For courses that require a written exam, students have the option of handwriting in BlueBooks, or typing answers using specialized test software installed on their own laptop. Typing exams offers a number of benefits. Students are often able to type faster than they can write, and content manipulation is much easier in a word processing environment. In addition, faculty find it easier to read typed answers than those written in BlueBook.
To offer exams on computer, Drake Law School uses SofTest, a product of ExamSoft WorldWide
. The Law School pays SofTest licensing fees, allowing students to use the product at no expense. Students download a new copy of SofTest each academic year, then have access to the program for that year's midterms, finals, and in-class assessments. On each test day, students launch SofTest and enter a secured word processor. This prevents access to other programs and material, maintaining exam integrity. At each exam's conclusion, answers are securely uploaded via the University's wireless network
SofTest is time-tested with a proven safe and stable track record, yet students must be aware of associated risks. Because it is impossible to completely eliminate the potential for computer failure during an exam, students who choose to take exams on computer assume the risk of technical problems and all resulting consequences. Loss due to technical difficulty is rare, but possible. Avoid any problems by having a reliable computer and power supply.
ExamSoft SofTest requires Windows XP SP3 or higher when using a PC and Mac OS X 10.6.8 or higher when using a Macintosh.
Please reference our Purchasing Recommendations
for more information.
If you would like to take exams on your laptop computer, follow our Installation, Registration, and Exam Download
instructions. Please read our Exam Rules and Procedures
before you commit to taking exams on computer. If you have questions about SofTest or encounter troubles installing or downloading exams, please contact the Law School's Information Technology Department
. Contact the Law School's Main Office at 515/271-2824 with any exam related inquiries.