Final Exams and Grades

Summary of Policies

Final Exams

A summary of the University Senate By-Law (II.E.12) concerning semester exams:

  • During the semester, examinations shall be held only during regularly scheduled class periods.
  • All undergraduate courses must provide a clear form of assessment of student work that shall be consistent with and sufficient for the learning goals of the course. This is a recent (roughly Spring 2015) change that formerly required instructors to hold a specific assessment during finals week.
  • If you are giving a final exam, it must be administered at the time scheduled by the University.
  • Students with unexcused absences shall fail the exam. Only students excused by the Dean of Students (formerly OSSA) are eligible for a rescheduled exam without penalty.
  • Students with “bunched” final exams are eligible for a rescheduled exam; students must contact the Dean of Students for approval.
  • Each instructor determines the weight the final exam will take when computing the semester grade.
  • Each instructor is responsible for the proctoring of all exams.

Final Grades

It is extremely important that grades are entered by the deadline (by 4:00pm). Late submission of grades affects many things including graduation, probation and dismissal, Dean’s List, and financial aid eligibility. If you are unable to assign an actual grade, please use a temporary/placeholder grade (i.e., I, N, or X) rather than leave the grade blank.

A summary of the University Senate By-Laws (II.E.3-10) concerning final grades:

  • Semester grades shall be submitted no later than 72 hours after the completion of the final examination.
  • Changes to course grades after submission require justification that there was a computational error, clerical error, or discovery of overlooked components in a student’s body of work. (When in doubt, use a temporary/placeholder grade rather than assign a grade of F.)
  • A student wishing to request a review by the instructor of record of a possible error in grading must do so within six months of the course grade having been posted. (Therefore, all materials that were involved in arriving at a course grade should be retained for six months after the grade was posted. That’s not easy for faculty teaching large classes. Also, some faculty hand items back to students without retaining copies. One would assume, however, that a student wanting to appeal a grade would then produce those materials, or else there would be no basis for the appeal.)

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Department Exam Policy

While the departmental exam policy (as approved by the Division Heads Committee) applies to all exams, it is especially important to provide emergency contact information during final exams.

Submit Exam Information

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Rescheduling Final Exams

Summary of the policies and expectations surrounding the administering and rescheduling of finals:

  • The University Senate By-Laws state that a student whose absence is excused by the Dean of Students (formerly OSSA) shall have an opportunity to take an examination without penalty. Please note that the Dean of Students and not individual schools or faculty make the decision for rescheduling bunched finals.
  • Please remember that a recent by-law change has alleviated the requirement for faculty to hold a specific assessment during finals week. If you are not planning to hold a final and/or do not need a room scheduled for a final, please inform the registrar’s office (Associate Registrar of Scheduling) so that your pre-scheduled slot can be dropped from the scheduling. This will free up rooms for others to use and loosen the bunched exam schedule.
  • Permission from the Dean of Students will be communicated via the e-mail address that is listed in the online phone book. Please make sure that the address listed in the phone book is the email address that you check.
  • If you are giving a final, it must be administered at the time and place that the Registrar has scheduled. Many of you use multiple forms of assessment and choose not to give final examinations, but you should not schedule other mandatory events for students during finals week.
  • Please assume that there will be at least one student in your class who will need to reschedule his or her final. To simplify this, it is recommended that you write your make-up final at the same that you create your primary final and make sure that your departmental office has them in the event that you are not available to proctor the make-up final.
  • When a student has permission to reschedule, the instructor will schedule it at a time agreeable to both. It is the responsibility of the instructor to identify a location for the rescheduled exam to be administered.
  • Department heads are strongly encouraged to coordinate the delivery of make-up finals within each department.
  • Finally, concerning grading for finals. If a student is not present at the final, simply mark an “X” for the final grade. You do have the option of assigning an “F” grade if the student has completed all other work and even with an “A” on the final, could still not mathematically pass the course. When in doubt, please err on the side of entering the “X” grade. It does not obligate you to allow the student to complete any missed work and will automatically turn in to an “XF” if the student is not given permission from the Dean of Students to make up the missed final. An incorrectly assigned “F” has far reaching implications and if it needs to be corrected, it will result in more work for both you and others.

Contact the Dean of Students with any questions regarding the rescheduling of finals.

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Administering Final Exams

Summary established policies and regulations pertaining to final examinations:

  • The Storrs Campus Final Exam Schedule is available via the Office of the Registrar.
  • Grades are to be submitted no later than 72 hours after the completion of each exam.
  • All grades must be submitted by the deadline (by 4:00pm). Grades submitted after the deadline cause problems, sometimes serious, for students. These can include delay of graduation, incorrect dismissal, and loss of financial aid.

