Exams FAQ

The OSD hosted a virtual presentation on August 21st, 2020, to offer students registered with the OSD with an overview of accommodations in a remote learning environment. To view the presentation, click here.

NOTE: Students who are eligible for exam accommodations must sign up to take exams with the OSD as follows:

Undergraduates/Graduate students:

Use the exam sign-up form. For all time-based assessments accommodation requests must be submitted 14 days prior to the exam start date.

Continuing Studies students:

Fill out the Continuing Studies exam request form. For quizzes and midterms, this form must be submitted 3 weeks prior to the date of your exam.

UGME (Undergraduate Medical Education) students:

Use the UGME student exam sign-up form. All exam accommodation requests must be submitted a minimum of 14 days prior to the date of your exam.

Will there be any in-person exams during the Winter 2021 semester?

As the Faculties of Medicine and of Nursing prepare to host in-person examinations, only students requiring specific accommodations (specialized software and/or equipment) will write their exam at the Exam Centre (3459 McTavish Street, Room RS56). If this applies to you, you will be contacted directly by a staff member of the OSD Exam Centre.

All other in-person exam accommodations for students registered with the OSD, such as time-based accommodations or individual rooms, will be coordinated and proctored by the Faculties.

If you anticipate needing accommodations for Medicine and Nursing exams, please fill out the appropriate exam sign-up form (for UGME students, for Nursing students) as soon as possible.

If you are unsure if your faculty will be hosting in-person exams, please reach out to your professor or check out your faculty’s website for more information.

How do I access accommodations for in-term assessments and final exams?

Note that students who are eligible for exam accommodations with the OSD must complete the online exam sign up form as soon as possible. For all time-based assessments accommodation requests must be submitted 14 days prior to the exam start date, using the online exam sign-up form.

For in-term assessments: When completing the online exam sign up form, only indicate authorized accommodations you are requesting for that particular assessment. We will then communicate with your instructor to obtain updated details concerning the new format of your assessment. Prior to the date of your assessment, an email will then be sent from the OSD Exam Center to your professor indicating your time-based accommodations. Students are expected to follow-up with the professor if additional information is required.

If you have missed the deadline to register for accommodations, we ask that you use this exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Late%20registration%20%E2%80%93%20%5BEnter%20course%20code%5D, body: Date%20of%20exam%3A%0A%0AExam%20start%20time%3A%20%0A%0AExam%20length%3A%20%0A%0AStudent%20ID%3A%20%0A%0ACourse%20Code%3A%0A%0ASection%3A%20%0A%0AProfessor%20name%3A%20%0A%0AProfessor%20e-mail%3A%20%0A%0AAuthorized%20accommodations%20required%20for%20this%20assessment%3A%20%0A%0AAny%20additional%20information%3A%20%0A%0AI%20consent%20to%20sharing%20my%20approved%20accommodations%20with%20my%20instructor%20and%2For%20with%20the%20exam%20administrator%20of%20my%20Faculty%20for%20this%20assessment.%20I%20understand%20that%20there%20is%20a%20possibility%20that%20this%20late%20request%20may%20not%20be%20processed%20for%20administrative%20reasons.) (email template to contact the OSD Exam Centre and make a late request) as soon as possible (please make sure to enter your course code in the email subject line and fill in all the information listed). Late requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and we will try our best to add you to the exam schedule given the current circumstances.

Please note that by signing-up for your exam accommodations using the online exam sign-up form or the above email template, you are consenting to disclose your registration with the OSD to your professor and/or the exam administrators in your Faculty.

Note that individual time-based accommodations do not apply to exams that are 48 hours or more in duration, or have been accessibly designed to incorporate additional time in the scheduled exam duration.

For any support regarding adaptive software, please see FAQ "Will I have access to adaptive software (reader, text to speech) during online exams?” below. Students are expected to follow up with the professor if additional information is required.

My instructor is holding multiple assessments in my class. Do I have to submit an exam sign-up request for each assessment?

