Examinations

During the examination period, Saturday is considered a regular day. Examinations may be scheduled on public holidays. Students are advised to note Chapter III--Schedule of Dates. Students who encounter a conflict between a scheduled mid-term or final examination and a religious obligation (see Academic Accommodation of Religious Obligations) must contact the instructor-in-charge or their program counsellor to request that alternate arrangements be made. A listing of major religious holidays is available from the Office of Student Affairs.

Mid-Term Examinations

Term tests must not be scheduled during the last five class days prior to the final examination period. Exceptions may be granted by the Dean (or designates) for practical evaluations such a Laboratory or Studio tests, with the scheduling of such tests indicated in the course outline. Short quizzes which have been a regularly scheduled part of the course and which are intended to review small amounts of material are not considered term tests and may be held during the last five class days.

Departments are urged by the Board of Undergraduate Studies to make every effort to schedule term tests and examinations in regularly scheduled class time. The Board recommends that faculty make every effort to accommodate students representing the University in extra-curricular activities when there is a conflict between those activities and scheduled tests or examinations held outside regularly scheduled classes.

The directors of schools and department chairs must apply the policy having due regard to the special needs of courses over which they have jurisdiction.

The Board of Undergraduate Studies has reaffirmed the commitment to maintain the 17:20 to 19:00 time slot free of academic activities as much as possible. However, from time to time approval may be given to scheduling classes or labs in that time slot. Requests for scheduling out-of-class mid-term examinations should also be restricted as much as possible to regular academic hours (8:30-17:20 and 19:00-22:00). In the event that appropriate space is not available during regular hours, the use of the 17:20-19:00 time slot may be approved.

Instructors are cautioned that if there is a scheduling conflict between a scheduled class for another course and the proposed time for the mid-term examination, the scheduled class takes priority and students with such a conflict must be accommodated.

When conflicts arise between deferred final examinations and midterm examinations, the deferred final examination must take precedence. The instructor for the class in which the midterm is being written shall make appropriate accommodation, mutually agreeable to the student and instructor, for the student to make up for the missed mid-term exam. If the student and the instructor are not able to come to a mutual agreement, the matter will be referred to the appropriate department chair.

All additional rooms for mid-term examinations are to be booked through Scheduling Services. orsrooms@uoguelph.ca

Chair/Director's Responsibilities

  1. The conduct of all term examinations.
  2. Appointing an adequate number of invigilators to assist the instructor-in charge.

Instructor's Responsibilities

  1. Taking attendance record at each term examination. The attendance record is for the department's use and is not submitted to Registrarial Services.
  2. Exercising discretion when requiring certification of illness. In particular, instructors are encouraged not to require certification of illness affecting semester work when the assessment in question constitutes a small proportion of the course grade, or when alternative means for carrying out the assessment are available.

Final Examinations/Assignments and Final Week of Classes

Final Week of Classes

Final term assignments or papers may be due in the last five class days prior to the final examination period. Due dates for these evaluations should be stated in the course outline. Final assignments along with all necessary resource material should be available to students no later than the end of the 9th week of classes. Take-home examinations may not be due in the last week of classes.

Term tests must not be scheduled during the last five class days prior to the final examination period. Exceptions may be granted by the Dean (or designates) for practical evaluations such as Laboratory or Studio tests, with the scheduling of such tests indicated in the course outline. Short quizzes which have been a regularly scheduled part of the course and which are intended to review small amounts of material are not considered term tests and may be held during the last five class days.

Final Examinations (Regular, Take-Home and Other Format) and Final Assignments

Where regular final examinations are to be given they must be given during the examination period. All regular final examinations shall be two hours in duration. The following guidelines for conducting final examinations have been approved by Senate.

