Author Archive: Michael Vogt

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, we have a solution for that.

Examsoft has released several solutions in case something happened during your exaEX Backgroundm that causes your computer to be stuck in a perpetual loop of changed backgrounds or black screens. For more information visit the below referenced articles for help fixing whatever ails your computer post exam.

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.

Fixing a Black Screen on Windows 8 & 10 Laptops and Windows 7 Laptops

Remove Examsoft’s Background Image on PC or Mac

 

You can also check out these Before, During, or After exam support tips pages.

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!

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 Examsoft, 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 possibility. 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 Hypothetical. And yes, the possible outcome is easily avoidable.

Just turn off your Antivirus software before you open Examsoft.

Various antivirus programs have been linked to several computer disabling issues when used with Examsoft. 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!

Mac Examsoft Users: The Wait is OVER! You Can Now Upgrade to El Capitan

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Queue the celebration music! At long last, the moment you have all been waiting for… the newest version of Examsoft is now compatible with Mac’s latest OS version 10.11.1 El Capitan. (Ding) You are now free to upgrade your Mac OS.

Please remember, you MUST download the latest version of SofTest in order for it to work on your El Capitan OS during finals.

The latest version of SofTest for Mac is 11.0.666.94885. (Before the PC user conspiracy theorists chime in regarding the 666 in the El Capitan version number designation… I assure you these version numbers are chosen completely at random, so it is purely coincidental).

To update your Mac OS, please visit your app store. To upgrade SofTest to the latest version, please follow the instructions listed on our website article at http://lawtech.pepperdine.edu/softest-update/. Thanks for your patience and let the celebrations commence!

 

Helpful Tips for Your Next Exam – #1 Close Spotify before Opening SofTest!

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

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1. Be sure to Close Spotify Before Taking an Exam – Students at other law schools have reported Examsoft issues caused by having Spotify open on their laptop when they opened SofTest. The SofTest program attempts to lock your computer into the exam environment. However, SofTest sometimes cannot properly lock down the Spotify program which 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 SofTest.

2. Restart your Computer BEFORE Finals – 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 SofTest. Restarting will also close installers and other programs that may be running in the background and slowing down your laptop’s performance. There is nothing quite as maddening as having your machine take forever to load your exam when you are already in a hurry, or delay uploading your answers once you have completed the test.

3. Turn off your Antivirus – I know, I know… you should never turn off your antivirus, except when it comes to SofTest. Antivirus has been known to cause a whole host of issues with SofTest, from black screens, to screen freezes, it’s all antivirus fault. Any antivirus can trigger this and it can even be intermittent, so even if it worked fine during a mock exam, it might not work in the real final. So just to be safe, disable it for the exam, but then re-enable it afterwards.

3.1 Turn off Automatic Updating – If you are using a PC, turn off the automatic updates feature, as it could trigger an update or even an update warning window during your exam, which could cause SofTest to crash mid-exam.

4. Spell-Check – This is a very handy tool during exams. However, the spell-check in SofTest doesn’t work quite the same way as spell-check in Word. First, it will not automatically visually indicate spelling errors so you won’t see the little red squiggle line under misspelled words like you would in MS Word. Second, you must actually open the spell-checker tool for it to find misspelled words. You must then go through each misspelled word, one-by-one, to find and fix each error. You can however, “change all” if you have misspelled the same word multiple times, so that could save you a few clicks. The spell-checker will also offer recommended words that you can select to replace the misspelled word with. This can be a tedious process, especially when you are pressed for time, so be sure to save several minutes at the end of your exam to go through the Spell-Check process.

spell1The tool is located in different places on PCs and Macs. On PCs the spell-checker is available by simply clicking the small “abc” icon in the toolbar above your essay. On Macs, the spell-checker is available by clicking on the “Spell” tab on the right-hand navigation menu.  For a full list of directions on how to use the spell-checker tool, please visit the Examsoft Spell Check Directions site for PC and Mac. If you don’t see the tabs or icons mentioned above, spell-check might have been disabled for your exam by the instructor.

5. Word Count – Word count is a helpful feature in SofTest and is absolutely necessary for certain exams. However, it can be tricky to use sometimes. First, it’s not automatically available. You must locate the tool by clicking on the “Stats” tab located on the right side of the screen in SofTest. If you have used it once already during this portion of the exam, you will need to select the “Recount Essay Statistics” button to update the word count. This tool will help you keep your essays within your instructor’s specified parameters for the exam.

For additional helpful tips from Examsoft, please visit the Exam Taker Tips page.

Good Luck on Finals!

 

Examsoft Now Compatible with Windows 10! You are now free to upgrade.

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Microsoft officially released its newest operating system, Windows 10, on July 29. This is a free upgrade for existing Windows users. Until recently, we advised against upgrading as it was not compatible with the current version of Examsoft’s SofTest product, which you will use for your exams at Pepperdine Law School. However, Examsoft has released an update to their software that makes it compatible with Windows 10. So if you feel like upgrading, you are now free to do so.

Please note that in order for Examsoft to work on your computer, you must download the most recent update of SofTest from the Examsoft website. For more information on how to update to the latest version of SofTest, please visit our SofTest update page.

If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact our Exam Taker Support Team.

Still Need Access to Lexis Over Your Summer Break? You Got it!

Summer Access

Nothing is changing this summer!

You’ll have the same access to Lexis Advance whether you’re working or taking classes. Your law school ID lets you access Lexis Advance all summer for:

  • Academic, professional, and non-profit research
  • All the legal content and news you have as a law student
  • Unlimited hours per week

You don’t have to register for summer access. Your law school ID will remain active all summer for the above purposes. Summer access is available from the date your spring classes end through the date your fall classes begin. Normal law school terms of service apply outside of these dates.

