Self-Scheduled Final Exam Procedure

Responsible office: Office of the Registrar


The majority of final exams are self-scheduled. To take a self-scheduled final exam, come to the exam center in Hooker Auditorium at the start of an official exam session. The center will be open for distribution and return of the examinations during the times noted on the published schedule. Note that some exams are to be picked up from the Kendade Atrium instead of Hooker; refer to the published schedule for details, which may vary from term to term.

  • Students requiring assistance obtaining their exams from Hooker should contact Disability Services at extension 2634 so that arrangements can be made prior to the beginning of the exam period.
  • You will need to bring your ID card. If you have lost your ID card, obtain a replacement by going to the Technology Help Desk located in the Info Commons on level 4 of the Williston Library Monday through Friday 8:30 am-5 pm. Any other time, please visit Public Safety and Service. Five College students must bring their Mount Holyoke OneCard for building entry and may use their OneCard or their home campus ID card for exam pickup identification.

Exam Procedure

Picking Up Your Exam

When you visit the exam center to pick up your self-scheduled exam envelope, you will first need to fill out a "white card" with some basic information about you and the exam you want to take:

  • Department, course number, and section number
  • Your name, and if you are a Five College student
  • Your instructor's name
  • Today's date and the exam session you are entering (morning, afternoon, or evening)

When your white card is complete, you will hand it to Exam Center staff in exchange for your exam envelope.

Self-Scheduled Exam Envelopes

The instructions on this page are published on every exam envelope in use during the final exam period. Students are expected to read and sign off on their exam envelopes directly. The version here is provided for your convenience and preparation prior to final exams.

Room Instructions and Permissible Aids

The upper-left corner of the envelope contains directions provided by the instructor of the course. These include:

  1. Whether the exam must be taken in a closed-book room or open-book room
  2. Whether the student may use a non-programmable calculator, the one aid that may be elected by the instructor even in a closed-book room
  3. Whether the student should provide answers in a blue book or directly on the enclosed exam
  4. Additional instructions/aids, if any, for exams to be taken in an open-book room

Instructions and Honor Code Requirements

Self-scheduled exams are a privilege made possible by the Mount Holyoke College honor code, requiring the cooperation of each individual member of the Community. Every student must read and observe all procedures on this envelope (front and back).

Before you leave the exam center:

  • Pick up a blank blue book from the Exam Center if the instructor has indicated above that one is needed.
  • Before opening the exam, double check the label in the upper-right corner to make sure your name is on it and it is for the course you intended. If you were given the wrong exam, return immediately to the Exam Center, without opening the exam envelope, and ask to speak with the supervisor.

You can take only one exam per exam session. You will have 2 hours to complete the exam. Ordinarily, students are allowed an additional 30 minutes total for traveling to and from an appropriate official exam room and for check-in; this time is built into the exam session. All exams must be completed and returned to the exam center by the end of each session.

  • If you choose to start an exam late during one of the exam sessions, you must still return the exam by the end of that session, thereby shortening the available time for taking the exam. That is, you will need to complete and return the exam by 11:30am for a morning exam, by 4:30pm for an afternoon exam, or by 9:30pm for an evening exam.
  • If you were pre-approved by Disability Services for an extended time accommodation for exams, you must complete the exam within the specified time limit of your accommodation and then turn in the exam no more than 30 minutes beyond this limit.

If you brought a cell phone, smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, or other device, it must be turned off and stowed (completely enclosed in a backpack, purse, or pocket) before entering any open-book or closed-book exam room. These devices may not be used, even for time checks, until you have returned your completed exam to the Exam Center.

  • Unless the instructor has provided alternate instructions in the box on the front of the exam envelope, exams must be taken in a CLOSED BOOK ROOM without any aids (no calculator, no reference materials, no devices).
  • If the instructor has designated the exam should be taken in an OPEN BOOK ROOM, the box should specify exactly which aids you are allowed to use/reference during the exam. Only the materials/devices specified in the box are allowable.

After picking up your exam, go directly to one of the official exam rooms, per the room signs posted at the Exam Center. If your exam envelope specifies an Open Book room, then you must be in one of the Open Book rooms. Otherwise, use a Closed Book room.

  • Exams cannot be taken in labs, offices, libraries, residence hall rooms, corridors, lounges, or undesignated classrooms.

If you fall ill during an exam or believe the exam is defective in some way, bring the exam and any materials you used thus far back to the Exam Center and ask for further directions from the supervisor.

Honor Code Violations

Students who violate the honor code or who witness an apparent violation of the honor code must report the incident. If you observe a suspected violation while you are taking an exam, write a few brief notes regarding where you were when you observed the questionable behavior, the time, and the student's appearance and location in relation to you. Please finish taking your exam as usual. When you return to the Exam Center to submit your completed exam, ask to speak to the supervisor about a possible honor code violation. The supervisor will put you in touch immediately with the Registrar’s on-call staff member to file a brief initial report. Then, within 6 hours, file your official report of the suspected violation online on the Academic Deans page in my.mtholyoke.

When finished taking your exam, before leaving the exam room:

  • If you used a blue book to record answers or as scratch paper, on its cover fill in your name, the course department, number, and instructor, and today’s date.
  • Place the exam questions and any blue books or notes used during the exam inside this envelope.
  • Seal your exam envelope.
  • In the designated spot on the back of the exam envelope, write the time you completed the exam and the building name and room number where you took this exam.
  • Read the statement, print your name, and sign it to indicate your agreement.
  • Return the signed and sealed envelope to the Exam Center no later than 2.5 hours after you picked it up or by the end of the session (by 11:30am for a morning exam, by 4:30pm for an afternoon exam, or by 9:30pm for an evening exam), whichever is sooner. The time it was returned to the center will be noted on the envelope by the Exam Center staff when they check it in.

You must enter the finishing time, and the building and room in which your exam was taken. You must then read and agree (via signature) to the following:

  • I have followed the instructions provided by the instructor. I took the exam in an appropriate official exam room and used no devices or aids not specifically authorized by the instructor.
  • I have enclosed all blue books used and all pages of the exam in this envelope.
  • I have sealed the envelope before returning it to the Exam Center.
  • I have not cheated on this exam.
  • I have not noticed any suspected cheating by others (or, if I have, I will promptly report it per the directions on the front of this envelope).
  • I pledge not to talk or communicate in any way about the content or difficulty or any other aspect of this exam until after the end of the last exam session of the semester. This applies everywhere and with everyone (other than the course instructor), whether or not they are fellow students in the particular course.
  • My signature below confirms that I have read, understood, and followed all instructions on both sides of this envelope.

Returning the Exam Envelope

If the Exam Center has closed, return the exam immediately to:

  • The Office of the Registrar if it is open. Open hours are Mon-Fri, 8:30 am-5 pm.
  • Otherwise, to Public Safety and Service (open after 5pm and on weekends at all hours).

If you were authorized for an extended time accommodation, you may return the exam no later than 30 minutes after the authorized extended time. Otherwise, any late exams will be reported the instructor for additional follow-up.