1.17 Exam Policies
Law School exams are administered by the Office of the Registrar using 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. Students should review the Law School’s exam policies website before every exam period to ensure that they are complying with all Law School policies. 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 are scheduled for a particular day during the exam period. They generally are 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 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. Students are strongly advised to take exams during regular business hours, as there is no technical support available between 5:00 p.m. and 8:30 a.m.
On the final day of the take-home exam period, all take-home exams must be completed by 5:00 p.m. 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 take advantage of 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.
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 taking an exam (a student cannot take it on time, has problems opening the exam, uploaded the wrong document, took the exam questions with you instead of turning them in, etc.) students cannot communicate directly with a professor through any means. Instead, students should contact the Proctor, the Office of the Registrar, or the Dean of Students. Improperly contacting a professor regarding an exam may result in disciplinary action.
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 or the Office of the Registrar 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.
Exam scheduling changes for conflicts with important scheduled events rarely will be granted. To qualify, the event must be a significant life event that requires a student’s attendance (e.g., sister’s wedding), the selection of the date must have been outside of the student’s control, and the student must notify the Dean of Students as soon as the event is scheduled. A student should not make travel arrangements for such events until permission is granted.
If an exam falls on a religious holiday a student observes, the student should notify the Dean of Students early in the quarter to arrange an appropriate make-up time.
PLEASE NOTE: Students will be expected to provide documentation to support requests 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:
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.
Students are advised to keep an electronic copy of documents related to exam submission until grades are posted.
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 Office of the 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.