Term Work, Tests, and Final Exams

In This Section:


Term Work and Tests


Term Work

Instructors shall return by the deadline one or more marked assignments worth a combined total of at least 10% of the total course mark for H courses and 20% for Y courses. The deadline for returning such marked work is the last regularly-scheduled class meeting prior to the deadline to cancel without academic penalty. Exceptions: 1) courses that run the entire Fall/Winter or Summer session (Y1Y or H1Y courses), the deadline is seven days after the start of the S-term; 2) courses that do not meet regularly (e.g., asynchronous online courses, independent study courses), the deadline is one business day prior to the deadline to cancel without academic penalty.

When submitting late term work due to extenuating circumstances, the student should contact their instructor ideally before the deadline but no later than one week past the deadline. Students should also refer to the course-specific late submission policy in syllabus (if any).  All term work must be submitted on or before the last day of the final examination period, unless an earlier date is specified by the instructor. Any extension may be for no longer than five business days after the end of the final examination period. If additional time beyond this period is required, students must petition through their College Registrar on or before five business days after the end of the examination period for a further extension of the deadline. (See Petitions and Appeals)

Students are strongly advised to keep rough and draft work and copies of their essays and assignments, as these may be required by the instructor.

All written work that has been evaluated should be returned to the student with such detailed comment as the instructor deems appropriate, and time made available for discussion of it. Any enquiries or appeals about a graded piece of work must be made to the instructor as soon as possible and no later than two weeks after the work was returned. Instructors must keep unclaimed term work for at least six months beyond the end of the course. 

Term Work and Term Test Regulations

The following regulations summarize the Faculty’s implementation of the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy, Parts A and B, available on the Governing Council website.

Marking Schemes

As early as possible in each course, and no later than the last date to enrol in the course, the instructor shall make available to the class, and shall file with the division/faculty or academic unit, the course marking scheme, i.e., methods by which student performance shall be evaluated. This should include whether the methods of evaluation will be essays, tests, class participation, seminar presentations, examinations, or other requirements; the relative weight of these methods in relation to the overall mark; and the timing of each major evaluation.

No essay, test, examination etc. in the marking scheme may be assigned a weight of more than 80% of the course mark. This limit does not apply when an instructor makes an accommodation at a student's request to take into account assessments missed for legitimate, documented reasons.

After the methods of evaluation and their relative weight have been made known by the last date to enrol in the course, the instructor may not change them or the relative weight of assessments without the consent of a simple majority of students attending the class, provided the vote is announced no later than in the previous class. For online asynchronous courses, with advance notice, a vote may be held online; a simple majority of students who voted is needed as evidence of consent. Any changes must be reported to the division or the academic unit. The only exception to this is in the case of the declaration of a disruption. Please see the University’s Policy on Academic Continuity.

In the event that this policy has not been followed, a student should contact their College Registrar's office or the relevant academic unit.

Term Tests

No term test or combination of term tests held in the last two weeks of classes at the end of any term may have a total weight greater than 25% of the final mark. This includes term tests in Y courses held in December, and also includes “take-home tests” and assignments where the topics or questions are both assigned and due within the last two weeks of classes.

All term tests must be held on or before the last day of classes. No term test may be held during Fall and Winter Reading Weeks, during the Study Breaks in December and April, or during Faculty Examination Periods, except for those in Y courses scheduled by the Faculty in the December or June Examination Periods.

Missed Term Tests

Students who miss a term test for reasons beyond their control may, no later than one week after the missed test, submit to the instructor or academic unit a request for special consideration. Such requests should explain the reason for missing the test, and should include appropriate documentation. Students should refer to the A&S Student Absences webpage for more information.

A student whose special consideration request is granted by the academic unit will be entitled to a) a make-up test, or b) a re-weighting of the missed test to remaining term work and/or final exam in the course. If the student misses the remaining term work and provides legitimate grounds, the full percentage weight of the missed work may be allocated to the final exam.

Note that the weight of a final exam in a 100-level course may not be increased beyond 80% as an initial accommodation for a legitimate absence. However, if the student misses the make-up opportunity or subsequent test that was to be re-weighted, then the weight of the final exam may be increased beyond 80%.

