Final examinations

image of student studying

Winter 2023 in-person final exams

Guidelines are subject to change based on recommendations set by the local public health department. Last updated: January 27, 2023.

If you are writing an in-person final exam, you must follow the listed protocols below. For in-person final exams for online courses, see details on the Centre for Extended Learning website.

If this is the first time you are writing in-person final exams, review the Student Success Office's guide of expectations and tips.

Before you come to campus

  • Plan to arrive no sooner than 20 minutes prior to the start of the exam. Any students arriving more than one hour after the start of the exam will not be admitted to the room.
  • Don't forget your photo identification (WatCard). It must be shown at the exam.
  • Leave personal belongings and unnecessary items at home. Only bring what is absolutely needed for the exam.

When arriving at your exam location

  • Wait outside the room or building until your instructor or proctor opens the doors for entry.
  • Find and sit only in your assigned seat (if applicable).
  • Writing in the Physical Activities Complex (PAC):
    • Access to the PAC for exam purposes is limited to the South and West entrances on Ring Road. The SLC/PAC Main entrance is reserved for students using PAC facilities, and the North entrance will be locked.
    • Exterior PAC doors will remain locked until 15 minutes prior to the start time of each exam; dress according to the weather.
    • PAC washroom access is limited to the two closest facilities at the South and West entrances.
    • PAC layout

During the exam

  • Have only authorized exam materials on your desk.
    • Turn off and put away all electronics.
    • Put away all study materials.
  • You are prohibited from consuming food and drinks (with the exception of water in a clear bottle with no label).
  • If you need a break to use a washroom, eat, or for a religious observance, you must be accompanied by a Proctor.
    • If a single short break will not be sufficient because you are medically required to consume food or drinks regularly during a final exam, you must register for special accommodations with AccessAbility Services and must submit appropriate documentation from a recognized professional at least three weeks prior to the start of the final examination period.
  • You must remain in the exam room for at least one hour.
  • Once you have completed your exam, turn your exam paper over and quietly leave the room.
  • You must leave the room and building immediately at the end of the exam.

Final exam period information

  • Final examination schedule:
    • Examinations will be written in the location(s) indicated.
    • Unless indicated, it is understood that all divisions and sections of a course (excluding online course sections) listed on this schedule must write the exam at the time noted.
    • Examinations in courses and/or divisions and/or sections not on this timetable will be scheduled by the academic unit. Obtain full information from your instructor.
  • Final examinations must be no longer than 2.5 hours in duration. The examination periods will be:
    • 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
    • 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    • 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    • 7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
  • If an instructor schedules a final examination during the formal examination period outside the above times, suitable alternative time arrangements must be provided by the instructor, within the standard Monday to Saturday time slots, for any students who request an alternative time.
  • Closures: In the event that the University is closed during final examinations, the examinations will be rescheduled on the next available day, including Sunday, on which examinations have not been scheduled. Specific make-up dates will be announced on the University of Waterloo homepage.
  • Travel plans: Elective arrangements (such as travel plans) are not considered acceptable grounds for granting an accommodation.

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