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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Statement Concerning Early Examinations

Students are reminded that taking final examinations earlier than the scheduled time is a privilege, not a right. They should request this privilege only in the event of extraordinary circumstances.

Since the final examination schedule is published quarterly in the Time Schedule at the time of course selection and enrollment, students are expected to make their academic plans in light of known personal circumstances that may make certain examination times difficult for them.

In general, faculty members are discouraged from giving final examinations earlier than the published and announced times. If faculty nevertheless decide to administer early examinations, either the questions should be completely different from those on the regularly scheduled examination or the early examination should be administered in a highly controlled setting. An example of such a setting would be a campus seminar room where the examination questions would be collected along with students' work and students would be reminded of their Honor Code obligations not to share information about the examination contents. Giving students easy opportunities to abuse the integrity of an examination is unfair to honest students and inconsistent with the spirit of the Honor Code.

Academic fields differ in the degree to which early examination requests present dilemmas for faculty. If, for example, an examination format consists of a small number of essay questions, where students would be greatly advantaged by knowing the question topics, faculty should be especially reluctant to allow early examinations unless they are willing to offer totally different examinations or a different kind of academic task, for example, a final paper in lieu of an examination.

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