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Fall 2012 Exam Information

Exam Numbers -- ExamSoft -- Self-Scheduled Exams -- Take Home Exams -- Variances -- FAQs

DO NOT CONTACT YOUR PROFESSOR IF YOU ARE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH YOUR EXAM. YOU WILL BE BREAKING ANONYMITY IF YOU CONTACT THE PROFESSORS. FOR ANY PROBLEMS, PLEASE CONTACT THE REGISTRAR, COLLEEN CLISH, AT 651-523-2424 OR BY EMAIL.

Please see Academic Rule 114-Code of Conduct for examples and specific notice of the type of conduct which the law school regards as dishonest in the examination setting.

You must be in the exam room 10 minutes before the exam is scheduled to start. If you are late for an exam there will not be extra time given. The time remaining in the exam period will be the only time you have to complete the exam.

Exam Numbers

Never put your name on an exam or any exam materials. All exams given at Hamline University School of Law are graded anonymously. Each semester you are assigned midterm and final exam numbers to be used. These numbers are only available on the web. Make sure to look up your exam number before the exams begin. To locate your exam number, go to www.hamline.edu and follow the steps below:

Click on Logins in the header.
Go to Piperline
Log in to the secure area
Enter your Student ID and PIN
Click Student Services
Click Registration
Click Student Detail Schedule
Select the appropriate term from the drop down menu
Exam Numbers are listed below Total Credit Hours at the top of the page
You will use the four digit midterm exam number for all of your midterms, and the five digit final exam number for all of your finals. You must write your exam number on your exam before starting. Credit may not be awarded for exams with incorrect or missing exam numbers.

ExamSoft

ExamSoft is Hamline Law's supplier of exam taking software.

Students who wish to type their exams must have their own laptop in good working order. If there's a power outage, your laptop battery is your back up power source for your computer. Be sure it's fully charged, and able to last the length of your exam.

SofTest can be used on virtually any modern computer (i.e. purchased within the last 3-4 years). Specific system requirements are noted below.
PC Requirements:

CPU = 2GHz Intel® Core™/Celeron™ or equivalent x86 processor
RAM = highest recommended for the operating system or 2GB
Hard Drive = highest recommended for the operating system or 1 GB of free space.
Operating System = English editions of Windows XP (32-bit only), Windows Vista or Windows 7
Software = Internet connection for SofTest Installation, Exam Download and Upload
Screen Resolution must be 1024x768 or higher
Administrator level account permissions
Windows 8 is not supported

Mac Requirements

CPU = Intel processor
RAM = 2 GB
Hard Drive = 1 GB or higher free disk space
Operating System = Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion).
Software = Internet connection for SofTest Installation, Exam Download and Upload
Administrator level account permissions

SofTest has a considerable number of safety features to ensure that answers typed into SofTest cannot be lost. They include:
• An AutoSave feature that automatically saves your exam every sixty seconds.
• Multiple encrypted backup copies of the exam answer file are saved to the hard drive..
• The ability to undo up to 50 of the previous actions per essay question window.

If you are a visiting student, and would like use SofTest for your exams, you must contact the Registrar well in advance of your exam to have your account set up properly. If your home school uses SofTest for exams, please read this.

The Registration Process involves the 3-steps needed to acquire SofTest. They begin on our ExamSoft Custom Home Page located at www.examsoft.com/hamlinelaw and are as follows:
Step 1: Log In – (30 seconds) Enter your Student ID number and password. The password was emailed to you with the subject heading "SofTest Installation & Registration Instructions." If you cannot locate this email, or if you have lost or forgotten your password, follow these instructions.

Step 2: Download SofTest – Downloading SofTest takes minutes on high-speed Internet connections and 30 – 60 minutes on dial-up connections

Step 3: Register SofTest – (30 seconds) Once registered, you will be notified on-screen that you have completed the process and you will also receive email confirmation. You can change your password by going to www.examsoft.com/hamlinelaw, clicking on "Exam Takers" at the bottom of the page, logging in, and then clicking on "Change Account Information." If you have any questions or issues with registration, contact ExamSoft technical support by email or call toll-free 866.429.8889.

If you forget your password: go to www.examsoft.com/hamlinelaw and click on the question mark next to the password field in the Exam Takers section at the top left of the screen. Be sure to follow the steps above to change your password to something memorable.

