Just Do It: Mock Exam in Examplify

Don’t forget to do at least one Mock Exam in Examplify.

Note: Like potato chips, more is better. So you can do as many as 20 Mock Exams if you like. So do more. It’s better. Just remember, when you upload your new mock exam answer, it overwrites your previous submission.

The Mock Exam not only tests whether your laptop is ready for exams using the ExamSoft Examplify software, it will increase your familiarity with the Examplify software and how and where to find the various features of this product. It is not intended to be used as a study tool. You can type study answers in a word processing software of your own choice.

Mock Exam – scroll down to the video — it’s keyed so you can go directly to the Mock Exam part of the video.

Exam Instructions

New Examplify supports updated Windows and Mac operating systems

5 Oct 2021: ExamSoft announces that Examplify version 2.8 is now available and supports the latest versions of Microsoft Windows and Apple OS.

15 Sept 2021: Microsoft and Apple have each announced the release of new operating systems, which will be available in the near future; the timing of each is listed below.

ExamSoft has NOW certified compatibility with these new operating systems with the release of Examplify 2.8

ExamSoft’s release of Examplify 2.8 for both Windows and Mac enables support for the latest operating system updates from Microsoft and Apple.

Windows Operating Systems 

  • WIndows 10 21h2 (September 23, 2021 – to insiders only)
  • Windows 11 (October 5, 2021)

Apple Operating Systems

  • Apple has not yet announced a release date for macOS 12 Monterey, however, it is expected to be available sometime this Fall.

Please watch this page for updates!

NOTE: ExamSoft pushes updates to your computer. You cannot initiate an update to your installation. However, you may need to reboot or restart your computer to apply an update once it has been pushed to you computer. Please see ExamSoft with questions.

Adobe Acrobat Pro and Editing PDFs

We are often asked about a reduced cost or free license for Acrobat Pro for students, faculty and staff.

If you are using a Pepperdine University-owned computer, chances are it already has Acrobat Pro installed according to the University’s site license with Adobe.

If you are not using such a computer (note that the Law Library lab computers and the CDO student computers have Acrobat Pro installed), and you need/want to edit PDFs, you will need to find/install your own PDF editor.

Pepperdine University does not have special pricing for Acrobat Pro for use on a personally-owned computer.

HOWEVER, there is a regular Adobe educational discount that students, faculty, and staff would qualify for. That product is significantly reduced from their regular pricing. 
You can link to the educational pricing for Adobe Acrobat here:  https://www.adobe.com/acrobat/pricing/students.html

Note that Adobe has made their entire Creative Cloud product very attractively priced when compared with the price for just Acrobat alone. For just a few dollars more a month you can have access to many more premium products from Adobe. If that isn’t interesting to you… then you will probably want to investigate other solutions…

You should also note that most word processors and other software will output in PDF format.  Granted, that won’t help much when you want to edit or modify PDFs but there are alternatives to Acrobat Pro that may be helpful to you and will be much cheaper.

There is a free service from Adobe called Acrobat online where you must create an account with Adobe to use their “free” software.  We have not tested this but it appears that they will use your Adobe account information to market paid services to you: https://www.adobe.com/acrobat/online/pdf-editor.html

Finally, you may find some success in online guides/websites that review PDF editors. As an example, Toms Guide is a pretty well established site that we refer to now and then.  They have a guide to PDF editors that may be helpful to you if you don’t want to pay for the Acrobat Pro subscription or sign up for Adobe marketing with their “free” offering: https://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-pdf-editors

Finally, if you have a Mac, you will find that the built-in product “Preview” is a great tool for annotating your PDFs if that is all you need to do.

Free and discounted software for students: https://lawtech.pepperdine.edu/free-and-discounted-software-for-students/

DO NOT Update your Computer’s operating system before Using ExamSoft Examplify!

There are times over the course of the school year when Microsoft and Apple release updates to their operating systems. Please DO NOT apply these updates immediately if you are planning to use your computer to take mid-term and final exams, because some may not be compatible with ExamSoft.

Please check with this site: lawtech.pepperdine.edu or our vendor’s site: examsoft.com before your update your OS.  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to check in with the support desk in the Harnish Law Library or send an email to support@law.pepperdine.ed

Pepperdine Caruso Law uses a secure exam software to administer exams from ExamSoft.com. This software is sensitive to changes in operating systems because it is designed to ensure a totally secure exam environment.  When there is a change to your OS, ExamSoft may no longer function properly.

If you have a Microsoft Windows computer, Windows 10 is your “OS” or operating system.  If you have an Apple Mac computer, then you are running some variant of macOS (pronounced “mack oh ess”).

Tablets in Law School? Not So Much.

While the tablet revolution is changing the way many people think about computing and has turned upside down many aspects of how companies deliver services, these changes have not fully made it into the law school experience.

