Author Archive: Michael Vogt

Helpful tips for your next exam – Quit Spotify Before Opening Examplify

We wanted to make all users aware of a few tips for taking exams with Examsoft Examplify.

1. Restart your Computer BEFORE Exams – Sometimes we fail to realize how long it has been since the last time we restarted our laptops. Restarting your laptop will help speed up the performance of your computer, as well as install critical updates. This will help your machine operate faster during finals, especially when working within a program like Examplify. Restarting will also close down installers and other programs that may be running in the background and slowing down your laptop’s performance. There is nothing quite as frustrating as having your machine take forever to load your exam, or upload your answers once you have completed the test.

2. Be sure to Quit Spotify Before Taking an Exam – Students at other law schools have reported issues with Examsoft from having Spotify open on their laptop when they open Examplify. In order for Examplify to work, it needs to lock down your computer into the exam environment. However, Examplify sometimes struggles with closing down the Spotify program and this can cause your computer to bog down or freeze in the middle of an exam… so for the sake of your own sanity, please make sure you quit the Spotify program Before you open Examplify.

3. Spell Check – Spell check is a very handy tool for exams. It is built right into the Examplify system now so it should work automatically. This is similar to most word processors like Microsoft Word where misspelled words are underlined in red.

4. Word Count – Word count is a helpful feature in Examplify and is absolutely necessary for certain exams. However, it can be tricky to use sometimes. The character count automatically displays above your answer text box. Don’t be fooled by this number though, this is NOT your word count.

You can view it easily from this line though. To see more information, you can click on the paper symbol next to the character count. This window provides the total number of words, characters, and characters without spaces for the essay response. If text is selected in the current question, Examplify provides the same information for the text that is selected. This tool will help you keep your essays within your instructor’s specified parameters for the exam.

For more helpful tips from Examsoft, please visit their Exam Taker Tips page.

 

SofTest is Now Examplify – Download the New Examplify Today

“I’m so excited it’s almost final exam season!” said no one ever… But even though finals might seem like a long ways away still, they will be here before you know it. And like your Crim Pro professor has probably already said, it’s never too early to start preparing for finals. Probably the easiest thing you can do to prep for final exams is to download the new exam software, Examplify, from ExamSoft©. Examplify is replacing our old SofTest program, which was also made by ExamSoft. 

Examplify has a number of new and helpful features, such as built-in spell check, SofTest used an outdated spellcheck wizard, and a new exam landing page and launch screen navigation. Now all you have to do is login and you can immediately see all of your available exams in the left-hand column, including exam-files available for download, ones you have already downloaded, and exams you have already taken and submitted.

Instead of having to go to a different screen to download your exams, then another screen to take an exam, and yet another location to review the status of your exam upload, now you can do it all right from your landing page.

For more information on how to navigate the new interface, check out ExamSoft’s helpful Quick Start guide for new Examplify users, or just log into examsoft.com/pepperdinelaw and download the program to see for yourself. It’s extremely easy to use! So what are you waiting for? Get ready for finals by downloading Examplify today!

 

Examsoft Support Information

So you finally finished that 3 hour exam. You’ve uploaded your exam file and got the green “All Clear” sign (cue enormous sigh of relief). Congratulations! You’re home free at last, except apparently Examsoft decided to do some redecorating while you were taking your exam because your desktop background is now an Examsoft selfie (talk about shameless advertising). Not to worry, they have a solution for that.

For more information visit their new tech support self-help page for help fixing whatever ails your computer post exam. www.examsoft.com/support

Also, just remember, this is the exact same software used for your BAR exam, so it’s best to sort out all these problems now, rather than when you’re sitting for the biggest stress test of your life.

You can also check out this page for the list of their latest minimum computer requirements for Examplify on Windows PC and Mac OS X computers.

You can also check out this Quick Start reference list for all the support tips you might need.

And if you get Really lost, give Examsoft’s tech support a call at 866.429.8889 or via email at support@examsoft.com. They’re just waiting to help!

ExamSoft Examplify – Registering with Pepperdine

ExamSoft Worldwide produces the Examplify examination software used by many law schools and state bar examiners. This software is a secure essay exam word processor. Pepperdine School of Law allows students to use this software to take their midterm and final law exams. If you plan to use your laptop computer to take your exams, Examplify is required. The majority of students currently take all or some of their exams via this program.

Examplify can be downloaded from the Internet (http://www.examsoft.com/pepperdinelaw) and installed on your laptop computer. In order to use the ExamSoft Examplify program at Pepperdine University School of Law, you MUST agree to the terms of this ExamSoft Student Agreement

IMPORTANT: RETURNING USERS – If you have not taken an exam during the current term, you may need to re-register your software for the current academic school year. To do this, simply follow the same steps for installing the program for the first time. Login to the Examsoft website listed above, and click on “download” to accept the new academic year’s user agreement and download Examplify. Follow the prompts for the installation and when prompted, accept the new academic year’s student agreement again within the program and then follow the remaining prompts to install the latest version of Examplify.

Before attempting any exam, we highly recommend downloading and running a ‘Mock Exam’ within Examplify. This will help ensure the software is functioning properly on your computer prior to exam day.

