• Exam Information

    If you have exam-related problems, do not contact your faculty or you will break anonymity. Contact the Office of the Registrar (lawregistrar@hamline.edu).

    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.

    The summer 2014 exam period is Saturday, August 2 - Thursday, August 7. The Office of the Registrar will be open for self-scheduled exams on the weekend, and open 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on the weekdays. 

    Prof. Swift's Employment Law exam is self-scheduled. Prof. Martyn's Professional Responsibility exam is scheduled on Tuesday, August 5 at 6:30 p.m. 

    Exam Numbers

    Hamline Law exams are anonymous; you need to use your exam number.

    How to find your exam number:

    1. Log in to Piperline
    2. Click Student Services
    3. Click Registration
    4. Click Student Detail Schedule
    5. Select the correct term (Each term has new exam numbers—don’t use your fall number for spring!)
    6. Exam Numbers are listed below Total Credit Hours at the top of the page Use the four digit midterm exam number for all of your midterms and the five digit final exam number for all of your finals.


    Hamline Law uses SofTest, an ExamSoft product, to deploy secure, anonymous, typed exams.

    Students who wish to type their 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.

    If you are a visiting student, and would like use SofTest for your exams, you must contact the Registrar well in advance of your exam to have your account set up properly. If your home school uses SofTest for exams, please read this.

    The Registration Process involves the 3-steps needed to acquire SofTest. They begin on our ExamSoft Custom Home Page and are as follows:

    • Step 1: Log In by entering your Student ID number and password. The password was emailed to you. If you cannot locate this email, or if you have lost or forgotten your password, use the Lost Exam # or Password? link.
    • Step 2: Follow the onscreen instructions to download SofTest.
    • Step 3: Register SofTest. Once registered, you will be notified on-screen that you have completed the process and you will also receive email confirmation. If you have any questions or issues with registration, contact ExamSoft technical support by email or call toll-free 866.429.8889.

    If you forget your password: go to www.examsoft.com/hamlinelaw and click Lost Exam # or Password?. Be sure to change your password to something memorable so it doesn't happen again.

    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 software before your exams, and verify that it works well on your computer.

    Unlike in fall and spring, you are not required to download, take, and upload the Mock Exam. It's still highly recommended that you do to to verify that any changes or updates you have made to your computer do not interfere with the running of SofTest. You can verify that your mock exam, or any exam, was uploaded by following these instructions. There is no technical assistance available from the Office of the Registrar.

    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. Fun fact: 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.

    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 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

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

    You may take your self-scheduled exams any day of the exam period (including both Saturday and Sunday) 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.

    You may remove the exam and begin when the room clock turns to 9 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. 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.

    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 checkout/receipt form. Exam takers who use blue books or multiple choice answer sheets are permitted 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 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.

    Please contact Megan Dukek with TWEN questions.


    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 Assistant Dean for Students & Diversity Andrew Crouse.
    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 Assistant Dean for Students & Diversity Andrew Crouse.
    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 Assistant Dean for Students & Diversity Andrew Crouse.
    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 Assistant Dean for Students & Diversity Andrew Crouse an exam variance form if possible. If not, contact Assistant Dean Crouse immediately. If you are unable to reach him, 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 Assistant Dean for Students & Diversity Andrew Crouse 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 Crouse 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, contact the Office of the Registrar (lawregistrar@hamline.edu) to arrange the logistics of taking your exam at least five days prior to the exam.

    Frequently asked questions

    I've been receiving emails that my SofTest account will be deleted, but I think they're in error.

    They're not. If you've been receiving emails about your SofTest account being deleted, it's because your account is going to be deleted. Read the entire email and be sure to follow all of the instructions including how to verify that you've uploaded the correct mock exam.

    If you're having technical problems, contact the support numbers listed.

    If you think you have completed the requirements but are still getting the emails, contact the registrar and we'll determine what is happening.

    You must upload the mock exam or request an extension by the deadline or your account will be deleted.

    Do we really have to turn off our phones?

    Yes, 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.

    What happens if I just go a little bit over time?

    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.

    Why can't I talk about my exam with my colleagues who just took it with me?

    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.

    Can I wear my headphones to block noise?

    No, you may not wear ear buds or headphones during the exam. Ear plugs are fine (get them in the library or bookstore or a pharmacy) but not headphones.

    Can I eat during the exam?

    Yes, but be considerate. Don't bring snacks that are loud or smelly.

    Do I really need my exam number before the exam?  

    Yes, you need 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.

    Where do I get my exam number?

    You can find your exam number on Piperline on the Student Detail Schedule page under Total Credit Hours. It's not your student ID number or the course CRN. All final exam numbers are five digits long. Fall final exam numbers begin with a "1", spring final exam numbers begin with a "3", and summer final exam numbers begin with a "5."

    Do I need to put my scratch paper in the bag?

    Removing exam materials from the room violates the code of conduct. So 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.

    What if I have an emergency and can't make it to my exam?

    If there's an emergency, contact Assistant Dean for Students & Diversity Andrew Crouse (acrouse01@hamline.edu). If you can't reach him, 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.

    By the way, traffic delays and speeding tickets are not emergencies.

    Can't I just contact the professor if there's a problem?

    Don't contact your faculty. It's a violation of the honor code to breach anonymity, and contacting your faculty is exactly that. The faculty cannot grant emergency variances or provide exam support anyway.

    What's an exam hold?

    If your student account has a large past due amount, the student account office will place a hold that will prevent you from taking your exams. The office of the registrar will not be able to issue to or collect from you any examination or other final project until the hold is removed.

    What if the roads are slippery?

    On the day of your exam, or any morning with travel concerns, call 651-523-5555 for emergency closure information. Or sign up for the Hamline University emergency alert system by clicking on HAMLINE ALERT under the Personal Information tab in Piperline. If the University is open, exams will run as scheduled. Allow plenty of extra time for traffic and drive carefully.

    Where are the blue books?

    A proctor will bring them to the room shortly before the exam starts.

    Can I outline or take notes on scratch paper before the exam starts?

    No. That's starting early and a code of conduct violation.

    What if I forget my power cord?

    Your laptop battery is the only back up power source available for your computer whether it's due to a missing or defective power cord or a power disruption. Be sure your battery is in good working order and fully charged before all exams.

    Can I pick up a hard copy of my take home if it's on TWEN?

    No. TWEN exams are administered through the library and the office of the registrar doesn't have copies to distribute.