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Policies & Procedures: Examinations

Final written examinations are required in most courses at the close of each semester. In addition, other examinations may be required during a course. The student’s final grade will be based principally upon his/her achievement as reflected in such examinations.

If a student is unable to take a final examination for reasons beyond his/her control, such as illness or other emergency, with the permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, a grade of “I” (incomplete) may be entered in the student’s records for that course. In such a case, the student must complete the course and earn credit therein by taking the examination no later than 30 days following the original exam. Students taking a make-up exam will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis only. The grading of this course as Pass/Fail will not count toward the maximum five credits Pass/Fail otherwise available. (See Pass/Fail Option.) Written application for the entry of a grade of “I” must be made promptly to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

To assure uniform grading, whenever both the day and evening courses in a particular subject are taught in the same semester by the same professor, only one examination is given. Full-time students are required to attend the evening examination session for such examinations.

Accommodations
Pursuant to the requirements of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), students with a documented disability may receive exam accommodations as authorized by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

Students for whom English is a Second Language may receive exam accommodations under some circumstances. The Associate or Assistant Dean in his or her discretion may grant the following accommodations under the following circumstances:

1. Accommodations are limited to additional time, up to 20 minutes per hour, on written examinations and/or the use of a translation (non-legal) dictionary.

2. No accommodations are available for take-home exams, papers, or oral presentations.

3. Students must not have attended a college or university for two or more years wherein instruction was primarily or exclusively English.

4. Accommodations are available only for the 12-month period following a student’s first day of class.

Conflicts
Students enrolled in courses with simultaneous exam times are required to take up to two examinations on the same day and must be sequestered from their fellow students until the start of their second examination. Please report any exam conflicts to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at least two weeks prior to the start of the examination period.

Irregularities
The maintenance of the integrity of law school examination procedures is a matter of the utmost importance not only to the reputation of MSU College of Law, but to the reputation of the legal profession in our state. Any student found guilty of an examination irregularity, whether before, during or after an examination, will be subject to discipline. Such a finding may be based upon any probative evidence including, but not limited to, the following:

1. Any conversation with another student during an examination, regardless of subject matter of that conversation.

2. The possession in the examination area of any prohibited material, regardless of its use.

3. Any perusal of another student’s examination answer, regardless of any use of such perusal.

4. Exchanging any examination materials or information with another student.

Make-up Examinations and Grade of Incomplete
If a student is unable to take a mid-term or final exam or turn in a final course paper, such that a grade of “W” will otherwise be the outcome, for reasons beyond his or her control, then the student may petition to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for an opportunity to take a “make-up mid-term exam”, make-up final exxam or receive the grade of “I” (incomplete), or to extend the deadline for the final course paper. Such a petition must be promptly made after the events in question have occurred. The granting or denial of any petition under this policy is within the discretion of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, whose determination is final.

A.  Make-Up Examinations

Mid-Term Exam

After the Associated for Academic Affairs determrines that there are reasons beyond the student's control that prevented the student from taking a mid-term exam, it is withing the discretion of the faculty member teaching the course to permit a student t take a make-up mid-term exam, the conditions upon which the make-up exam is to be taken and graded, and the deadlien to take the exam.

Given the time constraints associated with mid-termr exams, if a faculty members does not permit a studentto take a make-up mid-term exam, the student's grade in the course will be solely based on the grade earned on the final exam and other assignments for the course.

Final Exam

After the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs has granted the student approval to take a make-up final exam, the faculty member teaching the course in which the examination was missed may administer the same exam as that administered to the student's class or a different exam.  If the faculty member lects to utilize the same exam as that given to the class, the student electing to take the make-up exam must execute an affidavit affirming that he/she has not discussed the contents of the exam with anyone. 

Students electing to take a make-up final exam will be evalutated on a pass-fail basis.  No letter grade will be awarded.  The exercise of this pass/fail option will not count towards the maximum 5 credits of credit/no credit election otherwise available to students.

Any make-up final exam must be taken within 30 days of the original exam.

To allow for the implementatation of the make-up exam process, ALL examiantions MUST be turned in to the proctor at the time of their taking.  Thereafter, neither the registrar nor a faculty member will make exams available to any student until after the make-up final exam has been taken.  (Amended:  March 23, 2011)

Withdrawal
“ W” signifies that the student has withdrawn from the course. A student may withdraw, without permission, at any time prior to entering the examination room. Once the student enters the examination room, he/she is committed to receiving a grade. Withdrawal from any course during a semester will affect eligibility for scholarships and eligibility for Law Review, and may affect residency requirements and eligibility for financial aid. Excessive withdrawal from courses may result in the inability to complete the curriculum within the required number of years. A student may not withdraw from RWA I or RWA II unless the student withdraws from all courses in that semester.

