The policies and procedures found in this section may apply to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Students can obtain the latest Examination Schedules as well as the newest version of the Handbook of Academic Regulations from the Current courses & registration information page.
Please familiarize yourself with the following two documents:
- McGill University Student Assessment Policy [.pdf]
- Information & Regulations for Faculty of Law Examinations (rev. Nov. 2013) [.docx]
Exam Numbers (midterm and final exam numbers - term specific)
All students have been assigned a 4-digit term specific Midterm Exam Number in addition to a final exam number. The Midterm Exam Number is available to students now on Minerva. It is to be used for sit-down midterm exams and midterm take-home exams only. N.B. The midterm exam number is not available for in-course assignments.
Access your exam numbers via Minerva. Exam numbers are located under the “Student Menu”. Click on “Registration Menu” and go to the “Check your Registration Eligibility and Verify your curriculum” page. Le Numéro d’examen se trouve à la gauche, au-dessus de “Earned Credits”. Only your Law Exam numbers for the current term will be displayed (previous terms will not be available). Veuillez mémoriser vos numéros d’examens.
Students will be permitted to use their laptops to write a sit-down midterm exam using the software “Softest” or retrieving and uploading a midterm take home exam via the ExamSoft website. Please check with the instructor to confirm laptop usage for the midterm exam.
The FINAL EXAM NUMBER (ALPHA) is to be used during the final examination period ONLY (April 14 – 29, 2014). Final Exam Numbers are used for both sit-down exams and take-home exams.
The numbers are viewable on Minerva as of early November and early March.
Pilot Project – SofTest Open Book: For a very limited number of courses: the Faculty will again this winter term participate in a pilot project using a laptop software version that will allow you to access files or folders stored on your computer, but your internet access will be disabled while you are taking the exam (referred to as "SofTest Open Book"). Please check with the instructor for participation in this pilot project. Nous visons des cours ayant un examen à livres ouverts où les étudiants auraient besoin de consulter des documents sur ordinateur (recueil de cas, sommaires, lectures, etc.), une inscription de 35 étudiants ou moins. Pour les fins de ce projet pilote, les cours de 1re année et les cours de deux sessions sont exclus. You MUST complete a Pilot Project Mock Exam (exam needs to be downloaded) one week before your first exam and test the software under “live” conditions. Any difficulties experienced during the Mock exam must be reported to the SAO as soon as possible.
SofTest now available for testing
If you intend to use your laptop during a sit down examination, you will be required to use SofTest. If you already have SofTest on your laptop from a previous term, you do NOT need to download the software again. The software will automatically update once you login.
The software is now available for testing. To log in you will use your McGill ID Number. The password is your current term specific Exam Number (midterm exam number for midterm exams; final exam number for final exams) prefaced by the case sensitive word law e.g. law#### (no spaces, no hyphens). Access your term specific Exam Number via Minerva before exams begin. It is displayed under the “Student Menu”, click on “Registration Menu” and go to the “Check your Registration Eligibility and Verify your curriculum” page. Your Law Exam Number is listed on the left, just above “Earned Credits.” If for any reason you do not see a Law Exam number on Minerva, email the SAO.
Information regarding the ExamSoft and a French OS is to be updated shorlty.
The Registration Process involves the three steps needed to acquire SofTest. Instructions available here: www.examsoft.com/mcgill.
If you have any questions or issues with registration, contact the SAO or the IT Personnel located in room 511 NCDH. You must take a Mock exam (exam needs to be downloaded) 48 Hours before your exam.
The Examination Agreement is available on www.examsoft.com/mcgill, it involves questions designed to confirm that students agree to the terms of the laptop policy. Any attempt to disable or tamper with SofTest’s security features will be considered a violation and subject to disciplinary actions. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with your equipment and the SofTest software and instructions provided by ExamSoft on its website prior to the start of your exam. Please allow yourself sufficient time to become familiar with your laptop and the application. Commencement of the exam will not be delayed due to a hardware problem with your laptop.
Download instructions on using SofTest software for sit-down exams [.pdf]
Click to watch this video on how to access ExamSoft:
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Faculty of Law, McGill University - Examination Agreement
The Examination Agreement involves questions designed to confirm that students agree to the terms of the laptop policy.
