CEE Examination Regulations and Procedures

This information is available as a PDF.

(Approved on January 25, 2001)
(Revised Version Approved February 14, 2013)

The examinations are governed by the University of Waterloo Academic Regulations Related to Assignments, Tests, and Final Exams.

The regulations presented here address situations that are specific to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and are meant to clarify and elaborate the Department's position regarding how examinations are conducted. A candidate giving assistance to or receiving assistance from, or communicating in any manner with any person other than the Presiding Officer or assistants, or copying, or having at the examination unauthorized aids of any kind, is liable to academic discipline.

Academic Integrity (AI) is taken very seriously and it is your responsibility as a student to know, understand, and follow the University of Waterloo policies.


1.  Books, Notes, and Bags

  • Only those items authorized for use in the examination may be taken to the candidates' seats.
  • All books, notes, handbags, purses, backpacks and other personal paraphernalia must be left at the front or side of the examination room during the period of examination.

2.  Calculators and Other Electronic Devices

  • If permitted, only standard non-programmable calculators displaying nothing but numerical information, that cannot store text and with no long-term memory, may be used, unless otherwise specified by the instructor.
  • No laptop, notebook or netbook computers, tablets, or any electronic devices that can store text or images may be used.
  • No smart phones, cellular phones, or any wireless or electronic communication devices may be used.
  • Recording or playback devices are not permitted during the writing of examinations.
  • All electronic devices, other than approved calculators as defined above, shall be turned off and placed at the front or side of the examination room during the period of the examination.

3.  Examination Booklets

  • Examination booklets or papers are brought to the examination room by the Presiding Officer.
  • Candidates should complete the outside covers of the examination booklets before beginning to answer the examination questions. If more than one book is used, CEE Dept. Examination Regulations and Procedures Page 2 of 3 they should be numbered as 1 of n, 2 of n, etc., and submitted with the other booklets inserted inside the first booklet.
  • No papers may be detached from the examination booklets. Staples of the examination booklets or papers are not to be removed. A candidate may not take an examination booklet or any part of an exam paper from the examination room.

4.  Posting of Student Grades (Policy #19)

  • Provided the identity of individual students is protected, an instructor may convey information about student academic performance (e.g., grades on assignments, mid-term or final examinations) by posting results in a public place such as an office door, bulletin board or course website. Final examination and final course grades shall not be posted before the final examination period ends.


1. Presiding Officer and Exam Proctors

The Presiding Officer shall be in charge of the examination and will normally be the instructor of the course being examined. If the instructor is not going to be present, arrangements must be made for another faculty member to take his/her place at the examination. Teaching Assistants for the course being examined may be asked to assist the Presiding Officer in supervising the examination as proctors. Each examination room shall have at least two proctors (at least one male and one female). Additional proctors will be arranged by the Administrative Coordinator for Undergraduate Studies at the Course Instructor’s request.

2. Late Arrivals

There shall be no extension of time for candidates who arrive late. The Presiding officer shall write the time of arrival on the candidate’s examination booklet. Candidates who arrive more than one hour late for an examination may be barred from writing the examination if students have already completed the examination and left the examination room.

3. Early Departures

After the examination has commenced, all candidates must remain for the first hour and must hand in a signed examination book, even if there are no answers in it, before leaving the examination room.

4. Attendance Sheets

The Presiding Officer or the proctors shall, after the first half hour but before the end of the first hour, have each candidate sign their name on an Attendance Sheet. The proctors should make a seating plan, or fill in the attendance sheet systematically so that the seating plan can be reconstructed.

5. Seating

There must be at least one empty seat between students. Appropriate examination room sizes will be scheduled to accommodate this.

6. Failure to Write

Candidates who fail to write the examination at the scheduled time are not to be given a deferred examination without the prior knowledge and approval of the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, who shall also inform the Examination and Promotion Officer.

7. Leaving the Examination Room

A candidate may, with the permission of the instructor or proctor, leave the examination room briefly only if accompanied by an assigned proctor. A candidate may not remove any examination material from the examination room, nor may the candidate take any electronic device, including their smart phone or wireless communication device with them when they leave the room. 

8. Academic Discipline

The main duty of the Presiding Officer and proctors is to ensure that students are not cheating by using unauthorized aids (crib sheets, notes, textbooks, etc.) during the exam, or communicating from one person to another. If there are reasonable grounds for believing an infraction is occurring or has occurred, the Presiding Officer or proctor is to politely but firmly and without disrupting students who are not involved:

  • advise the student that the aid or communication is not permitted and confiscate the aid;
  • confirm the name of the student, write a brief note on the front page of the student's exam booklet stating the time of the infraction, and allow the student to continue writing the exam.
  • The Presiding Officer or proctor has the authority to require the student to move to a seat where the student can be more easily monitored.
  • If a student’s behaviour is disrupting other students, the Presiding Officer has the authority to take appropriate measures, for example to require the student to move to a seat away from the other students (where possible), or to require the student to cease writing the exam and leave the examination room.

At the conclusion of the examination period, the Presiding Officer or proctor must make a note of any details not previously noted on the student’s exam booklet (e.g., refusal to cooperate); identify the paper and set it aside and inform the course instructor of the circumstances. The Presiding Officer or course instructor will ask to speak to the student in confidence at the end of the exam to explain to the alleged offender that the status of her/his paper is in question. The student will be asked to explain his/her actions. The Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies must be informed immediately.

Informal Resolution

The persons involved (i.e., instructor, teaching assistant, student, etc.) attempt to come to a resolution of the matter among themselves. Such a resolution must be agreed to by the parties involved and submitted in writing, signed by all parties, to the Associate Dean within five working days. If the Associate Dean agrees with the terms of the resolution, the matter is considered closed; otherwise, the matter will be resolved formally. However informal resolutions cannot result in the expunging of grades, the revoking of degrees, suspension, or expulsion. Instructors are encouraged to consult with the Associate Chairs regarding suitable penalties.

Formal Resolution

If the attempt at an informal resolution fails, or is deemed by the Associate Dean to be inappropriate, the matter is referred to the Associate Dean for resolution.

The complete policy regarding academic discipline is contained in Policy 71: Student Discipline, which can be found at: http://uwaterloo.ca/secretariat/policies-procedures-guidelines/policy-71

The policy regarding appeal is contained in Policy 70: Student Petitions and Grievances, which is available at: http://uwaterloo.ca/secretariat/policies-procedures-guidelines/policy-70