Guidelines for computerized exams


The Common Law Section offers the opportunity to write computerized exams in selected courses to the students using the ExamSoft software, Softest. This application allows the students to use their personal laptops to complete their exams. In the following lines you will find all the information to install, set and use properly Softest.

Please note that the use of Softest for the exams is optional.

  • For a list of courses offering computerized exams please refer to the Exams Timetables.
  • It is possible, and recommended, to attend one of the ExamSoft information sessions.

What you need to know before registering to Softest

Access Service

If you are registered with Access Service, you must confirm your intention to use Softest no later than 10 days before the exam date to the Manager, Equity & Academic Success of the Common Law Section in order to ensure your additional time (if applicable) is correctly allocated.

If you are registered with Access Service, please note that you must inform the Manager, Equity & Academic Success ( of your intentions to use SofTest during an accommodated exam at Access Service during a regular exam period. A deadline to confirm your intention will be communicated to you before each regular exam period. For exams taking place outside of the regular December exam period, you must confirm your intention to use ExamSoft no later than 10 days before the exam date. We must be aware ahead of time to ensure your additional time (if applicable) is correctly allocated in SofTest and so that a laptop-compatible space is reserved for your exam.

Fee Policy

  • A one-time CAD$30 license fee applies per student per academic year (valid for multiple exams).
  • The fee is payable upon registration and a scholarship is available under certain conditions.
  • No refund available once you are registered on the software, even if you decide to handwrite the exam.

ExamSoft specifications requirements

  • Do not use a small Notebook or a tablet / Ipad for your computerized exams.

Register and install SofTest on you computer

  • An email will be sent to your uOttawa email account with the login and password information prior to the ExamSoft information/download sessions.

Step 1: Sign-up following the link:

Enter your first name and last name, email address, student number and password. You will be able to reset your password after the initial login.

Step 2: Download SofTest

Step 3: Register SofTest

Once registered, a notification will confirm it and an email will be sent to the address you provided in Step1.


Practicing SofTest: Download and take a Mock exam

Once SofTest is installed and registered, familiarize yourself by taking a Mock Exam. It can be saved and uploaded up to ten times. We recommend that you take at least one Mock Exam before each exam period.

Remember it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with your computer, Softest and the instructions provided on the ExamSoft website prior to the exam.

Recommended verifications before every exam period

Check for sufficient free hard drive space on your computer.

Operating System

  • Verify is the current version is compatible with SofTest.
  • Ensure no automatic updates are scheduled during the period of the exam.
  • Check the computer’s time and time zones are correct.
  • Select the correct language settings.

Virus / Anti-virus

  • Ensure that your computer is virus-free.
  • Check for the latest version of your anti-virus. If more than one antivirus is installed, make sure to disable / uninstall them.
  • For Microsoft users, please note that Windows 8 and later versions contain a built-in anti-virus, Windows Defender.
  • If you notice the antivirus blocks Softest or prevents from a correct use of the application then the antivirus must be temporarily deactivated for the period of the exam.
  • Make sure before the exam you have enough battery to run through the entire period.
  • Exam takers who are not comfortable with the software before exam day can still consider handwriting their exam.

Download your exam files prior to the first day of exams

For each term, prior to your first day of exams, download the complete list of exams on your laptop. You will receive an email when your exam file is available to download.

The following steps are applicable to both Mac and Windows operating systems:

1.Click on the SofTest icon

l’icone SofTest

2.Click on "Download Exam Files"

Download Exam Files

3.Enter your ID and Password then click "Next"

3.Entrez votre numéro d’identifiant et votre mot de passe

4.When the list of exams is displayed, select the exam(s) you want to download and click on the "Download" button. If the exam(s) you wish to download is not included on the list of exams, please contact Examsoft.

4.Sélectionnez le ou les examen(s) que vous souhaitez télécharger

5.Click on "OK" on the pop-up "Success" box.

5.Cliquez sur

6.Click "Done" on the "Download Exams" box.

6.Cliquez sur

7.On exam day

Please remember to bring the following items with you:

  • laptop,
  • power cord, battery, extension cord,
  • eduroam Wi-Fi Login and password,
  • Your student ID card. Pay a careful attention the preferred name matches the one on the invigilators’ lists,
  • ExamSoft login and password,
  • Pen and hard copies of any allowed materials to open books exams.
  • Arrive to the exam room no later than 15 minutes before the scheduled exam time.
  • Typists will sit in the back of the room, hand-writers in the front of the room.

Important NOTES:

If you arrive late to your exam, during the period where ID’s are being verified or if the exam has already started, no extra time will be granted. It is your responsibility to bring your identification to each exam. If you have lost your student ID card, you need to obtain a new one before the start of the exam period.