By completing one exam sign-up form, you can request your exam accommodations for all assessments (quizzes, tests, midterms) in the same class by using the "Other Upcoming Assessments" section of our exam sign-up form. Just click on "Other upcoming assessments" on the exam sign-up form and input the date of your upcoming quiz, or the earliest date that your quiz will be available to you.

  • Please note that you will be required to complete at least one exam sign-up form per class to access your exam accommodations.
  • Once the final exam schedule is posted, please ensure to register for your exam accommodations using the exam sign-up form.

I missed the deadline to register for my final exams. What do I do?

Students who are eligible for exam accommodations with the OSD must complete the online exam sign up form as soon as possible. For all time-based assessments accommodation requests must be submitted 14 days prior to the exam start date, using the online exam sign-up form.

How are accommodations applied to assessments in a remote learning environment?

Prior to your exam date, OSD Exam Center will send an email to your professor indicating your accommodations. Your professor will then communicate directly with you to inform you of any modifications to your exam (format, start time, or duration), so that you may prepare accordingly.

During exams in a remote learning environment, accommodations may be applied in the following ways:

  • Your professors may opt to hold a time-bound, online exam, using one of the authorized platforms (most often myCourses). In this case, you are required to complete the online exam sign-up form. Your time-based accommodations will then be communicated to the professor, who will need to make the adjustments themselves.
  • Your professors may opt to assign an exam of 48 hours or more. While time-based accommodations do not apply to exams that are 48 hours or more in duration, you may still require other disability-related accommodations, which will be coordinated by OSD.

 

How do I know when individual time-based accommodations apply?

Exam format Definition Do individual time-based accommodations apply?
Oral Assessments that evaluate student learning through spoken words.
Oral exams typically take place virtually with the instructor or TA.

Yes.

Please register

Timed open-book within a designated window

Exams that must be started and completed within a specified number of hours.

e.g. You have a 48-hour window to complete a 1-hour assessment.
Once you log in, you have 1 hour to submit your assessment.

Yes

Please register

Timed-open book within a designated window AND Your instructor is applying principles of inclusive pedagogy

Exams that must be started and completed within a specified number of hours. In addition, you were informed that you have at least double the designed duration to complete your assessment.

e.g. You have a 48-hour window to complete a 1-hour assessment.
Once you log in, you have 2.5 hours to submit your assessment.

No* (exceptions may apply, see below)

Take-home You have at least 48 hours to start, finish, and return your exam. No* (exceptions may apply, see below)

There may be exceptional circumstances in which disability-related accommodations are still needed. These unique cases will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the OSD. If exceptional circumstances arise, exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Time-based%20accommodation%3A%20Consideration%20for%20an%20exception) (please reach out to our exam team), so that we may assess the case. Should it be determined that individual time-based accommodations are required, this will be communicated to both the student and the instructor.

Please note there may be greater variability in exam format for midterms, quizzes, and tests.

I was informed that my time-based accommodations have been built into my assessment duration as part of an inclusive assessment strategy. What does this mean?

As we all prepare for a continuation of the remote learning environment for the Winter 2021 term, instructors are encouraged to set shared norms and expectations about assignment logistics from the beginning of the course. As such, many instructors are partnering with the OSD to adopt flexible assessment strategies in their course planning. The aim of this partnership is to create greater access for all students by incorporating inclusive pedagogy. This ensures access to course content and assessments for most learners, thereby reducing the need for specific accommodations. The desired outcome in doing so is to make both learning and assessment goals achievable by all learners.

One such inclusive strategy is to increase the available time to complete an exam, for all students. This is often achieved by doubling the typical assessment duration. For example, an instructor may plan a one-hour exam, but provide students with two hours to complete the assessment (View: Faculty of Science: Winter 2021 Assessment Regulations). In most, but not all instances, increasing the exam time for all removes the further need for time-based accommodations, because time-based considerations have been built into the assessment strategy from the onset of the course.