Prior to Exam Day

You must register by November 20. You can install and register on multiple computers--you do not need to register on the computer you will use for exams. If you replace your computer during the semester, follow the same steps to install and register on your new computer. It is your responsibility to be sure your computer is in good working order, to familiarize yourself with the software before your exams, and verify that it works well on your computer.
Once you have installed and registered SofTest, you must download, take, and upload the Fall 12 Final Mock Exam by November 20. You must take the final mock exam—midterms, the midterm mock exam, and previous semester mock exams do not satisfy this requirement--or your account will be deleted. You must do this every semester to verify that any changes or updates you have made to your computer do not interfere with the running of SofTest. You can verify that your mock exam, or any exam, was uploaded by opening SofTest and clicking the "Exam History" box.
There is a mock take home exam for users who would like to preview take home exams on SofTest, but it is not required. It will be available after November 20.
SofTest’s opening screen asks for an ID number. Use your student ID number in this ID field. ExamSoft will automatically fill your correct exam number in the ID (Activation Key) field. If you are taking a midterm, you must verify that your midterm number is entered, and if you are taking a final, verify that your final number is displayed. You can type over the numeral in the Activation Key box.
If SofTest doesn’t run well on your computer, for instance, if there is a lag time between typing and characters appearing on screen, you may have virus protection, malware, or other software trying to run in the background. Take your laptop to the ITS helpdesk and request a free diagnostic assessment. Be aware: if you are accustomed to regularly troubleshooting problems with your computer (freezes, monitor or power cord issues, etc.) you should find a permanent fix before exams.
If you encounter issues in your use of SofTest, you may also visit www.examsoft.com/faq.
Locate your A/C – battery power indicator light on your laptop to verify you are running on A/C power (i.e. power from a wall outlet). Ensure that your battery has adequate charge in it prior to the exam in the event there is a power outage.
On Exam Day
• Bring your power cord and battery (in the event of power loss, your laptop battery is your back up power source). If you normally use an external keyboard and mouse or if you need earplugs, you may bring those as well.
• To download exams users must have the Student ID and password used to register SofTest. The password can be changed on ExamSoft’s website. Download your exam files in advance of your exam time. Contact the office of the registrar if you need to re-download an exam file.
• Arrive to the exam room at least 10 minutes early, plug your computer into a power outlet, turn on the computer and open the exam file.
• Do not uninstall SofTest, reformat your hard drive, or otherwise delete SofTest files until you receive your exam scores at the end of the academic year.
• Immediately before SofTest launches the exam, you will be provided a warning screen with RED STOP SIGNS indicating that you should not begin the exam until instructed to do so. Heed this warning. Exceeding the exam time limit, which includes starting early, is a violation of the honor code. Notify a proctor immediately if the stop screen does not appear or if you accidentally click begin before the start time.
• Exams will not be delayed or suspended due to computer problems.
• During the exam, use care when highlighting and deleting.
• Students who do not take the time to become familiar with their laptop computer or with word processing functions should consider handwriting their exams. No administrative relief will be granted for incorrect use of the software.
• ANY ATTEMPT TO DISABLE OR TAMPER WITH SOFTEST’S SECURITY FEATURES WILL BE CONSIDERED A VIOLATION OF THE STUDENT HONOR CODE. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH YOUR EQUIPMENT AND THE SOFTEST SOFTWARE AND INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED BY EXAMSOFT ON ITS WEBSITE PRIOR TO THE START OF YOUR EXAM. PLEASE ALLOW YOURSELF SUFFICIENT TIME TO BECOME FAMILIAR WITH YOUR LAPTOP AND THE APPLICATION. COMMENCEMENT OF THE EXAM WILL NOT BE DELAYED DUE TO A HARDWARE PROBLEM WITH YOUR LAPTOP.

Self-Scheduled Exams

Hamline Law is one of the few law schools in the country that offers students the ability to self-schedule exams. The concept behind self-scheduled exams is very simple: within the exam period, you create your own exam schedule.

