Final Examinations

This Policy deals with the scheduling, invigilation responsibilities, student behaviour, and other aspects of the examination process for all Nipissing University final examinations. For purposes of this policy, “final examination” is defined as a comprehensive form of testing for the purpose of assessing a student’s level of proficiency in some combination of the following domains: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

This policy rests to a considerable extent on three principles.

  1. The exam process is inherently stressful for students. The process should be managed in such a way as to maximize a student’s ability to focus on preparing for and writing their final exam(s) and to minimize extraneous sources of confusion and uncertainty.
  2. The environment in which examinations are conducted should be one in which students are able to concentrate, reflect, and generally demonstrate what they have learned, with a minimum of disruption and distraction.
  3. The integrity of the examination process (and that which flows from it) depends upon the willingness of everyone involved to respect some basic rules of conduct and to accept certain responsibilities, and to do so in a consistent manner.

I. General Principles

  1. Except for prepackaged courses, the course instructor will decide whether or not there will be a final examination for their course.
  2. Except in the case of deferred examinations, no final examination of any kind may be given outside of the official examination period.
  3. No test with a value exceeding 10% of the final grade may be written or due during the last week of classes in a session. Note: This regulation does not apply to Graduate courses, or to courses offered in condensed formats.
  4. When absenteeism exceeds 20%, the student may be excluded from writing the final examination.

II. Scheduling of Final Examinations

  1. The Office of the Registrar schedules all final examinations.  In the case of take home final examinations, course instructors will determine the due date for the take home examination, however the due date must be within the official examination period.
  2. Final examinations are normally scheduled from Monday through Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. In the case of Spring/Summer courses or courses offered in other compressed scheduling formats where scheduling a formal examination period may not be possible or necessary, an extra meeting for the class may be scheduled and the exam will take place at that time.
  3. All final examinations will be three hours in length.
  4. No student shall be required to write two (2) or more Nipissing University final exams at the same time or more than three (3) Nipissing University final exams within any two consecutive days.
  5. No student shall be required to write a final exam in the last period of one day and in the first period of the next day.
  6. In the event that the University is closed during examinations, the examinations will be scheduled on the next available day, including Sunday, on which examinations have not been scheduled.
  7. Students with conflicts arising from religious observances that coincide with the scheduling of final exams are to follow the procedure outlined in the Senate Policy on Religious Accommodation for Students.

III. Deferred Examinations

Students who are unable to write final examinations because of illness or other extenuating circumstances are advised to apply for a deferred exam. If granted, deferred exams will normally be scheduled after the end of the official exam period. For the December exam period, they will be scheduled during February study week. Deferred exam requests must:

  1. Be submitted through WebAdvisor.
  2. If the request is made as a result of unforeseen or extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from attending the exam on its scheduled date & time, such as illness, the request must be submitted within one week of the scheduled examination date.
  3. If the request is being made for other predetermined extenuating circumstances (i.e. once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, this does not include scheduled work shifts or vacation plans); the request must be made as soon as possible and before the last day of classes.
  4. All requests must be supported, in the case of illness by a medical certificate† or by appropriate supporting documentation‡ in other cases.

If approved, there will be a $75 exam deferral fee as published in the Charges and Fees section of the Academic Calendar. The deferred exam fee is due no later than five (5) days prior to the deferred examination date. Failure to pay this fee may result in cancellation of the deferred examination.

The decision on deferred examinations is final and may not be appealed to the Student Appeals Committee.

Please be advised that travel arrangements or misreading the examination schedule are not valid reasons for requesting a deferred examination.

† Medical certificates must be signed and dated by a health practitioner on the day of the final examination except in cases of serious illness (e.g,. mononucleosis or pneumonia) or surgery where the recovery time extends beyond the date of the examination. Students can have their health practitioner complete the Nipissing University Student Health Certificate or provide an alternative medical certificate so long as the following information is provided: patient name, the date(s) and time(s) of an examination, the date(s) of illness, the expected time of convalescence, health practitioner signature and business stamp, and a statement that clearly states an inability to write an exam on the specified examination date.

‡ Supporting documentation consists of official documents or letters that support the explanation for your request. Failure to provide suitable documentation will result in the request being delayed or denied. For further information regarding the Deferred Final Examination process, please review the Deferred Final Examination Frequently Asked Questions.

IV. Examination Supervision

  1. Course instructors are expected to supervise their own exams. Part-time instructors who are not available at the scheduled time may request, through the Office of the Registrar, that an exam invigilator be assigned to supervise their exam.
  2. Instructors of classes with enrollment in excess of fifty (50) students and whose exams have been scheduled in a classroom may request invigilation assistance through the Office of the Registrar.
  3. The Office of the Registrar shall designate a ‘Chief Exam Proctor’ for all exams scheduled in the designated examination room. The Chief Exam Proctor shall:
    • make all routine announcements to students
    • keep the official time
    • enforce this policy
  4. The Office of the Registrar shall hire additional proctors to assist with supervision of exams in the designated examination room.
  5. Students will not be permitted to enter the exam room thirty (30) minutes after the commencement of the exam.
  6. No exams may be submitted within the first hour. All students must remain in the exam room for a minimum of one hour. No students may leave within the final fifteen (15) minutes.
  7. Students must present a student ID card or other government-issued photo ID in order to write a final exam.
  8. Students are prohibited from using electronic devices or any communication tool that has not been approved beforehand. Any such device or tool must be shut off, stored and out of reach.
  9. Food is not permitted in the examination room (except for medical reasons). Water is the only beverage permitted, but only in sealable, transparent containers without labels.

