Exam Policies and Procedures

Please read this information carefully before the exam period begins. If you need further information or have any questions, please contact the Dean of Students Office by phone at 202-994-8320 or email at [email protected].

Exam Schedule

The Fall 2017 exam period begins Tuesday, December 5 and ends on Friday, December 15. Student misunderstanding about the date or time of an exam is not a valid excuse for missing an exam.

Exam Administration

The Records Office and Dean of Students Office administer exams.  During the exam period, the Records Office is open from 9:00 a.m. until evening exams conclude Monday through Thursday, and 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Fridays.  A dean is available to students at all times when exams are administered.  The Records Office telephone number is (202) 994-6261; the Dean of Students Office telephone number is (202) 994-8320. Exam locations are posted on the law school display monitors and student portal one hour before the scheduled start time of each exam.

Use of Electronic Devices

Electronic reading devices in lieu of text books are not allowed. Devices enabling access to the internet are prohibited, including additional computers and cell phones.

Emergencies before the Exam

Do not contact your professor. In the event an emergency (such as hospitalization or a death in the family) prevents you from taking an exam, to be excused from the exam you must immediately contact the Dean of Students Office by telephone at (202) 994-8320, email at [email protected], or in person. Documentation will be required to support any request for excusal. Students who are absent from an exam and are not officially excused may receive a grade of F.  Misunderstanding about the date or time of an exam is not a valid excuse for missing an exam.

Emergencies in the Exam Room

Immediately inform the proctor if an emergency, such as a severe illness, occurs during an exam. The proctor will contact the appropriate Law School officials. Students who leave an exam without contacting the proper Law School officials will not be eligible to finish or otherwise retake the exam at a later time.

Rescheduling Exams

Professors cannot reschedule exams for individual students under any circumstances.  All questions regarding exam scheduling must be addressed to the Dean of Students Office. 

Students who are absent from an exam and are not officially excused may receive a grade of F. Misunderstanding about the date or time of an exam is not a valid excuse for missing an exam.

Identifying Exams

Exams are graded anonymously. Do not convey your name or identity anywhere on your exam.  Use your GWID number (G12345678, e.g.) as your identifier.


Students are permitted one laptop computer for exam taking purposes.  Additional laptop computers or any other electronic data storage devices are not allowed in an exam room under any circumstanceNo electronic reading devices (including to access e-books) of any kind are permitted; accordingly, if you want to consult any book, notes, or outline during the exam, you must bring a hard copy.  Devices enabling access to the internet are prohibited, including cell phones and “smart” watches.  Cell phones must be turned off, stored away from the desk, and under no circumstances may be used during an exam. No headphones are permitted; if noise minimization is sought, please use earplugs.  Please sit in every other seat in the exam room to the extent possible.


If you need to leave the exam room, you may not take any materials with you and you may not bring any new materials back into the exam room. You may not confer with anyone about the exam or consult materials while you are outside the exam room.


Proctors will contact the professor, via the Records Office, to ask any questions about the content of an exam question. Under no circumstances should you ask for assistance from another student taking the exam or from deans or other officials.

End of Exam

Each student is responsible for monitoring the time during the exam.  Proctors are not required to remind students of elapsed time. At the conclusion of the exam, as announced by the proctor, all keyboarding and writing must stop immediately.  Students may not continue to keyboard or write after time has been announced except to exit the Exam4 program. Specifically, do not finish a sentence, write on the outside of the exam books, or continue to mark any Scantron sheet. Numbering books or adding your GWID number can only be done in the presence of the proctor.

In addition, students must ensure that all items for collection are turned into the proctor.  Proctors are not responsible for checking materials that students submit.  Do not contact your professor to express difficulties regarding the exam for reasons including, but not limited to, illness or equipment failure.  Students may raise such concerns with the Dean of Students Office.  

Controlled Exams

“Controlled” exams are number stamped and MUST be returned to the proctor at the end of the exam. Students who fail to return controlled exams risk receiving a F. You are responsible for returning all required materials to the proctor at the end of the exam. If you are contacted regarding a controlled exam you must respond immediately to any inquiry and will be required to return to campus, regardless of the time.

Use of Laptop Computers

ToTo use the exam software for your exams, please download Exam4 from www.Exam4.com.  All downloads of Exam4 will take students through a simple installer. When beginning your exam, make sure your laptop is connected to the wireless network (GWLAW1X) before launching Exam4.

Please complete a practice exam to be sure that your computer passes the security check and to become familiar with the interface. There is no practice exam question, just a blank page on which you type your exam answer. Please run a practice exam for at least five minutes.

Exam4 is available for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and for Apple Macintosh (El-Capitan, Mavericks and Yosemite). If it is installed on a student laptop, a Chinese translation program called YoudaoDict has caused problems with the Exam4 interface and should be uninstalled before exams.

A video tutorial on Exam4 is available. If you have difficulties with Exam4, please address them immediately with Records and/or the Burns Help Desk to assess the problem.

Do not delete any files from your laptop computer until after your grade has posted, so that the Records Office can complete any necessary followup in exam processing.

At the end of your exam, you will be asked to submit your answers through the law school wireless network. The auto save on Exam4 saves your exam every 10 seconds, with an additional five minute backup.  If you do not have wireless access, you will save your exam on a USB drive provided by the proctor.

Laptop exams are the default. Students handwriting their exams in booklets will be in the same exam room as laptop users.

GW Law is not responsible for any equipment failure during an exam, will not permit a back-up laptop, and will not allot extra time to enable students to address equipment failure. Students who experience equipment failure will simply continue by writing in exam booklets.