PACIFIC WEST COLLEGE OF LAW
In order to preserve anonymity in examination grading, every student is assigned a student number which is used throughout the law school program. The student number is to be used on every examination paper in lieu of the student’s name or social security number. A student will jeopardize an examination grade by placing a name or an incorrect student number on an examination paper. The student number appears on the student schedule confirmation and the fee bill statement.
The normal policy at Pacific West is anonymous grading unless otherwise specified in the individual Syllabi.
Pacific West College of Law uses an anonymous grading system to protect students against favoritism or bias in grading, by assigning random student identification number, in all courses except performance courses where the student will be notified in the individual class syllabus.
The students are required to submit their examination answers only through their assigned student identification number.
Professors must submit the course grades only to Pacific West and not directly to the student.
Students are allowed to obtain copy of their final examination answers. Students have the right to petition for a review of their grade by following the petition procedures. For detailed information about petition policy and procedures click here.
BASIS OF GRADING
Each course syllabus contain the information as to the basis of grading for that course.
Mid-term examinations are given at the option of the instructor. Mid-term examinations generally are conducted at the usual meeting time and place of the class.
Because of the brevity of the PACIFIC WEST summer session, mid-term examinations are not given at that time.
If the instructor decides that if will be counted toward the course grade, the mid-term examination grade will comprise 15% of the final grade of each student in the course. (In the case of an elective course, there may been occasional deviation with respect to the percentage weight assigned to the mid-term examination or class project, depending upon the nature of the course.)
There are NO MAKE-UP EXAMINATIONS for any student who failed for any reason to take the mid-term examination, without the prior written consent of the Dean. There may be a fee charged for each make-up exam as determined by the Dean.
There will be no re-reading of mid-term examinations for the purpose of examination review and grade changes; mid-term examinations may be re-read for academic counseling purposes only.
The final exam usually will be given on the same day of the week and at the same time that a particular class meet. A schedule of final examinations is posted in the Academic Calendar.
Normally, the final examination consists of two Bar Exam-type essay questions with a time allowance of 60 minutes per question. Deviations in the questions given may occur, however, based upon course content and/or changes in curriculum and examination techniques. (For example, some final examinations contain Bar Exam-type objective questions in addition to the normal two subjective (essay) questions.)
Percentage of Final Grade
Final examination usually comprised 85% of the final grade. If the class has midterm. If no midterm then final exam comprised 100% of the final grade of a student in a course. (In the case of an elective course, there may been occasional deviation with respect to the percentage weight assigned to the final examination or class project, depending upon the nature of the course.)
A number of PACIFIC WEST courses span two semesters. The final examinations in the second semester of such courses normally emphasize second-semester work. However, second-semester finals may contain first-semester material, and the student is accountable for knowledge of such material. This is especially true for first-year sequential courses.
A student has the right to petition for a re read of their final examination answer(s) for the purpose of examination review and grade changes; the petition must be filed within 30 days after receipt of final grade, petition for re-read will be adjudicated by the Grade review/change Committee.
Exam sessions will begin promptly at the scheduled times. Normally, each essay answer will be allotted 60 minutes. If one question is completed in less than 60 minutes, the remaining time may be spent on the next question.
Any student who continues to write after the time has been called will be disqualified, and his/her papers will not be graded. The student will receive an “F” for the examination grade. In addition, writing overtime on an examination is “cheating” and is treated as such.
Each question is to be answered in a separate bluebook, appropriately labeled before the exam begins with the student number, the course, the instructor, and regularly scheduled meeting day of the class, and the question number. Do not put your name or social security number on the bluebook.
Turning in Papers
If the questions are completed before time is called, the students may leave after giving the bluebooks or typed answers to the examination proctor and signing the attendance sheet. Students will not be permitted to leave the examination room during the last 10 minutes of the exam. Students are to remain seated after time is called at the end of the exam. The proctor will instruct students as to the method of collecting examination bluebooks. Before leaving an exam, the student must sign the attendance sheet.
Students must refrain from discussing (or texting etc.) the examination at any time while in the examination room.
Typists on Lap Top Computers
Any student who wishes to type an examination may do so, the classrooms where exams are given are fully equipped for that purpose. In the event of Lap Top failure during the examination, the student must either try and reboot the lap top for a maximum period of 5 minutes or finish the examination using a pen and bluebooks. The school cannot guarantee electricity where power failure is beyond its control.