It’s true that with a keyboard, a tablet can be a great tool for typing, even outlining in a law school class but a tablet still is not a system that is supported for computer-based examinations here at Caruso Law.

At Caruso Law, students are not required to use a computer for exams but we do encourage it and you will find that we use the same system that the California Bar Exam uses (as well as many other state jurisdictions).

The iPad, Android Tablets, and any other tablet-based systems are strongly discouraged for law students as a primary computing platform.

It is our intention to guide law students toward the best possible computing experience during their time in law school. As a law student you have a significant challenge in front of you (law school).  Because of the intense nature of the law school experience you should have the best computer suited for your needs.  This is not to say that you should not own a tablet at all, rather feel free to add a tablet to your stable of tools that includes a reliable laptop.

When taking notes in class, preparing outlines for study, drafting documents, and especially when taking exams, law students should have a reliable laptop computer. Tablet systems have come a long way but are not supported for the administration of exams at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Law students are strongly encouraged to acquire and maintain a reliable laptop computer while in law school.  Use of a tablet system (iOS, Android, Windows RT on an MS Surface (cheap but ancient and not supported anywhere anymore)) is strongly discouraged and is not supported for exam administrations.

Law School Computer/Technology Recommendations

If you are just starting out at Law School, or heading back to school and looking to upgrade your system, please review the below information before purchasing your new laptop!

Nearly all Pepperdine Caruso Law Students use laptops for class, exams, and homework. While laptops are not required, they can be a very valuable tool in law school.  The following recommendations take into account services and applications that are often used in conjunction with Caruso Law classes and other curricular and extra curricular activities.

The Information Services team at Caruso Law provides assistance in configuring your laptop for the network. Please think very carefully before choosing a laptop brand or other hardware/software choice outside the recommended list, as you may be limiting your potential sources of support.

As a law student your laptop computer is a key tool.  Please keep this in mind as you think about how you will use it, the software you install on it, the websites you visit with it, the files/attachments you choose to download and where you store it when you are not using it.  You will want it to be functioning at optimum levels.  Theft, drops, malware, and other untoward variables will detract from your laptop’s ability to help you succeed in law school.

Below are the minimum Computer/Technology Recommendations:

  • Internet: Strongly recommend a rock solid internet connection with a minimum 20 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up.  This exceeds the minimum requirements for synchronous Zoom sessions (the absolute minimum is 600 kbps in both directions while recommended minimum is 1.5 mbps) but note that if you share your internet connection you will need more bandwidth to ensure a reliable, continuous connection.  Also please note that the age of your hardware (router, modem, cabling, computer) will play a significant role in reliability.
  • Manufacturer/Model: Dell Latitude Series/Apple MacBook Pro or MacBook Air
  • Display: Minimum 11” screen – for improved readability, consider 13” or larger
  • Operating System: Windows 10 /OS X 10.15 or better
  • Processor: Intel i5 Processor or faster (or equivalent AMD)
  • RAM: 12GB – 16GB is recommended
  • Solid State Drive (SSD): 120GB or higher
  • Integrated WiFi or WiFi adapter: Newer is often if not always better
  • Media Drives: None necessary
  • Battery Life: 4-6 hours, much longer is much better.  MORE UP TIME.
  • Spare Laptop Charger: If you plan to bring your laptop with you, keep one for home and one for travel.  If you lose one you have a spare.  NO DOWN TIME.
  • Warranty: 3 year parts/on-site labor. LESS DOWN TIME.
  • Security Lock: Don’t ever walk away from your laptop if it isn’t secured.  LESS DOWN TIME
  • Malware Protection Software: Make sure you have Anti-Malware installed.  Use the firewall that is build into your computer’s operating system.  MORE UP TIME.
  • Personal Printer: We strongly recommend HP Printers with an extra toner cartridge.  NO DOWN TIME.

The Dell Latitude series is designed for a professional enterprise user and is not what you will find in a consumer-focused retail store.  We have found these systems to be very reliable and strongly recommend them to both students and faculty for their personal computing needs.  This recommendation is not meant to dissuade you from other manufacturers or even other lines of Dell computers, however, we know this line to be a great fit for a law student who needs a solid, reliable system for three years of challenging work (plus the Bar exam).

We do not recommend tablet-based systems. Nor do we recommend netbooks or Chromebooks.  You are certainly welcome to buy them but we don’t believe they will meet your needs in law school. Essentially, you can bring any device you want to law school. However, if you want to take exams and keep pace with the challenges of law school, you should purchase a high-quality, business class laptop, not a cheap off-brand version found on sale at a big box retailer. Remember, you want a system that is reliable and will last you through completing the BAR exam. You don’t want a machine that may crash in the middle of an exam!

