Three finals in one day? You can change that


Photo credit: Matthew Claybrook

Following revisions to the Courses of Study Bulletin, students will no longer be required to take three final exams in one day. The new policy puts a formal procedure into effect for coordination between faculty and the office of Academic Affairs in order to reschedule one exam if three are scheduled on the same day.

According to Nina Ekstein, chair of the Advising and Registration committee and professor of modern languages and literatures, the revisions provide necessary alleviation to student workloads.

“The point is that nobody should have three final exams in one day,” Ekstein said. “It’s really a straightforward matter, it’s just who handles it is the real issue. And it’s pretty straightforward there too.”

If a student has three finals scheduled on the same day, they must contact their advisor three weeks before the exam to discuss the next steps. The advisor then works with the involved faculty. If they are unable to reach a resolution, Michael Soto, the associate vice president for Academic Affairs, will make the final decision.

According to Soto, most Trinity faculty members have already been rescheduling for students who have three finals in one day. The official policy will make sure that now all faculty follows this procedure.

“We recognize that asking a student to sit through nine hours of final exams on a single day is asking a bit much,” Soto wrote over an email interview. “The policy makes sure that all faculty provides the exam relief, and it instructs the Office of Academic Affairs to ‘prioritize student interests’ when figuring out how to handle the logistics.”

Sophomore Carson Bolding, who currently has three finals scheduled on the same day, was relieved to find out that she can’t take them all on the same day.

“I didn’t realize my exam schedule was going to work out that way until this past week,” Bolding said. “I’m thankful that there’s now a policy in place to keep students from taking three finals in a day because it gives students the opportunity to do their very best on each test.”

The new policy joins a variety of other policies set in place in order to make the final exam period run smoothly, such as the ban on assignments due during reading days.

“Reading days are for studying,” Ekstein said. “They should be relatively clean days. It’s not for going to the beach and it’s not for having a paper due.”

However, other policies are less lenient. A final project for one course can be due on the same day as a final exam for the course. Ekstein upheld that professors will not be banned from assigning both because the assignments have been on the syllabus from the start of the course.

“One hopes 100 percent of the time that a project doesn’t have to be done the last week. Do little bits at a time,” Ekstein said. “Part of what is hard about college, and what you should be getting out of college, is learning for yourself how to schedule things so that you don’t go insane.”