Using Bootcamp to Take Law School Exams

Except for a small bug (or possible feature) in Examsoft failing to lock the Windows screen reader, my last final exam went off without a hitch this morning. When I got to the exam room, I booted into Windows and loaded Examsoft just as anyone using a conventional Windows laptop does. I put in the exam password and the computer rebooted into the Examsoft interface. Here’s where things become amusing.

I had neglected to mute the speakers on the MacBook Pro before booting into Examsoft. Normally this is no big deal since the only sounds which should come from the machine are the startup and shutdown sounds. At this point, things are fine.

When I started writing, I instinctively created headings using bold, italics, and underline format. Since my muscles have adapted to the Apple keyboard setup I hit Apple, U I B. I’m not sure if I had fat fingers but by putting in this combination the Windows Accessability Screen Reader window popped up.

So much for shutting down all applications except for Examsoft.
My fear was that the reader would start reading everything on the screen including what I typed. Carefully I started typing and no sound emmerged. All was well for the next three hours.

I finished a little early, though I wasn’t the first one done, so I decided to close up shop. I exited Examsoft and the screen reader began its dictation. I start hitting OK like a madman trying to get the voice to shut up. I couldn’t switch to the screen reader command window since Examsoft locks alt-tab. The best part was a dialog box for something which prompted the screen reader to say, “Foreground window! Foreground window!” over and over again.

Finally the computer shutdown and began booting Windows. I quickly grabbed my iPod headphones and jammed them into the headphone jack in the hopes that there would be no sound. This failed miserably. There goes the reader again‚ dictating things I could read myself.

Luckily the reader control window popped up on reboot so I could stop it, which I did. At that point I grabbed an IP address and submitted my test.
In conclusion, I see no problem with using Examsoft with Bootcamp on a MacBook Pro. The only problems I ran into were caused by a combination of Examsoft and Windows, not the Mac hardware.

Hopefully my experience will help Examsoft patch some holes so I can use this beautiful machine on the Bar exam.

I'm now officially done with law school. Good times, great oldies.