The following are the components of the Examination Agreement:
- I elect to write one or more of my law examinations using a laptop with the approved McGill University software during the examination period. I recognize that this is a 3rd party application, and that neither McGill University nor the Faculty of Law is responsible for its proper functioning.
- I confirm that I have read and understood the instructions provided on the ExamSoft web site.
- I confirm that the laptop I will use during exams meets the minimum requirements by the software and that the laptop has access to the McGill wireless network.
- I confirm that once I have completed this agreement, I will download and install "ExamSoft" software. I will follow the tutorial and test the software in “real time” prior to use in an exam. N.B. During the testing of the software, students are strongly encouraged to leave the software open for more than .5hours within the confines of NCDH.
- I confirm that I understand that non-compliance with numbers 1 through 5 of this agreement will result in me not being permitted to use a laptop during final examinations.
- If the laptop I am using fails during the exam, I will alert the invigilator and agree to continue and finish the exam by handwriting it. I understand that no extra time will be allowed for attempts to resolve the computer problems during the exam. If the incomplete examination cannot be retrieved within two working days, the Associate Dean (Academic) will determine remedial options.
- I understand that, should it be necessary, ICS staff (located in room 511 NCDH) is available to trouble-shoot any difficulties encountered with the approved software (a 3rd party application). I will be asked to sign an IST Customer Services-Computer Repair Waiver acknowledging that ICS staff will not be held responsible for any theft, loss or damage (to hardware or software) occurring during the diagnosis or repair of a personal computer or laptop, or for any loss of data, regardless of when it was lost.
If you encounter any difficulties, contact the Student Affairs Office.
Loaner laptops will not be available for midterm examinations.
Si vous voulez emprunter un portable, prière d'en aviser le SAÉ (SAO) dès que possible et au plus tard le 10 avril 2014. Un nombre limité d'ordinateurs portables sont disponibles sur la base du premier arrivé, premier servi. Nous ne pouvons malheureusement pas garantir la disponibilité d’un portable.
Ce service est disponible par le biais du ICS-Walk in Support/AV Centre, situé au 688, Sherbrooke Ouest, local 285. Les étudiants doivent effectuer une demande au moins deux jours avant la date de l’examen et peuvent garder le portable pour un maximum de deux jours. Ils doivent télécharger le logiciel et le tester au préalable. Ils devront aussi s’assurer de créer une copie de sauvegarde de leur examen sur une clé USB.
Students experiencing technical difficulties with the software are to contact the SAO or the IT support staff located in room 511 NCDH.
Take-home exams will be downloaded from and submitted to the ExamSoft website at www.examsoft.com/mcgill. The SofTest software is not used for take home exams.
Instructions on How to download & submit a take home exam using ExamSoft [.pdf].
Take-home exams must be completed within the examination period. You may submit at any time of the day or night, any day of the week, including weekends, as long as you respect the time constraints of the exam. Voici quelques suggestions pour les étudiants écrivant un examen maison :
Vérifiez la durée de votre examen maison (6 heures – 72 heures). En cas d’incertitude ou d’ambigüité, demandez au chargé de cours de clarifier cette information en classe.
Les étudiants sont fortement encouragés à lire le guide de McGill sur le plagiat.
Utilisez la page de présentation que vous fournit le Secrétariat des études pour votre examen maison (voir "Cover Page").
Vous devez vous identifier UNIQUEMENT au moyen de votre numéro d’examen de ce semestre (nom de document et page titre). La soumission se fait électroniquement par le biais du programme ExamSoft : www.ExamSoft.com/mcgill.
Students will find all exam schedules available for download on the SAO's Current courses & registration information page.
Pour être admis dans la salle d’examen, chaque étudiant doit présenter sa carte d’identité McGill au personnel responsable de la surveillance de l’examen. Un numéro de siège vous sera remis au hasard. Ce numéro correspond à la place où vous devrez vous asseoir pour compléter l’examen.
Your McGill ID card and seat card must remain on the desk throughout the examination.
Les présences seront notées 15 ou 20 minutes après le commencement de l’examen.
ALL STUDENTS MUST REMAIN SEATED until the invigilator(s) have picked up your exam and you have signed out. Invigilators have been instructed to report the names of students who do not respect this policy.