  1. Departments should indicate to Scheduling Services whether a final examination time slot is required for a course. Departments will indicate whether:
    • the examination will be a regular, sit-down examination for which a room is required;
    • the examination will be a take-home examination;
    • the examination will be in some other format (orals; computer exams; juried performance exams, etc.).
  2. The final examination period should be scheduled so as to provide a two day break between the last day of classes and the first day of examinations.
  3. The final examination period consists of eleven days, except in the Summer semester, where it is eight days.
  4. The periods scheduled for final examinations which are to be written in examination halls shall be all of two hours in duration. No regular examination held during the final dates scheduled for final examination periods shall be longer than two hours. (Note: Some DVM courses are exempted from this rule and require three hour exams.)
  5. Under normal circumstances, changes to the published examination timetable are not permitted.
  6. Where final examinations in either regular, take-home or other format are to be given, they must be given or due during the final examination period.
  7. The Office of Registrarial Services has determined the 9th day (6th day in the 12-week format summer semester; 4th day in the 6-week format summer semester) of the examination period as the final due date that may be assigned for take home examinations or exams given in other than regular, sit-down format. When using a take-home or other format final examination, departments will inform the Office of Registrarial Services whether they are using the 9th day (6th day in the 12-week format summer semester; 4th day in the 6-week format summer semester) of the examination period as the due date, or whether they are using an earlier date. This information must be provided to ORS before the beginning of the semester, and the due date must be noted on the course outline distributed at the first class meeting.
  8. Faculty using take-home examinations will determine when the examination paper will be made available to students, but must allow students at least 72 hours between the date of issue of the exam and the due date. The date of issue of the examination and the due date must be included in the course outline distributed at the first class meeting. If a student's time to complete a take-home examination is significantly lessened because of the number and timing of regularly scheduled sit-down examinations, the instructor may grant an extension, provided the new due date is not beyond the grade submission deadline for the course. The student must initiate such a request no later than the end of the second week of classes. The length of the extension will be at the instructor's discretion and instructors are advised to give the student the new due date in writing. The date of issue of the examination and its due date must be included in the course outline distributed at the first class meeting.
  9. If the examination is to be handed out after the end of classes, the instructor will be responsible for arranging distribution and for ensuring that students have the appropriate opportunity to ask questions for clarification.
  10. Final assignments or papers may be due either during the final examination period or in the last week of classes. In either case, the assignments along with all necessary resource material should be available to students no later than the end of the 9th week of classes and the due date and date of issue of the assignment must be included in the course outline distributed at the first class meeting. The Office of Registrarial Services has determined the 9th day (6th day in the 12-week format summer semester; 4th day in the 6-week format summer semester) of the examination period as the final due date that may be assigned for final assignments due in the examination period. When a final assignment used in lieu of a final examination is to be due in the examination period, the department will inform the Office of Registrarial Services whether they are using the 9th day (6th day in the 12-week format summer semester; 4th day in the 6-week format summer semester) of the examination period, or whether they are using an earlier date. This information must be provided to O.R.S. before the beginning of the semester and must be included on the course outline distributed at the first class meeting. Instructors who opt for an assignment to be due during the examination period may not also include a final examination in their courses.

The Office of Registrarial Services of the University is the final arbiter of the manner of conducting examinations and receives general directives on policy from the Provost and Vice President (Academic), and the Board of Undergraduate Studies.

The Office of Registrarial Services will, in cooperation with the appropriate examiners, establish special examination procedures as and when needed, for students who have temporary or permanent physical disabilities. Medical opinion shall be sought whenever there is doubt about the extent of the disability.

Chair/Director's Responsibilities

  1. Completing the “Final Exam Request Form” by the deadline date set by Scheduling Services.
  2. Completing the “Final Exam Location Request” by the deadline set by Scheduling Services.
  3. Printing the required number of examination papers for each examination.
  4. Providing for the security of examination papers printed in the department for the instructor.
  5. Providing examination location information to instructors when the information is received from Scheduling, one week prior to the commencement of the final examination period.
  6. Distributing the copies of the examination to the instructor on the date set for the examination.
  7. The conduct of all final examinations for courses taught by the faculty of their department/school. The Chair/Director must identify an alternate instructor-in-charge for final examinations where the course instructor is not available.
  8. Providing examination attendance records to the instructor-in-charge for examinations not under the direction of Scheduling Services.
  9. Appointing invigilators for examinations under the direction of Scheduling Services (2 invigilators for a class of 20-25 students and 1 additional invigilator for each additional 50 students in a class, thus a class of 125 students should have 4 invigilators).