PLUS, for the first time Daily Research Points are available in the summer—10 points per day. But you must be opted in to LexisNexis Rewards and Daily Research Points to earn them.

Have a great summer!

Don’t Wait for Exam Day. Take a Mock Exam Today!

2014-12-04_1021We highly recommend taking a Mock Exam with SofTest to verify the software is working properly on your laptop. Although SofTest should run fine on any computer you have taken an exam with before, it is always wise to test the SofTest software once again prior to exam day. You don’t want to run into any issues during the exam that you could have discovered if you had only taken a mock exam. It only takes a few minutes and its well worth the time to double check your system before it’s too late.

So why wait? Test out your SofTest environment TODAY!

For directions on how to take a Mock Exam, please visit the below ExamSoft tutorials:

How to Download a Mock Exam

How to Take a Mock Exam

Upgrading SofTest for Finals

Where has the time gone? Final examinations are HERE!!! Make sure you have version 11 of SofTest installed on your computer. To verify you have the most recent version of SofTest installed on your computer, please visit the ExamSoft website.

I used SofTest for midterm examinations. Do I need to download a new version?

Possibly. If you completed midterm examinations using SofTest, your computer should be ready for final examinations. However, if you have recently upgraded your laptop’s operating system, then you should update to the latest version of SofTest before attempting to download your final exam. As always, you should try a Mock Exam in order to verify SofTest is working properly.

How do I update SofTest to the latest version?

Even though you may be on version 11, you will want to verify that you have the most recent update to version 11. To trigger the SofTest update, first open the application on your laptop. The instructions are slightly different for users on different operating systems.

  • For Windows OS users, press the CTRL button and the letters ‘A’ and ‘U’ simultaneously (CTRL+AU).
  • For Mac OSX users, once SofTest is open, press the Command key plus the letters ‘A’ and ‘U’ simultaneously (CMND+AU).

For more information on this, visit the Update SofTest page on the ExamSoft website.

I downloaded the new version of SofTest, but now my exam is missing?

If you downloaded your exam prior to completing the upgrade to SofTest version 11 you MUST Reverse Download the exam.  There are separate instructions for Windows users and Mac Users.

I used SofTest for examinations last semester. Do I need to download a new version?

Possibly. If you used SofTest last semester, you should already have version 11. For information on verifying which version you have, see above. However, you must re-register SofTest every academic year with Pepperdine and accept the annual user agreement.

If you need additional support please visit www.examsoft.com/support or call 866-429-8889.

 

Don’t Let Phishing Emails Catch You Off Guard

2015-02-13_1435We’ve all heard the news about the computer hacking incidents at Sony, Anthem, and even the Department of Defense. What you may not know is that hackers often take advantage of the heightened fear over protecting sensitive information that follows these types of incidents by soliciting victims’ passwords and other account info via phising emails.

Many of you have seen these types of emails before. Some are easy to spot, such as those promising millions of dollars from a long-lost relative if you simply supply your bank account information for the wire transfer. (Trust me, if I had a rich relative, I’d know about them already.) Or how about the one requesting that you wire money immediately to help one of your friends who was mugged while traveling abroad? (Were we really that good of friends anyway?)

On the other hand, some of these emails may appear very legitimate. They usually arrive in your inbox with an alarming subject line warning that your password has expired or is not strong enough to protect your account. These emails encourage victims to click on a link to update their password immediately. However, victims who fall prey to this scheme are actually providing hackers access to their login info.

Many victims often remark how convincing the emails were (some emails, like the one above even contain official company branding). Most victims say they merely trying to protect their account and follow instructions. After all isn’t that what us IT guys always say? “Update your passwords often!” However, if you follow the following 2 rules, you should be able to avoid getting hooked in a phishing scam.

1. If in doubt, DELETE it! – If something looks suspicious, just throw it away. It is always best to play it safe and err on the side of caution. If you think it might be real, check the sender’s address. If you don’t recognize the sender, delete the email or contact the sender to verify the validity of their request.

2. Check Before Entering Your Password – Don’t ever enter your password, unless the website has the following:

  • Encryption – the web address must show https or the lock icon
  • Matching Domain – the web address should match the organization

While it is perhaps best to simply never supply sensitive information over email, we are fortunate enough to belong to a small community here at Pepperdine where it is easy to verify if someone legitimately needs your personal info. I personally abide by the old adage “if someone really needs my information, they’ll call (or write) back.” So please help protect yourself and Pepperdine’s network by following the above guidelines to avoid phishing scams.download (9)

If you would like more information on how to recognize and eliminate phising email, please visit Pepperdine Univeristy’s Phishing Information Page, check out the phishing FAQ, or view Examples of Phishing and suspicious emails.

TIP: Remember, you can always view the full address of a hyperlink by simply hovering over the link without clicking on it. If the address isn’t linking to a trusted site, DON’T CLICK!

SofTest Now Supports Mavericks

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Are you planning on using ExamSoft’s SofTest exam taking software for final exams this Fall 2014 term? Did you recently upgrade to Mac OS X 10.10, Yosemite? If you read our last post, you were hopefully waiting to install Yosemite until it is supported by ExamSoft. Remember, DO NOT download any new version of Mac OS until you have verified that it is supported by ExamSoft.

Good News, your wait is over! Yosemite is now supported by ExamSoft. You can upgrade to the newest Mac OS Yosemite starting and the new OS will be compatible with the latest version of SofTest.

Before attempting to take any exams, please verify that you have the latest SofTest version, and as always, work through a Mock Exam to ensure proper use of the software before your exams.

For more information, and to see what others are saying about this and other exciting ExamSoft announcements, please visit the ExamSoft Community.