Exam4 FAQs

INTRODUCTION

What is Exam4?
Exam4 is a word processing program, just like Microsoft Word, that you will use to write your in-class exams.  There is a simple software download that you will have to do each semester in order for it to work.  For in-class exams, you will still receive a hard copy of the exam questions to use – only your answer gets typed into Exam4.  You will then write your answer on your computer and upload your answer at the end of the allotted time.  You are responsible for knowing how Exam4 works for in-class exams.  ITS Student Support will be on hand to deal with unforeseen technical difficulties that arise throughout the semester, up until ½ hour prior to the exam start time.  The primary responsibility for using and understanding Exam4 belongs to the student.

What will be different about the exam-taking experience?
Not much.  As it always has in the past, what materials you have access to will depend on your professor’s rules for the exam.  Once you have exited an exam in the CLOSED mode, you will not be able to get back into it.  An encrypted exam file is stored on your computer’s hard drive.  The Exam4 window does not take up the full screen, but you can’t change the size of the window.   You will type in Courier font only, though you will be able to bold, underline and italicize using the keyboard shortcuts. All exams will be printed in Times Roman 12 pt font, double-spaced. 

Will I still have access to normal Word editing functions?
Exam4 allows access to cut, copy, paste, undo / redo, delete and select all within your exam text.  The “Delete” key (in Windows) does not function on a character-by character basis, but does work to delete highlighted text.  Cut, copy, paste within your exam document as well as undo / redo may all be used via the Menu, or their shortcut keys.   Keep in mind, Exam4 prohibits cutting and pasting to and from external files.  You will type your exam in Courier font only.   You may also bold, underline and italicize your writing as well as left, center and right justify the text. We print all exams in Times New Roman double-spaced font.  There is a spell-check which can be performed after you’re done writing. Exam4 counts lines, characters and words. Faculty have the option to use word limits for length limits. You should be familiar with the word count feature in case you are given a word limit in an exam.

Is there spell check?
Yes.  Exam4 spell check is located in the Tools menu. You may use it at any time, although it will not check the spelling as you type.

Does the software do anything strange that I’m not used to when writing?

  • If you highlight and delete more than 100 characters of text, a warning box pops up and asks if you are sure you want to do that.  It is just a double- check for you, but may be disconcerting to have it pop up.  Just check the box, and keep writing!
  • The Exam4 window is not a full-screen window.  You are not able to change the size of the window while typing your exam.

Can I use footnotes?
No.  Exam4 does not allow footnotes.

TECHNICAL ISSUES

I’m not great with computers – is this going to be difficult to figure out?
We chose Exam4 in part because of its extremely easy interface and directions.  We strongly recommend that you take as many practice tests as you can in order to become familiar with it before you take an actual exam.  Exam4 offers many features, some of which can affect your exam, and subsequent score.  These features include:  word count, spell check, answer separators, and multiple choice answers.  It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with all of these features. 

What if I still have problems or questions with the download, installation, or use of Exam4?

I’m not sure my computer will be compatible with the exam software.  What do I do?
Most current Windows and Mac operating systems are supported:

  • Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows 7, 8 and 8.1
  • Apple Macintosh OS X version, 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.7 Lion, 10.8 Mountain Lion, and 10.9 Mavericks

***If you are using a Mac, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you must give yourself administrator rights.  If you need help with this please contact the Student Support office. 
***Other operating systems are NOT supported.  This includes Windows XP, Mac OS X 10.5, Linux, Virtual Machines, or anything not listed above.
***Microsoft Surface RT & Pro are not supported.

I have a Mac.  Is there anything that is different between Macs and Windows?

There are some small differences between Windows and Macs using Exam4.

  • If you have a Mac, you need to be set up as an administrator.  Otherwise, you will need to type in your computer’s password in order to start the exam.  If you need help with this, please get in touch with the Student Support Office
  • Both Macs and Windows have a “delete” key.  On Windows, this key deletes text forward of it, and is disabled in Exam4.  With Macs, this key works fine.
  • When you download the software each semester, Windows computers will automatically overwrite the old software with the new software.  Mac users will have to choose to run the correct software version, so we highly recommend that Mac users uninstall any old Exam4 versions.  Some of the set-up screens are minimally different

I download this once, and then I’m done, right?
No.  You have to download a new version each semester (Fall, Spring, and at each midterm/7wk final exam).
For Windows users, the new version will automatically overwrite the old version. 
***Mac users will have to run the most recently downloaded version and we strongly suggest that you uninstall older versions of the software manually.  Once done with exams for a semester, Mac users can uninstall their software, to make sure that when they download the newest version, they will be using the correct version.  To uninstall Exam4 from Mac OSX: 

  1. First locate the Exam4 application (“Hard Drive”->”Applications”->”Exam4” unless you have installed it in a custom location.)
  2. Drag Exam4 to the trash.
  3. Empty the trash.

Do I have to take a practice exam?
Yes. Taking a practice test is a requirement that involves no more than 10-15 minutes of your time.  Practice tests are a good way to have your computer run through the Security Check in CLOSED mode and help you get used to the options and features of Exam4.  You can take as many practice tests as you need to in order to feel comfortable taking an exam with the software.
Do NOT wait until the day of the exam to take your practice test.

How do I take a practice exam?

