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About Exams

Read about midterm exams, final exams, retention of exam papers, and the processes that support exams.

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Midterm exams

Instructors must give midterm exams during regularly scheduled class hours, unless they publish an alternative time in a syllabus distributed to the class at the beginning of the quarter.
  • An instructor can give a student's midterm at an alternative time if the student gives a valid reason, such as:
    • Illness
    • Family emergency
    • Religious holiday

Final exams

Final exams are required in all undergraduate classes except laboratory classes. In some instances, if approved by the Committee on Educational Policy (CEP) on the course approval form, the exam can be a final paper or special project.
  • Students must finish the exam within the previously announced time limit. The exam period in non-laboratory courses can't exceed three hours.
  • Students can't be excused from assigned final exams.
  • The instructor can give a final exam at an alternative time during final exam week.
    However:
    • Students are permitted to take an equivalent exam at the original time if they request.
    • Variations from the final exam schedule published by the Registrar's Office must be approved in advance by the CEP.
    • Final exams can't be given before exam week without permission from the CEP.
  • The instructor can't require a "take-home" final exam to be turned in before the date and hour at which the exam was scheduled by the Registrar's Office.
  • An instructor can give a student's final at an alternative time if the student gives a valid reason, such as:
    • Illness
    • Family emergency
    • Religious holidays
  • Read the Academic Senate policy on midterm and final exams.

Scheduling of final exams

The Registrar's Office schedules final exam times according to a formula designed to avoid conflicting exam times whenever possible.
  • Variations from the final exam schedule must be approved in advance by the Committee on Educational Policy (CEP).
  • Read about the responsibilities for the final exam schedule.
  • If a student's class schedule has three final exams on the same day, the student can request an alternative final exam time from a faculty member. However, faculty are not obligated to accommodate the request.

Retention of exam papers

Instructors must retain exam papers for at least one full quarter after the exam period, unless the papers have been returned to the students.

Faculty leaves during final exam week

Faculty members (including visiting faculty) are expected to be present during final exam week.
  • If the instructor can't avoid an absence, the department chair or program director can designate another faculty member to administer the final exam.
  • The faculty member who is the instructor of record is responsible for assigning final grades.
  • CEP will not recommend approval of faculty absences during final exam week unless arrangements have been worked out in advance with the department chair or program director.
  • The vice chancellor – Academic Affairs will not approve leaves of absence during final examination week without CEP approval.
  • To request leave, please use the Faculty Request for Leave of Absence During Finals Week form.

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Notice: The information on this page is a condensation of Academic Senate Regulations, to be used only for informational purposes. Refer to the Academic Senate Regulations for the full text. In case of conflict in interpretation, the Academic Senate Regulations apply.