University of Wisconsin–Madison

Midterm- and final-exam policy

Evening midterm-exam policy

Two evening examination periods have been established for daytime classes that require evening midterm examinations. The first 90-minute period is from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm to accommodate examinations of 90 minutes. Examinations can begin any time before or during this period as long as they end no later than 7:00 pm. The second period begins at 7:15 pm and will accommodate longer exams. Exceptions to this general policy may be authorized by the academic vice chancellor.

Instructors of daytime courses who plan to give evening midterm examinations must make a request to footnote that information on the course so students will be aware of potential conflicts with evening courses or other commitments. Whenever possible the times and/or dates of evening examinations should also be footnoted.

Instructors who schedule evening examinations should make every possible effort to accommodate students with unavoidable conflicts. It is the instructor’s responsibility to assure that all students with conflicts between daytime courses with evening exams and evening courses are treated fairly and without penalty. If a scheduling conflict exists between the evening exam of a daytime course and a regularly scheduled evening course, then the evening course takes precedence over the exam.

Fall and Spring term final-exam policy

Set by faculty legislation: II-105 Summary period for academic semester

The academic semester consists of  a regularly scheduled instructional period, and no more than a 7-day summary period. The first day of the summary period is for individual study and review, and no classes or exams are to be scheduled then. The other days are prescheduled to include one two-hour summary block for each course of two or more credits. This two-hour block shall be used for an examination or for other instructional activities as deemed appropriate by the instructor and as approved by the instructional unit offering the course. Final examinations or other summary period activities cannot be scheduled during the two weeks preceding the summary period. Take-home final examinations are due at the scheduled two-hour block.

The summary period block schedule must be published and must be adhered to by all faculty in accordance with faculty legislation requirements. The Office of the Registrar is authorized to prepare the summary period block schedule without submitting it to the faculty for approval, except that any college or school may prepare its own summary block schedule.

The time of a two-hour block for a class and/or the due date for the take-home examination may be changed only with the prior approval of the dean. Where a student has more than two summary blocks scheduled within a period of 24 hours, the instructor may, within guidelines adopted by the college or school faculty, reschedule a final exam to avoid hardship. Rescheduled summary blocks shall be of the same general nature and quality as the activities of the regular two-hour summary block.

Special hours within the prescribed summary period shall be assigned by the Office of the Registrar, in consultation with the dean, for combined summary periods in multiple-section courses that have no common meeting hour.

Undergraduate seminar courses, independent study, and directed study courses are exempted from the above rules. Also, the rules apply only to courses numbered 699 or below.

Course grades must be completed by each instructor and submitted to the Office of the Registrar within six calendar days (144 hours) from the date and hour of the two-hour block scheduled during the summary period.

Summer session final exams

Summer mid-session exams are typically held during the scheduled class period. Final exams are held at the last class meeting unless otherwise announced by the instructor.

Final-exam locations on the web

Fall and Spring locations for final exams given in General Assignment Classrooms will be available in Student Center and Faculty Center four weeks before the start of final exams.  If your course is not listed, contact the instructor or department giving the exam to determine the location.