Exam Issues

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Don't look to your instructor, or the Faculty, to help you out of a bind due to poor planning, and definitely don’t make travel plans until you’ve seen an exam schedule!

Exam FAQ

Students who miss a final exam due to illness or extreme personal distress and would like to apply for a deferred exam (a.k.a. SD) must report to Science Advising within 48 hours of the missed exam, either in person, by telephone or via email. The official application forms can be picked up and filled in within a few days and completed forms and all appropriate documentation must be submitted within 14 days of the missed exam.

If you miss a midterm exam, follow the instructions in your course syllabus and notify your instructor directly. Science Advising rarely gets involved with missed midterm exams.

No. In order to be eligible for a Deferred Standing, students must both be in good academic standing going into the final exam, confirmed by the instructor, and have appropriate rationale and documentation to support the missed exam. Students who have not regularly attended classes or completed class assignments/labs, or are failing the course will not be granted a deferral.

No. UBC Science does not permit rewrites of final exams. Once you write an exam, you have made a conscious decision to write it, so there is no recourse. If you are not in the proper condition to write the exam, you have the option of not writing the exam and then requesting Deferred Standing. Keep in mind that you must be in good standing in the course and have a valid reason for missing the exam in order for your request to be considered.

If you are approved for a deferred exam, the initials SD will appear on your academic record. If your request is denied, then you will be notified by Science Advising, normally via e-mail. Please ensure that the e-mail address that you have listed on the SSC is current and reliable.

When you request a deferred exam, you are provided with a green sheet that details your responsibilities surrounding the deferred exam and how to determine when it will take place. Three options are available:

  1. Some courses have a January SD exam date. If this is offered for your course, you are expected to write at that time.
  2. Some Departments will expect you to write with the next class offering (Term 2 exams, Summer Term exams).
  3. If neither option 1 nor 2 are available, then your exam will be scheduled within the Enrolment Services deferred exam period (late July to early August for winter session courses). You are expected to make yourself available for this.

You must write your deferred exam at the first scheduled opportunity. Science Advising will provide you what information they have from the Department about which exam period is appropriate, but it is your obligation to follow up with the Department with any questions and to get specific details on timing and location of the SD exam. 

Students with deferred standing for winter session courses must normally complete the SD by August 23 (and December 25 for deferred summer session courses). Students who are unable to meet the specified deadlines because of further medical problems or other afflictions must request an extension of their deferred standing in a timely manner. Students must supply additional documentation to support their request for an extension. Please keep in mind that extensions are rarely granted. For students who do not complete the deferred requirements or do not request an extension by the deadline, the deferred standing will be removed and the final course mark will be based on a grade of 0% for the final exam.

Students must give two weeks’ notice of their intention to absent themselves under the terms of the University policy on religious holidays. You must either inform the instructor of each course or, where this can’t be done, the head or director of the unit concerned. Check out additional resources here:

This is an exam clash—multiple examinations scheduled on the same day at the same time. Your typical starting point is your instructor, but rules vary a bit by term. Review the UBC Student Services Exam policies.

An examination hardship is defined as three or more end-of-term examinations scheduled within a 24-hour period. Students must talk to the instructor of the second exam at least one month prior to the examination date for courses in the Winter Session, or no later than two weeks prior to the examination date for courses in the Summer Session. Review important information on Exam Hardships in the UBC Calendar.

Have a question not in the FAQ? Speak with Science Advising.