Missed Exam Practices & Procedures




It is most desirable for all students to take the exam at the regularly appointed time. However, certain circumstances arise which keep a student from taking the exam at that time, and the instructor tries to be understanding of those circumstances. Abuses of the instructor's generosity manifest themselves every semester and makes the instructor question his accepting nature.

To help eliminate those abuses, the instructor has some guidelines that he follows when dealing with missed exams.

Take the exam when scheduled:

This is obviously the best choice. Students who miss exams do not typically do as well in the course as students who take the exams when scheduled. The reason most people miss an exam, despite what they tell the instructor, is because they are not up to date with the material and feel unprepared for the exam. Missing an exam day puts them further behind because they study for the exam the next day instead of studying the material covered in class. It is a cycle which worsens as the semester goes on. Many students who make a habit of missing exams end up failing or withdrawing from the course.

Take the exam before it is scheduled:

If some instance arises where the student knows they will have to miss an exam, the instructor is more than willing to let them take the exam ahead of time in the testing center. These students are usually conscientious and concerned about their grade. They are up to date with the material and willing to work harder to take the test ahead of time. These students generally only miss one exam, not the habitual absentee profiled above, and generally do well in the course.

Notify the instructor before the exam and be prepared to take the exam upon return:

If the instructor is notified that a student will be missing an exam, but there is no time before the exam to take the exam, then the student may or may not take the exam upon his/her return.

Example 1:
Mary called the instructor the morning of the exam and left a message on the machine saying that her daughter was sick and she would have to stay home with her. She said that she would be able to take the exam tomorrow after class.
The next day, Mary talks to the instructor before class to find out if he got the message and if she could make up the exam. The instructor informs her that she can go down to the testing center after class and make up the exam.
Example 2:
John called the instructor the morning of the exam and left a message on the machine saying his car wouldn't start and he would be unable to get into classes. He says nothing about when he will be able to make up the exam.
The next day in class, John doesn't talk to the instructor until after class and wants to know when he can make up the exam. John doesn't have time today because he has to go to work, and he won't have time until two days later.
John is not allowed to make up the exam, and this becomes his lowest test score which is replaced by his homework points. Except that John hadn't been doing his homework, so he gets a very low score on the exam and ends up dropping the class.
Example 3:
Jerry didn't notify the instructor ahead of time, he just showed up the next day to class like nothing had happened. Jerry didn't talk to the instructor about missing the exam either before or after class. Two days after the exam was given, Jerry comes up to the instructor and wants to know when he can make up the exam.
He can't!
Jerry had already missed a previous exam, and the homework was replacing that exam, so this one becomes a zero.
The instructor may, at his option, allow Jerry to use the final exam average to replace this test score. Since the instructor is a fairly easy going fellow who has love and concern in his heart for his students, he's likely to let Jerry do that.
The instructor has concerns that Jerry is abusing the system, but since most people don't do as well on the final exam as they would on a regular exam, and Jerry's doing so poorly in the class already that the instructor figures he will drop before the final exam to avoid getting an "F" in the class, he's likely to let Jerry count the final exam.
Example 4:
Andy didn't notify the instructor ahead of time, but he talked to the instructor before class began the next time, explained what had happened, and asked him if (not when) he could take the exam. He was free later in the afternoon to take the exam.
Andy gets to go to the testing center to make up the exam.
Example 5:
Susan missed the exam on Monday. She talked to the instructor before class began on Tuesday, explained why she had missed, but said she wouldn't be able to take the exam until Wednesday or possibly Thursday before class.
Since the instructor hadn't returned the exam, and she was going to take the exam before the next class period, she was able to take the exam in the testing center.

Take the exam before the other exams are returned:

The instructor is not willing to let students who have not made prior arrangements to take the exam once the exams have been handed back to the other students.

There is no guarantee that the instructor will or will not have the exams graded the next class period. Typically, he does not, but there is no guarantee of this. So, students who do not contact the instructor before the exam is given run the risk of not being able to make up the exam.

Attendance plays a big part:

Students who attend every day, participate in classroom discussions, and do their homework are much more likely to find the instructor sympathetic to their cause than those who regularly miss classes, don't pay attention, don't take notes, don't participate, or don't do homework.

Subject to change:

The above statements are subject to change. They are not policy, they are practices or procedures. The instructor is not binding himself to any of the above, and may reach the point where there are absolutely no make up exams whatsoever.