Final Exams

Final Exam Information for Spring 2024

The Final Exam Period Dates are: Monday, May 6th - Thursday, May 9th.

The lists and schedules linked below will be updated with Spring 2024 information on Monday, February 12th. Lists and schedules are subject to change.

Important Information Below:

  • For Students

  • For Faculty

  • For Academic Administrators

Final Exam Information for Students

There are three standard exam sessions each day - please note schedule exceptions listed below.

Morning Session: 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Afternoon Session: 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Evening Session: 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM  Exception: There is no evening exam on Thursday, May 9th (the last day of exams)

Fixed Schedule Exams 

A fixed schedule exam takes place on campus in person at a specific day and time (scheduled by the Registrar’s Office) in an assigned classroom. The entire class takes the exam at this time. The Fixed Exam Schedule details which classes will have the type of final exam. The instructor administers the exam (or arranges for an alternate faculty or staff member to administer the exam). 

Students who have approval through ADR to take a Fixed Exam with accommodations must contact their instructor to make appropriate arrangements. Instructors will work with the Registrar’s Office to book a space for an exam which allows for extra time. If students need accommodations beyond extra time, they also need to work with the Office of Accessibility and Disability Resources to make additional arrangements.

Self-Scheduled Exams

Self-scheduled exams are held on campus in person -- a student enrolled in a course with a Self Scheduled Exam will choose when to take their exam during any of the exam sessions during the Final Exam Period (see above for the scheduled start and end of each daily session). The Exam Center is located in the Science Center Innovative Hub.

Students check out their exam at the Science Center Innovative Hub from the Registrar’s Office and have a set time in which to take the exam and check it back in at the same location. Self-Scheduled Exams are specified as either Closed Book (no reference material of any kind is allowed) or Open Book (the instructor provides details to students about the permissible reference materials they may use during the exam). Students must provide their Wellesley College ID card as identification (or another form of picture ID if their College ID card is not legible).

Students who need to take their Self-Scheduled Exam with any kind of accommodations must have their arrangements pre-approved by the Office of Accessibility and Disability Resources. Details about the exam accommodations will be arranged with these students individually. Students with arranged accommodations will check their exams out from the lobby in the east side of the Grey Lot Modulars and will take their exams in the Grey Lot Modulars.

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

Virtual Final Exam

A student enrolled in a course with a Virtual Final Exam will receive instructions from their faculty member about how to access the exam and when and how it must be taken and returned. This type of exam is administered by the instructor (for example, via the course’s Sakai Site) and must be taken during the Final Exam period, to be completed at the latest by 4PM on the last day of the exam period. An instructor may not offer a virtual final exam to individual students if the final exam is scheduled for the class as a Self-Scheduled or Fixed Schedule exam.


The Honor Code

The Honor Code applies at all times and to all examination circumstances.

Students are expected:

  • To do their own work

  • To use only materials the instructor has explicitly allowed during the exam (including use of a calculator)

  • To complete self-scheduled and fixed scheduled exams in the designated exam classroom(s)

  • To return the exam within in the designated amount of time

  • To leave all their materials and the exam at their desk if they use the restroom during an exam

Students should not:

  • Take the exam out of the exam room except to return it to the exam center
  • Speak with other students about any of their exams, including discussion of the difficulty, content, format, or any other aspect of the exam

Check the Guide to Final Exams below for more information about Self-Scheduled exams such as exam session times and exam center locations.

If you have any questions about Final Exams, please email the Registrar's Office at registrar@wellesley.edu or call 781-283-2307.

Religious Observance During Final Exams

Students who observe a religious holiday that coincides with an scheduled examination or an academic deadline will follow the process of providing their faculty with a notification of religious observance and a request for accommodation. The Religious Life website explains these policies and procedures.

Additional Information about Self-Scheduled Exams

Checking out an Exam

When students arrive at the Exam Center in the Science Center Innovative Hub, they will see exam checkout tables arranged alphabetically by student last name. Students may pick up an exam as early as 30 minutes before the exam session begins.

Students have 2 ½ hours to complete their exam plus 10 minutes time to travel to and from the exam room, starting from the time they pick up their exam. An exam that is picked up after the exam session begins must be returned no later than the exam session end time (that is, the student acknowledges that they will not be granted time past the allotted end time of the session to complete the exam). When the exam is checked out, the latest return time allowed will be noted on the exam packet. Students must return their exam by the time noted on the exam packet. If the exam is returned later than this time the instructor will be notified and the instructor may impose a penalty.

Open-Book exams and Closed-Book exams must be taken in separate, designated rooms. These rooms will be listed on the label of each student exam packet and on signage outside of each classroom.

