Taking Notes: Eye on Education – AU Exam Scheduling

This column will focus on educational issues affecting post-secondary students. It will address a wide range of topics. Students are encouraged to submit suggestions and educational topics they are concerned about, or personal experiences with courses or university situations they feel other students should know about.


Did you know that you must book your AU exam 15 working days ahead of the date you wish to write it? Most of us do by now. But did you know that if you happen to be writing Spanish 300, and you wish to write it at the ELC, you have to book more than 15 days in advance? The same is true of ADMN404, BIOL325 & 341, GEOL319, CHEM301, and all French and Spanish exams. Why is that?

I found this out the hard way when I tried to book my Spanish exam this spring. I called 15 working days in advance, only to be told that because the exam was longer than 3 hours it could only be accommodated on certain days of the week (for example, Tuesdays). I was advised that I had already missed the 15-working-day deadline for that particular day and would not be able to book an exam on a “Tuesday” until the next month. This would require me to obtain a course extension. Nothing in the course materials or on the exam website indicates that these exams are restricted to certain days – they are just listed as 3 ½ hour exams.

Did you know that if circumstances prevent you from writing an exam on a scheduled date, the invigilator can give permission to re-book within five days (as long as it does not extend past your course contract date)? Depending on the circumstances, they may not have to charge you a fee either, although they are under no obligation to do this.

Did you know that if you have a disability, special accommodations for writing exams, (such as alternative format or longer time) can be requested, as long as you do so at least 30 days in advance?

Knowing what your options and rights are when it comes to exams can do a lot to relieve the stress and anxiety students at AU face regarding exams. For more exam details and information, exam rules and regulations, and a list of invigilators; check out AU’s online calendar; Section 7 Evaluation, at: http://www.athabascau.ca/calendar/03/page07.html

AUSU has also compiled a very helpful list of exam tips at: http://www.ausu.org/helpcenter/index.php

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