1.15 Exam Policies

Law School exams are administered using ExamSoft test-taking software.  All students are responsible for being familiar with the Law School’s exam policies.  The most up-to-date information on the Law School’s exam policies is available at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/academics/examprocedures and at https://www.examsoft.com.  Students should review both websites before every exam period to ensure that they are complying with all Law School policies.  Ignorance of exam policies will not excuse failure to adhere to policies, and a failure to adhere to exam policies may lead to disciplinary action.

In general, two main types of examinations are administered at the Law School: in-class and take-home.  Although faculty members decide which type of exam to require for their class, exam administration is executed by the Office of the Registrar. 

In-Class Examinations

In-class examinations are scheduled for a particular day during the exam period. They are generally scheduled for three hours, although a faculty member may give students more or less time. Proctors are present in the room during the examination. In-class exams can be open book, closed book, or limited open book. Laptop use on exams—using the appropriate exam-taking software—is mandatory.  Students are permitted the use of a single laptop during each in-class exam.  The use of cell phones, tablets (iPads, etc.), second laptops, or other similar devices is strictly prohibited, absent use of such a device as an approved ADA accommodation.

Take-Home Examinations

Take-home exams may be taken on any day during the applicable take-home exam period. Take-home exams must typically be completed within eight hours (inclusive of travel time, breaks, meals, etc.), unless otherwise stipulated in the exam itself or on the exam schedule.  There is no technical support between 5:00 p.m. and 8:30 a.m., and students are strongly advised to take exams during regular business hours.  Students who do not heed this advice do so at their own risk.   

On the final day of the take-home exam period, all take-home exams must be completed by 5:00 p.m.  Note that the 5:00 p.m. deadline means that students with 8-hour take-home exams must begin by 9:00 a.m. in order to have the full eight hours to complete the exam. 

Exam submission deadlines are rigorously enforced, and faculty members are notified of late submissions.

Prohibition on Cutting and Pasting

Students are not permitted to download or cut/copy and paste into their in-class or take-home examination answers any material(s) from outside the examination OR to cut/copy and paste any material(s) from inside of their examination to an outside source.  This rule also strictly prohibits a student from drafting an answer into Microsoft Word or another word processor and copying that answer into the exam taking software.  In other words, the only time cutting or copying and pasting is permitted during an exam is when a student types information into one answer field during the exam and moves it either into another field, or within the same exam answer field during the exam.  Audits of student exam files are conducted each exam period, and violation of this rule may subject a student to disciplinary action. 

Anonymous Grading

Please keep in mind that the Law School follows an anonymous grading system, which means that faculty members do not know which student submitted a particular exam.  In the event that any problems arise while you are taking an exam (you cannot take it on time, you have problems opening the exam, you uploaded the wrong document, you omitted the word count, you took the exam questions with you instead of turning them in, etc.) YOU CANNOT COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY WITH A PROFESSOR THROUGH ANY MEANS.  Instead, please contact the Proctor, the Assistant Registrar, the Registrar, the Dean of Students, or the Associate Director of Student Affairs, and one of them will assist you.  Improperly contacting a professor regarding an exam may result in disciplinary action.

Exam Scheduling

Students are expected to take their examinations at the scheduled dates and times. Students must refrain from scheduling other activities (employment start dates, interviews, travel, etc.) during the overall exam period as published in the academic calendar (including official make-up days) until the detailed exam schedule is announced and they know the specific days and times of each exam. In case of illness, accident, or other last-minute emergencies, students must contact the Dean of Students, the Registrar, or the Associate Director of Student Affairs via email and by phone PRIOR to the start of the examination.  Because of the importance of anonymous grading, students must not discuss any exam scheduling or re-scheduling issues with faculty.  Violation of this rule may result in disciplinary action.

If a make-up is allowed for extraordinary circumstances, the Law School is guided by the contracts principle that students should be put in the position they would have been in had it not been for the illness/emergency. For example, a student who is incapacitated for two days during the examination period will normally be given two additional days to prepare for the examination. Students in these situations are instructed not to speak with other students about the examination.

Exam scheduling changes for conflicts with important scheduled events will be granted rarely. To qualify, the event must be a significant life event that requires your attendance (e.g., sister’s wedding), the selection of the date must have been outside of your control, and you must have notified the Dean of Students as soon as the event is scheduled. (These major life events are NOT generally scheduled three days before the exam you wish to reschedule.)  You must not make travel arrangements for such events until permission is granted.

If an exam falls on a religious holiday that you observe, you should notify the Dean of Students early in the quarter to arrange an appropriate make-up time.

PLEASE NOTE: You will be expected to provide documentation to support your request to re-schedule an examination (note from treating physician, verification of pre-scheduled events, etc.). 

The petition to reschedule an exam is available online at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/petitions/moveexam and must be completed no later than the first day of the reading period preceding the examination, although students are encouraged to complete the petition as soon as possible.  Failure to complete the petition by that date may result in denial of a petition as facilities/proctors may not be available.  The exam will be rescheduled to the following day in which the student does not have a proctored exam.

Petitions to reschedule an exam will be automatically approved by the Office of the Registrar under the following circumstances:

• Two proctored exams on the same day
• Proctored exams on four consecutive days

In all other circumstances, students must complete the Special Request section of the petition.  The petition will be forwarded to the Dean of Students for consideration. 

The decision of whether to grant a request to reschedule an exam will be made by the Dean of Students.

Record Keeping

Students are advised to keep an electronic copy of documents related to exam submission until grades are posted.  ExamSoft permits students to access unformatted versions of exams taken using ExamSoft applications.  To access the exams, go to https://www.examsoft.com/uclaw.  After logging in to ExamSoft, click on the Courses menu item. A list of your courses will appear; click on the interested course.  Released submissions appear under the Notifications/Actions heading. Submissions are released to students after all (or nearly all) students have completed the exam.

Faculty members sometimes return annotated versions of students’ exam answers to the Office of the Registrar.  These materials can provide valuable feedback, and students are strongly encouraged to collect them as soon as they become available.  The Office of the Registrar keeps such materials until a student graduates or until a year has elapsed since the examination administration, whichever comes later. 

Exams on Library Web Site

The D’Angelo Law Library maintains an online repository of past exams, students’ model answers, faculty memos, and other exam-related materials.  These exam materials may be accessed at http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/law/courses/exams/.  As a matter of course, the Assistant Registrar will ask the Library staff to post copies of the student answers that received the two or three highest grades on the website, unless the instructor requests otherwise.