A make-up exam is permitted if the faculty member teaching the course in which the examination was missed may administer the same exam as that administered to the student’s class. It is within the faculty member’s discretion whether to use the original or substitute exam. If the faculty member elects to utilize the same exam as that given to the class, the student electing to take the make-up exam must execute a written statement affirming that he or she has not discussed the contents of the exam with anyone. Also, students electing to take a make-up exam will be evaluated on a pass-fail basis. No letter grade will be awarded. The exercise of this pass/fail option will not count towards the maximum 5 credits of pass/fail otherwise available to students at MSU College of Law. Any make-up exam must be taken within 30 days of the original exam.

In order to allow for the implementation of the make-up exam process, ALL examinations MUST be turned in to the proctor at the time of their taking. Thereafter, neither the Registrar nor a faculty member will make exams available to any student until after the 30-day period has elapsed.

Extension of time to complete a final course paper is at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. If the events beyond the student’s control precludes the submission of a final course paper in a timely manner, the Associate Dean may extend the deadline for submission thereof by no more than 30 days.

Iincomplete for Final Examinations
An incomplete shall be permitted for a missed final examination pursuant to the following: 

  1. A student electing to receive an incomplete incomplete must complete the course and earn credit by taking the next regularly scheduled examination in the same course, regardless of the faculty member teaching the course.
  2. A student who receives an incomplete is not required to attend classes but is encouraged to do so.
  3. Once the examination has been taken, the grade of “I” is replaced with the letter grade earned. 
  4. No additional tuition will be charged to a student who completes a course while holding the grade of “I”. 
  5. A failure to complete the course by taking the exam at the appropriate time will result in the grade being changed to a “W” (withdrawal).
(Amended March 23, 2011)

Permits
Exam permits will be available online approximately two weeks before the end of classes. Students will receive an email from the Registrarís Office when exam permits are available for downloading.

Rules
Anonymity, equality and security are seen as imperatives in the examination process. Rules have been established to promote these goals and provide for the best possible conditions under which all students can take examinations. All exams are administered by proctors under the supervision of the Registrar. Students are expected to respond appropriately to proctors’ requests and to guard against even the perception or appearance of inappropriate exam behavior.

Students must pick up an exam permit from the MSU College of Law Registrar’s office or online when they become available each semester. The permit is used for all exams and must be picked up prior to the beginning of the exam period. Students with financial holds will not receive an exam permit until the holds are cleared or a deferment is given.

If a student wishes to maintain anonymity, the exam permit number should never be given out or displayed to other students. Students use the permit to enter the exam room as required, place the number on exam materials as directed and then put the exam permit away. After the exam period, the student keeps the permit for possible later reference.

In addition:
1. Students must sign in while presenting both the exam permit and school picture ID. Lost IDs must be replaced at the MSU Registrar’s office prior to exams.

2. Students may not leave the exam room after signing in until after the exam begins.

3. Late arrivals may enter and sit for the exam, but no extra time is given.

4. Students must be seated every other seat unless directed otherwise.

5. No materials other than pens and those provided by the proctors are permitted unless specified by the professor. All materials not permitted must be placed on the outer perimeter of the room. All materials on the desks are subject to inspection upon request. Hats are to be removed; purses are to be placed on the floor.

6. Food and spillable drinks are not permitted.

7. Once distribution of exams begins, no communication between students is permitted.

8. Students may not read any portion of the exam until told to do so, despite the fact that they are asked to place exam permit numbers on the exam and exam materials. (Note: Students should not place student number or name on exam materials, only exam number.)

9. Exams may not be unstapled, torn, or taken apart in any manner. No pages may be torn out of exams or blue books and no questions may be copied in any manner. If something is torn or comes apart, notify the proctor. No exams or portions thereof may be kept at any time.

10. If using scantrons as part of an exam, students are instructed to turn them over when completed so as to protect anonymity and answers.

11. When told to stop, students must stop immediately.

12. Exams and materials are turned in individually to the proctors. Materials must be checked and no one may leave until the proctors have checked them out. If there is a line for check out, no communication is permitted until all students have checked out.

13. If a student completes the exam before others he or she may leave unless directed otherwise.

14. Any questions with regard to exam policy and administration should be directed to the Registrar’s Office or to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

Paper, Directed Study, or Project Courses
Some courses, particularly seminars, often require a paper or project in lieu of an examination, or in addition to the examination. In courses where a paper or project is required, the due date shall be the date specified by the faculty member teaching the course, or if no date is specified, the last day of the examination period. For good cause, a due date later than the date set for faculty submission of grades may be permitted, but only with the concurrence of the faculty member and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The failure to turn in a written work on or before the due date constitutes a withdrawal from the course unless the student has been granted a grade of “I” (incomplete). (See Grading System.)

Reexamination (see Probation)


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