It is grounds for termination of a student’s exam session and a failing course grade to be given, for any student that uses computer memory that was recorded in their laptop prior to the beginning of the exam session.
Bluebooks are provided by the school free of cost at the beginning of each examination.
No books, notebooks, outlines, any study materials, tape players, or memory retention devices, should be brought into the classroom by students during exams. If they are, however, the proctor will require that such materials be stored at the front of the examination room during the examination.
Eating, Drinking and smoking
No eating, drinking or smoking is allowed in exam rooms except where medically necessary. Students may leave the room during the exam to go to the lounge or restroom, or if they complete the exam 10 minutes or more before time is called they may leave the school.
Persons who require food or drink for medical reasons should present a medical certificate to such effect to the proctor before the examination.
Non digital clock timers is NOT allowed only analog timers provided that such timer is does not make any noise and measures 4x4. Exam time is determined by the proctor who shall be based on the prominently displayed clock in the examination room. The ONLY clock used as basis of time during examination is the CLOCK displayed in the examination room.
Student examination answers are graded either by faculty or by attorneys or by law school graduates who are grading under the faculty’s direct supervision.
Taking Materials Outside Examination Room
Examination questions may not be taken from the examination room during the examination. A student may not remove bluebooks from the examination room under any circumstance.
Illness during Examination
A student who becomes so ill while taking an examination that the examination cannot be finished should first give the incomplete bluebook to the proctor and advice the proctor of the illness. Any student, even though ill, who finishes the examination and turns in the bluebooks cannot request subsequently that those bluebooks be waived (such a student may petition under special circumstances).
A medical certificate may be required to take a make-up examination, where the student who became ill is a first-year student, or is on probation, or is a graduating senior eligible for such make-up examination.
CHEATING ON EXAMINATIONS
CHEATING ON EXAMINATIONS
The Canons of Professional Ethics admonish the profession to “avoid the appearance of impropriety.” This admonition is equally applicable to law students while they are taking their examinations.
INORDER TO AVOID ANY PROBLEMS DURING EXAMINATIONS, STUDENTS MUST ADHERE TO THE FOLLOWING PRACTICES:
1. No student may bring any related books or papers into the room in which the examination is to be conducted. A student shall not access prior memory stored on any Lap top Computer device during any examination. A student may not use any electronic device (cell phones etc.) to obtain research or notes during any examination.
2. Personal items, such as purses, must be placed in the front of the room where they will be protected by the proctor on duty.
3. Scratch paper will be furnished by the proctor; thus, there is no need to bring any scratch paper into the examination room. Scratch paper will not be distributed until the beginning of the essay part of the exam in those courses having a multi-state exam. A student finishing the multi-state early may not use the extra time for the making of an outline to be used during the essay portion of the exam.
4. If the student has to leave the room during the examination, he/she cannot take any paper with him/her, including the questions themselves. Further, no student may leave the examination room without advising the proctor first and the reason.
5. The use of the telephone (cell phones, I-Pad, etc.) during examinations is prohibited. Any incoming call of an emergency nature will be relayed to the student concerned immediately upon receipt.
6. Students who are taking exams may not use the library at any time during the examination period. Librarians on duty will be furnished with copies of the rosters of classes taking examinations and have the authority to challenge any student whose name is on such roster.
7. The use of the bathrooms, or closets, for the purpose of looking at prepared outlines, or other related papers, is strictly prohibited.
8. Students who turn in one examination answer instead of answering all questions because they failed to realize that the examination contained more than one question will be graded on the one question for the entire examination grade. No make-up will be allowed on the other question(s), the grade(s) for which will be recorded as an “F”.
9. Students arriving late to begin an examination will not be given extra time to complete the examination.
10. Students, who claim that they took their bluebook(s) home, forgetting to turn them in, will not be given a chance to return them at a later time or date; instead such student will be given the grade of “F” for those particular examination question(s).
11. Any student who permits another person to substitute for him/her in taking any examination, or who pays another person to take the examinations(s) will be placed before the Ethical Standards Committee immediately. If both persons are currently students in school, both will go before that Committee; if a student and a member of the Bar conspire, the student will be placed before that Committee and all of the information concerning the Bar member will be sent directly to the Committee of Bar Examiners recommending immediate disbarment of such individual.
While it is impossible to list the entire situation under which cheating may occur, the faculty and administration intend to take every possible step to prevent it from happening. Since cheating is an “academic” matter, student caught cheating will be dismissed from PACIFIC WEST immediately.