A final exam schedule is published in each semester’s registration materials. By registering for a class, students agree to take the exam at the designated time. The School of Law rarely makes changes to the announced exam schedule. When revisions to the exam schedule are necessary, they are posted on the bulletin boards and an Official Announcement email is sent as soon as they are made.

The final exam schedule giving dates, times of day, and exam room locations is posted several weeks before the beginning of the exam period. All students are expected to take their exams at the times scheduled, except as provided in the Examination Rescheduling Policy.

Exam Rules

These rules apply to all exams. Exceptions may be posted by the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to check for posted notices prior to an exam. Students should be familiar with and abide by the Academic Integrity Policy.

  1. Students should write or type all answers on paper provided or on the student’s computer using the SofTest program. Students may not bring any blue books, scratch paper, or other paper into the exam rooms. Most professors use SofTest for multiple-choice questions
  2. Students may not bring cellular telephones or other electronic devices into the exam rooms unless these items can be turned off. This includes programmable watches or devices and any device that can connect to the internet.  The items must be turned off and stored in student backpacks/bags in the front of the classroom during exams. Anyone causing a disruption will be reported to the senior assistant dean for student services.
  3. Students may not discuss the exam questions with each other during the exam. Faculty will not be available to answer questions directly during exams. Faculty will be available to answer questions from the head proctor or dean on duty. Proctors are responsible for being aware of instructions given by faculty, which are stated under “Professor’s Instructions” on the exam cover sheet to determine if the professor has given instructions regarding errors on exams. If there are such instructions, proctors may merely point them out. If there are no instructions, proctors may use the following default instructions:

Answer the examination as written. If you believe a mistake in drafting the examination has been made or that a question is ambiguous, state your assumptions in your answer. Your professor will review your stated assumption in grading the examination. Do not attempt to contact the professor to secure a clarification. If an examination problem appears to have no solution, contact the proctor.

4. Students may not refer to notes, casebooks, textbooks, study aids, or other references during the exams unless approved by the professor on the exam instructions. If class notes are permitted, students may or may not use laptops, tablets and/or e-readers to access notes depending on the professor’s instructions. Students may utilize the Internet at the discretion of the professor.  Please note that if electronic/computing devices such as laptops, tablets, e-readers etc. are allowed and utilized for access to notes and other materials, technology support is not available for those devices.  Students are responsible for making sure that these devices, should they be allowed, are in working order.

5. Students are free to leave assigned exam rooms for brief periods, but must return to complete the exam. Students must sign in and out of testing rooms. Heafey Law Library is off limits during in-class exams.

6. To protect anonymity, students should use only their SCU School of Law blind grading ID number on exam questions and answers. Prior to the posting of final grades on the eCampus system, students may not reveal their blind grading ID number to their professors. Students should not include their names on any exam materials. In the case of Research Papers where the nature of the course requires self-identification names may be used.

7. When finished writing an exam, it is the student’s responsibility to place the exam answers, questions, used scratch paper, and all other exam materials in the envelope provided. Each item should be identified with the student’s blind grading ID number. It is also the student’s responsibility to ensure that all testing materials are returned to the proctor. Professors may refuse to accept any portion of an exam that is taken out of the testing room.

8. Time is called at the end of the exam period. If a student continues to write after time is called, it is a breach of the law school policy, and the proctor will report that fact to the professor and the senior assistant dean for student services.

9. If the proctor observes a student who appears to be using unauthorized materials, looking at another student’s work, talking with another student, or otherwise behaving in a manner suggestive of cheating, the proctor is obligated to submit a written description of the behavior observed to the professor and the senior assistant dean for student services.

10. In order to begin exams at the time designated, proctors begin exam instructions thirty minutes before the start time. Students arriving late to an exam must enter quietly. No extra time will be given to complete the exam. Students who arrive significantly late for an exceptional reason should petition the senior assistant dean for student services to reschedule the exam.

11. To avoid undue confusion, disruption, and noise, students who finish their exam within the last five minutes of the allotted time must remain in their seats until time has expired. Students who finish earlier may turn in their exam and quietly leave the building. When final time is called, students should remain in their seats to allow the proctor to collect the exams in an orderly manner.

Illegible Exams

When an instructor finds an exam answer to be illegible, the professor contacts the Law Administrative Services Office to make arrangements to have it typed at the student’s expense. The student may be required to assist in decoding the paper. Whether or not a student is consulted in the typing, the student is notified that an exam was typed and will be notified that they have the right to request a review of the typed exam.

Exam Rescheduling

Exams are always rescheduled for a date after the regularly scheduled exam and never before the exam. A rescheduled exam will be placed in the next available exam slot that does not create a conflict. An exam may be rescheduled for one of the following reasons only:

Administrative Conflict

  1. Two exams scheduled back to back; i.e., one exam at 6:00 p.m. and another at 9:00 a.m. the next morning
  2. Two exams on the same day

IMPORTANT: For the fall and spring semesters students must request an administrative reschedule within the first eight weeks of the start of the semester. Summer students must request a reschedule within the first four weeks of the start of the session. Requests must be submitted through the Exam Reschedule Request form. Late requests may not be approved. 