Instructor's Responsibilities

The faculty member(s) responsible for the course and the setting of the examination, or a designate, shall be the instructor(s)-in-charge for final examinations in that course. They are responsible for the following.

  1. Including the time of the final examination on the course outline distributed to students at the commencement of the semester. Note that under normal circumstances, once established, the date, time and location of final examinations may not be changed (see Grading, Resolution 5), and that where a course is taught in multiple sections the final examination date and time will be the same for all sections regardless of location (see Grading, Resolution 7).
  2. If it becomes necessary to change an examination time or to add a final examination, contacting Scheduling Services, and once a time is set, obtaining the written approval of all students.
  3. Advising Scheduling Services, prior to the examination if an "open book" examination is to be written; otherwise, it will be considered "closed book".
  4. Arriving at the examination room thirty minutes prior to the commencement of the examination and distributing examination papers, attendance cards, if used, and other authorized materials.
  5. Taking attendance during the first hour of the examination period.
  6. Arranging the collection of completed examination papers and comparing the number of examinations collected to the number of attendance cards or student signatures collected. These records should be retained by the department for a period of one semester.
  7. With the invigilators, ensuring that students do not enter the examination room after the first 60 minutes or leave during the first 60 or last 15 minutes of the examination period.
  8. Including all instructions regarding the examination on the examination paper, i.e., writing on every other line, writing on the right hand pages of the book. No verbal instructions can be made at the examination hall with the exception of corrections to printed instructions and material.
  9. Where a student does not write the final examination, following the procedures outlined under Academic Consideration in this section of the calendar.

Student's Responsibilities

  1. Students are advised that the Final Examination schedules are available for Fall Semester by mid-August, for Winter Semester by mid-December, and for Summer Semester by mid-April. Students are required to consult the final examination timetable in order to avoid conflicts in examination times when adding courses in subsequent Add periods. Students may not remain registered in courses with conflicting final examinations unless written approval is obtained from the dean or director and the instructors-in-charge of the courses. (Note that three examinations in 24 hours does not constitute an examination conflict. A conflict exists only where two examinations are scheduled into the same timeslot.)
  2. Academic consideration is not given to students who misread published timetables.
  3. One week prior to the commencement of Final Examinations, the Final Examination location information will be posted in the Library, Athletic Centre, Office of Registrarial Services and on WebAdvisor. Students may also check their personal examination schedule on WebAdvisor by selecting “Class Schedule”, the current Term, and then “Exam Schedule Grid”.
  4. Students in Distance Education courses who live more than 170 km from campus will write their final examinations at a selected off-campus examination site close to where they live. For further information, please contact Open Learning and Educational Support, 519-767-5000.
  5. Students must be seated on entering the examination hall. Until at least 1 hour after commencement of the examination, no candidates shall be permitted to leave except under supervision. If a candidate is not present within the first hour of the commencement of the examination, the candidate shall not be permitted to write the examination.
  6. No person shall be allowed in the examination hall during the course of examination except the candidates concerned and those supervising the examination.
  7. No book, paper, or other aids shall be used during the examination except by permission of the instructor-in-charge. Students shall dispose of their bags and knapsacks by placing them on the floor beneath their chairs, and any books not classified as permissible aids shall be placed along the sides of the room.
  8. Cell phones and pagers must be switched off and stored out of sight.
  9. If provided, students must complete the examination attendance card at the beginning of the examination and place it beside their University of Guelph identification card at the front of the table. The attendance card will be signed at the time of collection.
  10. Candidates shall not communicate with one another by writing, by signs, by words, or in any manner whatsoever while examinations are proceeding.
  11. Students who have completed the examination will be allowed to leave their seats after the first hour has elapsed and after their examination books have been collected. To minimize the disturbance to students who have not yet completed their examinations, no student shall leave the examination hall during the last 15 minutes of the examination. At the conclusion of the examination period, students must remain seated until all papers have been collected and they are dismissed by the instructor-in-charge or, in the Athletic Centre, the Chief Invigilator.
  12. When more than one book is handed in, students shall number each book and indicate on the cover of the first book the total number of books used.
  13. No writing within the answer book or completion of computer answer sheets is permitted after the instruction to stop writing has been given. The instructor-in-charge may refuse to accept the paper of any candidate who fails to observe this time limit.

