Wellesley's Unique and Honorable
Self-scheduled, Unsupervised Exams

Wellesley College has a strong and successful history of self-scheduled examinations.  This tradition survives due to our community's commitment to it the Wellesley College Honor Code.

In accordance with the Honor Code, and to ensure that each student experiences equitable testing conditions, students are barred from speaking about an exam with any student. This includes discussion of the difficulty, content, format, or any other aspect of the exam. The standard response to questions regarding an exam is, "It's over." However, as common sense dictates, two or more students who have taken the same exam may discuss that exam provided they are not with or around other Wellesley or MIT, Olin, or Babson students.

On this page:

Examination Schedules
Students' Guide to Final Examinations
Examination Information for Faculty
Examination Information for Administrative Assistants

Examination Schedules

The schedule for Fixed Examinations is set by the standard meeting time of the course.  The Fixed Examination Grid is used by students and faculty to show when the examination will take place.

List of Courses with Self-Scheduled Examinations

List of Courses with Fixed (Scheduled) Exams

Please note that these schedules change from term to term and vary greatly throughout the term until final decisions are made.  Do check them frequently as changes are made up to the last day of classes.

Students’ Guide to Final Examinations

For courses with a final examination, the professor has chosen to offer either a self-scheduled examination or a fixed (scheduled) exam. A fixed exam is an exam given at a specific time and place for the entire class at the same time.  A self‐scheduled exam is one that each member of the class takes at a time of the student’s choosing within the examination period.

In all examination settings, the Honor Code applies.
Students must always do their own work, using only those materials allowed by the professor, and taking only the designated amount of time.

Students with disabilities and in need of extended time or other accommodations must have their arrangements pre-approved by Jim Wice, Disability Services. These students will report to an examination center in Founders Hall.  Details will be provided to these students individually in advance by the Disabilities Services Office.

Fixed Examinations

Fixed exams are scheduled within one of the exam sessions in the five day exam period.  Students will know in advance from their professor regarding the time and place for the examination.

The professor will specify whether any materials can be used in the examination. Students should be at the specified room in advance of the start time. The professor or a colleague will administer and then collect the examinations at the end of the time period.

If a student has three fixed exams scheduled in a 24‐hour period, the student may arrange with a professor to reschedule one examination to a different day and time slot. Professors are required to honor these requests, as long as there is no element of the exam that requires it to be administered to the entire group at once (for example, slides need to be shown or there is an oral component). Other emergency requests for taking a fixed exam at a time other than the scheduled time are at the professor’s discretion.  If granted, the examination must be administered within the final examinations period and may not conflict with any other scheduled examination.

Self-Scheduled Examinations

Self-scheduled exams may be taken during any of the available exam periods scheduled each day in the five day exam period set aside for self-scheduled examinations. Students will make their own decisions, from among the designated exam sessions, regarding the day and time they wish to take any given self-scheduled examination.

The Science Center serves as the Examination Center.   Students need to report to the Science Center Library to pick up any self-scheduled examination. Distribution of examinations will begin at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. 

Students should arrive at the examination distribution knowing their course and section number of the examination they wish to pick up. Students are required to show a photo ID. Valid forms of ID include: Student ID; driver’s license; or passport.  If the picture is unidentifiable, please bring an alternate valid form of ID.

Students will receive an envelope labeled with their name, the course, and the time of pickup noted. Professors should advise the students ahead of time if blue books are required and/or calculators are allowed.

In most cases, the envelope will contain the examination but no blue books or scrap paper. If the envelope indicates "Blue Books Needed", students should be sure to pick up blue books before leaving the examination center.  Please return any unused blue books to the examination center when you have finished your exam. Scrap/note paper is also available at the examination center.

Students must proceed to one of the rooms designated for self‐scheduled exams. All designated rooms will be posted appropriately as open book or closed book exams.

Once in the room, the student is free to begin taking the exam. There is no proctor in the room during the exam. If the professor has allowed students to consult outside materials during the exam, there will be a pink label on the exam envelope indicating the exam is Open Book.  Proceed only to a designated open book exam room.

Students are responsible for watching their time and taking no more than 2 ½ hours for the exam. When they finish, they should put the exam and any blue book(s) back in the envelope, complete the information in the upper right-hand corner of the envelope, seal and sign the envelope across the seal, and then proceed back to the examination center to return and check-in the packet.

When the examination is returned, the time is noted.  Each examination is logged and checked that the student has signed the envelope. Regardless of when you begin an exam, all students must stop their work at the end of the specified examination period.

Examination Information for Faculty

The examination schedule is determined early in each semester. Faculty are asked to watch for and respond promptly to all requests for examination preferences. Some of this information may be collected through online tools. Please review the information below.

Self-Scheduled Exam Option

Exams are self-contained, scheduled by student during designated exam period.
Consider the following:

  • Did you indicate open book or closed book?
    The term "open book" means that the students are permitted to use books, dictionaries, bibles, notebook(s), note card(s), sheets of paper, or prepared questions, etc. None of these materials are permitted in a "closed book" examination room. If you have a question on the open/closed book policy, please contact the Registrar's Office. Any changes to exam types should be communicated before supplies go out to departments on November 19th.
  • Did you indicate calculators permitted for your exam?
    Calculators can be used in a "closed" book exam if indicated in Senta by the instructor. This notation will be on every student exam label, "calculators are permitted".  
  • Can you meet the exam preparation deadline?
    It will be the instructor's responsibility to complete their exams by the deadline.
  • What if a student wants to take the exam before the exam period?
    No exams can be taken before the designated exam period.
  • What if a student cannot take the exam during the exam period?
    Students are required to take their exams within the designated exam period. If the student requests an "incomplete", she may qualify to take her exam during the makeup period. Information regarding incomplete work can be found here. Legislation requires that makeup exams will be taken during the first week of classes, the following semester.
Fixed Exam Option

Exams are scheduled by the Registrar's office. Instructors will proctor their exams on the specified day/time/location assigned. These exams typically involves slides, presentations, or the entire group present.
Consider the following:

  • Check when your exam will be held, day/time: 
    All scheduled exams are scheduled according to the "exam grid". This schedule is designed to avoid student time conflicts. Locations will be announced by the Registrar's Office in September.
  • Are you available on campus to proctor your exam on the day and time indicated?
    Instructors are expected to proctor their scheduled exams.
  • What if a student wants to take the exam before the exam period?
    No exams can be taken before the designated exam week. You may schedule a mutually agreed day and time during the exam week at your discretion if a student is unable to attend the scheduled fixed exam. The agreed day/time must not conflict with any other fixed exam and must be within the designated exam period. Departmental space should be used for this option.
  • What if a student cannot take the exam during the exam period?
    Students are required to take their exams within the designated exam period. If the student requests an "incomplete", she may qualify to take her exam during the makeup period.  Information regarding incomplete work can be found here. Legislation requires that makeup exams will be taken during the first week of classes, the following semester.
Faculty Examination Pick Up

Faculty may pick up their student's completed examinations during the examination period at the Science Center Library or after the designated times, at the Office for the Registrar.

As a reminder, final grades are due shortly after the end of the examination period. The students appreciate your prompt submission of all grades.

Examination Information for Administrative Assistants

Department Administrative Assistants play a critical role in the examination process. Faculty should submit their examinations to their respective administrative assistants by the deadline suggested. The Department is then responsible for creating the necessary number of copies, stuffing them into envelopes, and labeling each envelope. The Office of the Registrar will coordinate the collection and secure storage of all examinations.