Revised Final Exam Schedule, Effective AY 07-08
Prepared by Mary Cisar, Registrar, 4-10-07, for CEPC consideration
Beginning in the academic year 2007-2008, the college will move to a semester final exam schedule of five days in duration, rather than the current six. One goal is to ensure to the degree possible a reading day at the start of each final exam period; a second is to try to shorten the semester a bit for the benefit of those students who live far away. Shortening Week One by one day and starting fall classes on Wednesday rather than Thursday, which will also occur for the first time in 07-08, also contributes to the goal of shortening the term.
We currently have an exam period of six days, with two exams scheduled per day, one from 9-11 a.m. and one from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Currently, the final exam of evening classes is also scheduled in the evenings; that is, in the current schedule, there are already two days of the six during which three exams are scheduled.
Last year, I visited with Student Senate about various final exam options. Although there was no consensus, the following plan takes into account the feedback I received there.
There are 14 scheduled exam periods that need to fit into any schedule.
Final Exam Schedule with Three Exam Periods Per Day:
Days of the final exam period
Days 1-4: 9:00-11:00 a.m., 2:00-4:00 p.m., 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Day 5: 9:00-11:00 a.m., 2:00-4:00 p.m.
This schedule spreads the three exams throughout the day and evening without starting too early in the morning and without continuing excessively late in the evening. It allows ample time for rest/study between exams and for meals. The schedule is quite close to what we now have, making for an easier transition.
With a six-day exam period, the registrar’s office routinely attempted to distribute among the final exam days the most heavily-scheduled class periods. As a result, many students’ exams have typically been fairly well spread out. This practice continues with the five-day exam period. Furthermore, a number of faculty give take-home exams or papers in lieu of a final exam. This practice also lessens the potential of three exams per day for many students. Nevertheless, in some circumstances, students might be faced with three exams in one day.
Faculty are not obligated to make an alternative arrangement for students in this situation, since some exam formats require that all students be present in the same room at the same time.
Students are encouraged to become aware, early in the term, of the timing and format of the final exam for each of their classes. Faculty are encouraged to incorporate this information into their course syllabi, or to communicate it to students using other means as early in the term as is feasible. In situations where students seek an accommodation for having three exams in one day, they must follow the request process specified under the final examination policy in the St. Olaf Academic Catalog (http://www.stolaf.edu/catalog/0607/academicregs/counting-courses.html) by December 1 (for semester I) or May 1 (for semester II), taking into account the format of their exams. The registrar works with students and faculty to facilitate an appropriate solution.