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Exam Information

The information contained in these examination policies and procedures covers the following academic issues:

  • Detailed instructions for sitting for Law School final examinations
  • Use of Laptop Computers
  • Using your examination number
  • Completing examinations as scheduled
  • Eligibility and instructions for rescheduling an examination due to conflict or illness
  • Deadline for completing coursework
  • Deadline for filing a Petition for Incomplete

Final Examination Schedules & Registrar Office Hours

Fall 2015 Exam Information
  • Fall Final Exam Schedule
  • Fall Final Exam Room Assignments -will be available in November
  • Registrar's Office Hours During Final Exam Period -will be available in November

Final Examination Policies

  • Examination numbers

    Student examinations, in class and take home, are identified by number rather than name, and therefore, are graded in anonymity. Random examination numbers are assigned each semester and emailed to students prior to the commencement of the examination period.  Students are not allowed to contact their professor about their examination, or any surrounding circumstances, nor disclose their exam identity to their professor. Doing so is considered an exam violation.

  • Completing examinations as scheduled

    Students must take final examinations in courses in which they are enrolled at the assigned times, except in the case of "take home" examinations, in which event the examination is due as designated by the instructor. A finalized examination schedule is posted on the Registrar's bulletin boards and distributed to students before the end of each semester. .

  • Inability to complete scheduled examinations
    1. Examination conflicts

      Postponement requests must be submitted to the Registrar by the deadline stated in each semester's examination material.

      In the event of a conflict between examinations, one examination will be postponed. Rescheduled examinations are not administered prior to the published examination date and time. A conflict is deemed to exist when a student has examinations that are scheduled for the same time and date; when there are four (4) or fewer hours between the scheduled end of one examination and the scheduled commencement of the next examination that a student must take; or when a student has three examinations scheduled within two consecutive days. Two examinations on one day do not necessarily result in a conflict. Any student with a conflict must complete a Petition to Reschedule Exam (available in the Registrar's Office) in a timely manner to arrange for the postponement of an examination. STUDENTS SHOULD NOT CONTACT OR OTHERWISE DISCUSS POSTPONING AN EXAMINATION WITH THE INSTRUCTOR OR OTHER STUDENTS.

    2. Illness or emergency circumstances

      In the event that any student is unable to take a scheduled final examination because of illness or other emergency circumstances, it is necessary that the Office of the Registrar (415-422-6778415-422-6778) or the Office of the Assistant Dean (415-422-6304415-422-6304) be contacted prior to the examination and as soon as the situation arises. In the event that circumstances prevent a student from contacting either office prior to the scheduled commencement of the examination, the student must contact the office as soon as practical thereafter. Any student who has not contacted the Registrar or the Assistant Dean within 24 hours after the scheduled start of an examination will not, under any circumstance, be permitted to make-up the examination.  In the event of sudden illness or personal emergency during an in-class examination, notify the proctor immediately.  The proctor will call a Registrar's staff member, who will assess the situation and will assist you.  DO NOT CONTACT OR OTHERWISE DISCUSS POSTPONEMENT OF THE EXAMINATION WITH THE INSTRUCTOR OR OTHER STUDENTS.

      Upon satisfactory demonstration of inability to complete the examination as scheduled, the student will be permitted to make-up the examination without the imposition of any academic sanctions. Illness must be verified in writing by a physician stating the diagnosis and the period of incapacity.

      Medical documentation should be written on letterhead and signed by a medical professional. The documentation should indicate the nature and extent of the student's situation/condition and may include a specific recommendation based on the medical professional’s expertise. Medical documentation must state the diagnosis, when it was identified, the effect of medical condition on normal activity, the effect of any medication, the expected duration of the treatment etc. It should also explain any recommendation. Medical information received about a student remains confidential under the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA).

      Acceptable proof of other emergency circumstances will be required. In the event the student is unable to present an acceptable excuse for inability to complete the scheduled examinations academic sanctions will be imposed and, under some circumstances, a student may be precluded from making-up the examination, resulting in a grade of "F".

  • Rescheduled examinations

    Students who do not take an examination by reason of conflict, or other approved reason will, subject to the foregoing paragraphs, have their examination rescheduled by the Registrar. Rescheduled exams are not administered prior to the published examination time; they are only postponed. Except in unusual circumstances, the Registrar will schedule make-up exams as close as possible to the original date of the examination without creating another conflict.

    Students who reschedule examinations may, at the instructor's option, be required to take an examination different from the examination administered to the rest of the class.