You may take your exams either in the morning or in the afternoon session, at 9 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. You do not need to reserve your exam times in advance; just show up. You may change your mind up until the moment you pick up your exam questions from the Office of the Registrar.
You collect all examination materials (exam questions, plastic bags, etc.) from the Office of the Registrar, 30 to 10 minutes before the selected start time. You must complete and sign an exam checked out/receipt form. Do not leave your laptop or other valuables unattended while you collect your examination materials.
You must report directly to an exam room after collecting the examination materials. Your exam materials must remain in the bag until the exam start time. Starting early, including removing the questions from the bag. taking notes or outlining is a violation of the honor code.
Rooms are allocated each morning and afternoon for self-scheduled exams. There will be separate rooms assigned for open and closed book exams. Closed books exams permit no outside materials, limited materials exams will share rooms with open book exams. Students may only use the scratch paper or blue books provided. The list of rooms assigned to open and closed book exams on each day is prominently displayed next to the Office of the Registrar's door. Students taking different examinations share rooms. You may not take a self-scheduled exam in a space other than the designated rooms. You must leave an empty seat between you and other students taking an exam in the same room.
You may remove the exam and begin when the room clock turns to 9 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. You are bound by honor to abide by the guidelines stipulated on the examination instructions. There is no proctor in the room. If you are taking a closed book exam you should set all your belongings on the side or front of the room to avoid the appearance of impropriety. You may not leave the room during the exam except to contact a proctor in the Office of the Registrar or to go to the bathroom without tarrying on the atrium.
You may not start your exam before the designated start time, including taking notes on the scratch paper or blue books. If you arrive late (past 9:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.) you will lose time. For example, if your exam is a 2-hour exam and you arrive at 9:30, you will have 1-1/2 hours to complete the exam. You can, of course, take the exam during the following exam session.
While taking an exam, you keep track of time. There is no five-minute warning. You may use the alarm feature in SofTest.
When you are done, immediately bring all examination materials (including all scratch paper) back to the Office of the Registrar. You will receive a signed copy of your exam checkout/receipt form. Exam takers who use blue books or multiple choice answer sheets are permitted five minutes to return exam materials to the office of the registrar. If you exceed five minutes, it will be considered exceeding the exam time limit and you will receive a grade penalty.
Not all exams are self-scheduled. Please refer to your syllabi for details. You may not self-schedule a scheduled exam.

Take Home Exams

Take home exams maybe taken any time during the exam period. The latest possible time to turn in a take home exam is 5 PM on December 17, the last day of the exam period. Exams will not be accepted in hard copy or via SofTest after the end of the exam period.

Take home exams will be distributed through the office of the registrar or TWEN based on faculty preference. Under no circumstances will exams be emailed or accepted via email. If the exam is administered through the office of the registrar, you may choose to use SofTest or to pick up a hard copy.

If you are using SofTest for your take home exam, please note that the exam password, plus instructions specific to take home exams, will be emailed to you in advance of the exam period. Do not start your exam before 8 AM on December 3, the first day of exams.

When taking a take home exam on SofTest, print the questions immediately after opening the exam to use as a back up. You can print to PDF or to Microsoft Document Image Writer to save an electronic copy of the questions. Remember: it is a violation of the Honor Code to share the exam questions. Shred or delete the questions immediately upon completion of the exam. You cannot pick up a hard copy of the exam and use SofTest, you must choose one method.
You only need an Internet connection while downloading and uploading the exam. SofTest saves your work every minute to your hard drive.
If SofTest fails, or if you choose to compose your answer in a word processing program, you must hand deliver a hard copy of your answer during Office of the Registrar hours and upload your SofTest answer file. The SofTest answer file is needed to determine the time you started your exam.
While you can cut and paste within your exam answer, you cannot paste into the exam from other documents or sources. You will be able to access other programs and documents on your computer, but you will not be able to take another SofTest exam on the same computer that is running your take home exam. (If you have devised your exam schedule so that your take home exam will overlap another exam, use your printout of the questions, type and print your answer, and hand-deliver the hard copy of your answer to the Office of the Registrar within the stated time period for your exam. You must still upload your take home exam file--we will use that to determine what time you started the exam.)
Do not exit the exam until you are finished--when you exit, the exam is over and will upload. You can suspend your exam by going to the Tools or File menu and choose Suspend Exam. When you relaunch SofTest, the exam will resume.
Complete instructions will be emailed to you, with the exam password, before the exam period. Read them carefully, and be sure that you understand them before you start your exam.
SofTest will format your answer and print your exam number. Do not add page breaks, double-space or change font.
Pay attention to the time you start. You are required to exit before the end of the time allowed for the exam. You must watch the clock rather than rely on the timer.
You can learn more about features available in SofTest at ExamSoft's Tips page.
If you choose to pick up a hard copy of the exam questions, you may do so at any time during the Office of the Registrar's open hours, 8 - 5. You must fill out a receipt at the time of pick up. Office of the Registrar staff will time stamp the receipt, and you must return a hard copy of your exam answer with your copy of the exam questions to the Office of the Registrar within the amount of time printed on the exam cover sheet, and during office hours. You cannot return any exams after 5 PM on December 17. You must put your exam number on your answer and the exam itself. Pay attention to the faculty's formatting guidelines, if any.

