Exams and Missed Work

Final Exams

All students must comply with university examination regulations. Students who do not follow the rules will be required to withdraw from the exam.

Students must be available for the duration of the posted exam period regardless of their personal exam schedule.  This is to ensure student availability throughout the entire final exam period, in the event that an exam must be rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances (university closure, power outage, storm policy, etc.).

Students requiring special arrangements

Students who require special arrangements due to a disability should contact the Student Accessibility Services.

If you need to reschedule an exam for varsity, religious reasons, or work-related reasons (for part-time students only), please contact SE-A at least 10 working days before the scheduled exam time. Supporting documentation is required.

  • If you cannot attend the exam for varsity reasons, have a designated University official provide a letter on University letterhead.
  • If you cannot attend the exam for religious reasons, have your religious leader provide a letter stating that you are unable to be present due to a religious obligation.
  • If you are a part-time student and cannot attend due to a business commitment, have your immediate supervisor provide you with a letter on company letterhead stating that you are unable to be present due to a specific job commitment.

Identification cards

McMaster student photo ID cards (student cards) are required at all exams. Students who seat themselves at an exam without their student card may be required to withdraw from the exam.


Punctuality is essential and no extra time will be allowed to those arriving late. No students will be admitted to an examination room more than 30-minutes after the start of any exam.

Conduct in examination room

No conversation or any form of communication between students is permitted. No communicating devices or cell phones are permitted. No books, papers or instruments may be taken into any examination room unless specifically prescribed on the examination paper. No examination books or supplies are to be removed from the examination room. Small personal belongings must be left beneath the chairs, not on the desks. The University can assume no responsibility for lost articles.

After the examination

No student may leave an examination during the first 45-minutes of any exam. Students must leave the room immediately after handing in their examination materials.

Information about deferring a final exam can be found on the deferring an exam page.

Missed Term Work

If you’ve missed a mid-term exam, test, assignment, class participation, etc., or if you know in advance that you will miss any of the above, please see the information on the missed term work page.

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