V. Examinations

V. Examinations

Detailed examination information is posted each semester. Students are responsible for reviewing and complying with all exam policies and procedures. Exceptions may be granted only by the assistant dean for student affairs and assistant dean of academic services and registrar, and only then for serious circumstances beyond a student’s control that interfere with a student’s ability to perform (see below). Failure to take an examination during the scheduled time will result in a failing grade.

A. Final Exam Schedule

Law courses typically have a final exam at the end of the semester or require a paper in lieu of an exam. If a paper in lieu of an exam is permitted, the policies in Section IV apply to the paper. First-year courses and a few other selected courses will have “fixed” exams; all other courses in the Law School will have “flexible” (flex) exams. The final exam schedule is posted at the beginning of each semester.

1) If a course is scheduled to have a fixed exam, students must sit for that exam during the designated time.

2) If a course is scheduled to have a flex exam, students may sit for that exam during any designated flex-exam time slot. EXCEPTION: Graduating students typically must finish their exams a day before the exam period ends. 

3) Students may not sit for a flex exam during a fixed-exam time slot. 

4) Advance registration for exams is not required. 

5) Exams are scheduled Monday-Saturday. No exams are scheduled on Sunday.

B. General Rules

1) No information of any kind about any exam, including an exam from a prior semester, may be transmitted by any means to students who have not taken that exam. This prohibition includes but is not limited to information about the specific content of questions; the number, difficulty and kinds of questions; and general topics included or not included on the exam.

2) Unless specifically instructed otherwise by an instructor, students may discuss exams after the exam period ends, but only with students who have completed the exam.

3) Designated LL.M. and exchange students are allotted an additional 20 minutes per hour (or fraction thereof) on their exams. J.D. and non-law students are not eligible for this additional exam time.

4) Students may not use unauthorized aids in taking an exam.

5) Failure to sit for an exam when scheduled will result in a failing grade.

6) Students may use the lecture classrooms on the first floor of Withers-Brown Hall and the second floor of Slaughter Hall to sit for exams. Students may not sit for exams in any other location (seminar rooms, the library, journal offices, etc.) unless specifically instructed otherwise.

7) Students may not “set up” in classrooms for an afternoon exam before 12:30 p.m.

C. Computer Policies

1) Students are required to take all exams (fixed and flex) on a laptop computer unless instructed otherwise. Other than the monitor attached to the student’s laptop, students may not use peripheral monitors unless accommodated in writing for medical reasons by the assistant dean of student affairs.

2) It is the student’s responsibility to have all computer equipment in good working order at each exam. Students should reboot their computers and scan for viruses before the exam period begins.

3) Students are responsible for creating and saving back-up copies of their exams. Under no circumstances should a student open a back-up copy of an exam after the exam has been submitted unless requested to do so by Law ITC or Student Records Office personnel. 

4) Students are expected to monitor their University email accounts. If there is a problem with a student’s exam, the student will be contacted via his or her University email address. 

5) Students who experience computer problems, medical concerns or other issues that affect their ability to perform during an exam should immediately go to the exam administration table on the first floor of Withers-Brown Hall and report the problem. As soon as the problem is reported, exam time “stops.” 

6) Once reported, specific procedures/remedies are in place including allowances for time extensions as follows.

  • Computer problems: 
    a) The exam time clock is “stopped” when a student reports a computer-related exam issue. Once the problem is corrected, the time clock is restarted and the student resumes sitting the exam using either his/her laptop or a back-up PC.
     
    b) If a student loses part/all of her/his exam answer as a result of a computer-related issue, Law ITC will try to recover the work lost before the issue was reported. Students will be given one-half of any time lost between the last successful “save” and the report time of an issue. This time will be added to the remaining time left on the exam and the student’s exam end time will be adjusted accordingly. Example: A student reports a problem two hours into a three-hour exam at 3:15 p.m.  The last recoverable saved document is time stamped at 2:45 p.m. Student will be given one-half of the 30 minutes lost, i.e., 15 minutes. Hence, when the student resumes the exam, s/he will be given one hour and 15 minutes to complete the exam.
     
  • Medical or other issues: 
    a) The exam time clock is “stopped” when a student reports a medical or other issue affecting his/her ability to perform. If the student is able to resume the exam, the time clock is restarted. 
     
    b) If the student is unable to resume the exam, a determination will be made at a later date regarding the exam status of the student.

D. Honor Pledge

1) Unless specifically instructed to hand-write and sign the Honor Pledge on the exam cover sheet, students submitting exams electronically acknowledge the following Honor Pledge on all exams:

“On my honor, I have neither given nor received aid on this examination, nor did I have prior knowledge of its contents.” 

2) Students who are unable to acknowledge the Honor Pledge must inform Student Records Office personnel or the assistant dean for academic services.

E. Exam Types, Distribution and Procedures

1) FIXED EXAMS First-year courses and a few other selected courses will have fixed exams. Students will report to designated classrooms on specified days and times for exam distribution. Once the exam is distributed, students may then go to any lecture classroom in Withers-Brown Hall and Slaughter Hall to write the exam.