Examination Procedures

  1. In-Class Examinations

    All students must follow these examination procedures, failure to do so may result in an Honor Code violation:

    1. Examinees must bring a photo ID and their own pens and pencils to each examination.
    2. Except for approved laptop computers and calculators in the specified rooms, electronic devices are prohibited from both open book and closed book examinations. Materials permitted for open book examinations of any type must be brought to the examination room in hard-copy form.  Students who have e-texts will not be able to use the e-text during in-person examinations as the exam software will block access to the text.  Students with e-texts must print out any text pages needed for the examination, as only hard copy materials will be allowed into the examination room. 
    3. Students are encouraged to leave unneeded personal belongings outside of the examination room. Unauthorized materials (e.g., books, notes, blank or scratch paper, etc.), which are brought into the examination room, must be immediately placed on the floor out of view. All cell phones,  wristwatch alarms, and the like must be turned off.
    4. We strongly advise that students do not wear perfume, cologne, or aromatic lotions, deodorants or similar items in the examination rooms, or bring in/eat odiferous food. The odors from these products can be distracting or disturbing to other students.
    5. Students are not allowed to use or access their cell phones at any point the start, duration, or end of the examination until all exams have been collected.  This includes during bathroom breaks.
    6. A room schedule for examinations will be posted on the Registrar's bulletin board and on each classroom bulletin board showing which rooms are assigned to each examination. Students are assigned alphabetically by student last name to a specific examination room and must sit every other seat.
    7. A proctor will collect student ID cards (or other photo ID) as the examinations are distributed. The proctor will return the ID when the completed examinations are submitted. Student ID cards will be preferred, but any photo ID may be used. Any student without a photo ID will be accommodated with a sign-in and sign-out process after all students with an ID are through. When an examination has separately timed, multiple parts, the ID will be collected before the beginning of the first part, and it will be returned as the last part is collected. There is no scheduled break between the parts of an examination; the second part of the examination will be distributed as the first part is collected.
    8. Students with ID cards will be called first to turn in their examinations. As the examination envelope is submitted, the proctor will return the ID card. Students without ID cards will then be called by the proctor to submit their exams and sign-out.
    9. Examinations will be distributed in envelopes with official scratch paper.  Students must use the official scratch paper provided in the packet, and may not bring in or use their own scratch paper.  The proctor will provide bluebooks and a multiple choice answer sheet (if applicable) to hand writers. Examinees may not open the examination envelopes, nor write anything, before the proctor announces the beginning of the examination. All examination items provided in the examination envelope must be returned with the examination, including all used and unused scratch paper.
    10. The labeling of the bluebook and examination questions must be completed during the examination time. The examination number, name of the course and professor must be written on the outside front cover of each examination bluebook. The examination number must also be written on the examination questions and on any other related documents. All documents are removed from the examination envelope and sorted before they are given to the instructor. Students must number their bluebooks consecutively (i.e., 1 of 3, 2 of 3, etc.) This must be done within the allotted examination time.
    11. Examinees must not write their name or Student ID number on any bluebook, scratch paper, or exam (as it identifies your personal identity and is not anonymous).
    12. Once the proctor begins reading the examination instructions, there is to be no talking in the examination room. Students are prohibited from discussing anything concerning the examination in the halls or lavatories. Students may not leave the examination room with any of the examination materials.
    13. The proctor or any member of the Registrar’s staff may, at any time, examine a student's examination materials or any other items that a student may bring into the examination room, or may take any other appropriate action.
    14. Examinations will begin and end promptly as scheduled. A student who arrives late for an examination forfeits that portion of his or her examination time.
    15. If an urgent, safety situation arises during the exam, stop working on your examination immediately, place everything inside of your examination envelope and leave the envelope on top of your desk. Examinees may not discuss the contents of the examination with anyone. The Honor Code governs student conduct during an examination that is in progress. If necessary, students should exit the building but remain near the front doors for further instructions.
    16. The proctor will give a ten-minute warning prior to the end of the examination. Once this warning is given, no students may leave the examination room until the examination has ended. Students must remain seated until the proctor calls their row to hand in their exams.
    17. Each student must stop working on his or her examination when the proctor announces that examination time has ended. No student may add to or amend his or her examination after the examination time has been called. The proctor has authority to mark any paper "late" if deemed necessary.
    18. When the “end of examination” announcement has been given, each student must insert the examination questions, examination bluebooks and used scratch paper into the exam envelope. All examination materials, used and unused, must then be placed back inside the envelope. Students must remain seated until the proctor calls their row to hand in their exams.
    19. When your exam is completed please leave the rotunda area quickly and quietly to avoid disturbing others who are still working in either the same classroom or in other rooms. Please do not congregate in the rotunda, or on the stairs leading to the rotunda during the examination periods.
    20. Students are advised that more specific instructions may be posted prior to any given examination.
    21. For those specific examinations where the instructor is permitting the use of calculators, only simple calculators will be permitted. A simple calculator is an electronic device that has the only function of performing mathematic calculations, and has limited memory capacity. Calculators with extended memory capacity or other devices that include calculators (cell phones, laptop computers, etc.) will not be permitted.
    22. Students are prohibited from contacting an instructor about an examination from the time it commences until the final grades for the course have been posted. Contacting an instructor about the examination before the final grades have been posted may constitute a violation of the Honor Code. If an issue arises in regard to either the content or the administration of an examination, the issue must be brought to the attention of the Law Registrar, not the instructor.
  2. Laptop Computers
    1. Students are permitted to use laptop computers to take the essay, short answer and multiple choice portions of their final examinations. This requires the installation of the approved examination software. Information regarding the software will be emailed by the Law Registrar’s office prior to the commencement of the exam period.

