Examination Rules and Procedures
Examinations are designed to test the understanding of the concepts in the examined subject matter. Obviously, students should neither seek nor accept any assistance during the examination. Less obviously, but of great importance, is that students do not appear, to any degree, to seek or accept any such assistance. It is essential that every law student recognize the necessity of strict adherence to all examination rules and the Standards of Academic Integrity to avoid any unauthorized practice and to avoid even the appearance of unauthorized practices. Following are the examination rules and procedures in effect at the School of Law.
CAREFULLY READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS. IGNORANCE OF ANY RULE OR PROCEDURE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AS AN EXCUSE FOR VIOLATION.
A final examination schedule showing exact day, date, starting and ending times, and Open/Closed Book status and those exams allowing the use of computers will be posted on the Registrar’s page of the Law School website, and on the Plasma Screens on the 1st and ground floors. Please copy the exact information for each of your examinations. DO NOT TRUST THIS INFORMATION TO MEMORY.
PLAN TO ARRIVE AT THE SCHEDULED ROOM FIFTEEN (15) MINUTES BEFORE THE SCHEDULED START OF AN EXAMINATION.
There are NO designated seating assignments in the examination rooms. However, if one or more exams are administered in the same room, you may be directed to a particular area of the room to sit. You are to SIT EVERY OTHER SEAT in the exam room. Exam materials will be distributed once everyone is seated.
DO NOT OPEN AN EXAMINATION UNTIL YOU ARE TOLD TO DO SO.
THE REGISTRAR’S OFFICE WILL DISTRIBUTE EXAMINATION NUMBERS IN ADVANCE OF EXAMS ACCORDING TO A DESIGNATED SCHEDULE PROVIDED TO ALL STUDENTS BY EMAIL. YOU WILL RECEIVE A DIFFERENT EXAMINATION NUMBER FOR EACH EXAMINATION. PLEASE BE SURE TO BRING THE CORRECT EXAMINATION NUMBER WITH YOU TO EACH EXAMINATION.
Enter your exam number on the front of your exam booklet or into the exam software (if you are using a laptop).
Examination questions MUST BE RETURNED at the end of each examination.
Any materials taken into an examination room, even if the exam is OPEN BOOK, must be in clear sight of proctors.
Any student found to have unauthorized materials in an examination will be charged with violation of examination rules.
Cell phones and any other types of recording/playing equipment are NOT permitted in examination rooms.
NO food of any kind is permitted in examination rooms without the permission of the Registrar’s Office staff, and then only for medical reasons. Beverages will be permitted. However, please be considerate of other students in the examination room if you bring a beverage with you.
The room proctor will read a series of examination procedures. PLEASE PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THESE ANNOUNCEMENTS.
1. To assure the anonymity of the grading system, students will identify themselves on all law school examinations by examination number only. Examination numbers will be assigned randomly for each course. Students will receive a different number for each examination.
2. Adjustments to the examination schedule will be made only in two situations: 1) when a student is enrolled in three courses with back-to-back examinations (e.g., Monday a.m., Monday p.m., Tuesday a.m.), and 2) when a student has two exams scheduled for the same time. In those situations, the student will be allowed to reschedule one of the exams.
3. Except for good cause, such as sickness or other serious circumstances totally beyond a student’s control, special or make-up examinations will not be given. A student’s failure to take a scheduled examination without good cause and without prior notice to the Dean’s Office will result in that student’s receiving a failing grade for the course in which the examination was missed.
If a student is going to miss an examination for good cause, the student must properly advise the Dean’s Office before the examination at (412)648-1401. If a student experiences extenuating circumstances during an examination the student must notify the proctor during the examination.
4. If a student misses an examination for good cause and with prior notice, the student will be required to reschedule the examination within the examination period, at the discretion of the administration; otherwise, it must be taken the next time the examination in that course is given, regardless of the fact that the course may then be taught by a different instructor. A student who has experienced extenuating circumstances during an examination and notified the Dean’s Office during the examination or promptly after it may petition for the discretionary relief of taking a reexamination the next time an examination in that course is given, regardless of the fact that the course may then be taught by a different instructor. Such relief is granted in only the most compelling cases. The Standards of Academic Integrity apply for all rescheduled examinations.
5. It is the student’s obligation to determine when an examination begins, its length, and its location. Failure to appear at the beginning of the examination will not result in any additional time being granted for the completion of the examination.
6. Exams will be started with a proctor in the room. After the exam begins, the proctor may or may not stay in the room for the length of the exam. Students are reminded that theStandards of Academic Integrity will be adhered to and are in force at all times during an exam. It is your responsibility to act appropriately during an exam whether or not a proctor is in the room. Please cooperate with the proctors in a courteous manner.
