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Exams

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Rules & Procedures

The following exam rules should be read prior to your first examination. The information on examination format and grading is compiled from material provided by the faculty. The faculty reserve the right to amend or correct that information at any time.

Before we will assign you your anonymous exam number, you must review the following exam rules, the Law School Code of Student Conduct, and complete course evaluations for the current semester. This number will be your identification for all of your exams for the semester; a new number will be issued each semester.

THE LAW SCHOOL’S CODE OF STUDENT CONDUCT AND RESPONSIBILITY (below) AS IT APPLIES TO EXAMINATIONS ARE IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT DURING EXAMS.

Please read carefully.

Examinations are graded anonymously. The only identification that may appear on your exam (including your takeaway exam cover sheet) is your exam ticket number. Your name, initials, class year or any other information that may identify you to the instructor must not appear in the examination. You should exercise care when talking with the instructor after the examinations are over.

In-Class Exams

  1. Exams are administered by the Registrar’s Office and other Law School staff. After the examination questions have been distributed, the proctor supervising the examination will leave the room. If you finish your exam examination early, you must bring your exam promptly to the Registrar’s Office (Room 102).
  2. After initial instructions, the proctor will distribute the exam face-down. Leave it face-down as the proctor goes through all instructions. Once you are given the ok to turn the exam over, write your exam ticket number on the upper-right hand corner of the exam.
  3. The proctor will make an announcement when you have five minutes and one minute remaining on the examination. These warnings are provided to allow you time to complete whatever thoughts or sentences you wish to complete before the end of the examination. When it is announced that time is up, you must discontinue writing or typing. You may not finish a sentence or even a word. Continuing beyond this point is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and Responsibility.
  4. When the examination is over, you must return the test questions.
  5. When you leave the exam room, do not throw out exam notes made on scrap paper. Please turn in all scrap paper and empty bluebooks to the staff member collecting exams.
  6. Your completed examination will consist of only what is turned in to the staff member at the end of the examination or what is uploaded to the network. No additional material shall be accepted as part of your answers to the examination after the staff member leaves the room with the examinations.
  7. If you have any questions or problems during the examination, go directly to the Registrar or Associate Dean Clinton. Do not seek out the professor.
  8. If, after the close of the examination, you realize that you have made a basic mistake in following the examination instructions, have entirely ignored a question by accident, or have a similar misfortune, do not discuss the problem with the professor. Instead, explain the situation to the Registrar, who will, in appropriate cases, pass on an explanatory note (identified only by your examination number) to your professor.
  9. Examinations are deemed “open book” or “closed book” by the faculty member. The nature of the material allowed in an “open book” exam is determined by the faculty member. In a “closed book” exam, students are not permitted to make any outlines or other notes whatsoever before the exam proctor announces that students may begin.

Takeaway Exams

Takeaway exams are available through myCourses — there will be a link in the left menu labeled “Takeaway Exams”.  PLEASE NOTE: you may be prompted to enter in your LawKey login to view the Takeaway Exams page.  Once you access the page, you’ll be able to see when the exam is first available, when the exam is due, and the length of time you can work on the exam.

When you are ready to begin your exam you will select - Download Exam. Once you download the exam questions your time will begin to run.  Do not select this until you are ready to begin working on your exam. The exam downloads as a .pdf and you can use your preferred word processing software to take the exam (you should *not* use examsoft).  Once the exam is opened, your time starts. You cannot stop the time once the exam is downloaded.   

Be sure to include a cover page with your takeaway exam with the course name, instructor, and YOUR EXAM NUMBER – do not include your name anywhere in document.

After you’ve completed the exam, return to the “Takeaway Exam” link and upload the saved document to our network; you will be able to upload all .doc, .docx, .pdf, .wpd, .rft, and .txt files.  

Upload the CORRECT document.  What we receive is what we turn in to the faculty member.  The Registrar’s Office will be notified that your exam has posted, we will print it, and submit it to the faculty member.