Questions on any of these matters may be referred to the Office of the Registrar.

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Exam Checklist

(A) All students must take a final in every course, however there was a recent change to the University Senate By-Laws regarding final assessments held during finals week.  The by-law language was changed from requiring all faculty to offer a final during finals week to allowing “instructors of undergraduate courses to provide a clear form of assessment of student work that shall be consistent with and sufficient for the learning goals of the course.”  This change has alleviated the requirement for faculty to hold a specific assessment during finals week.

(B) If the student has missed the final or seeks to be examined early, the student’s absence must be excused by the Dean of Students (formerly OSSA), thus permitting you to offer a rescheduled examination. A student whose absence from a final is not excused in this way shall receive no credit for this final. (Depending on the student’s previous performance in the class and the weight of the final in the grade, this need not mean failure in the course). A student whose absence is excused by the Dean of Students shall have an opportunity to take a final without penalty. The Dean of Students welcomes any information you may have concerning a student’s reason for requesting a rescheduled final. If you teach at a regional campus, contact the campus Student Services.

(C) Finals may not be administered on Reading days.

(D) There are rules governing adjustments for students with “bunched” finals (See #10).

(E) “R Grades.” The administrative designation “R” (See #9) describes the character of the course, not the performance of the student. The mark of “R” is assigned by the Registrar, not the instructor.

(F) “A” is the maximum grade that can be earned by any undergraduate in all level courses or non degree students in 1000 – 4999 level courses.

(G) Semester grades should be reported to the Registrar as soon as possible after the completion of the final examination and no later than 72 hours after the completion of the exam.  All grades should be submitted by the deadline (by 4:00pm).

(H) In-class final examinations must be given in the places and at the times scheduled by the University. In the case of online final examinations, though faculty may choose to make examinations available an extended period of time, students must be allowed the opportunity to take the examination during the time scheduled by the University.

(I) In undergraduate courses scheduled by arrangement or at non-standard times, final examinations must be given during the same scheduled week as courses scheduled at standard times.

(J)  If a time is scheduled for a course in the official finals schedule, the time may not be changed. Very few exceptions to move and change final exams – requested by either faculty or students – are approved because of limited space and a short, tightly scheduled exam period. Please keep in mind fairness to students: many plan their studies and projects far in advance of finals on the basis of the published exam schedule.  To depart from the published ground rules causes not only inconvenience, but inequity.

Even the well-intentioned inclination of a faculty member – or of a student – to change a scheduled finals time can have a devastating effect upon students who are then frustrated by a suddenly altered schedule.  Even apparent consensus among students to change an exam time can mask an unanticipated intrusion by the majority upon the legitimate expectations of a few.  We therefore approve such requests on a very limited basis.

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Policies and Regulations Related to Finals

(1) The incidence of cheating unfortunately increases during finals. Instructors are reminded that the current Student Code pamphlet outlines University Senate policy and guidelines for confronting cheating and other forms of academic misconduct. The policy states, in part, the following: “Instructors shall take all reasonable steps to prevent academic misconduct by students in their courses.” During the course of the finals, an instructor or proctor who observes suspicious behavior should warn the individuals involved regarding the appearance of their actions and request them to cease the suspicious actions immediately. Continuation of such behavior may be considered evidence of academic misconduct.” The Dean of Students (formerly OSSA) believes Instructors should consider requiring student identification at finals and having more than one version of the final (especially for make-ups). If you suspect any irregularities, please contact the Dean of Students for assistance. If you teach at a regional campus, contact the campus Student Services.

(2) There is no provision for excusing any student from finals by department vote or otherwise.

(3) If a student does not take your final at the time scheduled in the official schedule, no matter how valid and urgent his or her reason, one of the following grade reports must be made:

  1. If in your judgment, it is reasonable to suppose that the student could pass the course by a reasonable performance on the final, you are to mark the student “X”
  2. Otherwise, you are to mark the student “F”. (Please note that a grade of “F” should not be turned in simply because the student is absent – nor should the instructor attempt to evaluate the reasons for the absence.)
  3. A third option is that when a student’s absence from a final is not excused they shall receive no credit for the final. Depending on the student’s previous performance in the class and the weight of the final in the grade, this need not mean failure in the course. However, a student whose absence is excused by the Dean of Students shall have an opportunity to take a final without penalty.

