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Exams: Prepare Your Laptop

Please read this page thoroughly if you plan to take any exams using a laptop this semester.

IMPORTANT: Windows and Mac users should have Examplify Version 2.6.4 or higher installed. You can download the most recent version here.

Required Laptop Specifications

You must use a laptop that meets or exceeds these specifications: View Minimum System Requirements. If you need a laptop, you may rent one.


Preparing Your Laptop

To prepare your laptop, you will be installing the Examplify program, made by ExamSoft (the company). Please follow our detailed instructions. These instructions will walk you through how to install Examplify as well as how to download and take your exams. Please also review Examplify Best Practices before taking your exams.

Practice Taking an Exam

Practice the exam-taking procedure a few times to become comfortable with the process and to ensure that Examplify functions properly on your laptop.


See also: Examplify Quick Start Guide .

I already have Examplify on my laptop. Do I need to reinstall?

You need to make sure that you are running an updated version of Examplify (Version 2.6.4 or higher). 

Once you launch Examplify, you will be given the option to “Update Now” or “Update Later”, choose “Update Now”. Make sure that all of your documents and files are saved prior to updating because your computer will automatically restart after the update is finished.

How can I help ensure that Examplify will properly function on my laptop?

  • Practice the exam-taking procedure a few times to become comfortable with the process and to ensure that Examplify functions properly on your laptop. There will be several practice exams available when you download your exams.
  • Give yourself enough time to seek help from ITS before exams begin.
  • Quit background applications, such as those in your “system tray” or “Dock”, such as: instant messaging, internet radio, and desktop customization programs. Disable these using the preferences of each program, or consider uninstalling them until after exams are done.
    • NOTE: Even if Examplify works with these installed, they will tend to slow Examplify down.
  • Verify that you do not have spyware on your system, by doing a full scan with AntiVirus Software.
  • After you have installed and tested Examplify, do not remove any programs or files, defragment your hard disk, perform a system restore, or otherwise change your system configuration in any significant way until you complete your last computer exam. These tasks may interfere with Examplify’s ability to function normally.

What do I do if I experience a lag when typing my answers?

  • Verify that you followed the steps in the previous question.
  • Disable your firewall and/or antivirus (Remember to re-enable after your exam).
  • Disable background services, such as Skype, DropBox, etc.
  • Clear Windows problem reports. You can find this by searching “View all problem reports” in the Start menu.

Isn’t this procedure rather complicated?

Unfortunately, yes. However, we have worked to simplify the procedure as much as possible. If you still feel uncomfortable with laptop exams, you may write using bluebooks.

Will exam questions appear on my laptop screen?

No, they will be given to you on paper.

 I am a student with special needs.

Check with the registrar’s office ASAP to see if you will have special accommodations. Student are required to receive approval from Student Disabilities Services  to use external devices in an exam, this includes noise cancelling headphones, keyboards etc. Please direct any questions about this to the Registrar’s office. Earplugs are provided on the day of exam.

Can I access files on my computer for open-notes exams?

If you are taking a non-secure (NBI) exam in Examplify, you will be able to access files on your computer. If you exam is a secure exam, Examplify will lock you out of all other programs and files. If your exam is open-note, bring printed material to the exam.

What happens if my laptop crashes during an exam?

Please take your laptop and exam materials to the Registrar’s Office.  A technician from ITS will be there to troubleshoot issues with Examplify.  If ITS cannot get your laptop to a usable state within 10 minutes, you will need to use another laptop or hand-write the remainder of the exam. Your time limit will be adjusted accordingly.

Can I prepare a backup laptop in case mine fails during exam weeks?

Yes, some students rent a second laptop to use for exams and install Examplify on both. This is fine, but be sure to follow all preparation steps for each laptop.

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