If you miss the deadline, even by a minute — you will *not* be able to upload your exam through myCourses. Give yourself time to log back in to myCourses/Takeway Exams page and upload your file. If you miss the deadline, you must email your exam to me (cwallace@law.upenn.edu) as an attachment.  Be sure to include in the body of the email why the exam is late.  Exams submitted after the deadline will be marked “LATE” and we will attach your explanation.

You can work on a takeaway exam at any hour you choose, from any location you choose; all you’ll need is access to the Internet for downloading and uploading. If you have technical questions, please direct your inquiries to: examhelp@law.upenn.edu.  Help Doc: FAQ page for takeaway exams

Rescheduling an Exam

Students shall take examinations at their regularly scheduled times. Requests for changes in examination times shall be granted only in the following circumstances:

1) When the student has two examinations scheduled on the same day or examinations scheduled on each of three (or more) consecutive days,

2) Due to a religious observance or

3) When the student can demonstrate serious hardship due to:

(a) Serious illness or injury, as confirmed by the student’s attending physician, or

(b) Serious personal or family emergency beyond the student’s control.

When a student is excused from taking an examination pursuant to this policy, the examination will be rescheduled to the earliest practicable date following the date on which the examination is scheduled to be given. Examinations will not be administered prior to the regularly scheduled time except in extraordinary circumstances.

Requests to postpone an exam shall be made to the Registrar or the Dean of Students, NOT TO THE PROFESSOR. If you are unable to attend a scheduled examination or to continue your exam after you have begun, you must, as soon as circumstances permit, notify the Dean of Students or the Registrar. Failure to take an examination may result in a “Failure-No Credit” unless the student has permission from the Dean of Students or Registrar.

The Registrar is responsible for granting postponements for purposes of religious observance, and for 2 exams on the same day or 3 or more exams in a row; the Dean of Students is responsible for all other postponements.

Takeaway exams, which are given over a number of days, and papers in lieu of exams do not count into this formula.

If you need to reschedule an exam, you are required to fill out a Request to Reschedule an Exam Form.

Non-Native English Speakers

Non-native English speakers are permitted to bring a paper dictionary to exams. Additionally, the Law School permits an instructor, if he or she chooses, to grant at the discretion faculty member extra time for an examination, scheduled for less than 8 hours, to graduate students whose native language is other than English. The decision as to whom shall be eligible to receive this extra time is made by the Dean for Graduate Programs in consultation with the Faculty Graduate and International Programs Committee.

The general standards for granting extra time are that LLM candidates will not be eligible if:

a) The student has lived in a country for at least three years in which the primary means of communication is English or in a multilingual country in which English was the primary means of communication of the student; or

b) The primary language of instruction was English for at least three years of the student’s college or professional education; or

c) The student in any event has represented him/herself as being fluent in English.

Faculty Consideration of LLM Status in Grading

The Registrar includes, with the examination answers to each exam, a sealed envelope containing the names and examination numbers of all graduate students whose basic legal training was outside the U.S. The faculty member has full discretion as to whether and when this information should be considered in grading the examination. (Faculty Minutes, May 14, 1973)

Extension of Due Dates for Course Work

Final Day of Exam Period

Law School regulations require that all course work for a given semester must be completed by the final day of the examination period for that semester.

Faculty Discretion to Extend

In the case of work done on a non-anonymous basis (i.e. papers), a faculty member has the discretion to grant an extension beyond this due date. The amount of flexibility depends on when the student expects to be eligible to be voted a degree.

Students in Final Semester

In the case of a student who is in the final semester of his/her law school education, the extension can be no longer than will enable the faculty member to get a final grade to the Registrar by 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning of the week in which the Faculty votes degrees. In those situations in which the student’s work cannot be completed by the extended deadline, faculty members have the discretion to grant further extensions; however, in these instances, the student will not be awarded the degree until the next degree granting date (i.e. August).