Once you have reported a student as being absent from a final, you should not thereafter give the student a make-up final or any further work of any kind until you are authorized to do so by one of the following offices, as appropriate:

  • For undergraduate degree seeking students and non-degree students enrolled in undergraduate classes at Storrs, Dean of Students.
  • For undergraduates and non-degree students at the regional campuses, the campus Student Services office.
  • For medical reasons, Student Health Services.
  • For graduate degree students, except those indicated immediately below, and non-degree students enrolled in graduate courses, Vice Provost for Graduate Education.
  • For graduate degree students in Social Work and Business programs conducted at centers away from Storrs, the director of the program.
  • For diploma students in the Sixth-Year Program in Education, Dean of the School of Education.

(4) The faculty’s regulations provide that “the mark of incomplete” (I) shall be reported only when a portion of the work assigned during the semester has not been completed either because of the necessary absence of the student or some other reason, equally satisfactory to the instructor. Also, in the instructor’s judgment, the work already done by the student must be of passing quality. Please remember that, when issuing an I, this implies that faculty and student will work together towards completion.

(5) Please keep in mind the fact that marks, once turned in, can be changed by the instructor only if he or she can demonstrate that he or she has made a computational error. An instructor is not permitted to reconsider the matter, or to re-examine the student, or to accept additional work from the student after the marks are submitted. You are urged to do careful and conscientious work at the start, in order that your grades may give a fair reflection of student competence and achievement in the course.

(6) Please note also that the scholastic records of all students are private information. Instructors are urged to keep their students informed as to the quality of work which they are doing but should use proper precautions to see that no student’s record is made known to other students. Class grades must not be posted so that a student may identify another students’ grades; i.e. neither by name, Social Security number, NetID, nor PeopleSoft number.

(7) Each teaching member of the staff should announce to each class exactly when and where the final is scheduled for the particular section. While such an announcement would probably be helpful in all cases, it would be especially useful in sectioned classes where finals are held at a number of different times. It seems it is not uncommon for students who are absent from a finals to present as excuse that they did not understand correctly when or where the final was to be held.

(8) Final papers should be retained for a reasonable period of time after the final is over. Unless papers are returned to the students, they should be kept by the instructor at least through the following semester.

(9) Note, also, administrative marking symbols which are to be used on grade reports and transcripts:

I  –  With prior approval from the instructor, student will complete work at a later time.

N  –  Denotes “no show.” Student is unknown to instructor; may be registration issue.

X  –  Student passing but did not take the final exam.

R  –  Denotes “registered” and assigned to graduate students in Master’s or Ph.D. readings course for thesis or dissertation preparation. R does not represent the quality of the student’s work.

(10) Students with “bunched” finals may postpone a final in the special circumstances described below: If approved, the Dean of Students will send an e-mail to the effected instructor(s) and to the student. For additional information on absences from finals, refer to the Dean of Students. Students at a regional campus should contact the campus Student Services.

  • A student whose final schedule includes four finals in two consecutive calendar days may request that the middle final be rescheduled in place of one of the four scheduled finals.
  • A student whose schedule includes three finals in one calendar day or three finals in consecutive time blocks spanning parts of two consecutive days may request that the middle final be rescheduled in place of one of the three scheduled finals.
  • The Student Services Center verifies a student’s final schedule and determines which of the “bunched” final may be rescheduled.
  • At Storrs, the iCenter in Wilbur Cross verifies a student’s final schedule and facilitates rescheduling of the “bunched” final.
  • The rescheduled final must be given, at a mutually agreeable time for both instructor and student, not later than the third week of the next semester in which the student is enrolled.
  • When final grades for the course are reported to the Registrar, the instructor should report a mark of Absent (“X”), unless the make-up has been completed in time for the student’s letter grade to be determined.

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Submitting Final Grades

It is extremely important that grades are entered by the deadline (by 4:00pm) [View Tutorial]. Late submission of grades affects many things including graduation, probation and dismissal, Dean’s List, and financial aid eligibility. The deans have asked that they be notified of late grades .

  • Instructors can upload grades using a CSV (comma separated value) file [View Tutorial].
  • It is also possible to export from a HuskyCT Grade Book to a CSV file [View Tutorial].
  • Please contact the Instructional Resource Center staff for any assistance with using the CSV grade export and upload option.

Partial Posting: It is not necessary for you to enter all of the grades for the course in a single session. As long as the Approval Status is not set to Approved and the Registrar’s Office has not posted the grades, you will be able to update the Grade Roster. You must click on the Save button before leaving the grade posting page in order to save the grades you have entered. A feature of the system allows you to “Display Ungraded Students Only” by clicking on a check box.

Grade Changes: If you need to change a grade that has already been posted, you may do so using the PeopleSoft system [View Tutorial]

Login Problems: If you have difficulty logging in to the system, please refer to UITS’s NetID Homepage.

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