The final exam matrix is a grid of calculated exam times for those classes meeting at standard class times during the semester. In cases where classes are comprised of multiple instruction types, the final exam block will be calculated according to its lecture time. Standard meeting patterns include:
MWF – 50 minutes per class meeting
MW, WF, MW, TR – 1 hour, 45 minutes per class meeting
TR – 1 hour, 15 minutes per class meeting
M, T, W, R, F – 2 hours, 45 minutes per class meeting
For those classes offering a culminating experience alternative to a final exam, such as a presentation or final report, which do not require an exam time to be assigned, the school or college notifies the Schedules department that a class will not hold an exam via the Final Exam Indicator. Classes will be assigned an exam block unless this explicit action is taken. Schools and colleges are provided an opportunity to review the Final Exam Schedule before it is released to the university community.
Classes which opt to stray from the final exam matrix, whether to another standard exam block or otherwise, are considered Non-Matrix exams. In these circumstances, the school or college electing to reschedule a final exam for a Non-Matrix time must proactively anticipate student conflicts and be prepared to offer those students alternate accommodations.
Per policies approved by the University Council, final exams are to be administered only within the dates specified in the Registrar’s Final Exam Schedule. Changing the time of a final exam, in many cases, leads to conflicts in individual students’ exam schedules, to classroom conflicts, and to students experiencing more exams in a single 24-hour period than is reasonable. Final exam changes are subject to both Dean and Registrar approval.
In some circumstances, classes meeting at non-standard meeting patterns during the semester are not mapped to a designated final exam block in the final exam matrix. Such classes are assigned an exam beginning at the start-time of the class during the semester for a duration of two hours. Often, Off-Block exams are rescheduled by the school or college to a preferred final exam block, at which point the exam abides by the Non-Matrix exam guidelines.
Direct Exam Conflicts
Students may encounter direct conflicts between two exams. Most often, this conflict is created due to a class changing its exam time to a Non-Matrix exam time. In this case, the student may have their Non-Matrix exam rescheduled to another day and time as coordinated by the instructor and the student. Instructors and administrators are encouraged to use the “Instructor’s Final Exam Matrix” tool on their Faculty Link to identify an appropriate make-up time.
Multiple Exams in a 24-hour Period
It is possible that a student may accrue three or more exams scheduled within a 24-hour period, which may include two days of the week. If all exams adhere to the final exam matrix, the student may reschedule the middle exam to another day and time as coordinated between the instructor and student. If any exams in question are Non-Matrix or Off-Block, that class must accommodate a rescheduled exam. For examples on how a 24-hour period is interpreted, please see the visuals below.
Examples of 24-hour Period
In this scenario, Maria has three final exams, dispersed throughout the week. There is no 24-hour period containing three or more exams.
Daniel has three exams, all taking place within Days 1 and 2 of final exams week. In determining the 24-hour period at play, Daniel notes the start time of his first exam as Day 1 at 12:00pm, implying the end of the 24-hour period to be Day 2 at 11:59am. Daniel’s three exams do not fall within a 24-hour period.
Lee will be taking three exams during final exams week, believing these to fall within a 24-hour period. Lee notes the start time of the first exam as Day 1 at 3:00pm, determining the end of the 24-hour period to be Day 2 at 2:59pm. As Lee’s three exams fall within this 24-hour period, they are entitled to reschedule one of these exams.
Andre has four final exams, spanning Days 2-4. Andre may consider two 24-hour periods, the first beginning with Exam 1, and the second beginning with Exam 2. Andre notes the start time of the first exam as Day 2 at 3:00pm, determining the end of that 24-hour period to be Day 3 at 2:59pm; no three exams fall within this period. Andre further notes the start time of the second 24-hour period as Day 3 at 12:00pm, determining the end to be Day 4 at 11:59am. In this period, Andre has three exams (Exams 2, 3, and 4), and is entitled to reschedule one of these exams.
Note that proctored exams are available for make-up exams, held from 12:00-2:00pm on each day of the Final Exam Schedule, in both Fall and Spring semesters. Additional information on proctored exams is included below.
Final Exams Outside of the Final Exam Schedule
Per policy approved by the University Council, final exams may not be administered prior to the final examination period, either during a regular class meeting or on a reading day, even if the instructor and all students in a class agree to such a change. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that students have the appropriate time and space to prepare for finals during the designated study period. Administrators must submit requests to schedule exams for graduate and part-time/evening students to the Office of the University Provost for review and approval. In cases where the Final Exam Schedule includes a Saturday, some one-meeting-per-week evening classes will be assigned an exam block from 6:00-8:00pm on the last day of study period to ensure the exam remains on the same day of the week as the class meets during the semester.