Upon completion of the exam, you MUST sign out on the attendance sheet. If using a laptop, you are not permitted to leave the exam room until you have successfully uploaded your exam answer (a green congratulations message indicates your exam was uploaded successfully).
La personne responsable de la surveillance de l’examen prendra en note l’heure officielle du début et de la fin de l’examen.
When the invigilator announces the end of the examination you MUST STOP WRITING. Invigilators have been instructed to report the names of students who continue to write/type to the SAO. This is a serious offence and will not be tolerated.
Tout appareil électronique permettant de récupérer, de mémoriser ou de communiquer des informations (baladeur, téléphones cellulaires, téléavertisseurs, etc.) ne peut être utilisé lors d’une séance d’examen en salle. Vous devez absolument les éteindre et les laisser dans vos sacs ou vos casiers. If found, these items will be confiscated by the invigilator and turned over to the SAO. You are NOT permitted to use your laptop to access the web, class notes, summaries or any other saved information during an exam unless part of the December 2013 pilot project – please check with the instructor for participation in this pilot project.
Tout étudiant sera accompagné pour se rendre à la salle des toilettes. Il doit tout d’abord en aviser le surveillant, qui l’autorisera à se rendre aux toilettes lorsqu’un accompagnateur sera disponible.
Back up your work
Comme la fin de session approche, le Secrétariat des études vous rappelle de bien sauvegarder vos travaux. L’autorisation de différer un examen ou de prolonger la date de remise d’un travail ne vous sera pas nécessairement accordée si vous ne réussissez pas à récupérer les documents perdus. We strongly suggest multiple forms of back up: USB, forward to McGill email account, network space. Students have a limit of 100MB on their P: drives. For more information on storage space, see the McGill IT Knowledge Base article on File Storage and File Management..
Students can log onto Minerva to retrieve their assigned mid-term and final Law Exam number (term specific). This number is located under the “Student Menu”. Click on “Registration Menu” and go to the “Check your Registration Eligibility and Verify your curriculum” page. The Law Exam number will be listed on the left, just above “Earned Credits”. Only your Law Exam numbers for the current term will be displayed (previous terms will not be available). Please memorize your exam number.
Randomized seating and attendance sheets
You must present your McGill ID card to the invigilator prior to entering the exam room; the invigilator will give you a random seat number.
The seat number will correspond to the desk where you MUST write your examination. You are not permitted to exchange the seat card with one of your peers. The seat card must remain on your desk at all times. Once you have completed your exam, the seat card must be returned to the invigilator with your completed examination.
Attendance will be taken within the first 15-20 minutes of the exam starting. You will be required to provide your printed name, signature, and seat number on the attendance sheet.
Upon completion of the exam, you are also required to sign out by printing your initials and the number of exam books submitted on the attendance sheet.
If using a laptop, you are not permitted to leave the exam room until you have successfully uploaded your exam answer (a green congratulations message indicates your exam was uploaded successfully).
Term papers and all term essay deadlines
All courses being evaluated by a Term Paper and all Term Essays are to be submitted electronically to the SAOAssignments [dot] law [at] mcgill [dot] ca on April 23, 2014, no later than 15h00 unless an earlier deadline has been established. Veuillez vérifier auprès de votre chargé de cours si l’identification se fait à l’aide de votre nom ou de votre numéro d’examen. Please use the cover page found on the SAO's forms page: Essay forms: Cover page for written work.
Language of examinations
Students are reminded of the following Faculty policy: “Examinations are set in the language in which a course is given, but may contain materials in either French or English.” (Reg. 20).
Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD)
Services are available through the Office of Student with Disabilities (OSD). Students with temporary or permanent disabilities who require accommodations for final exams must meet with the Director or Access Services Advisor to determine eligible accommodations. For Final examinations, students MUST complete and submit a Request for Special Testing Arrangements-Final Examinations form by 10 October of that term for December exams, and by 10 February of that term for April exams.
Students may not make a Law course selection that produces an exam schedule conflict.
Students who may find themselves with an exam conflict between a non-law and law course may be required to write the law examination in advance of the regular examination date, normally on the first available work day preceding the regular examination. Students will be asked to sign a confidentiality form confirming that they will not discuss the examination with anyone until after the regular examination has been written.
