Options for Final Exams

Options for Final Exams

In light of the recent uptick in the number of students affected by Covid on campus — and the imminent start of final exams — you may want to consider how you will address student absences and overall student & instructor anxiety around in-person final exams.

Accommodating students who are ill and/or in quarantine

If a student/s are unable to attend a final exam or complete work within the last two weeks of the term, a final grade of “O” can be used per Faculty Rules and Regulations.  

Also per Faculty Rules and Regulations, after an instructor is notified that a grade of “O” has been changed to “OX” by Student Support Services or GradSupport, “…the Faculty member in charge must provide the student the opportunity to receive a credit-carrying grade. This may be done with or without the instructor requiring a postponed final examination or other additional evaluation procedure.”

If you wish to allow students who are isolating or in quarantine due to Covid to take the exam remotely (and thus complete the subject this semester), and this option is in line with your course structure and goals, and considerate of the health of the student, consider the following options:

  • Provide a digital copy of the exam to the student during the scheduled exam slot. Ask the student to submit a digital version of the completed exam.
  • Have a hard copy of the exam delivered to the student during the scheduled exam slot. You can require that the student log into Zoom (or some other system) to allow virtual proctoring. You can retrieve the exam after the allotted time, or ask the student to digitally capture and submit the exam. Consider carefully the logistics associated with this option: Who will pick up and deliver the exam? Is it realistic given your class size?, etc.
  • Offer students a 24-hour window during which each student will choose a 2- or 3-hour block of time for doing their exam. This 24-hour window must include the Registrar-scheduled time. Provide and collect either a hard copy or digital version of the exam as described above.  Depending on the chosen time of the exam, it may or may not be feasible to provide proctoring.

Please keep in mind that if students fail a symptom check (even if they have not yet tested positive for Covid) their access to campus is turned off and they are asked to stay in place until they are cleared by MIT Medical — so it is possible that students in this situation will not be able to take in-person exams. 

Alternate Options and Procedures for Final Exams

Offer all students the option of taking the exam remotely.

If you would like to offer all students the option of taking the final exam remotely — and this aligns with your course format and philosophy — this is allowable. The exam can be offered either:

  • During the scheduled final exam slot.
  • During any 24-hour window that includes the Registrar-scheduled time (as described above). 

Exam Room Assignments

Instructors who are interested in exploring options for additional and/or different exam location(s) can contact schedules@mit.edu

For Additional Assistance

For questions about final exam options, policies, and procedures, please contact: covidclasshelp@mit.edu