Faculty and Student Information:
What Is ExamSoft?
ExamSoft is a secure testing solution that is used for high stakes exams. This software enables secure testing on student computers by blocking access to programs, files and Internet usage during the test. ExamSoft is not dependent on an internet connection while testing, which allows it to be used almost anywhere a laptop can be used. The client (vendor) used for testing students is SofTest.
Students are required to have a laptop for the duration of dental school. They are also required to have a well-fitting, functioning privacy screen appropriate for your laptop when you take examinations. The Office of Education recommends the “Gold Privacy Filter.”
Students are also required to have Whole Disk Encryption for their laptops and keep this encryption enabled as long as they are enrolled and connected to any UF resources. Here are the details:
The University of Florida requires students to have access to a computer system: UF Computer Requirement Policy
The College of Dentistry further requires students to have access to and on-going use of a laptop computer in order to be able to function in the current learning environment. Students are required to access electronic forms of information, submit assignments and communicate with other students and faculty electronically in the DMD program. A laptop computer ensures that computing capability is available to you at all times and in all locations.
In general, students can expect to need access to and ongoing use of a near state-of-the-art laptop computer. In other words, you will need daily access to a virtually new, fairly powerful computer with Internet access and printer. The choice of platform, Apple or PC and the brand of the laptop is up to you, so long as the requirements below are met.
Students are expected to purchase or lease a computer that is capable of network connection to the Internet, graphical access to the World Wide Web, electronic mail, and productivity functions such as word processing, presentation software and spreadsheet calculation. The cost of meeting this requirement is included in financial aid.
Laptops that use the following operating systems meet the UFCD requirement:
- Microsoft Windows 7 Pro (64 bit)
- Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro (64 bit)
- Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)
- Mac OS Mavericks (10.9)
- Mac OS Yosemite (10.10)
- MAC OS El Capitan (10.11)
Whole Disk Encryption products that may be used include:
- Macintosh OS X – FileVault2, PGP, TrueCrypt
- Microsoft Windows 7 Pro (64bit) – BitLocker, (PGP-delete)* note BitLocker requires a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) make sure that is built into the laptop
- Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro (64bit) – BitLocker, (PGP-delete)* note BitLocker requires a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) make sure that is built into the laptop
- Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64bit) – BitLocker, (PGP-delete)* note BitLocker requires a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) make sure that is built into the laptop
4GB of RAM space or more needs to be available.
For more detailed information about recommended operating systems go to: http://www.it.ufl.edu/policies/student-computing-requirements/
Please be aware that products in the computer world are constantly changing. Therefore, this requirement is evolving and will continue to evolve. You can expect it to change as the power, price and quality of computers change and as the needs of students in the college change. We make every effort to minimize the impact of changes in this requirement on our students.
If you’re buying a laptop, it’s wise to purchase the largest amount of RAM and the largest capacity hard drive, installed, that the computer manufacturer offers. While “netbook” (or ultraportable) computers and tablets offer many conveniences and may be suitable for some tasks that a student may be asked to perform, they also have significant limitations that make them inappropriate for use as a student’s primary computer.
We recommend that you buy or lease a name-brand computer with quality parts and components, seek as long a warranty as possible, and that you inquire about the company’s repair policies and turnaround times.
Keeping your machine and its software in good running condition is your responsibility. College personnel will not help you fix your computer or install software, and faculty are not obliged to accept any computer-related excuses for late or missing assignments.
Don’t forget about purchasing a well-fitting privacy screen for your laptop.
For more information about Computing at UF go to: http://helpdesk.ufl.edu/
Downloading the Software
Each student must have a personal laptop computer that meets the College of Dentistry recommended guidelines above. Students will be provided instructions for downloading the software to their laptops prior to the first day of orientation. Students must encrypt their laptops and insure their laptops are malware-free. Students will be notified of ExamSoft software updates throughout the year. It is the students responsibility to install these updates prior to the next scheduled examination.
Students will download the exams 48 hours prior to the exam. The exam is password protected. The password will be provided at the beginning of the exam.
IT Assistance During Testing Sessions
IT assistance will be provided by the Exam Manager at the time of the test. If more sever problems occur, an IT staff will be on call.
Exam – Day Procedures
Students must bring to the exam:
- Laptop with privacy screen attached.
- Laptop’s power cord if needed
- Pencil or pen to use on the scratch / exam comments paper. The scratch / exam comments paper will be provided.
The day of the exam it is important to follow key procedures to insure your test remains secure.
- All students must turn off all electronic devices other than their laptop and remove all belonging from their area. Bandwidth is limited and students will need this to successfully upload their exams.