A conflict is defined as two overlapping examinations, or three consecutive examinations in two days.
The deadlines are listed in the current academic year's Student Calendar of Key Dates found in the Current courses & registration information page. These deadlines are approximately at the end of November for the Fall term and at the end of March for the Winter term. Students are responsible for checking the Calendar of Key Dates document to ascertain the exact dates.
- Students are advised not to make travel plans prior to the release of the Final Exam Schedule.
- Vacation plans do not constitute grounds for the deferral or re-scheduling of final exams.
Schedule conflicts with religious holy days
Students may apply for special examination arrangements for an examination that falls during religious holy days. Students must contact the SAO to make arrangements. Deadlines are listed in the current academic year's Student Calendar of Key Dates found in the Current courses & registration information page. These deadlines are approximately at the end of November for the Fall term and at the end of March for the Winter term. Students are responsible for checking the Calendar of Key Dates document to ascertain the exact dates.
Students with a conflict will be required to write the examination in advance of the regular examination, normally on the first available work day preceding the regular examination. Students will be asked to sign a confidentiality form confirming that they will not discuss the examination with anyone until after the regular examination has been written.
For more information, please refer to McGill's Policy for the Accommodation of Religious Holy Days.
Please review the Faculty Regulations 45 – 47 (the Handbook of Academic Regulations can be downloaded from the Current courses & registration information page.)
45. Deferred evaluations: Deferred examinations or other evaluations are permitted where a candidate has been excused from earlier assessments or regular examinations by reason of illness or analogous causes. These are granted at the discretion of the Dean or the Dean's delegate and subject to such conditions as are from time to time established and posted in the Faculty. Applications for deferred examinations and evaluations must be made through the Student Affairs Office.
46. Regulations for deferred evaluations: Where a deferred examination or other evaluation has been taken, the regulations respecting regular examinations, term papers and essays shall, in so far as possible, apply. In such cases, the regulations respecting evaluation of studies shall apply.
47. Failures in deferred evaluations: However, where a candidate receives a failing final grade after re-reading by the co-examiner, the grade received is final. In special circumstances, the Dean or the Dean's delegate may permit candidates receiving a failing grade to undertake special supplemental evaluation.
Note that there cannot be a further deferral or a supplemental evaluation for an approved deferral examination.
Documentation (as per below) in support of a deferral request will be required and must be attached to the Application Deferral Request form.
- Signed letter or certificate, from an attending physician, confirming the consultation date(s), nature and duration of illness. (Must demonstrate significant impact on the student’s performance).
- Statement from Counsellor.
- Death certificate or other proof of death.
- Letter(s) of support (other than personal letter)
- Other documents (briefly explain)
If you have already written an examination, you cannot later request for the exam to be deferred. You should consult the Student Affairs Office regarding the availability of supplemental examinations.
For each deferred exam that is approved, an “L” (deferred) will appear on your record beside the course; it will not appear on official transcripts after the final grade has been determined.
The format of the deferred exam may not necessarily be identical to the final exam of the same course.
Deferred and supplemental examinations in law take place in August. The exam schedule will be released during the summer months on the SAO web site. It is the student’s responsibility to inform themselves of the schedule and ensure availability to write the exam.
Exact dates for August may be found on the SAO's Current Deadlines page.
The Deferred and supplemental schedule will be posted on the front page of the SAO site.
No provision can be made for further deferral of supplemental or deferred examinations.
Les examens de reprise ont lieu à la Faculté de droit du 11 au 22 août 2014. L’horaire des examens de reprise sera disponible à la fin du mois de juin et pourra être consulté à partir du site web du Secrétariat aux études. It is the student’s responsibility to verify the schedule and ensure availability to write the exams as scheduled.
The examination schedule for deferred and supplemental exams will be posted on the SAO website. It is the student’s responsibility to check the schedule on the SAO web site and inform themselves of exam dates and times.
N’hésitez pas à nous faire part de vos questions au sao [dot] law [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Secrétariat aux études).
A student who fails to obtain credit for a required course and who does not write, or who fails, the supplemental examination, must re-register for that course in the next term in which it is offered.
