Fall 2013 Laptop Exams

Important Notice to Upperclass Students from the Records Office About Registering ExamSoft:

It has come to our attention that many of our upperclass students have had difficulty registering to use ExamSoft for this semester’s exams. When attempting to register, students are getting error messages and are prevented from establishing their accounts and downloading their exam templates. This problem appears to only affect students who have used ExamSoft in a previous semester. ExamSoft administrators have determined that the remedy for this semester is for students to use a different username and password than those used in previous semesters. For example, if your previous username was “jdoe”, then changing your username to “jdoe2" and changing your password should allow you to register and use ExamSoft for your Fall semester exams.

Please contact Records (703-993-8015) or Technology Services (703-993-4855) if you need assistance with your ExamSoft registration. Keep in mind that the Law School will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday beginning tomorrow afternoon. Since the exam period begins on Monday, December 2, you may want to give your ExamSoft registration your immediate attention.

Information Session on ExamSoft Available on the CAAS Intranet:

Students who were unable to attend a live information session may access a video recording of the session on the CAAS Intranet. Click on the "Academic Resources" tab, then go to "Academic Success" and "Exam Preparation".  Students needing assistance logging onto the CAAS Intranet can contact: lawcar@gmu.edu.

Exams With Laptop Options:

During the Fall 2013 final exam period, students will be given the option of taking their exams on their personal laptop by installing an exam software product called SofTest from ExamSoft.

SofTest allows students to type their exam answers for closed-computer exams while preventing access to the computer hard drive or outside sources. For open-computer exams, the software allows access to other files and programs outside SofTest but still automatically saves the typed answers in an encrypted format. For internet-blocked open-computer exams, the software allows access to the other files and programs outside SofTest but not internet access. The software frequently backs up the entire exam file. At the completion of the exam, the SofTest program will automatically upload the exam answer file to a secure server using the Internet.

If you are interested in using your laptop for your final exams, you should download the latest version of SofTest. You should allow yourself enough time to complete the registration and download process well before your first exam. You are required to have a signed Laptop Waiver Form on file.  If you have not completed one, you must submit a copy to Law Records Office prior to the final exam period.  Follow the instructions for downloading SofTest and exam files onto your laptop.

You are responsible for the connection from your laptop to our power supply and network. You should have a back-up battery for your laptop if possible.  You must have a working network card and Ethernet cable or wireless card.  The Law School does not support the use of SofTest on older, non-Intel Macintosh computers.  See PC and Mac requirements below.

There will be no technical support available to individual students during an exam. You assume all risk of equipment and equipment power failure.  It is your responsibility to be proficient in using your laptop and familiarizing yourself with the software.  You cannot delay the start of an exam if you have computer problems.  You will not be given additional time if your computer malfunctions. If your computer malfunctions, you will have two options:  1) shut down your computer and reboot (1 time only); 2) shut down your computer and handwrite the remainder of your exam. You should safeguard your laptop hard drives until grades for your courses have been issued in case a printing problem arises and we need to retrieve exam answers from the hard drive. If there is a problem with your laptop and no exam answers can be recovered, the Director of Student Academic Affairs has the final decision about how to handle your case. Any attempt to disable or tamper with SofTest’s security features will be considered a violation of the Honor Code. 

 If you decide to use SofTest on your laptop for one or more exams, please follow the instructions below:

Please COMPLETE the following 3 STEPS before your exam:

 1. Download SofTest from www.examsoft.com/masonlaw

Select the “New User Signup” tab, and complete all steps to create a new account, then download and install the software.  You must download the latest version, even if you have used SofTest for exams in a previous semester.

2. Register to use SofTest

After installing SofTest, launch the software and enter your user ID and password to register.  After registering SofTest, you will receive a registration confirmation email from support@examsoft.com and the registration number along with the registration date will be recorded.  Additionally, when SofTest is launched, the Start Window will indicate that your “Registration” is “Complete”.  You may also visit www.examsoft.com/masonlaw and log into your account to confirm your registration completion.

 3. Download your blank exam file(s)

Next, you need to download a blank exam file for EACH ExamSoft exam you will be taking.

For Windows PC users, all the blank exam files are downloaded to this default directory: 


For Mac Users, all the blank exam files are downloaded to this default directory:

Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/SofTest/152295/Exams.

Note: these files do not contain exam questions but are blank exam files.  You will not be able to open an exam until you are given the password on the day of the exam.

Completing only some of these steps will not qualify you to take your exams on your laptop.  If you do not complete ALL 3 STEPS of the registration process, you will have to hand-write your exams.  If you have any questions or problems with registration, contact ExamSoft technical support at support@examsoft.com or call toll-free 866-429-8889.

If you want to test all aspects of the software, download “MockTestFall2013” which you can take ten times. “MockTestFall2013” simulates all aspects of a closed computer exam with SofTest.  No password is needed to take “MockTestFall2013” exam. 

What must I do on exam day?


After completing the exam:

ExamSoft Technical Requirements/Features:

SofTest can be used on virtually any modern computer (i.e. purchased within the last 3-4 years). Specific system requirements are noted below:

PC Requirements:

Mac Requirements (Native OS):

ExamSoft SofTest Features:

Power Management

During extended periods of non–use, some computers may go into sleep or hibernate mode which can sometimes be difficult to exit during an exam.  To adjust your Power Management settings, navigate to the Control Panel (Start/Settings/Control Panel Windows 2000 – Start Control Panel Widows XP) and select ‘Power Options’.  Change the settings as listed below. You may reset to the desired settings after your exam.