7. Students may bring only writing instruments and such books or materials as the course instructor has authorized into the examination room. Scratch paper will be provided in the examination room. Any student who brings or attempts to bring unauthorized materials into the examination room or who refers to unauthorized materials during the examination will be immediately excluded from the examination and reported to the Deans' Office. Purses and backpacks may be brought into the examination room if kept on the floor, at the owner’s feet, during the examination. Bluebooks are not to be used for scratch or note-taking purposes.
8. Students may not share any authorized materials during an examination. No library materials may be consulted.
9. If it is necessary for you to leave the examination room during the examination, you may not take your examination booklets, the examination question or any other materials from the room. You must bring your exam questions and bluebooks to the front of the room and must sign a sheet at the front desk indicating the time you leave and the time you return to the room. Once you have signed back into the room you may collect your exam and/or bluebooks and return to your seat. No student taking an examination is permitted to go to his or her locker during the examination. Any student taking an examination should not be present on the third, fourth or fifth floors during the examination. Only one students will be permitted to be out of the exam room at a time.
10. Students may use pencils or pens if writing their examinations. If the exam to be administered will be using a scantron sheet, it is your responsibility to bring with you # 2 pencils so you can record your answers on the scantron sheet. The Registrar’s Office does not supply pencils.
11. Students must maintain silence in the examination rooms. Care should be taken not to slam doors or make noise when leaving or entering the examination rooms.
12. If more than one examination booklet is used, students must, within the amount of time allowed for the examination, fill in the front of each booklet and number the booklets consecutively: Book I, II, etc.
13. If you complete the examination before the 15-minute warning is given, you will place your exam number on the examination booklets or if you have typed your exam, save and upload your exam answers from your laptop to the ExamSoft server. NO STUDENT WILL BE PERMITTED TO LEAVE HIS OR HER SEAT AFTER THE 15-MINUTE WARNING IS GIVEN. THIS INCLUDES THOSE STUDENTS WHO MIGHT COMPLETE THE EXAMINATION BEFORE THE SCHEDULED ENDING TIME. Under no circumstances should any writing or typing occur after the “End of Exam” command is given. Once the exam has ended, remain seated. The proctor will give end of exam instructions. Once all exams have been collected, you will be dismissed by the proctor and may leave the room
As exams may still be in progress in the other rooms, please leave the room quietly and then leave the first floor area immediately.
14. Some or all examinations may be arranged so that two examinations are taking place within the same room with sectioned seating. If you are taking an examination in a room in which other students are taking a separate examination and your examination is completed earlier than the other exam, the same procedures outlined in #13 above are in effect.
15. Students taking exams on laptops and students writing exams will be in the same exam room. You may want to consider bringing earplugs to minimize any source of noise during the exam.
16. The Law School does not provide laptop computers. In order to take an exam on a laptop, you must have downloaded and installed the exam software from the ExamSoft website (including any updates) viewed the video tutorial and signed a statement affirming that you haave vieweed the video tutorial prior to the start of the exam period. After the exam has ended, and you have saved and uploaded your exam, your answer will be printed by the Registrar’s Office and given to the faculty member for grading.
17. Students who are using a laptop and who experience hardware or software problems are to notify the proctor of the problem and then immediately begin writing their exam in a bluebook while the computer problem is diagnosed and resolved. No extra time will be provided for completion of the exam, so once your laptop problem has been resolved, you should start typing at the point in your answer where you stopped writing in the bluebook.
18. Students who are using a laptop and/or who have an open book exam are advised to print out any class notes or other allowable documents from your laptop before coming into the exam room. You will not have access to any files on your laptop once the exam begins.
19. The permissibility of using laptops for final examinations is up to the individual instructor, subject to whatever limits or controls the school may impose on all students using computers to take examinations.
20. These procedures have been approved by the Dean to ascertain a fair, efficient and appropriate examination process. Students taking examinations should avoid all conversation during the examination period and otherwise conduct themselves in such a manner so as to, insure substantive compliance with these procedures and in such a manner that avoids the appearance of impropriatey as well.
TAKE-HOME EXAMINATIONS AND PAPERS
Registrar’s Office Service Window hours during the examination period are 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Particulars relevant to each take-home examinations will be listed on the take-home exam schedule posted on the Registrar’s page of the Law School website and the PittLaw hompage on the ExamSoft website.
THE REGISTRAR’S OFFICE WILL DISTRIBUTE EXAMINATION NUMBERS IN ADVANCE OF EXAMS ACCORDING TO A DESIGNATED SCHEDULE PROVIDED TO ALL STUDENTS BY EMAIL. YOU WILL RECEIVE A DIFFERENT EXAMINATION NUMBER FOR EACH EXAMINATION.