If the exam requires blue books, it will be noted on the envelope. Students should pick up blue books with their exam packet. Students must include any blue books they use in the envelope when they return their exam, even if they were only used as scrap paper.

Students will be asked to sign the Wellesley College Honor Code on the back of their exam packet as part of the exam check out process before the exam is taken.

During the Exam

Once in the room, the student is free to begin taking the exam. No electronic devices of any kind (including cell phones and headphones) are permitted. There is no proctor in the room during the exam. In the room will be displayed several posters reminding students of general guidelines for Self-Scheduled Exams, the Honor Code and what a student should do if they witness a violation, and what a student can do in case they feel ill during the exam. Students are responsible for keeping careful track of the time and for returning their exam back by the time it is due. Students should not set any audible alarm as this will create a disturbance for the other students present.

Students may use the restroom but must leave the exam in the exam room when they do. Students may take the exam out of the exam room only when they have completed their exam, and put all exam materials including any blue books they used into the exam packet and sealed it, and are ready to return the exam to the exam center.

Returning the Exam

Students return their completed exam, along with all blue books, to the same place where they picked it up -- the Science Center Innovative Hub. A staff member will assist the student by accepting the final exam and logging the time it was returned.


Final Exam Information for Faculty

The Registrar’s Office collects information about final examinations for courses from faculty during the first two weeks of each semester. Faculty can choose to offer a Fixed Schedule exam, an Open Book or Closed Book Self-Scheduled Exam, or an alternative final assessment such as project, paper, or presentation. After collecting information from faculty, the Registrar’s Office sets the fixed exam schedule and compiles a list of all sections that will require a self-scheduled or virtual final exam and publishes the information to the community.


Fixed Exams

These exams typically involve slides, presentations, or an oral component which requires that all students in the class be present to take the exam at the same time in the same location.

Fixed Exams are scheduled by the Registrar's office. All scheduled exams are scheduled according to the Fixed Exam Grid. This schedule is designed to avoid student time conflicts. Location assignments will be made by the Registrar's Office.

Instructors are responsible for proctoring their exam(s) at the specified day, time, and location or arranging for a proxy to do so.

Self-Scheduled Exams

These exams can be taken by students during any exam session during the Exam Period.

Students come to to the Science Center Hub to check out an exam and have a set amount of time in which to take it (2 1/2 hours), and a specific set of rooms where they can go to take the exam.

Choosing Self-Scheduled Exam Preferences

The Exam Preferences process allows faculty to specify the following information for a self-scheduled exam:

  • Exam will be given as an ‘Open Book’ or ‘Closed Book’ exam.

The term "open book" means that the students are permitted to use textbooks, dictionaries, their own notes from class, etc. Faculty provide their students with explicit instructions about what materials students are permitted to reference during their exam. 

No reference material of any kind is permitted in a "closed book" exam room. 

  • Use of a calculator is permitted (for either an ‘Open Book’ or ‘Closed Book’ exam)

  • Blue books are required (otherwise, students are expected to write their responses directly on the exam pages provided).

Preparing the Self-Scheduled Exams

During the week before exam period, exam materials are provided to Departments by the Registrar’s Office (envelopes and labels for each student in the class). Faculty are responsible for providing their Academic Administrators with the exams so they can be prepared by the morning of the last business day before the Exam Period begins. 

Faculty Exam Pick Up

During the final exam period, Faculty may pick up their students’ completed self-scheduled examinations during designated times from the Registrar’s Office staff at the Exam Center in the Science Center Hub.

Each Exam Day:

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM (except the first day of exams)

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Last Day of Exams: Special Evening Hours

5:15 PM - 6:15 PM

As of the day after Exam Period ends:

Faculty can pick up all remaining completed self-scheduled exams at the Registrar's Office in Schneider Center first floor.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • 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", they may qualify to take their exam during the exam makeup period. Follow the link to find information regarding incomplete work. Makeup exams are scheduled during the first 5 days of classes the following semester (fall and spring).

  • What if a student has several fixed exams that overlap?

In the rare case that a student has either two Fixed Exams that overlap or three Fixed Exams scheduled for the same day, the student may arrange with one of their instructors to reschedule one exam to a different day and time slot. Though faculty are expected to honor such a request, the rescheduled exam must be at a time workable for both the instructor and the student within the exam period.


The deadline for grades to be submitted is available on the Academic Calendar.

Final Exam Information for Academic Administrators

Department Academic Administrators play a critical role in the process of preparing Self-Scheduled Exams. Faculty submit their examinations to their respective Academic Administrators, and the Registrar's Office provides the materials to use to make exam packages (envelopes and labels for each student in the class). The Department is then responsible for creating the necessary number of copies, stuffing them into the envelopes and labeling them. The Office of the Registrar will coordinate the collection and secure storage of all examinations.