For more Exam Day tips for Examplify check out the product website.

NOTE: 

 

ExamSoft will not support Mac OS beta releases. For more information on ExamSoft’s Mac OS requirements, please visit the ExamSoft website.

For Student Test Takers Tech Support and Help, please contact the Examsoft Test Takers Support line at 866.429.8889 or via email at support@examsoft.com.

Mac Examsoft Users: Supported OS Versions for Examplify

 

You may have noticed the warnings advising you not to upgrade to Mac OS X Version 10.13.1. What you might not know is, this is an annual ordeal when it comes to taking midterms with Examplify. Every year Mac rolls out a new OS update. And every year, we advise against updating to the new OS until our exam software Examplify can release a compatible update that allows Examplify to work on the new system.

Once the update is available, Examplify will push it out to your computer and alert you that an update is available for install the next time you log into Examplify. Please remember, you MUST install the update in order for it to work on your new OS during finals.

Examplify is supported on the latest 4 versions of Mac OS. So this means that if you are running an OS that is 4 versions old, and a new OS is released then yep, you guessed it, that list bumps up by one and your old version is now 5 versions old and the new Examplify will no longer work on your now o

utdated OS. This means before the new OS release you need to either upgrade to a later version right or hope you don’t have an exam before ExamSoft can release a new update to make it compatible with the newest OS. Otherwise, you will find yourself in the unenviable position of being stuck on an outdated version that is no longer supported for use with Examplify, but not able to upgrade to the newest version because it isn’t compatible yet. 

To update your Mac OS, please visit your app store. To upgrade to the latest version of Examplify, just launch Examplify and install the update when prompted. Stay tuned to LawTech to be notified when it is safe to upgrade your Mac to the newest OS.

 

You can also check out ExamSoft’s minimum system requirements page to view what Mac OS versions are currently supported.

 

Turn Off Your Antivirus BEFORE You Take an Exam with Examsoft

We’ve all heard the stories, perhaps you’ve even had nightmares about it happening to you. You’ve stayed up for the past 36 hours preparing for an exam, you’ve checked and re-checked your notes and then checked someone else’s just to be sure you hadn’t missed anything. You’re ready for this, you’re going to own this exam. You sit down and open your laptop, open Examplify, and then… everything goes dark.

No your computer didn’t just transport you into a galaxy-sized black hole, but the alternative is almost equally terrifying and just as inescapable… you’re going to have to use a Bluebook. As you sit listening to your classmates happily typing away at what sounds like 1000wpm, you wonder to yourself… “where did I go wrong?” Your mind frantically searches for any trace of what could have caused this tragedy, when suddenly, you vaguely recall ignoring a post on Lawtech that warned you of this very scenario. A creeping inclination begins to gnaw away at the edges of your consciousness… Could this all have been prevented if you had only read it?

The good news is, this was all just a horrifying Hypo. And yes, the possible outcome is easily avoidable.

Just turn off your Antivirus software before you open Examplify.

Various antivirus programs have been linked to several computer disabling issues when used with Examplify. These issues include black screens, computer freezes, and crashes, or my personal favorite, desktop background changes to an Examsoft icon. These issues can occur intermittently and unpredictably so even if you have taken a mock exam without incident, you may still encounter a problem during an actual exam. Don’t let this happen to you!

Just remember, before you begin your next exam, and believe me you have no idea how painful this is for a tech guy to say, please turn off your antivirus.

But don’t forget to turn it back on as soon as you submit your exam!

Google Docs Massive Phishing Scam

As you may have heard, over a million Google users were hit by a phishing scam on May 3rd. This scam came in the form of an email that looked a lot like a harmless invite from a Google user to join a Google document. Now, if you were suspicious (and I hope you were), you may have noticed that the email was addressed to hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. When you see something like this or the red warning bar from Gmail (see left), this should be a pretty good indicator that something is amiss.

Just in case you may have accidentally clicked on the blue button invite, which was cleverly disguised to look remarkably like a legitimate Google button, here’s what you can do to protect yourself from further compromise by the spammer.

  1. Reset your password. This is one of the best ways to prevent a hacker from continued access to your account.
  2. Run Google’s Security Checkup to see what programs and add-ons have been granted access to your account. Look for an app called Google Docs, and remove it. It’s not really Google Docs and if you accidentally remove something you need, you can always grant access to it again the next time you attempt to open a legitimate Google Doc.

Once again, don’t open ANYTHING, even an email, from someone you don’t know or recognize and definitely don’t click on any links in emails from people you don’t know or aren’t familiar with why you were sent the message.

 

Securely Delete Files on Macs


Do you ever miss the good old days? Like when you found a feature on your Mac that worked great, but then Apple went and removed it? I’m referring to Apple’s Secure EmptyTrash option that allowed you to securely shred files from your computer so no one could later recover them. You may remember this feature was available on the Yosemite operating system but if you went looking for it recently, you probably noticed it’s no longer available for El Capitan or Sierra.