Students Not in Final Semester

In the case of a student who is not in the final semester, the faculty member may be more flexible in granting extensions. Any time extension should be limited and relatively short. The Registrar’s Office must be notified in writing of any such extension. Any renewal of the extension should be granted by the faculty member only upon receipt of a written student request for more time. If renewal is granted, the faculty member must notify the Registrar of this renewal in writing. While it remains the faculty member’s discretion to grant a third extension, should it be requested, the faculty member is given the added discretion of asking the Registrar to refer the problem to the Committee on Academic Standing so that the Committee may take whatever action it deems appropriate to speed completion of the work. (Faculty Minutes, October 18, 1982)

Re-Use of Essay Exams

An instructor of a course or seminar at the University of Pennsylvania Law School is expected not to give an essay examination question or problem in a course or seminar where a substantially identical examination question or problem has been given by that instructor as part of the examination in an earlier course or seminar at the University of Pennsylvania or another school. If a student thinks such a situation has occurred, he or she should immediately bring it to the attention of the Dean of Students and/or the Registrar.

Student Exam Answers

Following grading, exams are returned to the Registrar’s Office by the faculty members. Shortly after grades are released, the Registrar will return their essay exams to students who request them. Students may keep them. Unclaimed student exam answers are kept in storage until the start of the examination period one year after the semester in which the exam was taken. They are then destroyed.

CODE OF STUDENT CONDUCT & RESPONSIBILITY 

1. Definition of Rights and Responsibilities:

a) The Law School’s Code of Student Conduct and Responsibility prohibits conduct that is contrary to accepted principles of academic honesty and student conduct, as defined infra.

Membership in this community imposes both an obligation to comply with its rules and the responsibility to assist in their enforcement. To that end, each student should report to the Dean or the Dean’s designated representative evidence of any alleged violations of the Code of which the student has credible information or knowledge.

b) It shall constitute a violation of this Code for any student enrolled in the Law School purposefully, knowingly, or recklessly to engage in the following conduct:

2. The giving or taking of unfair advantage in fulfilling academic requirements.* Such advantage need not be shown to adversely affect other students. Taking unfair advantage includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Giving or securing information about an examination except as explicitly authorized by the examining professor;

(b) Consulting or copying from any source during an examination, not authorized by the examining professor;

* This includes use of any resource, whether written, electronic or via oral communication, except as permitted by the examining professor or under the Law School’s exam rules.

3. Failure to stop writing an examination when the time allotted for writing the examination has elapsed.

4. The hiding or mutilating of any materials of the library.

5. The submission of plagiarized work in an academic pursuit including any use of another’s work without attribution, whether such use be verbatim or merely conceptual or structural.

6. The submission of work for academic credit, or in fulfillment of a requirement, where that work duplicates, in whole or in substantial part, work for which one has received, or is currently seeking, academic credit at this Law School or at another academic institution, without prior written disclosure to and approval of the faculty member.

7. The submission of work for academic credit, or in fulfillment of a requirement, where that work has been performed, or is being performed, in whole or in substantial part, in the context of a paid or unpaid employment setting, without prior disclosure to and approval of the faculty member.

8. The violation of any rule, regulation, or order duly promulgated by the Faculty, Dean, Assistant or Associate Dean of the Law School or any other duly authorized rule making body of the University, including all Schools within the University.

9. Serious and unreasonable disruption of the normal and orderly administration of Law School or other University activities or functions.

10. Any action of such a serious character as to raise questions of the fitness of the actor to remain a member of the Law School community. Such action may include:

a) Acts of violence, intimidation or reckless endangerment of persons;

b) Conduct in violation of the University’s Sexual or other Harassment Policies;

c) Falsification of credentials;

d) Fraud or dishonesty;

e) Violation of any valid criminal statute, excluding summary offenses.

Good Luck on Your Exams!

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