Loyola University Chicago

Institute for Paralegal Studies

Waiver Exam

The Institute's required course, PLST 345 Law Office Computer Applications, is intended to help you develop computer skills specifically for the legal workplace. The course is not intended as an introduction to basic computer programs, such as those in Microsoft Office, which all are expected to know.

The waiver exam may be taken by students to demonstrate sufficient computer competency (through previous education or experience) to justify a waiver of the required course, PLST 345 Law Office Computer Applications.

Passing this exam does not award credit for PLST 345 (University policy prohibits credit by examination). You will take another 2-s.h. course instead to complete your certificate requirements. If you wish, you may take one of the advanced computer classes, for which PLST 345 is a prerequisite. A passing grade is a minimum of 74% (University policy mandates a letter grade of no lower than C- for required courses).

A student may attempt this test no more than twice. If the student does not receive a passing grade after two attempts, the student must take PLST 345.

Test Content

The test comprises hands-on work in four programs: Microsoft Word (30% of grade), Microsoft Excel (30%), Adobe Acrobat(30%), and Microsoft PowerPoint (10%).

The skills required to be demonstrated are listed below for each program. You will be asked to demonstrate them in a typical law office context (e.g., a table of current cases, a billing spreadsheet).

Word, Microsoft (30%)

  • Edit text using the track changes function
  • Create and format a table
  • Format text within a table
  • Sort data within a table

Spreadsheet, Microsoft Excel (30%)

  • Create a spreadsheet
  • Format text and cells within a spreadsheet
  • Use formulas in the spreadsheet

Adobe Acrobat (30%)

  • Create pdfs from a Word and an Excel document
  • Create a pdf from a Web page
  • Combine multiple pdfs into a single pdf document
  • Add security to a pdf
  • Redact a pdf
  • Add Bates numbers to a pdf
  • Add bookmarks and sub-bookmarks to a pdf

PowerPoint, Microsoft (10%)

  • Assemble a short presentation
  • Insert clipart and word art into your presentation
  • Add slide transitions or slide animation
  • Display speaker notes with the presentation