Exam Rules and Procedures

In-Class Exams

Examinations are designed to test the understanding of the concepts in the studied subject matter.  Students should neither seek nor accept any assistance during exams.  It is imperative that students do not appear, to any degree, to seek or accept any such assistance.  It is essential that every law student recognize the necessity of strict adherence to all examination rules and the Standards of Academic Integrity to avoid any unauthorized practice, and to avoid even the appearance of unauthorized practices.  Following are the exam rules and procedures in effect at the School of Law.

  • ABSOLUTELY, NO WATCHES, CELLPHONES, BACKPACKS, PURSES, OR BAGS ARE PERMITTED IN THE EXAM ROOM. IF ANY STUDENT HAS A CELL PHONE, WATCH, OR ANY OTHER DEVICE, IT WILL BE CONFISCATED, AND YOU WILL NEED TO SEE THE VICE DEAN TO RETRIEVE IT. If you need to bring your laptop and other materials permitted for the exam in the room, please plan accordingly to arrive early enough to allow yourself time to unpack your exam materials and take your backpack, purse, bag, cellphone, watch or other devices to your locker before the exam begins.
  • No food is permitted in the exam room. Drinks are permitted as long as they are in a container with a secure lid.  Paper or plastic cups from home, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. are not considered a secure container and are not permitted in the exam room.
  • Carefully read all rules and procedures. Ignorance of any rule or procedure will not be accepted as an excuse for violation.
  • Any student found to have unauthorized materials in an examination will be charged with violation of examination rules.
  • Exam ID’s are emailed to all students the week before exams begin. Students receive a different examination number for each exam. Please be sure to have the correct Exam ID for each exam. To assure the anonymity of the grading system, students will identify themselves on all law school exams by Exam ID only. Exam ID numbers will be assigned randomly for each exam. Exam numbers are randomly generated by class roster, not by student, so it is possible that you may have the same number for more than one course.
  • Adjustments to the exam schedule will only be made in the following situations: 1) when a student is enrolled in three courses with back-to-back exams (e.g., Monday a.m., Monday p.m., Tuesday a.m.), and 2) when a student has two exams scheduled at the same time.  In those situations, the student will be allowed to reschedule one of the exams. 3) Students with approved accommodations 3) Other adjustments will be made at the discretion of the Vice Dean or the Dean of Students. 
  • Except as adjusted in accordance with the previous paragraph or for good cause, such as sickness or other serious circumstances totally beyond a student’s control, we will not give make-up exams. A student’s failure to take a scheduled exam without good cause and without prior notice to the Dean’s Office will result in that student’s receiving a failing grade.
  • If a student is going to miss an exam for good cause, the student must properly advise the Dean’s Office before the exam.  If a student experiences extenuating circumstances during an exam, the student must notify the Registrar’s Office immediately during the exam.
  • If a student misses an exam for good cause and with prior notice, the student will be required to reschedule the exam within the examination period, at the discretion of the administration; otherwise, it must be taken the next time the exam in that course is given, regardless of the fact that the course may then be taught by a different instructor.  A student who has experienced extenuating circumstances during an exam and notified the Dean’s Office during the exam, or promptly after it, may petition for the discretionary relief of taking a reexamination the next time an exam in that course is given. Such relief is granted in only the most compelling cases.  The Standards of Academic Integrity apply for all rescheduled exams.
  • It is the student’s obligation to determine when an exam begins and its length. 
  • All students will be using laptops to take their exams and must follow the listed procedures. The only way you can take your exams on a laptop is to use the software provided by the Law School for exams. iPads are not supported by Pitt Law. In order to take an exam, you must have downloaded and installed the exam software from the Law School website (including any updates), viewed the appropriate training video for your platform prior to the start of the exam period, and signed the Exam Software Training Statement; the affirmation that you have viewed the video tutorials. The affirmation only needs to be done once during your law school career.
  • Faculty members will not interpret exam questions or otherwise speak with students during the exam.  If you believe you have discovered a mistake or ambiguity in the question, resolve the mistake or ambiguity in what you consider to be a reasonable manner and proceed to write your answer on that basis. If you have any questions, concerns, problems uploading or downloading, do not contact your professor.  Doing so is a violation of the exam policies and can cause your anonymity to be compromised.

Take-Home Exams(Performance Assessment) And Papers

Registrar’s Office and IT hours during the examination period are 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Details for each take-home exam will be listed on the Take-Home Exam Schedule posted on the Exams page of the Law School website.

We use the ExamSoft website for downloading/uploading take-home exams. The feature is referred to as “Performance Assessment” in ExamSoft. Take-home exams do not use the exam software. Due to technical support and staffing limitations, exam access for take-home exams will be restricted to between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, no exceptions! No student should attempt to download exam questions after 5:00 p.m., or upload exam answers prior to 8:30 a.m. during the week. Additionally, no student should download exam questions or upload answers over the weekend. These restrictions are in place to ensure that students who experience technical difficulty can receive prompt assistance to resolve the matter. There is no technical support offered through the Law School or ExamSoft when the office is closed. Students who do not adhere to these exam access and upload instructions do so at their own risk including, but not limited, to the possibility of receiving a failing grade for the exam if it is not submitted in a timely fashion.