Final exam request system
Staff members in each department chair’s (or dean’s) office are required to accurately report whether or not an exam will be given for each class; all other information is optional.
When will the system be open for exam requests?
Departmental contacts have two weeks to request exams beginning the thirteenth class day in long session terms (fifth class day in summer terms). The system will be open Thursday, January 31 through Friday, February 15 for depts to request exams for spring 2013 classes.
Notes, guidelines, and helpful hints
Most rules pertaining to final exams have been summarized on our final exam policies page.
Possibly the most important thing to know about finals is that you must accurately report whether or not each class will administer a final exam because this information becomes a part of the University’s permanent records.
• If your instructors do not respond as to whether a class will have an exam, you should report that no exam will be given until you learn otherwise and you should keep your department chair (or dean) informed regarding these matters.
• If you are able to schedule one of your own rooms for the exam, please indicate this by entering your departmental room number in your exam request.
• Do not request a general-purpose classroom if you only need a place for students to turn in papers, instead put the instructor’s office or the departmental office as the exam location.
Online exam schedules and syllabi
Institutional rules related to class syllabi require that they contain the final examination date and time (on the first class day), but exams are not scheduled until a few weeks prior to the end of the semester; so how does the instructor know when the exam will be scheduled? Prior to exam schedules being published, you can still predict when your exam ought to be by referring to the Index of Final Exams published in each Course Schedule.
Notable exceptions to the index would be uniform (or departmental) exams, which are administered to all sections of a course at the same time, and instructor requests for changes to the exam schedule (both of which must be approved by the deans). Departments which offer uniform exams must also administer make-ups for students who have exam scheduling conflicts as a result of the departmental exam and are provided a list of choices of approved uniform exam periods and their make-ups about three weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. Because uniform exams typically involve hundreds of students, departments are asked to provide second choices so that enough seats can be scheduled. This means that instructors in these situations must work closely with exam scheduling staff in their chair’s (or dean’s) office to properly determine the date and time of their exam in time to publish the correct information on their syllabus.
Students may obtain a personalized list of all of their final exams on one page.
The general public may look up any exam by the class unique number.
Basics for reporting final exam requests
Most rules related to final exams are promulgated by Faculty Council. Please review them at the link above for final exam policies.
“Substantial” exams may not be given in the last week of class. Substantial exams have been defined as counting for more than 30% of the class grade.
In order to minimize conflicts in the students’ exam schedules, the registrar schedules finals according to class meeting times. The theory is that students cannot be in two classes at the same time and so exams scheduled this way should not produce conflicts. The shortcoming to this theory is that there are only eighteen available exam periods (three exams per day over six days) but there are more than twenty standard class meeting times. The index of final exams (see above) results in the fewest number of exam conflicts at the institutional level. It is the responsibility of staff in the department chair’s (or dean’s) office to coordinate exams so that students do not have final exam conflicts. The exam periods for daytime classes rotate every semester so that instructors teaching classes at the same time year after year do not always have the first or last exam day (however, exam periods for evening classes do not rotate, for example, Monday evening classes always have Monday evening exams).
On the evening of the twelfth class day (or fourth class day in summer terms) our office will initialize the final exam request system and will mark all canceled classes, those with zero enrollment or no meeting information, and all zero-credit-hour courses (such as labs) as having no final exam. Staff in the department chair’s (or dean’s) offices are responsible for accurately marking all other sections as either having an exam or not having an exam and for coordinating these efforts with any cross-listed departments or among multiple-section classes. This includes the responsibility to remediate any exam conflicts for the students in their department.
It is important that only those classes which are known to be administering final exams (as scheduled by the registrar) be marked as such for a couple of reasons. First, room assignments for finals cannot be done if everyone asks for a room “just in case” they need one. Assigning rooms for classes which are not administering exams works to the detriment of the whole campus by leaving rooms unavailable yet empty. Second, there is a permanent record kept of every class offered at the University which includes whether or not an exam was given. This document is a state record which is used, among other things, when students transfer to another University and the new school calls to research the academic rigor of the course in order to determine whether or not it is equivalent to one of their courses. Lastly, falsifying this state document is neither ethical nor legal. Please only ask for rooms when you know you need one.
For good cause, instructors may petition their dean to change the time of an examination (including uniform exams). Classes which have changed their default exam period do not receive any room scheduling priority and are subject to being assigned whatever rooms are available. Choosing not to give a final exam requires the approval of the department chair. Please note that our office notifies your dean of changed exam times or “no exam” responses, but only if the request is made during the reporting period – after which explicit approval for each affected class is required in all cases and without exception.
If no special requests are made, the exam will be scheduled in a general-purpose classroom according to availability. If the instructor wishes to use the regular class meeting room, this must be specifically requested (see Request options and Departmental classrooms below).
For cross-listed classes, the home department is responsible for reporting exam information. Other classes in the group will be updated automatically if there will be an exam, but if there will not be an exam, each cross-listed department must report no exam for their section. This is a technical issue that we are hoping to improve when programming resources become available.
