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Final Exams

The period of time during which examinations are scheduled is set forth in the academic calendar, which is available well prior to the start of each semester. Because the examination schedule is constructed so as to minimize conflicts, it cannot be prepared until the end of the drop/add period, when class enrollments have been finalized. The examination schedule is released as soon as possible, and ordinarily by the midpoint of the semester. Students must be available to take examinations throughout the allotted exam period: fairness to all students requires that rescheduling of examinations be minimized.

Examinations are rescheduled in only two circumstances:

  1. When a student has two or more examinations scheduled to begin during a 24-hour period (a 6 p.m. exam followed by a 1 p.m. exam the next day presents a conflict; a 6 p.m. exam followed by a 6 p.m. exam the next day does not); and
  2. When verifiable extraordinary, unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances (e.g., serious health problems of a student or a close family member) intervene.

Overlapping deadlines for papers or projects do not present a justification for rescheduling examinations. Take-home examinations are not considered in determining the existence of conflicts. Failure to take an exam (or approved make up exam) at the scheduled time, without the prior approval of the associate dean for academic affairs, constitutes failure to complete the work in the course. The student will receive an F, unless the student experienced an unpredictable and unavoidable emergency, which, in the judgment of the associate dean for academic affairs, justifies the failure to appear in a timely manner. In such an event, the associate dean for academic affairs may require the student to produce documentation verifying the existence of such an emergency.

Students who wish to request a rescheduling of an exam must prepare a written request on a form which can be obtained from the registrar. Whenever circumstances permit (for example, for 24-hour conflicts) requests must be submitted no later than two weeks after the exam schedule is released. If the request is predicated on an emergency, it should be submitted to the associate dean for academic affairs, unless said dean is the instructor. In such an event, the student should submit his or her request to the associate dean for student affairs or the college dean. In no event should students seek permission from a faculty member to reschedule an exam; if an exam is rescheduled, communication with a faculty member can compromise anonymity. Whenever possible, rescheduled examinations will be moved to a date earlier than the scheduled date.

To preserve anonymity, examinations are administered by proctors, rather than the instructors of the courses being examined. Proctors start each in-class exam and ensure that all examinations are properly administered and end on time. Proctors are instructed to contact the registrar or other appropriate staff to resolve any problems with an examination. They are also provided with instructors’ contact information and may contact them in the event of a substantive problem with the examination. Students must take examinations in the room assigned and may not bring any materials into the room other than those specifically permitted by the instructor.

Examinations are graded anonymously by the use of individually assigned exam numbers, which are randomly reassigned each semester. Students may access their examination numbers on a password protected website, or they may obtain their numbers in person after presenting a valid photo ID to the registrar. To preserve anonymity, students may not disclose their numbers until after all grades are received. Anonymous grading of seminar papers or projects which require consultation between a student and a faculty member may not be possible. All matters involving the taking of examinations are governed by the College of Law Honor Code.

Failure to Complete an Examination

A student who receives an examination is expected to finish it during the period for which the examination is scheduled. Students who do not complete examinations will be graded on what they submit during the examination period unless an exception based on exigent circumstances is granted by the associate dean for academic affairs. Such exceptions will be extremely rare and will be granted only if the student has notified the proctor of the examination of his/her inability to complete the exam and can establish the reason for such inability to the satisfaction of the associate dean.

Laptop Option for Final Examinations

The College of Law offers the option for students to take final examinations on their laptops if the use of computers has been authorized by their professor. To participate in this program, each student must ensure that his or her computer is in good working order. In addition, the use of a designated software program that inhibits the accessing of another part of the hard-drive during the examination is required. Each semester the registrar’s office will notify students about laptop examination procedures and technology requirements. The required software will be provided to students during these sessions by the College of Law. If a student does not install the designated software properly and timely, or if the student’s computer will not function properly with said software installed, the student will be required to write his or her examination.

The COL staff or faculty may assist in installation of software; however, it is the primary responsibility of the student to ensure that their computer and the requisite software are both functioning at the time of the exam.