The Office of the Registrar does not administer TWEN exams. Please contact Meg Koltes, library assistant, with TWEN questions.

Variances

Exam Accommodations
I. Students with Disabilities. ("Student Policies," Appendix E). If you are a student with a disability, as determined by the University Disability Services Director, reasonable examination accommodations will be provided to you. You must first consult with the University Disability Services for an assessment. Thereafter, the Director will make a recommendation to the Acting Assistant Dean for Students and Multicultural Affairs for a reasonable accommodation. Please refer to the "Disability Accommodation Policy," Appendix E, and page 119 for further details on the University's Disability Policy and the procedure for requesting a disability examination variance. See also "Student Policies", Section 11.4.5, "Examination Accommodations".
II. English as a Second Language (ESL). ("Student Policies", Section 11.4.7). If English is not your native language, and you have not completed 24 or more law school credits, then you may be eligible for an examination variance. Your request must be made directly to the Acting Assistant Dean for Students and Multicultural Affairs. Please refer to "Student Policies", Section 11.4.7 for further details and the procedure for requesting an ESL examination variance. For qualifications for an ESL accommodation, see document attached to this email.
III. Religious Holidays: ("Student Policies", Section 11.4.8) Students seeking an exam variance for a scheduled exam on religious grounds must petition the Acting Assistant Dean for Student and Multicultural Affairs.
IV. Other Examination Variances: . ("Student Policies", Section 11.4.9) If an emergency arises, you may be excused from taking a regularly scheduled examination. The standard for meeting this variance is "extremely exigent circumstances" AR-105(G) Please see the referenced Academic Rule for examples of situations that do not constitute "extremely exigent circumstances". You must present your request for a variance under this category to the Acting Assistant Dean for Students and Multicultural Affairs, not to your professor or instructor. Please refer to the following link for further details and the procedure for requesting an "extremely exigent circumstances" variance: http://law.hamline.edu/files/ACADEMIC_RULES_3.pdf .

With any of the above variances you must submit your request to the Acting Assistant Dean for Students and Multicultural Affairs for prior approval as outlined in the respective policy and rule. You can obtain the appropriate variance form at http://law.hamline.edu/student_affairs/examination_variances.html . If your variance request is approved, the registrar will contact you concerning the logistics of taking your examination.

DEADLINES FOR REQUESTING VARIANCES: FOR MID-TERM EXAMINATION VARIANCES (non-emergencies) - Two weeks before Your Scheduled Mid-Term Exam. Consult your Professor's syllabus or your Professor (Generally, only mid-term examinations that count toward your final grade are eligible for a variance).

FOR FINAL FALL SEMESTER EXAMINATIONS - Monday, November 19, 2012

THESE DEADLINES WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED. If you have any questions or if you wish to discuss a personal situation, please feel free to contact Dean Anne Johnson.

Emergency Variances

If an emergency arises and you are unable to take your exam as scheduled, contact Acting Assistant Dean Johnson immediately. If you are unable to reach her, contact the office of the registrar at 651-523-2468 or lawregistrar@hamline.edu. Do not contact your faculty member. Faculty cannot grant variances.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do self scheduled exams work?
You can find this answer here

I’ve been receiving emails that my SofTest account will be deleted, but I think they’re in error. 
They’re not. If you’ve been receiving emails about your SofTest account being deleted, it’s because your account is going to be deleted. Read the entire email and be sure to follow all of the instructions including how to verify that you’ve uploaded the correct mock exam.
If you’re having technical problems, contact the support numbers listed.
If you think you have completed the requirements but are still getting the emails, contact the registrar and we’ll determine what is happening.
You must upload the mock exam for finals (which is different than the mock exam for midterms) or request an extension by the deadline or your account will be deleted.