To obtain a hard copy of your final exam requests, use the “Print Status Report” link within the system. You may only order reports during your access period, so it is important to do so before the deadline so that you have time to check your work and make necessary corrections while the system is still open. The reports are printed from the mainframe printers located in the School of Social Work building unless the requestor has set up Green Output options with their local mainframe administrator.
Your requests will be honored to the extent permitted by demand for limited classroom facilities. The following discussion assumes that the academic unit completes its requests on time. Late requests are subject to review and room availability.
Class meeting room
The most frequently used option is to request the class meeting room or an alternate to this. Generally, requests for the class meeting room receive the highest priority since this room is known to hold all of the enrolled students and it is convenient for the students to remember. A class may be bumped from its meeting room only if its enrollment is significantly less than the room capacity and if the room is needed for a larger class. This is one of the few cases where our office will call to let you know that you did not get what you requested (note that if the class has changed exam periods meeting room priority is lost—we will still schedule it, but only if classes which “belong” in that exam period have not asked for it). Alternate and/or additional rooms are assigned when they are requested and available (see Multiple rooms below).
When the department chair (or dean) allows take-home exams, it is important that the department provide a room, such as a faculty office or department chair’s office, for the exam to be turned in. Using general-purpose classrooms for turning in papers is an unwise use of resources that can adversely affect many people beyond the department offering the class.
It greatly benefits the university as a whole when departments use their own rooms for their final exams since these are largely underutilized or empty during finals. There are two big things to watch out for when scheduling departmental rooms for final exams. First, while we can help you prevent exam scheduling conflicts in your rooms, we cannot know what other events may be scheduled there, and second, we do not control the locking or unlocking of these rooms. You must take great care that the necessary people have the necessary access to your rooms during finals—particularly for evening or Saturday exams.
If you have a large class wishing to be double-seated and are able to proctor more than one room, please use the system to indicate that we can assign more than one room for your exam. Here again, you may request specific rooms or departmental rooms. We will assign adjacent or nearby rooms for your exam if available or will coordinate with the departmental scheduler if the rooms cannot be assigned within the same building.
There is no institutional right or privilege to have a room with more seats than the enrollment of the class, however every effort is made to double-seat classes for final exams as long as the resource is available. When it is not possible to double-seat every class, we will first try to double-seat those classes which have explicitly requested it—again, this does not mean that one will get double-seating, but it does help us make informed room assignments.
We do not call you if we can’t assign a room with double-seating; it is the responsibility of the instructor to be prepared to offer multiple versions of the exam if it is considered necessary to prevent academic dishonesty. Incidents or suspicion of academic dishonesty must be reported to the Dean of Students.
Exemption policy or number of students taking the exam
If an exemption policy has been announced to the students (such as,”students making an A are exempt from the final”) please let us know that you will have fewer students taking the exam than the total number enrolled. Otherwise, leave this value blank so that we can use the actual number enrolled during our scheduling activities. Do not enter the number of students you have enrolled—only enter a value if it is LESS than the total enrollment.
There is a note field for any requests which are not described above; please use this only after calling us to confirm that this is the appropriate way to make your request. Also, use only one line of notes as the Web reporting system allows you to type more than we can view from our mainframe application.
Uniform exams and their required make-ups
What is a Uniform exam?
Uniform exams are also sometimes called “departmental exams” particularly where they are required by departments such as mathematics or lower-division language courses.
From the institutional perspective, uniform exams are the result of administering a single exam for classes which do not meet together. When this happens it means that at least one of the classes has changed their default exam period which in turn means that a potential exam scheduling conflict has been created for the enrolled students.
To reduce the potential for conflicts in the students’ exam schedules two requirements must be met: 1) a make-up exam must also be administered (without penalty to the students), and 2) both the uniform exam and the make-up exam must be given during times that the registrar has approved for this purpose (generally, these are the periods that correspond with evening class meetings when there are fewer attending students and less demand for exam rooms).
When are the approved Uniform and Make-up Exam periods?
The approved Uniform and Make-up Exam periods are published in the online Course Schedule each term. Simply go to the relevant edition and then to the final examinations info page--the approved uniform/make-up exam periods are at the bottom of the page.
How do I request a Uniform and Make-up Exam?
When marking the exam request, simply select “uniform exam” instead of “regular exam” and the system will automatically present dialogues for both the uniform and make-up exams. All of the above options are available for both the uniform and the make-up exam.
Note that our office assumes that the make-up exam will have 10% of the total number of enrolled students. If you know better, please enter the number attending in the field provided (be careful to associate it with the make-up exam and not the uniform exam).
Still have questions?
- 512 475-7600
- Main Bldg room 1, Registrar Exam Scheduling M5504 | off campus: The University of Texas at Austin, Office of the Registrar, Room Scheduling, PO Box 7216, Austin TX 78713-7216