As to why it doesn’t work, the answer is in the hardware really. Most of Apple’s new machine’s use Solid State Drives (SSD) instead of the old Hard Disk Drives
(HDD). SSD’s have a variety of advantages over HDD’s, such as improved speed, reliability, and longevity. Although SDD’s do offer numerous improvements, secure file deletion isn’t one of them.

Long story short, there is really no way to fully remove a file from an SSD drive. Some portion of it may still be retrievable.  There are some third-party apps like “FileShredder” and “Secure Delete – File Shredder” still available from the App Store but these usually cost a few dollars and can actually reduce the lifespan of your SSD drive and computer, so they are not recommended for long-term use.

The best solution for securely deleting files from your Mac computer is to turn on Apple’s FileVault utility to securely encrypt your entire drive. Ideally, you should do this from day one to ensure all files are encrypted forevermore, but turning it on now will still be effective.

To turn on FileVault go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault. Once there, press Turn on FileVault. With FileVault turned on, you no longer have to worry about securely deleting files as all files are encrypted, including deleted files. When you delete a file, it removes it from your file directory and essentially throws away the decryption key so any file delete will be securely deleted.

The only drawback is, now you will have to enter your password every time you log into your computer… but you were probably doing that already because like any security conscious law student you had already password protected your laptop, right? Right!?!?

Anyways… Happy shredding Mac users!

MacBook Pro TouchBar Enabled Laptops Now Approved for Exams

As you may know, there was a previous security issue with Mac TouchBar enabled laptops that prevented them from being used on numerous state bar exams during the February bar. Many law schools also banned them from being used on exams this spring. However, Pepperdine still allowed TouchBar laptops to be used but required the TouchBar be manually disabled by IT staff. Fortunately, the latest version of SofTest from Examsoft has resolved this issue and all TouchBar enabled laptops are now permitted to be used on exams without needing to disable the TouchBar in advance. SofTest will now automatically disable the TouchBar when the exam is launched and re-enable it once the user exits an exam. This will prevent any potential exam integrity issues so all users are cleared to take finals on their Mac TouchBar enabled laptops.

Fortunately, the latest version of SofTest from Examsoft has resolved this issue and all TouchBar enabled laptops are now permitted to be used on exams without needing to disable the TouchBar in advance. SofTest will now automatically disable the TouchBar when the exam is launched and re-enable it once the user exits an exam. This will prevent any potential exam integrity issues so all users are cleared to take finals on their Mac TouchBar enabled laptops.

3 New Google Chrome Extensions to Try in 2017

With the University’s move to Google Mail this last year, the IS team highly recommends that anyone using Pepperdine email should consider making Google Chrome their default browser. Google Mail is a Google product, as is Google Chrome, so it makes sense that they work quite well together. Once you’ve made the switch, you will be happy to learn that the smart people at Google have created some pretty cool extensions you can add to your Chrome browser that will make your browsing experience and life in general, a whole lot cooler, at least from a techie’s point of view. What are extensions, you ask? they are essentially add-on tools that can help improve how you use your Gmail inbox or any website for that matter. So to kick off the new year, we’ve compiled a short list of extensions to try in 2017.

You can easily browse and add extensions and other apps by going to the Google Chrome Web Store.

 

1. Grammarly

Topping off our list is the tool Grammarly. If you are good at solving puzzles, you may have already guessed what Grammarly does, that’s right, it improves your grammar. It corrects spelling and most common grammar mistakes, like where to put a comma. You will also find that when you see it underline an error, it will not only correct the error for you when you select it, but it will also tell you what you did wrong so you can avoid making this same mistake in the future, say on an exam, and will help make you a better writer.

2. Momentum

Coming in at #2 on our list is Momentum. This extension is one of my favorites. Although it may not seem like it does much at first, it can be pretty powerful, or just pretty if you need a window into the world outside of law school studying. Momentum turns each new tab you open into a personal getaway/dashboard that includes your daily to-do list, connection to productivity apps, weather, inspirational quotes, favorite links, and it’s all set over a beautiful landscape backdrop that changes daily, just in case you get tired of view from the law library windows.

3. Awesome Screen Shot App

No that’s not a sales pitch, that’s the name of the app. It’s a fun and easy way to annotate your screenshots or photos. You can blur, crop, or do whatever you want and it’s all in a free and easy-to-use editor right in your browser. If you have photoshop, you probably don’t need this, but if you don’t, this might come in handy.

Honorable Mention

Ok, so I know I said 3 extensions, but Boomerang merits a mention. Have you ever sent a super important email, fully intending to follow-up on if you didn’t hear back from the recipient in a few days, but then totally forgot? Well, Boomerang allows you to schedule messages to be sent or replied to at a later time. You can also track messages to make sure you stay on top of emails you need to follow up with. Additionally, Boomerang allows you to set follow-up reminders right within Gmail, so emails pop back up in your inbox if you haven’t heard back from the recipient within the desired timeframe. However, the free version only allows you to track 10 emails a month, but it’s helpful if those 10 happen to be super important.

Hope you enjoy one of these or other Chrome extensions in 2017! As always, remember to browse safely with Pepperdine’s Browser Check. Happy browsing!