Do we really have to turn off our phones?
Yes, you must turn off your phone. Silencing it is not good enough; ringers have been turned back on in pockets and backpacks. Please don’t set your phone to vibrate; a vibrating phone is very loud in a silent room. It’s a code of conduct violation to use electronic devices during an exam, which includes turning off your phone if it rings.

What happens if I just go a little bit over time?
Even small exam overages (2-5 minutes) are subject to an automatic grade penalty of one step (e.g., B to B-). Calculate your end time correctly, double-check it, and write it down. Watch the clock or use SofTest’s alarm feature and when it’s time to exit, exit immediately. If any portion of your exam is handwritten, for instance, if you are using an answer sheet for your multiple choice exams, you must return your exam materials to the office of the registrar within five minutes of the end time for your exam or you will be considered late returning your exam, and subject to the penalty. 

Why can’t I talk about my exam with my colleagues who just took it with me?
Keep in mind that not all students take the exam at the same time, not even scheduled exams, and your conversations or facebook postings may be overheard or spread.

Can I wear my headphones to block noise?
No, you may not wear ear buds or headphones during the exam. Ear plugs are fine (get them in the library or bookstore or a pharmacy) but not headphones.

Can I eat during the exam?
Yes, but be considerate. Don’t bring snacks that are loud or smelly. 

Do I really need my exam number before the exam?
Yes, you need your correct exam number before the exam. If you don’t, you may not receive credit for your answer. SofTest will record the correct exam number for you, but bluebooks, answer sheets and TWEN will not. Don’t forget to put your exam number on your exam and scratch paper. 

Where do I get my exam number?
You can find your exam number on Piperline on the Student Detail Schedule page under Total Credit Hours. It’s not your student ID number or the course CRN. All final exam numbers are five digits long. Fall final exam numbers begin with a “1”, spring final exam numbers begin with a “3”, and summer final exam numbers begin with a “5.”

Do I need to put my scratch paper in the bag?
Removing exam materials from the room violates the code of conduct. So be sure to return all of the exam materials in the bag including scratch paper and blue books you’ve marked in any way, and answer sheets that were included with your exam whether you used them or not. If there is not a mark on them, blue books and scratch paper should be returned to the pile. 

What if I have an emergency and can’t make it to my exam?
If there’s an emergency, call (651-523-2468) or email the office of the registrar (lawregistrar@hamline.edu). We’ll take your request for an emergency variance to the proper authority. Although it feels heartless, we are required to request documentation of the emergency.
By the way, traffic delays and speeding tickets are not emergencies. 

Can’t I just contact the professor if there’s a problem?
Don’t contact your faculty. It’s a violation of the honor code to breach anonymity, and contacting your faculty is exactly that. The faculty cannot grant emergency variances or provide exam support anyway.

What’s an exam hold?
If your student account has a large past due amount, the student account office will place a hold that will prevent you from taking your exams. The office of the registrar will not be able to issue to or collect from you any examination or other final project until the hold is removed. 

What if the roads are slippery?
On the day of your exam, or any morning with travel concerns, call 651-523-5555 for emergency closure information. Or sign up for the Hamline University emergency alert system by clicking on HAMLINE ALERT under the Personal Information tab in Piperline. If the University is open, exams will run as scheduled. Allow plenty of extra time for traffic and drive carefully. 

Where are the blue books?
A proctor will bring them to the room shortly before the exam starts.

Can I outline or take notes on scratch paper before the exam starts?
No. That’s starting early and a code of conduct violation.

What if I forget my power cord?
Your laptop battery is the only back up power source available for your computer whether it’s due to a missing or defective power cord or a power disruption. Be sure your battery is in good working order and fully charged before all exams.

If I open my take home on SofTest, but hand in a printout, do I have to upload the SofTest file?
Yes. The SofTest file will tell us what time you started.

Can I pick up a hard copy of my take home even though I’m taking it on SofTest?
No. You must choose hard copy or SofTest.

Can I pick up a hard copy of my take home if it’s on TWEN?
No. TWEN exams are administered through the library and the office of the registrar doesn’t have copies to distribute.