2) FLEX EXAMS Flex exams are distributed at the exam table in Withers-Brown Hall between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. (for morning exams) and between 1 and 2 p.m. (for afternoon exams) in accordance with the Final Exam Schedule. Exams will not be released after 9:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. To sit for a flex exam, the student must present a University-issued photo ID card to exam table personnel and ask for the exam by course name and instructor. NOTE: Students who cannot present a UVA ID card may not check out exams until all students with UVA ID cards have been processed. The exam will be electronically checked out to the student and the student will be given a receipt listing three submission deadlines:

  • The first time listed is the deadline for completing the exam. NOTE: Continuing to write after this deadline is an honor violation.
  • The second time listed is the deadline for submitting the exam answers online. This deadline concludes a 10-minute administrative period for making a final back-up copy of the exam answers, completing the online submission process, and verifying that the correct exam file was submitted.
  • The third time listed is the deadline for returning the exam questions to exam table personnel.

Once the exam is checked out, the student should proceed to an available lecture classroom and begin the exam.

3) SHORT-COURSE EXAMS 
Short-course exams are usually distributed to students at the end of the last class session. Typically, they are to be completed within a specified time period and submitted online by a specified deadline.

4) JANUARY TERM EXAMS 
January Term exams are usually distributed to students at the end of the last class session. Typically, these are to be completed within a specified time period and submitted online by a specified deadline.

F. Exam Submission

1) FIXED EXAMS When the time allotted for the exam has expired, students must immediately stop writing, submit their exams online and return the exam questions to the classroom where the exam was distributed in accordance with the submission deadlines posted in the exam distribution classroom.

2) FLEX EXAMS When the time allotted for the exam has expired, students must immediately stop writing, submit their exams online and return the exam questions to an official at the exam table in Withers-Brown Hall in accordance with the three submission deadlines listed on students’ exam check-out receipts.

Once the exam questionset has been returned to an official at the exam table, it cannot be returned to the student. 

G. Late Exams

In accordance with guidelines adopted by the faculty, late exams will be evaluated as follows:

1) If an exam is submitted less than five minutes late, a faculty member may, at his or her discretion, penalize that late exam. For example, if an exam falls on the borderline between two grades, the faculty member may use the fact that the exam was late as a basis for awarding a lower grade.

2) If an exam is submitted more than five minutes late, the grade shall be reduced according to the following schedule of penalties, unless the faculty member concludes that there is good cause to do otherwise.

a. If the exam is 5 to 10 minutes late, the grade will be reduced one gradation (i.e., an A is reduced to A-, B+ to B, etc.);

b. If the exam is 10 to 15 minutes late, the grade will be reduced two gradations (i.e., an A is reduced to B+, B to C+, etc.);

c. If the exam is 15 to 20 minutes late, the grade will be reduced three gradations (i.e., an A is reduced to B; etc.);

d. If the exam is more than 20 minutes late, the grade will be reduced four or more gradations.

H. Fire Alarms and Power Outages

In the event a fire alarm is activated or there is a power failure while a final exam is in progress, the following procedure will be used.

1) Students will evacuate the exam rooms, leaving all exam materials and computers in the exam rooms. 

2) The exam administration staff will note the time and lock the exam rooms.

3) When re-entry to the exam rooms is allowed, a member of the exam administration staff will notify students of the adjusted times. The assistant dean for academic services or Student Records Office personnel will determine if, and how much, extra time will be allowed for completion of exams due to the disruption.

I. Exceptions

Law School faculty policy requires all students to adhere to the exam schedule and procedures described herein and delegates administrative responsibility for these matters solely to the assistant dean for student affairs and assistant dean of academic services and registrar. Exceptions may not be granted by individual faculty members.

1) Exceptions to the schedule and procedures must be sought in advance from the assistant dean for student affairs or assistant dean of academic services and registrar, except when sickness, emergency or personal circumstances beyond the student’s control occur. In cases of emergency, call (434) 924-1363 or (434) 924-4072.

2) Exceptions are granted only for reasons that arise out of personal circumstances beyond the student’s control. Vacations, honeymoons, employment-related activity, lower airfares and weddings (except of a member of the immediate family) are excluded as appropriate reasons for rescheduling an exam. Relief will not be granted for sickness or other emergencies unless the student actually has been deprived of the ability to take all exams on an every-other-day basis.

3) Receiving an exception to exam procedures does not automatically result in a make-up exam. The assistant dean for academic services or the faculty Academic Review Committee, with the cooperation of the course instructor, may implement one of the following options:

a. Assign an NG (No Grade) for the course and require the student to take the same or a different exam within a reasonable time following the exam period. In this instance, the exam must be taken in time for the instructor to submit a grade by the grade submission deadline.  If the student is unable to sit the exam before grades are submitted, the NG grade will be changed to a W (Withdrawn) grade.

b. Assign a W (Withdrawn) grade for the course and allow the student to take the examination for the course the next time it is regularly offered. In this instance, the grade earned will replace the W grade unless the student chooses to enroll in the course again.

c. Make-up exams will be distributed on work days between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. only.

4) Exceptions will not be granted to permit a less-crowded exam schedule unless the student has more exams than can be taken on an every-other-day basis beginning with the first day of the exam period.

5) Exceptions will not be granted to permit a student to take a fixed exam earlier than scheduled.

Index

Academic Policies (continued)