In courses where the mid-term test is the only marked term work in the course other than the final examination, an initial make-up test opportunity normally must be given. Instructors may use their discretion, but typically students are not automatically entitled to a second make-up test opportunity. The academic unit will determine what consideration is appropriate for a student who misses a make-up test for legitimate reasons. It is important to note that a student who misses a term test cannot subsequently petition for withdrawal without academic penalty from the course on the grounds that they had no term work returned before the drop date.


Final Exams


Faculty Final Examinations

A Faculty final examination counting for between one-third and two-thirds of the final mark must be held in each 100-level course, unless exemption has been granted by the Faculty of Arts & Science. In 200-, 300- and 400-level courses, the Departments will decide whether or not an examination is appropriate. Courses at the 200-level will normally have a final examination. The ratio of term work to examination will be the same for all sections of multi-section courses that have final examinations. The relative value of each part of a written examination must be indicated on the question paper.

Final examinations are held at the end of each term. Students taking courses during the day may be required to write evening examinations, and students taking evening courses may be required to write examinations during the day. Examinations may be held on Saturdays or Sundays. Students who make personal commitments during the examination period do so at their own risk. No special consideration is given and no special arrangements are made in the event of conflicts resulting from personal commitments such as travel arrangements.

Students who are unable to write their examinations due to illness, etc., should contact their College Registrar (see Petitions for Deferred Examinations).

Students who have two Faculty final examinations in the same time slot, or three consecutive Faculty final examinations (e.g., morning, afternoon, evening; or afternoon, evening, next morning), should submit a Final Examinations Conflict form using their University of Toronto email account to exams.artsci@utoronto.ca no later than the deadline published on the A&S Exam Conflicts webpage.

Students who cannot write a final examination at the scheduled time due to a religious obligation should submit a Final Examinations Conflict form using their University of Toronto email account to exams.artsci@utoronto.ca as soon as the conflict is known, and no later than the deadline published on the A&S Exam Conflicts webpage. Requests received after the deadline may not be accommodated and failure to meet a deadline is not considered a valid reason to petition for a deferred exam.

For the most up-to-date examination timetable consult the Faculty’s Exam Schedule webpage.

Rules of Conduct for In-Person Examinations

  1. No person will be allowed in an examination room during an examination except the students concerned and those supervising the examination.
  2. Students are expected at the examination room at least twenty minutes before the commencement of the examination.
  3. Students shall bring their photo identification (signed Photo ID - the picture must be clearly visible for identification purposes) and place it out in the open on their desks. Photo identification may include any one of the following, as long as it contains a current photo and a signature:
    A) current University of Toronto Photo ID (TCard); or
    B) up-to-date Passport (any country); or
    C) current Driver’s License (any country); or
    D) government issued photo ID (any province or territory).
  4. Students shall place their non-smartwatch or timepiece on their desks – if the CPO cannot tell if it is wireless or Bluetooth capable, they will ask for it to be placed under the desk.
  5. All coats and jackets should be placed on the back of each Student's chair. All notes, books, pencil cases, cell phones (turned off), laptops, any other electronic devices or unauthorized aids, and smaller bags like purses should be stored inside the student's knapsack or large bag, which should then be closed securely and placed under the student’s chair. Students may not have a pencil case on their desk and any pencil cases found on desks will be searched and placed under the chair. All watches and timepieces on desks will be checked. Students are not allowed to touch their knapsacks or bags or the contents until the exam is over. Students are not allowed to reach into the pockets or any part of their coat or jacket until the exam is over.
  6. The Chief Presiding Officer has the authority to assign seats to students.
  7. Students shall not communicate with one another in any manner whatsoever during the examination. Students may not leave the examination room unescorted for any reason, and this includes using the washroom.
  8. No materials or electronic devices shall be used or viewed during an examination, except those authorized by the Chief Presiding Officer or Examiner. Unauthorized materials include, but are not limited to: books, class notes, or aid sheets. Unauthorized electronic devices include any device that has internet/wireless/Bluetooth connectivity or otherwise may communicate with another person or device outside the exam hall. The most obvious examples include cell phones, tablets/laptops, smart technology including smart watches or fitness devices with connectivity, and so forth.
  9. Students who use or view any unauthorized materials or electronic devices while their examination is in progress - or who assist or obtain assistance from other students or from any unauthorized source - are liable to academic penalties under the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters which can be severe.
  10. In general, students will not be permitted to enter an examination room later than thirty minutes after the commencement of the examination, nor leave until at least half an hour after the examination has commenced. Any exception to this rule is made by the Chief Presiding Officer, and the Chief Presiding Officer will set the conditions for such an exception.
  11. Students shall remain seated at their desks during the final ten minutes of each examination.
  12. At the conclusion of an examination, all writing shall cease. The Chief Presiding Officer may seize the papers of students who fail to observe this requirement, and a penalty may be imposed.
  13. Examination papers, books and other material issued for the examination, shall not be removed from the examination room except by authority of the Chief Presiding Officer.
  14. The University is not responsible for personal property left in examination rooms.


