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ExamSoft 7 - 17 Dec 2008 - Main.HamiltonFalk
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So I thought this was one of the more appropriate forums for bringing up one of the major issues I have had with CLS throughout my first year and a half here: SoftTest? . Personally, I think that this program is absolutely ridiculous. I understand that CLS does not want us to be cheating during exams, but that is what an honor code is for. Why is it that we are forced to use what is, to be perfectly honest, a horrible program that routinely seems to screw up students' computers (and which for some 3L students who might have wanted to buy a new Mac before law school, forced them to buy a PC) in order to keep us honest during our in class exams? Moreover, I feel that the use of SoftTest? actually punishes students who have taken good notes throughout the term. The reason for this is simple. If you have taken solid notes through an entire term in a 3 or 4 credit class and want to use them during an in-class exam you have to print out what is likely to be around 100 pages and then sift through them during an exam where you don't have much time. However, during an 8 hour take home in which you are allowed to use your notes you can simply search through them on your computer using the "Find" function. How does this make any sense? It seems ridiculous that SoftTest? makes the same exam artificially harder for people taking it in class than people taking it at home (this is especially true for 1L exams where different sections of torts, contracts, etc have different exams, some of which are take homes and some of which are in class). Indeed, it seems to me that the use of SoftTest? for in class exams might actually have a serious and substantive effect on student grades, and I cannot fathom that this is what the CLS administration wanted to happen.
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 Some previous students have hand-written their exams rather than install Windows. The curve does not take care of that, although professorial lenience might (to a point -- my handwriting does not qualify for clemency).

-- DanielHarris - 17 Dec 2008


One solution to the SoftTest? issue (which is probably just cheating) is that according to a friend of mine (at a different law school, so they may be using a different SoftTest? version) when running SoftTest? with bootcamp on a Mac, it is easy to switch between the windows portion (which is blocked by softtest) and the still running Mac portion, with notes and etc. It wasn't clear to me if this was allowed, but it does solve the "how to block copy and paste" question, because you can't copy-paste between the two operating systems.

What bothers me about SoftTest? is how poorly it is programed. The fact that the page-break function doesn't work, but there is still an option to try and insert one (and presumably destroy your exam file somehow) is pathetic. Considering the amount of open-source word processing options available for free, it seems like the SoftTest? creators are simply too lazy to upgrade from 1987 level functionality.

-- HamiltonFalk - 17 Dec 2008

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Revision 7r7 - 17 Dec 2008 - 14:36:12 - HamiltonFalk
Revision 6r6 - 17 Dec 2008 - 06:30:15 - DanielHarris
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