Please note that software users will be required to handwrite their exam if technical issues cannot be addressed successfully (in 5 minutes or less). Extra time will not be granted for time spent resolving computer failures once the exam has started.

Academic regulations pertaining to exam invigilation and academic integrity apply equally to hand-writers and software users. Please refer to Rule 5: Invigilation of Examinations and Rule 24: Academic Fraud.

Launching SofTest

  1. Double-click the SofTest icon on your Windows Desktop or single-click the SOFTEST icon from the Applications folder or Dock on your Mac. 
    l’icone SofTest
  2. Click the TAKE AN EXAM button.
    take exam
  3. Select your exam from the AVAILABLE EXAMS drop-down list. Text should appear in the ‘Exam Name’ field. If it does not, please notify the proctor.
  4. Enter your Exam Taker ID in the ID field and enter the password provided by the proctor.
  5. Click START to begin the exam.
    Cliquez sur START pour commencer l’examen
  6. Read each Notice window carefully and click ‘OK’ to move on to the next window. STOP when the last Notice window with the RED SIGN appears
  7. Only on instruction, type ‘begin’ and click the BEGIN button. Follow the invigilator’s instructions on when to turn over the hard copy exam questions and begin typing.

8. Functions and formatting and tips

  • SofTest automatically backs-up and saves your answers into an encrypted file on your computer hard drive every 60 seconds. You can also save manually.
  • You can undo up to 50 previous actions.
  • If you Delete/Cut/Overwrite more than 500 characters, you will receive a warning.
  • Compose your answers in SofTest corresponding to the questions in the hard copy exam. For instance, type your answer to Question 1 in the screen for Question 1.
  • Proceed to the next screen to type the answer to the next question by clicking the forward arrow at the top of the screen. Review previous answers by clicking the back arrow.
  • When leaving your seat. (I.e. washroom break), block your screen by selecting ACTIONS then HIDE EXAM in the SofTest menu. Click OK: to unhide your exam.
  • Once closed, the exam file cannot be reopened.


9. After completion of Exam- Answer File Upload

  • When the invigilator tells you to stop typing, EXIT SofTest by clicking the EXIT/SAVE button.
    exit or save
  • Click the CLOSE EXAM button
    close exam
  • In the next window, click the EXIT & UPLOAD button.

The penalty for continuing to type or write after you have been instructed to stop tying or writing and to close your exam is to subtract 10% of the value of the examination from the student’s grade. THIS RULE WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.

UPLOAD your exam answers, immediately after the exam. Do not leave the exam room until your exam file has been uploaded.

At the end of the exam, the invigilator will circulate the class list and you will be required to sign out and indicate that you wrote a computerized exam on the appropriate column. You must also submit the exam questionnaire. Please note that you will not be permitted to leave the exam room until done.

  • SofTest Upload Confirmation Message

Once you exit your exam, SofTest will search for an Internet connection. If an Internet connection is available, SofTest will automatically upload your answer file. If you do not have an internet connection ready at that time, you will have to close SofTest, get an internet connection and relaunch SofTest. The exam file will upload automatically.

uploading answer files

If your answer file is uploaded successfully, you will receive a confirmation message screen.

your files uodated successfully

You will receive a confirmation email for each answer file you upload. Some email providers delay or block emails considered as spams. If you fail to receive your confirmation email, it could be due to your email server. As such, please do not contact ExamSoft Support. Instead, remember to visit your Exam Download/Upload History page to confirm your answer file uploaded.

You should not delete exam answer files from your laptop until all grades are posted at the end of the year.

10. Student exam accommodation

Students who require accommodations through Student Academic Success Service and the Manager, Equity and Academic Success  must communicate with the Manager, Equity and Academic Success prior to the deadline to indicate their intention of using ExamSoft at the Student Academic Success Service.

A student receiving accommodations may choose to write their exams using the computerized option via the ExamSoft software. However please note that the software is not an adaptive exam measure and a licensing fee is applicable. Please contact the Common Law Student Centre should you require additional information.

11. Support

Should you have questions before or after your exam, ExamSoft offers live customer support via phone, email or chat. Students who encounter technical difficulties while installing the SofTest software should contact ExamSoft technical support directly at toll-free 1-866-429-8889 or

The best way to prepare yourself is to attend an ExamSoft Information/download session and to attempt the mock/practice exam available for download through your account prior to the exam.

12. ExamSoft Questions and Answers

For quick and convenient answers to your questions, please visit ExamSoft Frequently Asked Questions section found under the Exam Takers page of the Knowledge Base website. 

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