V. Final Grades

  1. Final grades must be submitted into the student information system within seven (7) days of the date a final exam was written or due for on campus courses, and within fourteen (14) days of the date a final exam was written or due for alternative delivery courses. For courses where no final exam was scheduled, final grades must be submitted by the last day of the examination period.  
  2. The Dean of each faculty will review all of the grades submitted for courses in their faculty before grades are published.

VI. Marked Examination Papers

  1. All Marked Final exam papers must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar within two (2) business days of the submission of final grades.
  2. Final exam papers will be stored by the Office of the Registrar for a minimum of two (2) months and then shredded.
  3. Students may request to review their marked exam papers once their final grade has been posted. As per the Policy on Appeals Procedures for Matters other than Academic Dishonesty, students have thirty (30) days to appeal a final grade.

VII. Review of Examination Papers

  1. Students who would like to review their final examination paper(s) must do so by request to the Office of the Registrar.  
  2. The deadline to request a review of examination papers is as follows:
    Exam SessionDeadline to Request Exam Review
    FA courses February 15th
    WI and FW courses June 1st
    SP, SU and SS courses September 15th
  3. For courses offered at the main campus, students will review their exams in the Office of the Registrar.  Examinations for alternative delivery courses and courses offered at a satellite campus can be reviewed online or in the Office of the Registrar.
  4. Students who would like to review their exam paper in the presence of the instructor may request to do so by making a formal request through the Dean’s office.  The instructor shall review the examination paper in the presence of the student.  Such reviews normally require one (1) week advance notification.  In the event that the professor is not available, the Dean will make alternative arrangements.

VIII. Final Examination Responsibilities

The Office of the Registrar will:

  1. publish final examination details in a timely fashion and manner in which all stakeholders can access details about locations, dates, and times.
  2. create as balanced a schedule as possible, one in which exams are scheduled as fairly as possible for each student across the available time frame.
  3. ensure that students are not scheduled in conflict as outlined in II. d) and II. e) above.
  4. allow for feedback from faculty before finalizing the exam schedule.
  5. as much as possible, provide space that ensures respect for the academic integrity of the exam by avoiding overcrowding and that no construction or disruptive routine maintenance takes place in the vicinity of examination rooms during the examination period.
  6. coordinate and manage the overall exam process, including:
    • taking all practical measures to prevent the disruption of examinations.
    • ensuring that a staff member is available to respond to emergencies at all times during which exams are being held.
    • hiring and training exam invigilators to help with exam supervision and enforcement of policies and procedures.
  7. when examinations are scheduled in the designated examination room, the Office of the Registrar staff will bring the exams to that location.

Course Instructors will:

  1. notify the Office of the Registrar of their intent to hold a final exam in their class(es) no later than the last day to register for classes in a given session.
  2. submit two (2) versions of their final exam – one for use as part of the regular exam process and one for use during exams that have been deferred as part of approved Deferred Exams or Student Accessibility Services accommodations.  In cases where a second exam has not been submitted, the same exam will be used for all deferred exams.
  3. submit exam information to FASS within the deadlines specified.
  4. supervise their exams in accordance with Section IV. Where it is not possible for an instructor to attend a final exam, they are responsible for designating a replacement satisfactory to their Chair/Director/Dean.
  5. when examinations are not scheduled in the designated examination room, ensure that exams and any booklets be picked up from the Office of the Registrar on the day of the exam.
  6. submit final grades on time in accordance with Section V.
  7. return marked exam papers in accordance with Section VI.

Students will:

  1. note the dates published each spring for the formal exam periods of the following year and make every effort to be available during that time frame.
  2. be familiar with policies pertaining to, and apply for, accommodations with Student Accessibility Services, and/or Religious Observances as necessary.
  3. arrive at the correct times and locations for all scheduled exams. It is to be understood that misreading the exam schedule will not be accepted as a reason for a deferred exam.
  4. verify what materials (e.g. calculators, textbooks, etc.) are permissible for their exams and bring into the examination location only those aids/resources that have been specified by the course instructor.
  5. refrain from any form of communication with other students upon commencement of the examination (unless communication skills are being evaluated).
  6. refrain from bringing cellular phones, personal audio equipment, and other electronic devices into the exam room unless specifically permitted by the course instructor
  7. refrain from bringing food into the exam room, unless it is medically necessary, in which case, consumption must be done in a non-disruptive manner.
  8. abide by the Student Policies Governing Exams and not cheat.

