Final Exam Policy

The Committee on Examinations and Standing has delegated the responsibility for short-term postponements of in-class final exams to the Office of the Registrar. Individual faculty members may not authorize postponements or preponements of final examinations.

  • Authorization: A request to reschedule an in-class exam is authorized by the Registrar under very few circumstances:
    • Religious Obligations
    • Personal emergencies (considered case-by-case)
    • More than one examination scheduled on the same day
  • New Exam Timing: Examinations will normally be rescheduled the day immediately following the day of the scheduled examination. Only under the most extraordinary circumstance will an examination be rescheduled to a day prior to the regularly scheduled exam time.
  • Authorization Notification: The Registrar’s authorization notification will indicate the date, time, and location of the rescheduled exam.
  • Faculty responsibilities: In circumstances in which the Office of the Registrar administers a rescheduled examination, the faculty member in charge of the course must make a copy of the examination available to the Registrar.

Overcrowded Final Examination Schedules

Exams can potentially be rescheduled under the following circumstances:

  • Two exams in one day: Students with two in-class exams on the same day may submit an application to the Registrar to postpone one exam until the following day.
  • Three exams over two days: A student who has two in-class examinations on the same day and a single examination on the following day has the option of moving the second scheduled exam on the first day to the second day and moving the examination scheduled for the second day to the following day, resulting in an examination schedule of one examination per day in three successive days.

Illness and in-class final exams

A student who feels too sick to take an examination should seek medical care and must immediately email the Deputy Registrar, Justin T. Bronfeld. There are two possible outcomes:

  • Short-term postponement: If the student recovers sufficiently, they may take the same examination within 24 hours of the originally scheduled time. The Deputy Registrar will notify the student of the new time and place of the rescheduled examination.
  • Longer-Term postponement: If the student is so ill that a long-term postponement is needed, the student should contact their Dean as well as the Deputy Registrar. All postponed exams are rescheduled for the week prior to the start of the next term. Medical documentation will be required.

Falling Ill during an in-class final exam

A student who begins an in-class examination will, except in rare circumstances, be held accountable for taking the examination and will be assigned a grade based on the work completed on that examination. Therefore, any student who becomes ill during an examination should try their best to complete it. A student whose condition is so serious that it requires urgent medical attention should seek immediate medical care. Students should be aware that falling ill during an examination will rarely be cause for rescheduling; if rescheduling is authorized, the exam will be rescheduled as a longer-term postponement (rescheduled for the week prior to the start of the next term). 

Inadvertently Missed Exams

If a student misses a scheduled in-class final exam by mistake, they must report immediately to their residential college dean or assistant dean of studies. Only once during a student’s undergraduate Princeton career will an inadvertently missed exam be rescheduled and then only under the following conditions:

  • Missing the exam was reported immediately, within a 24-hour period
  • There are no previously inadvertently missed exams
  • The student is making satisfactory progress in the course
  • There is no evidence that the student is seeking to gain an advantage

A contract must be signed and attached to the exam; the contract is subject to approval of the instructor.