Questions about exams should be directed to Academic Services, (617) 495-0977.
Quizzes, hour, and midterm exams
On-campus and distance students are expected to take their exams on time and as scheduled by their instructors. Students who are unable to take a quiz, hour exam, or midterm due to extenuating circumstances should contact their instructor immediately. Instructors have varying policies regarding make-up quizzes, hour, and midterm exams.
Absences for religious reasons
A student may request that an exam be rescheduled without penalty if the exam is scheduled on the day of the student’s religious holiday. For quizzes, hour or midterm exams, students should contact their instructors no later than two weeks before an exam to reschedule the exam.
Students who have a religious obligation that conflict with a final exam must submit a completed make-up final examination form to Academic Services by the deadline indicated on the form. The make-up final exam appeal fee is waived for students with religious conflicts. However, students must include documentation from an appropriate religious or spiritual leader confirming the conflict with their appeal. Exams are rescheduled for the same day as the make-up exams in the same term. Students who also have religious conflicts with the scheduled make-up date should indicate this in their appeal statement. Accommodations are not possible if the conflict is reported after the exam.
A final exam, paper, or project is required in all courses. Seminars and workshops in which students are evaluated on the basis of reports and ongoing weekly assignments are the exceptions to this policy. Only registered undergraduate- and graduate-credit students are allowed to take final exams and submit final papers and projects.
Final exams are administered in on-campus courses at regular class meetings during the exam period listed in the calendar. Instructors inform students of the date and location of their exams. Final exams in online-only courses are set individually for each course. In online-only offerings of Harvard College and other University courses, final exams may be scheduled for a day that is outside the Extension School final exam period. Students who are unable to take their exams at the scheduled times may not make separate arrangements with their instructors to take the exam early or at a later date; grades will not be accepted for students who do this. Students who cannot take their exams at the scheduled time must appeal for a make-up final exam.
Students who attend final exams and are unable to complete them for any reason are assigned a failing grade (E), or zero, for the incomplete portion of the exam. These students are not allowed to complete the exam at another time or appeal for a make-up exam. Any student who attends a final exam and does not submit a bluebook or exam sheet is assigned an E for that exam. Students who do not withdraw from courses by the withdrawal deadline and do not take their final exams are assigned a failing grade for final exams.
Students who miss the deadline for a take-home exam should call their instructor immediately. The instructor may require the student to appeal for a proctored make-up exam, approve an extension-of-time (EXT) grade and write a new take-home exam, or assign the student a failing grade for the exam depending on the instructor’s policy for take-home exams.
An exam conflict occurs when a student has two exams or a class meeting and an exam scheduled for the same day and time. If the conflict involves two exams, the student will take both exams on the same day: one with the class and the second exam at a different time that day as scheduled by Academic Services.
If an exam conflicts with a class meeting, the student should attend the class. Academic Services will reschedule the exam at a different time that same day.
Students should complete the exam conflict form and submit it to Academic Services no later than two weeks before the conflict date.
Students who cannot take their final exams as scheduled because of a religious conflict, documented serious illness, or compelling, unexpected circumstances may appeal for a make-up final exam. The following are examples that are not considered compelling reasons to grant a make-up exam: lack of preparation, negligence, misinformation, or planned vacations and other events.
Make-up appeals are considered only for students who provide documentation of a compelling reason for missing the exam, owe no other work in the course than the final exam, have good records of attendance and participation, and are in good financial standing with the Division of Continuing Education. Academic Services contacts instructors to verify students’ academic standing in courses for which they’ve applied for make-up exams as part of the appeals process.
Students may appeal for make-up exams by submitting make-up final exam forms no later than the deadlines below:
- Fall courses: December 23
- January courses: January 28
- Spring courses: May 20
Supporting documentation must accompany the appeal. Two pieces of documentation are required, except in cases of personal illness. Documentation must be written in English and must be on letterhead paper. It should confirm the reasons for missing the exam, signed by the appropriate person in an official capacity, and include travel information if relevant. Medical documentation must be in the form of a letter on the medical provider’s letterhead and based on a physical exam within two days of the missed exam. The letter should include a description of the illness, specific dates or range of dates of the illness, and physical and functional limitations of the illness. Documentation written on prescription pads will not be accepted.
A $25 nonrefundable processing fee for each make-up exam requested must be included with the appeal. Students are advised to call Academic Services before submitting appeals. Make-up exams are not available for Institute for English Language Programs courses. Incomplete and late appeals will not be considered.
Exams are administered at 51 Brattle Street on:
- January 25, 2014, for fall courses
- February 12, 2014, for January session courses
- June 7, 2014, for spring courses
Make-up exams for courses that have an online final exam are administered on January 22, 2014, for fall courses and June 4, 2014, for spring courses. A student who does not take the make-up exam as scheduled is assigned a failing grade for the exam.
Exams in absentia
Students who relocate before or during the final exam period may appeal to take their exam in absentia at institutions in their new location with an approved proctor. In addition to following the appeal procedures for make-up exams, students must include with their appeals the name, title, business address, and daytime telephone number of the person who will proctor their exams.
Exam proctors can be teachers, professors, or administrators in local secondary schools, colleges, universities, or testing centers. They cannot be family members, friends, or co-workers.