Registrar's Responsibilities

The Final Examination Timetable, prepared by Scheduling Services is based on student course selections on file at the end of October (for Winter), March (for Summer), and July (for Fall). (Please note that for courses in which no students have registered by the time the data is downloaded, examinations cannot be centrally scheduled.) In the unusual circumstance that scheduling of final examinations by the Office of Registrarial Services results in an examination conflict for a student, the Examinations Coordinator in Scheduling, ORS, will contact the student, the course instructors on record, the relevant departmental examination coordinators and Program Counselor by email. Instructors will be asked to schedule an alternate examination time within the examination period for the student. Program Counselors and Scheduling will provide support to the instructors in determining an appropriate time for the re-scheduled examination. Resolution of the conflict will take place before the end of the Add period for the semester.

Final Examination Timetables are made available for Fall Semester by mid-August, for Winter Semester by mid-December, and for Summer Semester by mid-April. Once Examination Timetables are published, students must ensure that they do not create examination conflicts for themselves when adding courses in subsequent Add periods. For further information, see Student’s Responsibilities above. Other responsibilities of the Examinations Coordinator include:

  1. Distributing the “Final Exam Request Form” from Scheduling, to Chairs/Directors or designate approximately six weeks prior to the semester to which it applies and specifying a due date.
  2. Approximately 6 weeks prior to the start of final examinations, distributing to Chair/Director or designate a request for final examination room requirement information.
  3. For Examinations held in the Athletic Centre shall be under the direction of the Office of Registrarial Services. The Examinations Coordinator or designate will act as Chief Invigilator for all Examinations held in the Athletic Centre and is responsible for the conduct of all such examinations.
  4. In the event of a dispute over procedures during Final Examinations in the Athletic Centre, the Chief Invigilator shall have final authority.
  5. The Chief Invigilator in the Athletic Centre is responsible for:
    • providing each instructor-in-charge with attendance cards
    • starting and ending examinations
    • assisting the instructor-in-charge to ensure that no student enters the examination room after the first 60 minutes or leaves during the first 60 minutes or the last 15 minutes of the examination period
    • preparing, distributing to Chairs/Directors and making available to instructors-in-charge in the Athletic Centre, a set of guidelines for the instructor-in-charge and invigilators which will assist them in carrying out their duties in the examination rooms

Policy on Student Access to Final Examination Materials

Final examination papers and final assignments are to be retained by faculty members for a period of one semester.

Printed or written materials directly related to examinations conducted in the final examination time period published in the Undergraduate Calendar, or related to final assignments shall be made available to a student, upon submission of a written request to the department chair. The request shall be submitted by the fifth class day of the next semester.

Printed or written materials to be made available include the examination question paper, the marking scheme keyed to desired responses to questions, where appropriate; the student's response to the examination questions; and records taken by examiners during oral or any other examination. Faculty members are encouraged to discuss openly with the student any questions raised. The department chair will make the necessary arrangements for student access to the material. When a large number of requests are received in connection with a specific course or when a faculty member is on leave it may be necessary for the department chair to delay access and make special arrangements, e.g., the posting of the marking scheme on a bulletin board, the scheduling of a special meeting at which the faculty member will review the examination, etc.