• Exam Information

    You must take your exams at the campus where the course was held. Hamline campus courses have Hamline campus exams. William Mitchell campus courses have William Mitchell campus exams.

    If there is a problem with your exam, do not contact your faculty or you will break anonymity. Faculty cannot grant emergency variances or provide exam support anyway.Contact the Office of the Registrar (lawregistrar@hamline.edu). If there's an emergency, contact Associate Dean for Students & Diversity Morgan Holcomb at mholcomb01@hamline.edu or 651-523-2546. If you can't reach her, contact 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.

    If the roads are bad, call 651-523-5555 for emergency closure information. If the University is open, exams will run as scheduled. Allow plenty of extra time for traffic and drive carefully. Traffic delays and speeding tickets are not considered emergencies.

    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 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.
    • 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.
    • You may not discuss your exam, even with your classmates who have just finished the same exam. 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.
    • Removing exam materials from the room violates the code of conduct--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. To be sure you have everything, put your exam pages in the original order with the cover sheet facing out.
    • You may eat during your exam, but be considerate of your colleagues and avoid foods that are audibly crunchy or smelly.   

    Exam Numbers

    Hamline Law exams are anonymous; you need to use your exam number. Be sure to get 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. Exam numbers were emailed to JD students.


    Hamline Law uses SofTest, an ExamSoft product, to deploy secure, anonymous, typed exams. Not all exams will be deployed in SofTest, therefore SofTest accounts will be created for students on an as needed basis. If you have a SofTest option for an exam, you receive SofTest account information via email. 

    Students who wish to type their Hamline campus exams must have their own laptop in good working order. SofTest can be used on virtually any modern computer (i.e. purchased within the last 3-4 years). Specific system requirements can be found on ExamSoft’s website.

    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.

    Prior to Exam Day

    You must download and register SofTest before you take your final. 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 

    Use the mock exam to try out SofTest--use the question navigator, try out the alarm feature, see what it's like to type without spell check. Make sure SofTest runs well. Most final exams are two hours or longer, and most students spend about two minutes in the mock exam. You don't have to, but you may want to type for more than two minutes to really try out the software and see if it works well on your computer and to familiarize yourself with its features and navigation.

    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. Check ExamSoft's knowledge base for a solution (http://support.examsoft.com/ics/support/KBSplash.asp) or take your laptop to the ITS helpdesk in Bush Library 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, or if you're unable to use or locate a feature such as the exam alarm, you may also visit SofTest’s support page, the Tips page or contact ExamSoft support.

    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, bring those too.
    • To download exams users must have the Student ID and password used to register SofTest. Download your exam files in advance of your exam time—we cannot delay the start of the exam for unprepared students. 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, launch SofTest and open, but do not begin, the exam file.
    • Immediately before SofTest launches the exam, you will be see a warning screen with RED STOP SIGNS indicating that you should not begin the exam until instructed to do so. Heed this warning. SofTest exams are timed; if you begin the SofTest exam before you’re permitted to start, SofTest will still exit after the time permitted for the exam ends. You will not be allowed to start your exam before the start time if you begin your SofTest exam early.
    • Exams will not be delayed or suspended due to computer problems.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    Self-Scheduled Exams

    Hamline Law faculty may opt for self-scheduled exams for upper-level courses.

    You may take your self-scheduled exams any open day of the exam period (December 3 -16, closed Tuesdays) 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.

    Collect your exam from the Office of the Registrar ten to thirty minutes before the start time. Don't leave your laptop or other valuables unattended while you collect your examination materials.

    You must take self-scheduled exams in the assigned rooms. 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. 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 must leave an empty seat between you and other students taking an exam in the same room. Students taking different exams share rooms, please be considerate of others who are still working when you finish your exam.

    Report directly to an exam room after collecting the examination materials. Keep the exam materials 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. Blue books and scratch paper will be brought to the room just before the exam start time.

    You may remove the exam and begin when the room clock turns to 9 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. Watch the clock, a proctor will not tell you when to start or finish the exam. You are bound by honor to abide by the guidelines stipulated on the exam instructions. There is no proctor in the room. You may not leave the room during the exam except to contact a proctor in the office of the registrar or to use the restroom. You should not talk to anyone except registrar office staff during your exam time, or talk to anyone who is taking an exam.

    You may not start your exam before the designated start time, including taking notes on the scratch paper or blue books. You may only use the scratch paper or blue books provided. 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, but cannot use another electronic device to keep time.

    You may use earplugs to block sounds, but you cannot use headphones or earbuds. Blue books and scratch paper will be brought to the room at the exam start time.

    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 receipt. Exam takers are permitted only 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. Do not return to the exam room except to collect your belongings. Remember, other students may still be working on their exams; talking, studying or other activities in the exam room during the exam are prohibited even if you've finished your own exam. 

    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 at Hamline may be taken any time during the exam period. You may not start your take home prior to the official start of the exam period and the latest possible time to turn in a take home exam is 5 p.m. on the last day of the exam period. 

    Take home exams will be distributed through TWEN. Unlike SofTest, TWEN does not attach your correct exam number to your exam answer. You must type your exam number in your exam answer. The office of the registrar does not have hard copies for distribution.

     If you need TWEN help, contact TWEN Tech Support at 1-800-486-4876 or west.twensupport@thomson.com


    Exam variances fall into four categories:

    1. Students with Disabilities (Student Policies, Section 11.4.4): If you are a student with a disability, as determined by the University Disability Services Director, we will provide you with reasonable exam accommodations. First, you must consult with the Dean of Students Office for an assessment. The Dean of Students Office will then make a recommendation to me for reasonable accommodations. Second, you must submit a completed exam variance form to Associate Dean for Students & Diversity Morgan Holcomb.
    2. English as a Second Language (ESL) (Student Policies, Section 11.4.6): If English is not your native language, and you have completed fewer than 24 law school credits, then you may be eligible for an exam variance. To obtain an ESL exam variance, you must submit a completed exam variance form to Associate Dean for Students & Diversity Morgan Holcomb.
    3. Religious Holidays (Student Policies, Section 11.4.7): If you are a student seeking an exam variance on religious grounds, you must submit a completed exam variance form to Associate Dean for Students & Diversity Morgan Holcomb.
    4. Other Exam Variances (Student Policies, Section 11.4.8): If an emergency arises, you may be excused from taking a regularly scheduled exam. The standard for meeting this variance is "extremely exigent circumstances." If an emergency arises and you are unable to take your exam as scheduled, complete and submit to Associate Dean for Students & Diversity Morgan Holcomb an exam variance form if possible. If not, contact Dean Holcomb immediately. If you are unable to reach her, contact the Office of the Registrar (lawregistrar@hamline.edu). Do not contact your faculty member. Faculty cannot grant variances.

    To obtain this variance, you must complete and submit to Associate Dean for Students & Diversity Morgan Holcomb an exam variance form. Do not submit the form to your professor or instructor, and contact the Office of the Registrar at 651-523-2468 with questions.

    Please see Academic Rule 105(G) for examples of situations that do not constitute "extremely exigent circumstances."


    For midterm exams, you must complete and submit to Dean Holcomb your exam variance form for non-emergency variances at least one week before a scheduled midterm exam (please refer to your syllabi for midterm exam dates). For final exams, you must complete and submit your exam variance form for non-emergency variances by two weeks before the exam period begins.

    If your exam variance request is approved, you must email the Office of the Registrar (lawregistrar@hamline.edu) to arrange the logistics of taking your exam at least five days prior to the exam.