- Students must put their personal effects in the lockers between the MDLs or other designated areas. This also applies to non-religious head coverings.
- The head proctor will open the room 10 minutes before the start of each session. A proctor must be present when students are in the facility. All absences (whether excused or unexcused) will be noted and reported to the course director and other appropriate staff.
- Students are assigned to specific numbered stations at random. The seating chart will be posted outside the exam room doors before the exam. Students should quickly find their station and be seated.
- Students must have privacy screens attached on their computer.
- Paper forms including space for the student’s name, course #, question #, and the student’s inquiry about the item will be distributed prior to the start of the examination. These forms will be collected by the designated exam proctors only after the students have completed their examination review and will be submitted to the course director for analysis.
- Students will be given the password to the exam and start the exam at the direction of the proctor. No talking or other communication is allowed once a testing session begins. Devices that make noise, must be silenced or left outside the room.
- Each exam session has a prearranged duration. A computerized warning is given when 5 minutes remain.
- Once an exam session begins, all personnel should refrain from conversing with examinees. This includes clarification or interpretation of exam questions. Students should note questions about the examination or errors in test questions on the scratch paper provided and turn this in after completing the exam. The head proctor has the discretion to provide critical information to the class when necessary to ensure smooth exam administration.
- In the event of a malfunction on an exam-taker’s computer that cannot be resolved quickly, a paper copy of the exam will be made available to the student.
- Before each student can leave the testing area, the proctor will verify that the student’s answer file has been uploaded by having the exam takers show their green confirmation window on their laptop.
- Students MUST turn in their scratch paper before leaving the examination.
Students are NOT allowed to reenter the testing room once they leave. This means students are generally not allowed to visit the bathroom and return to an exam session in progress, and students will not be allowed reentry to access the rooms’ kitchenettes. The proctor has the discretion to allow reentry on a case by case basis for personal emergencies or illness but this should be a rare occurrence. If a student does leave prematurely, they should close their laptop.
Under normal circumstances, there is NO provision to give extra time to students who arrive late. If the exam has started and is past the first 10 minutes, entry will not be permitted. Extensions or alternate testing times are possible for special situations, contact the Head Proctor.
Hallway and Locker Room Noise
At times students will congregate in the hallway outside the testing area. Those waiting outside the testing area should refrain from loud conversation and other disruptive behavior. Be courteous to those who may be taking exams.
From time to time a testing session is disrupted by unforseen events such as fire alarms and power failures. When this occurs, students are to turn off their laptops. This stops the clock and locks their testing station until the exam can resume. The Head Proctor will provide the students with a resume code to restart the exam.
Following exam completion, the Course Director can choose to allow 15 minutes for students to review the exam using the secure review feature in ExamSoft. This will allow students to compare their incorrect answers with the correct answers on each exam.
During the secure-review students will not be allowed to use any other electronic devices other than their laptop. Students may note questions about the examination or errors in test questions on the scratch paper provided and turn this in after completing the exam review. After completion of secure-review students will upload their answer files for the exam.
Examinees are bound by the University of Florida Honor code summarized by the following statement:
“On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid during this examination.”
PDAs, IPods, Google glasses, smart watches and similar devices, including “databank” watches, etc. are not allowed at any time. Calcuators may be allowed at the discretion of the course director. Use of ANY other electronic devices during an exam will be considered cheating.
The exam staff use an electronic system to track anomalies of all types, including suspected cheating and violations of the procedures outlined in this document. This information is periodically shared with the COD administration and corrective action will be taken as needed.
Releasing Final Grades
Students may be provided the initial raw score of each exam immediately upon completion of the exam at the discretion of the Course Director. The initial scores released upon completion of the exam are not representative of the final score, which will be released by the course faculty after reviewing the exam item analysis. The final scores for an exam will be posted within two weeks on ECO.
Students who are unable to attend class the day of the exam for reasons consistent with an excused absence must not download the exam file prior to the scheduled exam date. Students must schedule an exam make-up date with the course faculty well in advance of the exam date. Course faculty will re-release the exam to the student on the day of the make-up for download and testing. Students who download the exam file prior to the exam day and then do not attend the exam due to illness or emergency must not attempt to access the exam. Students must contact the course faculty to schedule a make-up examination. Course faculty will release the exam to the student on the day of the make-up for download and testing.
Testing Accommodations in ExamSoft
It is the responsibility of students who require testing accommodations to inform faculty of their need for testing accommodations and to provide information to the Office of Education and the Associate Dean for Student and Multicultural Affairs regarding the nature of these accommodations. The Office of Education in consultation with the Course Director will arrange the dates and locations of these examinations.