MacBook ProThe Pepperdine University Computer Store (an online referral site) offers generous discounts to Pepperdine University students on software (MS Office is no cost to Pepperdine students and employees) and hardware. These discounts are often more than the typical education discounts that you will find online. The Computer Store can be accessed 24/7 online.

For purchasing as an enrolled Pepperdine student, please visit the Pepperdine University IT Department’s discounts for students web page or call Pepperdine University Tech Central at (310) 506-4811.

Please note that using a computer on the University network requires that you agree to the University Computer and Network Usage policy.

Security: Protect Your Laptop and Yourself!

sophosbadgeViruses, worms, ad-ware and spyware, and theft, are examples of SEVERE risks to your computer in a public, networked environment. You MUST PERFORM THE STEPS LISTED BELOW if you wish to use your computer at Pepperdine or you could face repercussions including loss of network access, data loss, and system failure.

  1. Maintain up-to-date virus protection software on your computer. The University’s IT department supports Sophos for faculty and staff. For students, University IT recommends Microsoft Defender (no cost) for Windows and Sophos AntiVirus for Macs (home version, no cost).
  2. Regularly install all Critical Updates from http://update.microsoft.com. You should begin checking Microsoft Update constantly, starting now. You can also configure your Windows computer to check automatically for updates every time you connect to the Internet. NOTE: if you have a Mac, you will want to check with ExamSoft before updating your Mac’s operating system because of the potential for conflicts with Examplify — causing you problems with taking your exams on your computer.
  3. Keep your browser up to date! A great browser-based tool for checking how current your web-related tools are is Qualys Browser Check.
  4. Keep your computer’s operating system and office products up-to-date
  5. Do not install peer-to-peer file-sharing software or other high-risk programs. Attempt to eliminate any programs that might already be installed by running a spyware/adware removal product such as Spybot Search & Destroy or Ad-aware.
  6. Buy and use a computer security cable for your computer to lock it down when it is not attended. (Alarm-equipped cables are NOT recommended.) We highly recommend that you never leave your belongings alone, especially in quiet areas like the Law Library, as the School of Law is open to the public. Kensington has a website that will help you find a security cable that was made for your laptop. Note that there are currently at least three different kinds of security cable ports on laptops today so you’ll want to pay attention and select the one that fits your laptop. (Pepperdine Caruso Law does not endorse or recommend Kensington locking cables to the exclusion of other  similar solutions, however we have had very positive experience with Kensington security cables for over two decades and find that their products are reliable).
  7. Do not click on links in unsolicited email messages.
  8. Do not open an email attachment unless you are expecting it or have checked with the sender.

How to not miss important email messages!

As a student at Caruso Law, you will find that there are a number of essential, critical, and/or otherwise consequential messages that are sent to your Pepperdine student email account by members of the Caruso Law administration team over the course of the school year.

To ensure that you don’t miss these important messages, you may want to highlight them in some way. One easy way to do this is by using an email filter.

To create an effective filter you will create a “rule” in your Pepperdine Google Mail inbox using either the sender’s email address and/or significant terms to have Google Mail tag or sort or file the relevant messages for you. Your rule can automatically apply a “star” to the message in your message list and/or add it to a folder using “labels.”

When you create your rule(s) you will need to have some specific terms and/or email addresses that Google Mail will look for.

An important address that you’ll want to use is the one that the Dean’s Suite uses: lawdeansuite@pepperdine.edu

Also you will want to watch for: ExamSoft and Examplify because these terms will inevitably be related to critical messages associated with mid term and final exams.

An important address that you’ll want to watch for is the one that the Dean’s Suite uses: lawdeansuite@pepperdine.edu

Other terms you will want to watch for are: ExamSoft and Examplify because these terms will inevitably be related to critical messages associated with mid term and final exams.

Go to this site for information on how to create your filter(s) to ensure you don’t miss important information sent to you via your Pepperdine email account.

Laptop Travel Preparation – Law Faculty

If you are planning a trip and will bring your university laptop with you, there are a few things you should do before you get too far along in your planning:

  1. Contact the Information Services Team to schedule a pre-trip checkup of your university laptop
  2. If you are going out of the country, you may need to plan for an adapter or other means to plug in and charge the laptop. Here’s a pretty good resource for checking the power plug requirements around the world: https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
  3. Consider your internet connectivity options in that location. Pepperdine offers a WiFi service called “EduRoam” that will enable you to use a trusted network at participating locations. The important thing here is to set up your EduRoam account from a trusted network (your office) before you leave.
  4. Make sure you have backups of your important data. Part of the checkup mentioned in #1 above will include a review of your installed auto backup system.
  5. You will also want to ensure that you have your active research and any course materials synchronized to Google Drive. If you need help with that, the Information Services Team will be glad to assist.
  6. Consider how you plan to carry your computer with you… will you use a laptop bag or will you check it inside your luggage? If you plan to carry it with you, note that you must remove it from its bag at the TSA screening checkpoint.