ExamSoft Info for The Day of Exams
Bring the following items to each exam:
- One laptop with current registered copy of SofTest, previously downloaded exam files, a power cord, and a method of connecting to the network to upload the completed exam answer file (ethernet cord or wireless card).
- Students may NOT use any internal or external drive/device not approved by the Office of the Registrar, which includes but is not limited to an external hard drive, CD, CD ROM, Mass Storage Device (e.g. flash drive), and Zip.
Before arriving at the exam room, students should check to make sure the appropriate exam file is visible in their SofTest drop down menu (but do not open or launch the exam file). If the exam file is not visible, you must get an internet connection to download your exam file from ExamSoft. Be sure to verify that you can view your exam file before you arrive to take your test.
All students taking in-school exams on their laptops must use ExamSoft/SofTest, even when taking an open book exam. Students should bring a hard copy of whatever is allowed in the exam, because you will not be able to access notes or any other materials via your laptop. Students will not use ExamSoft/SofTest for take-home and 8 hour weekday exams.
Once in the exam room, all Examsoft/SofTest users should follow the instructions on the gold SofTest Exam Instructions sheet available in the front of each exam room. Laptop users must be at the SofTest Notice screen with the Red Stop signs 10 minutes before the exam start time. At that time the exam assistants will begin reading the instructions.
Students who experience computer difficulties before the beginning of an in-school exam will be assisted by the exam assistant, Computer Center technical staff, or Registrar's Office staff for a reasonable amount of time (up to approximately 10 minutes), on a first-come, first-served basis, by available staff. If the problem cannot be resolved within that time, or if the exam assistants have begun reading instructions, the student should be prepared to hand-write the exam. This is why it is important to arrive in the exam room with adequate time to get the laptop set up and running.
For Unscheduled Exams only, students in the exam room with a last minute laptop/software problem, who have not yet opened their exam envelope or otherwise begun their exam, may choose to return at another time when unscheduled exams are offered, to take this exam. However, please note that this postponement cannot extend beyond the official exam period, nor can it be a reason to postpone or change any of your other exams. In this situation, an exam assistant will verify that your exam envelope is unopened, and will return the envelope and signature sheet to the Registrar’s Office. Students are then responsible for resolving their laptop problem, renting or borrowing a different laptop, or deciding to handwrite any remaining exams.
It is your responsibility to be sure your computer is in excellent working order and to be fully familiar with your equipment as well as with the ExamSoft/SofTest program by following all instructions provided by ExamSoft/SofTest on their website and taking the Mock Exam periodically. It is also your responsibility to follow all system set-up procedures and download deadlines provided by the Office of the Registrar. Taking an exam on a laptop is ultimately done at the student's own risk. If you are aware of a possible laptop problem before you arrive to take your exam, you should make alternate arrangements to rent or borrow a different laptop, or plan on handwriting your exam. The law school staff and ExamSoft/SofTest support will do everything within a limited timeframe to assist a student with a problem, and will deal with any serious difficulties in a fair manner.
Do not open your exam file before the day of the exam at which time the Exam Assistant will give you the instructions.
Keep in mind that any attempt to disable or tamper (moving program and exam files) with the security features of ExamSoft/SofTest will be prosecuted as a violation of the HONOR CODE.
During an Exam
Exam answers will be printed using the spacing and font type and size requested by the professors. If students adjust the font for better viewing during the exam, this does not carry over on the printed version of the text.
Your answers to each question will be printed on separate pages if you use the feature provided in which you type each answer in a separate question field. That is, answer question 1, then click where indicated to begin question 2, and so on. You will be able to move back and forth between your answers at any time by simply clicking the arrows. The word processor does not show page breaks or page numbers, only the question number.
There are character count and word count features which some professors may instruct you to use to determine the length of your answer. Character count appears at the bottom of the screen; if you do not notice the character count, adjust your screen so that it is visible as you type. To view word count, click on tools, highlight word count, then click on ok to close.
Spell-check is offered as a feature while taking exams with ExamSoft/SofTest.
Use extreme care when highlighting and deleting, as well as using other functions which may significantly change a document. Those 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 in the event that an exam file is deleted or otherwise altered. ExamSoft/SofTest includes the "undo" feature with 50 levels of Undo. There is also a clipboard monitor feature that warns a student if he or she is about to delete more than 500 characters and avoids accidental deletions from occurring. Keep in mind that the backups run once every minute: if a student inadvertently erases the entire exam or some portion of it, use the "undo" feature immediately.
For laptop problems during an exam, such as a frozen screen, you should power down and restart the laptop. Immediately, when prompted, select Restart the exam. You will be returned to within 59 seconds of where you left off (log files & snapshots will give a detailed record of when the exam was powered down and when you re-entered the exam). If you are forced to Restart the exam for any reason, you must immediately return to the exam. During an exam a student should run SofTest continuously and there should be no gaps of unaccounted time on a student's exam log file. There is no need to alert the Registrar's Office of a Restart during the exam as this would be disruptive to the student and others nearby.
If you experience an ExamSoft/SofTest program error, or any problem which is not completely resolved by powering down and restarting, you should immediately bring the laptop and all your personal belongings to the Registrar's Office, Room 303. If it is found that a student cannot continue typing the exam on the laptop, he or she will be instructed to hand write the exam. Sufficient time will be estimated and allotted to account for the time lost in making the transition from laptop to hand writing. Every effort will be made to retrieve and print the exam from the student's computer (from the log files and snapshots).
When finished with your exam, you must completely exit the ExamSoft/SofTest exam when the proctor instructs you to do so, before returning your exam envelope and leaving the exam room. There are no exceptions. Log files and exam length will be used to determine students' compliance with this regulation.
At any point, during this process, if you have any problem, question, comments or concerns about SofTest and whether it has functioned properly, contact the Office of the Registrar immediately so that log files and snaps can be reviewed to determine whether or not the software has experienced any problems.
After the Exam
You MUST upload your Examsoft/SofTest exam file within 30 minutes after the exam has been closed or the exam time runs out. In the event of Washington University School of Law network problems, the upload deadline will be extended. If you need to use an Ethernet Cord to upload your exam you must EXIT THE EXAM, allow your computer to reboot (do not power down during this process), and make sure your exam envelope has been placed in the completed exam box. At this time, you may proceed to the Computer Department on the 2nd floor or the Registrar’s Office, Suite 303 if you need assistance with uploading your exam (only after you have completely exited out of SofTest).
DO NOT DELETE ExamSoft, SofTest or any exam related file before receiving final grades in all courses. All students must have access to their laptops for 48 hours after any exam, and be accessible by a current phone number, in case the Registrar's Office needs to contact them.
Students who have laptops with non-English operating systems may need to:
- Upload their exams per the usual instructions, and then
- E-mail their exam files to Beverly Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org.