    2. If the examination is an open book examination, you must bring with you to the examination room any permitted materials in hard copy form. You are not permitted to access any course materials stored on your laptop computer during an open book exam of any type. This applies to an open book, multiple choice only examination as well as an open book essay or multiple type examination.

    3. If a laptop computer fails to operate before or during an examination, the examinee must complete the examination in writing. The proctor will have bluebooks available for this purpose. No extra time will be given to the examinee whose computer malfunctions before or during the examination.

  3. Take Home & Take-Out Examinations
    1. The instructor of a course where a take home / take-out  final examination is given determines the duration of the examination. Durations of take home examinations may be as short as 3 hours, or may cover the entire final examination period.

    2. Examinations may be distributed by the instructor, or may be available for download from ExamSoft. The Registrar's Office will notify students via email, to their USF email account, prior to the exam period commencement, with specific instructions about exam release and submission times, and how to access the examination. 

    3. Unless otherwise noted, all take home and take-out examinations are to be uploaded to the ExamSoft Assignment DropBox, which records the downloaded and uploaded submission times. It is the responsibility of the student to confirm receipt of the take-home / take-out exam procedures and to contact the Registrar's Office if take home / take-out examination instruction was not received.

    4. Examinations that are submitted after the duration of the examination have expired or after the final submission deadline will be marked “late”. Absent compelling circumstances, sanctions will be imposed on late examinations by the Registrar’s office.

    5. Take home examinations may have rules specific to each examination. It is the student’s responsibility to know and to follow these specific rules.

Fulfilling Course Requirements

It is the policy of the faculty of the School of Law that students complete all course requirements in a timely manner.

All students enrolled in a course for which there is a final examination are required to take the examination at the time it is scheduled. If the course does not require an examination, but rather the completion of a paper, a series of papers or reports, etc., students are required to submit the material at the time specified by the instructor for the entire class.

If any student does not complete the requirements (as explained above) for a course in which he or she is enrolled, and has not been granted an “Incomplete” (see below), the instructor will not report a grade for that student and the Registrar's Office will automatically enter a grade of "F".


Students are required to complete all course work within the time allotted by the instructor for the entire class. Where unusual circumstances arise which create hardship and prevent a student from fulfilling these requirements, it may be possible for the student to receive an "Incomplete" and to thereby extend the deadline for completion of the course.

In order to receive an "Incomplete", students must file a petition, securing the approval of the instructor and the Assistant Dean. The forms to petition for an "Incomplete" are available in the Registrar's Office. In order to be considered, any petition must be approved and filed on or prior to the official last day of classes of the semester in which the “Incomplete” is taken. Failure to file the petition will result in a grade of "F" or “No Credit” (as appropriate) being recorded by the Registrar even when a verbal agreement has been made between the student and the instructor.

If the petition is granted, the designation "Incomplete" will be entered, temporarily, on the student's official transcript of record in lieu of a grade for the course. The student shall not receive unit credit, for any purpose, unless and until the course is satisfactorily completed in a timely manner.

In order to remove the "Incomplete" and receive credit for the course, the student must complete all work to the instructor's satisfaction and the grade for the course must be received by the Registrar's Office by the last official day of the grading period in the succeeding semester following that in which the “Incomplete” is taken. In the event that a grade is not reported to the Registrar, for any reason, by said date, a grade of "F" or “No Credit” (as appropriate) shall be entered for the course upon the official transcript of record.

Except in unusual circumstances, a student will not be permitted to take an "Incomplete" in more than one course in a single semester.