Personal Conflict

3. The student’s serious illness or other medical emergency

4. Extraordinary and compelling reasons beyond the student’s control

The student must submit a request for rescheduling of the exam to the Student Services Office as soon as possible, but prior to the start of scheduled exam. The senior assistant dean for student services determines if the exam will be rescheduled.

Note: Students who are ill at the time of their exam should consult the head proctor prior to opening their exam packet. Once students see the exam, it is not possible to reschedule.

Use of Laptop Computers

The law school encourages students to use laptops for taking exams. To do so, students must use the SofTest program, from ExamSoft, which provides a simple and secure word processor. All students are provided an account that allows them to download SofTest and use the Drop Box feature for take-home exams.

SofTest can be configured in three ways: Secure, which prevents any access to the internet, to other applications on the student’s computer, and to any files on the computer; Semi-Secure, which prevents access to the internet but allows access to the computer and any files and application thereon; and, Open, which allows access to the internet and all the files and applications on the computer.   The professor specifies how SofTest will be configured for his or her exam.  In addition to specifying the security configuration of SofTest, the professor will prescribe which other materials may be brought into the exam, books, printed notes, outlines, etc.

SofTest versions are available for English 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 (genuine versions of Windows Operating Systems), and Macintosh OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) OS X 10.7 (Lion), OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks) and 10.10 (Yosemite). Surface Pro and tablets are not supported.

Only genuine versions of Mac Operating Systems are supported. OS X 10.7 (Lion), OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), OS X 10.9 (Mavericks), OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), and OS X 10.11 (el Capitan) are supported. Students using Apple Macintosh laptops must use one with an Intel Processor (all MacBook variations qualify).

Adobe Reader (Version 9 or 11) is required for exams containing PDF attachments.

SofTest cannot be used on virtual operating systems such as Microsoft’s Virtual Machine, Parallels, VMware, VMware Fusion or any other virtual environments.

SofTest should be installed and exams taken using an account that has Administrator level account permissions. Students who wish to use their laptops for exams are responsible for installing the latest version of Softest ahead of time. These files may be downloaded from www.examsoft.com/sculaw. Students must ensure that the date and time on their computer match the date and time in California; failure to do this may prevent the exam from being taken and force the student to handwrite the exam.  Support for installation and setup for exams is available from Law Technology and Digital Media.

Any attempt to disable or tamper with the security features of SofTest will be prosecuted as a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy. The software itself records all keystrokes, and any attempts to override the system’s security will be noted.  Attempts to start the exam before the proctor starts the exam or to continue after the official time has elapsed are also recorded.

Students must be familiar with their equipment by the time of the exam. Students are not permitted to delay the start of an exam due to computer problems. In the event of a computer malfunction, proctors and other support staff will provide a limited amount of support. Students should be prepared to complete the exam by hand writing if the problem cannot be resolved in a timely fashion.

The option of using a computer to take exams is offered to students as a convenience and a privilege, not as a right. Students assume all risk of equipment or power failure, and should take appropriate steps to aid in the successful completion of their exams. Students should make sure they have a well-charged battery as an emergency power source. While wireless network connectivity is available in our exam rooms, we strongly recommend that students bring their own network cables, as connectivity is required at the conclusion of each exam and a wired connection is the most reliable.

All computers are subject to inspection before and after an exam. See http://law.scu.edu/lcomp/ for more information about laptop use and support.

Some classes are graded based on a take-home exam or assignment.  Take-home exams are downloaded from the ExamSoft website using a web browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome. Take-homes do not require the use of SofTest but do require an ExamSoft account.  The answer file is uploaded to the ExamSoft website using a web browser. It is the student’s responsibility to upload the answer by the deadline that the professor has specified.  The answer file is time-stamped by the ExamSoft website. This timestamp is irrebuttable evidence of the time that the take-home final was submitted.

LL.M. in U.S. Law Student Exams

LL.M. in United States Law students for whom English is a second language in which they have not reached academic competence may request additional time, up to time and a half, for exams. These students may also request the use of a translating dictionary. No legal dictionaries or electronic dictionaries are permitted.

Absent an approved request for language accommodations, students are required to follow standard exam rules. Language accommodations may only be requested for exams in courses that are being graded on a Pass/No Pass basis. Students taking exams in courses on a graded basis are not eligible to petition for language accommodations. Students are required to follow standard exam rules.

IMPORTANT: For the fall and spring semesters students must request language accommodations within the first eight weeks of the start of the semester. Summer students must request language accommodations within the first week of the start of the session. Summer session deadlines will apply to off-cycle and short-term courses.

Accommodated Exams

Students with disabilities may receive accommodation in the exam process. Students must submit requests for accommodation to the Office of Disabilities Resources in a timely manner. Late requests may not be possible to accommodate. All requests must be supported with appropriate documentation in keeping with the law school’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policy.

Distribution of Graded Materials

Faculty members individually determine how their graded exam materials may be accessed by students. They may distribute the materials to the students, meet with students on an individual basis to review the exam, or return materials to the students by appointment through the Law Administrative Services office. Exam materials are retained for a period of one year only.