Administration of Examinations

Final examinations are scheduled by the FAS Registrar’s Office and are administered by instructional staff of the course. Instructional staff must follow the exam procedures that are provided by the FAS Registrar’s Office. The procedures are intended to protect the security of examinations and to ensure that students undertake the writing of their exams in an environment free of distractions and disturbances. There are two exam sessions per day during the Examination Period: morning examinations start at 9 am and afternoon examinations start at 2 pm.

Course Head Obligations during the Administration of Exams:

  • The course instructional staff is expected to be familiar with and abide by the guidelines governing examination administration in FAS.
  • The course instructional staff is expected to proctor their own main exams.
  • A member of the instructional staff should be present in the examination room at least fifteen minutes before the start of the exam.
  • All courses are expected to handle the printing and photocopying of their own examinations.
  • All courses are expected to make arrangements for the delivery, set-up and collection of any audio/visual media equipment needed to facilitate the administration of oral/aural components of the examination.
  • The course instructional staff is responsible for obtaining attendance slips and if needed, examination booklets, prior to the start of the examination.
  • The course instructional staff is expected to take attendance at the examination and to report absences to the FAS Registrar’s Office after the completion of the examination using the Examination Absence Form found on the Exams page of the FAS Registrar's Office website.
  • The instructional staff of the course should retrieve the following items from the examination room at the time of examination completion:
    • completed examination booklets
    • scrap booklets
    • all other course materials (slides, audiotapes, etc.)
  • Report any unusual circumstances to the FAS Registrar’s Office.
  • If there are any scheduled out of sequence examinations for the course, the course head must submit the exam to the FAS Registrar’s Office at least 48 hours before the first scheduled out of sequence exam.

Examination Office Responsibilities during the Administration of Exams:

  • Solicit course final assessment information from faculty each examination period via the Final Assessment Information Form.
  • Establish the examination schedule for each examination period, including date, time and location.
  • Schedule examination classroom assignments for each examination period.
  • Coordinate the distribution of attendance slips and examination booklets.
  • Collect absence information after examination completion.
  • Report examination absences for undergraduate students to the appropriate Resident Dean.
  • Hire proctors for out of sequence examinations.

Course Head Obligations after the Final Examination:

  • Instructors should take every precaution to prevent the accidental loss of examination booklets. For example, under no circumstances should examination booklets be removed from the neighborhood of the University. If a course head has temporarily left the Cambridge area, only photocopies of the booklets should be sent to the course head for grading.
  • Examination booklets not returned to students should be kept for one year after the end of the course.
  • Most instructors return exam booklets, papers, and other academic work to the student enrolled in their courses. By law, students have the right to review all materials submitted to a course, including final examination booklets and, for a reasonable charge, may have copies of any originals not returned to them, within 45 days of the date of the original request.