Exam4 is the software that students can use to type their exams. It is essentially a word processor that provides the tools you'll need to enter the answers to your exams. There is a text area where you can type responses to essay or short answer questions as well as a Multiple Choice tool where you can select answers to multiple choice questions.
You will download Exam4 from the vendor's website: http://exam4.com. Each term, there will be a new version of Exam4 that contains the course/exam list for that term. Lawtech and/or the Office of Student Affairs will send out an e-mail announcing when the new version is available for download each term. Typically, it will be 3 to 4 weeks before the last day of classes for the term.
Primarily because the exam/course list is built into the Exam4 software, and we don't have the same courses each term.
Secondarily, the vendor regularly tests and updates their software as needed to ensure compatibility with current versions of Mac and Windows operating systems. Occasionally, they will also roll new features, improvements, and bug fixes into these regular updates when necessary.
A Practice Exam is essentially a special exam that you can take in Exam4 to try out the software. Think of it as a "Test Drive" of Exam4. There are two very important reasons that you should take a Practice Exam:
- Taking a Practice Exam puts your computer through the actual paces of taking a real exam. So, if there is anything about your computer (pre-existing problems, other software installed, etc.) that could impact your use of Exam4, you will know about it well enough in advance to correct the problem before you actually need to take an exam.
- In the Practice Exam, you should use all of the features you'd use for an actual exam. This allows you to get comfortable using the software and familiarize yourself with the interface in a low-pressure environment rather than learning it as you go in an actual exam.
If you would like to be eligible for technical assistance during your exams, then yes, you NEED to take a Practice Exam. Furthermore, you need to complete and upload your Practice Exam...
- using the current version of Exam4
- using your current-term 5-digit Exam ID
- from the computer you intend to use for your exams
- before 5:00 PM on the last day of classes for the term
If you fail to meet those requirements, your name will be put on the "Do Not Help" list. Should you experience any technical issues that prevent you from completing your exam on your computer, you will be required to write your exam in a bluebook.
You should take a Practice Exam as soon as possible after the OSA announces that the new version of Exam4 is available. One of the purposes of the Practice Exam is to identify whether or not you will have any issues using Exam4 on your computer. The sooner you know that, the better your chance that the matter can be dealt with before exam time.
For example, if you try to take a Practice Exam 2 weeks before the end of the term (and the Practice Exam deadline) and discover that there is a conflict with another piece of software on your computer (which is very rare, but has happened), then you can contact Lawtech (firstname.lastname@example.org) and they can help you to correct the problem before the anxiety of exam time arrives.
Conversely, if you wait until 4:55 PM on the last day of the term (5 minutes before the deadline) and discover the same problem, there is less time for Lawtech to assist you with it and you may end up being ineligible for technical assistance during exams.
So, you should take a Practice Exam as soon as possible after Exam4 is made available for download. You should take another sometime in the last few days of the term and then, as soon as you arrive to the room on exam day, take another Practice Exam just to be sure that you won't face any unexpected issues at the start of your real exam.
The feedback provided by Exam4 is pretty clear as to whether your exam uploaded or not. If the upload is successful, you get a green-colored dialog box stating "Exam Submittal Successful". If it fails for some reason, you get a red-colored dialog box stating "Exam Submittal Failed". However, there may come a time when you want to verify that your exam was uploaded. This is very easy to do:
- Launch Exam4
- Select the second option ("Select an existing exam")
- In the list of exams shown (you should see every exam you've taken), select the one you want to confirm. Exams are named in the format of (YourExamID_yymmdd_CourseName_StartCode_Random#.xm#) where yymmdd is the year, month and date the exam was taken.
- After selecting the appropriate exam file, click the "View Exam Submittal Receipt" button.
- If the exam was uploaded, the receipt file (which is generated by the server and transferred to your computer after the upload completes) will be displayed showing the exact date and time of the upload.
- If the exam was not uploaded, you will see a dialog box stating that the receipt was not found. In this case, close that dialog box and then click the "Submit Electronically" button to upload the exam at that point. If you're uploading an actual (as opposed to a Practice) exam late (that is, after you've left the exam room), you must also notify Theresa Gallo at email@example.com.
Yes, for Take-Home exams, you can type your exam response using any text editor or word processor and then paste it into the Exam4 window but there are a couple trade-offs:
First, you lose the automated backup system in Exam4. If you choose to type your response into another program, we strongly recommend that you save your work frequently - do not rely on the "Autosave" feature in MS Word.
Second, when you copy & paste your response, you will likely need to do some formatting cleanup. Things like bold, italics, and underlining may be lost in the copy/paste process. Also, line breaks and spacing may change slightly. To minimize the amount of reformatting you need to do, we strongly recommend using a simple plain-text editor (e.g., Notepad in Windows or TextEdit in Mac OS X), but, as stated before, you can use any word processing program you'd like.
If you set the built-in timer in Exam4, an alert will appear when it reaches zero, but you will not be forced out of the exam. When that alert appears, just click the OK button to clear it and continue with your exam.
Press control-Z (Windows) or command-Z (Mac). In most cases, the text disappeared because you inadvertently deleted it, so undoing the deletion will bring your text back. Whenever you try to modify (delete or change) a large amount of text (more than 100 characters), Exam4 will prompt you to confirm the action. A lot of people become desensitized to such alerts and just click through them, which in this situation means that a large amount of your exam answer may be deleted and you may have an adverse reaction. If this happens, take it as a gentle reminder that you really need to pay more attention to alerts and dialog boxes that come up on your screen.
Locate the "Insert" key (may be labeled "Ins") on your keyboard and press it. On some keyboards, it may be easy to inadvertently hit that key, which changes the cursor from "insert" mode to "overwrite" mode. When that happens, just press the key again to change it back. If you've already overwritten some important text, you may be able to use the Undo command (in the Edit menu or by pressing control-Z or command-Z) to recover it.
Generally speaking, you can't. Exams taken in CLOSED or OPEN LAPTOP mode are stored in an encrypted format on your computer and there is no way to open it in a readable format. This applies to ALL exams taken in those two modes, even Practice Exams!
The most common reason for the exam submittal to fail is that you are not connected to a network that allows the exam upload process. For security reasons, Exam4 uploads exams through a specific network channel (called a "port"). Some restricted networks (such as the "drexelguest" network at Drexel) only allow computers to communicate using standard web ports and protocols, so Exam4 cannot appropriately communicate with the server.
To correct the problem and successfully submit your exam, you must ensure that you are connected to an unrestricted network. If you're using wireless, Dragonfly3 is your best bet. If you have an ethernet/network/internet cable and can plug into a network port in a classroom, that will work as well.
If you have a question about Exam4 that's not answered above, you can go to the Exam4 site (http://exam4.com/) and click "FAQ & User Guide" on the left hand side.
If you still can't find an answer there, you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.