may not be recorded.

What if I lose access while taking a test?

If you lose access while taking a test for any reason, and there is still time left to complete it, return to the course site and go back into the test. You should be able to pick up where you left off. Be aware, however, that on a timed test, the timer keeps running while you are out of the test. Try to return as quickly as possible. The test will submit automatically when the time limit is reached, even if you are no longer in Sakai.

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For assistance with Sakai, contact the OIT Help Desk at 574-631-8111, by email at, or chat with them at