IX. Emergency Procedures

Examination Cancellation Contingency Plan:

  1. The Registrar, or designate, will decide in consultation with the Deans, or designate, whether to proceed with or to postpone examinations in the event of extreme weather conditions or any other general emergency (e.g., Lockdown) which occur when final examinations are in session. Notification of the postponement of an exam(s) will be posted on the Nipissing University Portal as early as possible and the local media will be contacted.
  2. If students have seen the examination, the examination should be cancelled and rescheduled. However, any examinations submitted prior to the cancellation will normally be graded.
  3. If the examination has not been started but the delay lasts longer than one (1) hour, it is recommended that the examination be cancelled.
  4. In anticipation of the need for such action, each examination schedule will be re-staged, if at all possible, prior to the end of the current examination period; in particular, the most likely time is the next Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Students will be notified of the exact date and location through their Nipissing student email account.

In the case that the Fire Alarm Sounds:

  1. If the alarm is intermittent, then it is not necessary to leave the building and additional time will be added to account for the disruption.
  2. If the alarm is continuous, then Proctors will announce that: “Students must turn over their papers and leave all exam materials on their desk. They are to take any personal belongings from their desk but are not to attempt to get personal belongings from the front of the room and to exit the building immediately. If re-entry to the building is permitted within thirty (30) minutes, then each exam supervisor will decide, on a course-by-course basis, whether or not to continue their exam. After thirty (30) minutes, students may leave and should check the Nipissing University portal for announcements regarding their exam(s)”.
  3. Proctors will ensure that everyone exits the building.
    1. Proctors and students will wait at the entrances for instructions.
    2. The Registrar, or designate, will go to the location of the fire alarm annunciator panel to wait for confirmation from the Police and/or Fire Department that the alarm was false and the building may be re-entered or that the alarm is genuine.
    3. If the alarm was false and re-entry is permitted within thirty (30) minutes, the proctors will either:
      1. tell students to enter the building and exam room(s) to continue the exam; or
      2. collect the examinations and then permit students into the exam rooms to collect their belongings.
        1. Those proctoring the exams will inform the Registrar, or designate, whether the exam is to be re-scheduled or, if 50% or more of the exam time has elapsed, they may elect to prorate the exam rather than schedule a new exam time.

In the case of a Power Outage:

  1. Students must turn over their exam papers and remain in their seats.
  2. Students will be asked to remain silent.
  3. The Registrar, or designate, will contact Security to find out an estimated time for the duration of the power outage. At that time, it will be determined whether or not the exam will continue. If 50% or more of the exam time has elapsed, they may elect to prorate the exam rather than schedule a new exam time.

X. Student Policies Governing Final Exams

  1. No student shall be allowed in the examination room during the course of examination except the candidates concerned.
  2. Students must place their student ID cards, or another piece of government-issued photo identification, on the desk, or be able to establish their identities in a manner satisfactory to the proctor and sign the attendance sheet when presented to them.
  3. Students will not be permitted to enter the exam room thirty (30) minutes after the commencement of the exam.
  4. There shall be no extension of time for candidates who are allowed to sit the examination after arriving late.
  5. No exams may be submitted within the first hour. All students must remain in the exam room for a minimum of one hour. No students may leave within the final fifteen (15) minutes.
  6. Each student must submit all required exam materials before leaving the exam room.
  7. If a student becomes ill or receives word of a domestic emergency during an examination, the student must hand in all exam materials at once to a proctor and request the exam paper be cancelled. In the case of illness, the students must arrange immediately for a medical examination so that a medical certificate is available to support any request for a deferred examination. The candidate may then apply for a deferred examination in accordance with the published deferred final examination policy.
  8. If a student fails to appear for a scheduled examination, the candidate may apply for a deferred examination in accordance with the deferred final examination procedures.
  9. All inquiries and requests must be addressed to proctors only and candidates must not leave their seats except when granted permission by the proctor.
  10. Candidates must not:
    1. impersonate another student;
    2. speak to other candidates or communicate with them under any circumstances whatsoever;
    3. leave answer papers exposed to view.
  11. The published policy for Academic Dishonesty will apply to anyone found cheating.
  12. No materials or electronic devices shall be brought to the desk or used at an examination except those authorized by the proctor. Unauthorized materials include, but are not limited to: books, class notes, or aid sheets. Unauthorized electronic devices include, but are not limited to: cellular telephones, laptop computers, programmable calculators, palm pilots or pagers. All electronic devices must be turned off and kept out of view.
  13. Students shall remove headwear while writing the exam unless required by religious observance.
  14. Students shall refrain from bringing food into the exam room, unless it is medically necessary, in which case, consumption must be done in a non-disruptive manner.  Water is the only beverage permitted, but only in sealable, transparent containers without labels.
  15. Students may take a water or washroom break during the exam however no additional time will be provided. Only one person may leave the examination room at a time and must be escorted by a proctor.
  16. In consideration of those who have allergies, students and proctors shall refrain from wearing fragrances.
  17. There are no personal belongings allowed on the desks except those directly required for the exam.
  18. Students are discouraged from bringing personal belongings into the exam room. Small belongings may be placed under the seats, but exam supervisors may request that all personal belongings be left along the edges of the room. In either case, the University will assume no responsibility for lost articles.
  19. Any student leaving the examination shall do so with the least distraction to the students still working. Students shall not congregate outside the examination room.


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