As the semester ends, students should know their final exam rights. Graphic by Elizabeth Wong.
With finals season approaching and exams coming up, it’s important for students at the University of Rhode Island to be aware of the exam rights they are entitled to.
Students can find their final exam rights online through the Student Senate website or outlined in the University Manual.
There are five main rights students have: there are no mandatory classes allowed on the reading day; you should not have more than two final exams in one day; only one exam should be scheduled in each period; no exam should be scheduled for longer than three hours and all finals should be taken during the designated final exam times.
Each of these rights has specific sub-rules that students can refer to for more information and to understand more if their rights are being violated.
Student Senate Academic Affairs Committee Thomas McGrath works to ensure that students know their exam rights and are being treated properly.
“It’s crucial for students to have final exam rights because I think that it protects us from professors potentially trying to give us too much work,” McGrath said. “It prevents us from being bombarded with so much work and stress at the end of the semester when there’s so much going on. This just helps to really protect students so that they can succeed, that’s really what it comes down to.”
McGrath suggested that the first thing students should do if they are concerned about their exam rights is to bring the issue to the attention of the professor. If the professor does not help accordingly, McGrath encourages reaching out to Student Senate, who is more than willing to help solve the problem.
The most common violation of exam rights, according to McGrath, involves professors giving tests outside of the allotted final exam period during the last classes of the semester.
McGrath and the Academic Affairs Committee host an exam rights table in the library during the last full week of classes. At the table, students can receive a piece of paper with all of their rights on it in detail. Students will also have the chance to ask the committee questions or pose concerns about their specific situation. This year, the table will be held on Dec. 3 and Dec. 5.
Fellow Student Senator Katie Siegle also believes in the power of these rights during finals season.
“Final exam rights are incredibly important, and it’s even more important that URI students know about them,” Siegle said. “If a professor were to do something that violates these rights, students should realize that and have the opportunity to act.”