Final Exams

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Except for research, seminar, tutorial, or non-academic courses, final examinations should be given in all courses.  Exemptions may be granted by the director of academic affairs responsible for a particular course or section provided prior approval is obtained from the department head.  Exemptions may be applied to whole courses, sections, groups of students, or individual students, provided that these exemptions are applied equitably to the students in a particular course or section and comparable procedures are applied to all sections of multiple-sectioned courses.
An exam schedule showing the date and hours of examination for each class meeting time is published each semester on the TSTA’s website.  Each examination period lasts two to three hours.  Examinations will be held ONLY between the hours indicated.  Exceptions must be approved by the director of academic affairs.
Final exam papers may be returned to students at the discretion of the instructor, except where departmental policy provides otherwise.  If the final exam papers are not returned to the students, the instructor shall keep the unreturned papers for at least one (1) year from the completion of the course for uncontested grade results.  If challenged, the unreturned papers may be destroyed after resolution of the challenge.  During this period any student shall have an opportunity to review the exam paper at a time convenient to both the instructor and the student.  In cases where the instructor will not be on campus during the next regular semester, the department should make reasonable efforts to ensure that the final exam papers for the instructor will be held in the departmental office for review by the student in accordance with procedures established by the department.  The fact that in some instances it may be impossible to provide a student with the opportunity to review the final exam papers is not sufficient to justify a reexamination.
Requirement for final examinations
Final examinations will be given during the scheduled final examination period for each course, except in a course that has a character that renders a final examination unnecessary or impracticable, as determined by the instructor.
Change in final examination schedule
The Schedule of Final Examinations is prepared and published by the Office of the Registration and is found in the academic calendar section of TSTA’s website.
Exam Weight and Semester Grade
Each instructor shall determine for his or her own courses the weight to be assigned to the final examination in computing the semester grade of a student. Each instructor in charge of a course will assume responsibility for proctoring in-class assessments, including those during finals week.
Examination Deferrals and Missed Examinations
A student who does not complete all his or her final examinations before the end of the examination period will receive a failing grade in the course or courses in which they failed to complete the final examination. Students who have compelling reasons may take their examinations up to three calendar days after the end of the examination period with the written permission of the associate dean for academic affairs. Serious illness and a death in the family are examples of compelling reasons. However, documentation of the student’s justification is required. For example, if the compelling reason is the student’s illness, the student will have to submit a written physician’s statement. Compelling reasons do not include travel, vacation plans or celebratory events such as weddings, anniversaries, christenings, graduations, birthdays, etc.
Exam Standards of Conduct
In taking an examination at the TSTA, you are bound by the TSTA’s Policy on Academic Dishonesty TSTA’s policy on academic and professional ethics. Under the TSTA’s policy, sanctions (including an “F” in the course or dismissal from TSTA) can be imposed on students who engage in academic dishonesty, which is defined as any attempt to obtain, or assist another student to obtain, a grade higher than that honestly earned. Under the TSTA’s policy, students are to “display the same high level of honesty, ethical conduct, and professional decorum expected of members of the practicing bar.” Violations of the TSTA’s policy can be sanctioned by, among other things, a reduced grade, suspension, or dismissal from TSTA. Any failure to comply with the published examination procedures constitutes a violation of these policies and will result in the imposition of sanctions. No materials (e.g., class notes, books, outlines, etc.) can be brought into the examination room unless the professor has given his or her prior consent and has notified the Registration Office of the specific materials permitted. Students who violate this rule will be disqualified from taking the examination.
Exam Rules
During an examination, you must comply with the following rules:

  • You may not write any notes, memory keys, or outlines before the examination begins.
  • The examination must remain in the exam envelope until Law academy staff instructs you to begin the examination.
  • There is no talking. If you have a question about the examination, go to the Exam Distribution Table.
  • There is no eating or drinking in the examination room.
  • You may leave only for necessities, such as visiting the restroom.
  • You may not change your seat.
  • Stop writing or typing immediately when your time has expired.
  • Sign the Honesty Statement and return all exam materials (including used scrap paper) in the exam envelope to the exam distribution table within five minutes of the end of the examination or the materials will be considered late.