Exams

Midterm and hourly exams

Many courses have at least one hourly exam or a midterm exam. Instructors administer these exams in their regular classroom at a regularly scheduled class meeting. If you miss an hour exam or midterm, contact your instructor immediately. Instructors have varying policies regarding make-up hours and midterm exams.

Absences for religious reasons

You may request that your exam be rescheduled without penalty if it conflicts with one of your religious holidays. You are expected to anticipate conflicts with religious holidays. Accommodations are not possible if the conflict is reported after the exam. Contact Academic Services, (617) 495-0977, no later than two weeks before the exam.

Exam time conflicts

A conflict occurs when you have a class, a review session, or an exam scheduled on the same day and at the same time as another exam. If you have such a conflict, complete the exam time conflict form and submit it to Academic Services at least two weeks before the exam.

Academic Services will reschedule the exam either before or after the class or second exam depending on the time of the conflict. Please note that two exams scheduled on the same day is not considered a conflict even if they are consecutive exams.

Final exams

Final exams are generally three hours long and are administered according to the exam schedule set by the registrar. Only students registered for undergraduate or graduate credit are allowed to take final exams.

Your instructor confirms the location of your exam since it may be held in a different room from the class meetings.

If you are unable to take your exam at the scheduled time, you may not make separate arrangements with your instructor to take the exam at an earlier or later time. Grades are not accepted for students who do this. If you cannot take your exam at the scheduled time you may be eligible to appeal for a make-up final exam.

If you sit for your final exam and are unable to complete it for any reason you are assigned a failing grade (E), or zero, for the incomplete portion of the exam. You are not allowed to complete the exam at another time or appeal for a make-up exam.

You are assigned an E for the final exam if you attend the final exam and do not submit a bluebook or exam sheet.

If you do not take your final exam and did not withdraw from the course by the withdrawal deadline you are assigned a failing grade for the final exam.

Instructors who teach online courses may choose to give the class an online final exam or a proctored final exam. See online exams for more information.

Take-home exams

Call your instructor immediately if you miss the deadline for submitting a take-home exam. You may be required to appeal for a proctored make-up exam or request an extension-of-time (EXT) grade and submit a new take-home exam, or you may be assigned a failing grade for the final exam depending on your instructor’s policy for take-home exams.

Make-up exams

You may be eligible to appeal for a make-up final exam if you have unexpected circumstances of an emergency nature that prevent you from taking the final exam as scheduled. You must also be in good academic standing in the course and owe no other work than the final exam.

Appeals must include a personal statement and official documentation of the reason for missing the exam. Submit your appeal for a make-up exam no later than three calendar days after the missed exam. Late appeals may not be accepted.

Original documentation explaining the reason must accompany the appeal. Medical documentation must be on letterhead, signed by the medical professional, include specific dates of the illness, and explain the functional limitations of the illness.

Two pieces of documentation are required for all other circumstances: a statement including specific dates and an explanation of the reason for missing the exam, and travel documentation. A $25 nonrefundable processing fee for each make-up exam requested must be included with the appeal. Contact Academic Services, call (617) 495-0977, before submitting an appeal.

Video lectures of distance courses are available until the on-campus make-up exam day for students approved to take a make-up final exam. Make-up exams are not offered for Institute for English Language Programs (IEL) courses. Early exams are not allowed. The make-up exams are administered at 51 Brattle Street on Saturday, August 23, 2014, for local students.

Exams in absentia

If you cannot travel to Cambridge for your make-up exam, you may appeal to take your exam in absentia at your home institution.

In addition to following the appeal procedures for make-up exams, you must identify a proctor who is responsible for administering your exam. The proctor must work in a professional capacity in an accredited institution or testing center local to you. Exam proctors can be teachers, professors, or administrators in local secondary schools, colleges, universities, or testing centers. Proctors cannot be family members, friends, or co-workers.

The Consortium of College Testing Centers has testing centers across the country and abroad that provide proctoring services near your home. Centers are located in 45 states and nine countries. Any fees incurred are your responsibility.

The exam materials are forwarded to your proctor beginning the week of the on-campus exam period through the first week of September. Call Academic Services at (617) 495-0977 before submitting your appeal.