Regular supplemental examinations are available to a student who has failed a course, but is not required to withdraw from the Faculty. Regular supplemental examinations may be written in up to two courses which do not exceed a total of seven credits together, or in any one course even if it exceeds seven credits.
The grade received on a supplemental examination is final. Both the original grade and the supplemental grade appear on the student's transcript and are factored into the GPA.
No provision can be made for further deferral of supplemental or deferred examinations.
Procedures for supplemental and deferred examinations
Supplemental and deferred examinations are written at the Law Faculty in the month of August. A student who has failed a course in the final year of studies may be permitted, upon application, to write a special supplementary examination at a time other than August.
Students who wish to write supplemental examinations for certain courses must apply via Minerva.
All failed examination papers are automatically re-read by the co-examiner, and considered according to the procedures discussed below.
All written assignments in a course for which a failing final grade is assigned by the examiner are automatically re-read by the co-examiner before the communication of final grades in the course.
Graduate students should refer to the GPSO regulations under section 10.5 Graduate Studies Reread Policy.
Rereads of failed examinations
Rereads of failing assignments: All written assignments in a course for which a failing final grade is assigned by the examiner are automatically re-read by the co-examiner before the communication of final grades in the course.
Review of final evaluations
Students should note that the organization of reviews of final evaluations imposes a significant administrative burden on the Faculty and that they should not be routinely requested for disappointing results. The original grades awarded are treated with significant deference by the co-examiner or reviewer and are only changed when the reviewer finds that original grade assigned is an unreasonable assessment of the merits of the student’s work. This recognizes the possibility that another grade could have been awarded, but maintains the original grade unless it falls outside the range of acceptable outcomes, giving consideration to the justification and intelligibility of the original decision. Although grades will only rarely be changed, reviewers may award a lower grade if the original grade is found to be unreasonably high.
There is a Rereading Examination paper fee applied to each grade review that does not result in an increased grade.
- Students may request the review of a final grade (guaranteed by section 14(b) of the Charter of Students' Rights). This review shall be performed by the co-examiner or, in the case where there is no co-examiner, by a member of Faculty ("the reviewer"), designated by the Dean or the Dean's delegate, in consultation with the member of Faculty or Instructor originally responsible for the student's evaluation.
- Subject to rule 3, such a request must be made in writing and on the appropriate form to the SAO, within fourteen days of the posting of the final marks for the course. Before making this request, the student must have met with the member of the Faculty or Instructor originally responsible for the student's evaluation to review the mark. Without this meeting, the request for a review will not be accepted.
- When the first available date for a meeting with the member of Faculty or Instructor originally responsible for the student's evaluation is outside the fourteen day period contemplated in rule 2, the student must make arrangements within the fourteen day period for a later meeting. Students must SAO [dot] law [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email the SAO) that the meeting with the instructor will be outside the 14 day period. The request for review must be made no later than seven days following this meeting.
- The task of the co-examiner or reviewer is not to determine what grade he or she would have assigned the work in question, but to determine whether the grade assigned by the Instructor was reasonable. In reviewing the grade, the co-examiner or reviewer shall consult, the case permitting, at least three other examinations or other evaluation exercises from the same class. Where this procedure cannot be followed, any procedure deemed appropriate by the co-examiner or reviewer may be adopted, including consulting with the member of Faculty or Instructor originally responsible for the student's evaluation.
- Where, after completing his/her review, the co-examiner or reviewer comes to the conclusion that the mark originally assigned does not constitute a reasonable appraisal of the merit of the student's work, the co-examiner or reviewer shall consult with the member of Faculty originally responsible for the student's evaluation and seek an explanation. If there is a disagreement between the member of Faculty originally responsible for the student's evaluation and the co-examiner or reviewer, the latter's recommendation shall prevail.
- A mark can be increased or decreased as a result of the review process.
- A Reading Examination Paper Fee for each review will be charged directly to the student’s McGill account if the result of review results in an unchanged or lowered grade. If the grade is increased, no charge will be processed.
- All F grades will continue to be reviewed automatically prior to the Faculty's Marks Meeting, in accordance with the procedure already existing in the Faculty Regulations. There will be no further review following this procedure.