Taking a practice exam is about making sure Exam4 runs as expected on your computer, and it gives you a chance to become familiar with the interface. Launch Exam4 and follow the on-screen instructions. When you get to the course list, choose "Practice Exam." Do NOT choose an actual exam. There is no "practice exam question," just a blank page where you type your exam answer. For the Exam ID, practice using your assigned exam ID.  For the Exam Mode, enter closed.  If you encounter any problems during your practice exam, please contact Student Support at:  law.helpdesk@nyu.edu

Where do I find my practice exam reciept?
The practice exam reciept is generated locally on your machine.  It is an encrypted .xm3 file, cannot be opened, and found:

  • Windows:  C:\exam40
  • Mac:  Documents\exam4\

The presence of this timestampted .xm3 file is confirmation of a successful upload.

I'm getting an error saying "the computer's current language settings is not allowed."  What do I do?
Your computer's language settings must be changed to English to use Exam4.  

  1. Open the Control Panel (Windows 7:  Start > Control Panel or Windows 8: Windows Key + X > Select Control Panel)
  2. Select Region and Language and make sure the following settings are in place:
    1. Under the ‘Formats’ tab, the ‘Format’ drop-down box should be set to ‘English (United States)’ 
    2. Under the ‘Keyboards and Languages’ tab, click ‘Change keyboards…’ and make sure the ‘Default input language’ is set to ‘English (United States) - US'
    3. Under the ‘Administrative’ tab, click the ‘Change system locale…’ button (under the ‘Language for non-Unicode programs’ section) and make sure the ‘Current system locale’ is set to ‘English (United States)’

TAKING EXAMS

What is my Exam ID?

Your Exam ID is a 4-digit anonymous identification number that is used on your exams.  Your Exam ID changes every semester (and for each midterm exam if applicable.)  You can find your Exam ID through Exam Reporter by following these steps:

  1. Visit: http://examreporter.law.nyu.edu
  2. Use your NYU Home credentials to log in
  3. Click on Reports in the left-hand navigation
  4. You will find your Exam ID underneath your name at the top of the page

What is the Security Check?
The Security Check is a mandatory check of your laptop for files that may interfere with Exam4.  Once you select “Begin Exam” the Security Check will begin. It usually takes between 30 – 40 seconds, but can take up to several minutes.  In this time, you may begin reading your exam question.  As long as the indicator is moving, the scan is active.
If the Security Check finds anything that it considers to be a risk, you will not be allowed to start your exam without correcting the problem first.  You will not get extra exam time to take care of this.  Also keep in mind that anything you download in between the time of your practice exam and actual exam may affect the Security Check.  If you have any problems or questions about this, please contact ITS Student Support.

The Security Check found a file that is a security risk.  Can someone override it so I can start my exam?
No. If you are in your exam and the Security Check has found a problem, you must correct it on the spot, or you will not be able to take the exam on your laptop.  You will not get extra time for your exam. We strongly encourage you to take practice exams close to your actual exam day to clear up any Security Check issues. 

What is the Answer Separator?
The Answer Separator is a feature of Exam4 that allows you to separate out the word counts by question. Do NOT edit the Answer Separators in any way - it will not count your words correctly if you do. 

There’s an option for Multiple Choice – what is that?
Exam4 allows some functionality for multiple choice tests.  For Multiple Choice questions, click the “Multiple Choice” item on the menu bar.  There are two ways you can navigate between the questions. You can use the arrow buttons to scroll up and down through the questions or you can click directly onto the question in the list on the left.  Use the A-F fields to answer your questions (A and B also serve as True and False, respectively).  Once a question is answered, you can change your response by first unlocking the answer by clicking on the “Unlock” button directly to the right of the A-F fields.  If you want to remove an answer entirely, click on the “Clear” button. When you are done answering your multiple choice questions, click on the "Hide" button.

Will Exam4 save my exam as I’m typing it?
Yes, Exam4 automatically saves your exam to your hard drive every 10 seconds and creates separate backups every 2 minutes.

What happens if my computer crashes during the exam?
Raise your hand to notify a proctor that there is a problem.  Do not re-start your computer until you have seen a proctor.  The proctor will provide instructions to force shut down your laptop, reboot, and re-enter your exam, all while under proctor supervision.  Remember, Exam4 saves backup files to your hard drive every 2 minutes, so the work you had done until that point will be saved. You will be able to start your exam right where you left off.  We strongly encourage you to take as many practice tests as you can in order to feel comfortable working with the software.

How can I tell how many pages I’ve written?
Exam4 counts only words and not pages.  You will not be able to rely on the estimated page counter.

I accidentally ended my in-class exam when I didn’t mean to. Can I get back into it?
No.  You can exit the exam one time only.  There is a check box which you have to mark in order to be sure you want to exit the exam.  We strongly encourage everyone to take a practice exam in order to see what this box looks like.  Exam4 puts that double-check box into the system on purpose, so that it is very difficult to end your exam by accident. 

My completed exam didn’t upload.  What should I do?
First, make sure that you're wireless internet is turned on. If you feel that it is taking an extremely long time, we recommend restarting your computer and reconnecting to the wireless.  You should then open Exam4, choose the “ Select an Existing Exam” option, select your Exam, and click the “Submit Electronically” button.  If you still cannot upload your exam, please see Student Support (During the Semester in the Support Office, and during Exams in the ITS Command Center in VH202.) 

Can I review my exam after I’ve submitted it?
No.  Exam4 saves only encrypted copies of your exam answer - you will not be able to open or read your exam answer after submittal.   

I like to write a lot for exams – is there a maximum page limit?
Yes.  Exam4 will begin to hit its maximum file size near 20 single-spaced pages.  You will receive warnings before you’re about to hit this point.  When you see the warning, come to an appropriate stopping point and submit your exam.  Then, you may continue by starting a new exam.  (If the Exam file size maximum is reached, please contact ITS for a prize, as you will be the first student to accomplish this.)