William and Mary Law School

Rules and Policies about Exams

  1. The presumption is that all exams are closed-book. Individual faculty may choose to give open-book exams. However, unless a faculty member specifically announces an open-book exam, you should assume the exam is closed-book.
  2. The preferred method of writing in-class exams is on computer.  The use of computers on exams is governed by policy.   But, you may choose to write your in-class exam in blue books. These are available in the College Bookstore. Get an ample supply early on.   All take-home exams or exams in excess of 4 hours in length are expected to be typed.
  3. Exams are identified by examination number only. You are assigned one random seven-digit number each semester. This exam code number will be emailed to you after it is generated. The examination numbers for each current semester will be generated after add/drop of that semester.
    • Your exam code number is to be placed as a header on each exam answer page and to be written on the exam question sheet.
    • By default, Microsoft Word saves the author's name with all documents that that author creates. Word does allow you to disable this feature for a particular document to ensure the anonymity of exams. You should take steps to remove this identifying information.
  4. Read all directions carefully. Some exams are open book, some are closed book; some questions have word limits, some do not. Be certain you know the rules before beginning the exam. When in doubt, ask. 
  5. Each scheduled examination  is administered in an assigned room. One or more classroom is designated for those who handwrite their exam.  One classroom is designated for make-up exams. Some faculty ask that you take the examination in the assigned room only, others allow you to go to the other designated areas, and still others allow you to take the exam anywhere within the building. BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT RESTRICTIONS EXIST. Do not assume that because you were able to take exam "a" in the library that you can take exam "b" there as well. Regularly scheduled exams must be taken within the Law School building.  The start time for all scheduled exams is noted on the exam schedule.  The start time is not the time you should arrive to the scheduled exam classroom.  Arrive to the assigned classroom at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the scheduled exam.
  6. If you are permitted to take your exam in the library and you elect to do so, please remember that the normal activities of patrons and staff will continue as usual. Do not expect or request complete silence. 
  7. All exams are to be uploaded to MyLaw  no later than the stated end time of the exam. For in-class examinations of 4 hours or less, students will have 90 minutes to print their exam answers following uploading their exam to MyLaw.  For exams in excess of 4 hours (with the exception of some 1L exams which may extend to 5 hours), a printed copy of the exam answer is due at the stated end time of the exam.
  8. If you begin to feel panicky about exams you may want to call the College's Counseling Center at 221-3620. The staff there is very experienced and helpful. They are located in Blow Hall on the main campus. 
  9. If you feel ill before the exam, contact Dean Jackson immediately.  Once you begin an exam, it is difficult to accommodate your health condition.  However, if you become ill during the exam, contact Gloria Todd or Dean Jackson immediately.