Rules of Conduct for Online Examinations

Online examinations are administered by the academic unit.  Students should refer to the instructions provided by the unit or the course instructor.


Reassessment of Term Work, Final Exam or Course Marks

Requests for Re-marking of Term Work

A student who believes an individual item of work has been incorrectly or unfairly marked may request that it be re-marked. Such requests should be made initially to the instructor in the course as soon as possible after the work was returned, and no later than two weeks after it was returned.

If an instructor refuses the request to re-mark a piece of work, or if the student believes the re-marking was incorrect or unfair, the student may appeal to the Undergraduate Coordinator (e.g., Associate Chair who is acting on behalf of the Chair) of the academic unit sponsoring the course.

Requests for re-marking beyond the academic unit should be made to the Office of the Dean. Such requests about the marking of term work must be made in writing. They will be reviewed to ensure that appropriate procedures have been followed in earlier requests, that the student has been treated fairly, and that the standards applied have been consistent with those applied to other students doing the assignment. The Office of the Dean is the final level of requests for re-marking in the Faculty of Arts & Science; no further level of request is possible.

A request for re-grading of a mark beyond the instructor for term work may only be made for an item worth at least 20% of the course mark.

All requests beyond the instructor must be made in writing in a timely manner after the student receives the final response from the instructor, but no later than two weeks after the work was returned, explaining why the student believes the mark was inappropriate and summarizing all previous communications in the matter.

Students making a request for remarking must accept that the resulting mark will become the new mark, whether it goes up or down or remains the same.

Requesting a Recheck of Calculation of a Course Mark

If a student believes that there has been an arithmetical error in calculating the course mark, a recheck can be requested. A recheck can be requested with or without requesting a photocopy or viewing of the final examination. The student must fill out a “Request for Recheck of Course Mark” form and submit it to the Office of the Faculty Registrar within six months of the final examination (see list of deadlines below). Whenever possible, the student should indicate precisely the location of the possible error. The academic unit concerned will check that the examination marks have been added correctly; the examination will not be reread. The academic unit will also check that all term work marks have been correctly calculated. There is no fee for the recheck of a course mark. If the mark is changed as a result of this review, any fees paid for an exam photocopy will be refunded.

Requesting a Reread of Faculty Final Examination

If a student believes that a final examination has been incorrectly marked in its substance, or that a portion of an examination has not been marked, a reread of the final examination may be requested. The student must first purchase a photocopy or request a supervised viewing of the exam. Once the exam has been reviewed by the student, a “Request for Reread of Final Examination” form must be submitted to the Office of the Faculty Registrar within six months of the final examination (see list of deadlines below). The student must demonstrate that the examination answers are substantially correct by citing specific instances of disagreement, supported by such documentary evidence as course handouts, textbooks, lecture notes, etc. The student must do more than assert that “I disagree with the marking,” or that “I believe I deserve more marks.” The academic unit concerned will reread the examination in light of the arguments presented. There is a $37.75 fee for this procedure, which is in addition to the fee of $16.25 charged for a photocopy of the final examination. If the mark is changed as a result of this review, both the photocopy fee (if paid) and the reread fee will be refunded. It should be noted that when a course is failed, the examination must be reread before the mark is reported.

Please note that a recheck or reread may result in a raised mark, a lowered mark, or no change. By requesting a reread or recheck a student agrees to abide by the outcome.

For some examinations, particularly those with multiple-choice questions and/or those designed to be read mechanically, there may be an answer key that is essential to the understanding of the marking of the examination. In such cases, an answer key should be included with the photocopy of the exam. If it is not, the student may contact the relevant department to see if one is available.

Forms are available at the Office of the Faculty Registrar, or on the Faculty exam webpage.

Deadlines to request a recheck or reread can be found on the Faculty exam webpage.