There may be exceptional circumstances in which other disability-related accommodations may still be needed. If you feel this is the case for you, please reach out to our exam coordinators at exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca so that they may assess the situation and coordinate with your instructor, when necessary.

Do I have access to adaptive software (reader, text to speech) during online exams?

Yes, the adaptive software you use on your personal devices should be compatible with most platforms used for online assessments. TLS is working hard to coordinate with your instructors to ensure the widest possible access to students. It’s still important to complete the exam sign-up form for each assessment to ensure that any accessibility-related barriers can be addressed ahead of time.

Please e-mail our alex.iugan [at] mcgill.ca (IT Support Technician) for questions or concerns regarding access to adaptive software. You can also refer to our personal technology resource page to help you find a tool that works for you.

What do I do if I have an exam conflict?

There are three possible categories of conflicts for students: academic conflict, religious conflict, and OSD conflict:

Academic and Religious Conflicts

To see if you meet the criteria for an academic conflict or religious conflict, consult the McGill Exams website and follow their procedures for a resolution. Please communicate the resolution to the OSD Exam Center at exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca.

OSD Conflict

In an online context: If you are writing 2 or more exams that are assigned on the same day, which are all due in 24 hours, and the total writing time (including the exam duration and your time-based accommodations, but excluding any additional time granted for technical difficulties) is equivalent to more than 8 hours, then you qualify for an OSD conflict. This does not include overlapping exam windows or overlapping take-home exam periods.

For example, Possible OSD exam conflict:

  • Exam 1 - December 15th at 9 am: Timed open-book exam begins. The duration of the exam including your time-based accommodations is 5 hours. You must submit by December 15th at 2 pm.
  • Exam 2 - December 15th at 2 pm: Timed open-book exam begins. The duration of the exam including your time-based accommodations is 5 hours. You must submit by December 15th at 7 pm.

Alternatively, if Exam 1 and 2 were timed open-book exams starting at 9 am and 2 pm respectively, and you had a 48-hour window to complete each exam, this would not qualify as an OSD conflict.

If you believe that you qualify for an OSD exam conflict, please contact exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca via e-mail and include the following information for EACH exam occurring within the same 24-hour period:

  • Date of exam
  • Start time
  • Course Code
  • Professor’s name
  • Professor’s e-mail

Based on the information that you provide, the OSD Exam Center team will notify you via e-mail of the following steps.

I do not feel like I will be able to write my final exams. What do I do? 

If you believe you are unable to write your final exam due to a serious health or wellness condition, or another extenuating circumstance, you may be eligible to apply for an exam deferral, depending on your faculty rules and regulations.

  • The deferred and supplemental exam period will be held March 1st -4th, 2021.
  • Please refer to the Exams website for the application dates and when the exam schedule will be posted.
  • If you write your final exam you are not eligible to apply for a deferred exam. This includes receiving the final exam from your instructor but not completing it.

  • For students in the Faculty of Engineering or in the Faculty of Law, please refer to your Faculty's website for more information.

What can I do to ensure that my approved accommodations have been applied to my online exam?

Before your online exam is released

  1. Check the details of your exam on your course syllabus and review any relevant course announcements to verify that individual accommodations apply to the format of your exam.
    • It is important to note that individual accommodations do not apply to exams that are 48 hours or more in duration or have been accessibly designed to incorporate additional time in the scheduled duration. 
  2. Register for your exam accommodations within the appropriate deadline. 
    • Always make sure to register for your exam accommodations using the appropriate exam sign-up form, when applicable.  
    • The deadline to register for exam accommodations is 14 days prior to the start date of your assessment. 
    • After you submit an exam registration form, the following steps occur: 
      • The OSD Exam Centre:  
        1. Verifies the details that you submitted on your exam sign-up form.  
        2. Verifies your approved accommodations and the exam format to ensure that individual accommodations apply.  
        3. Communicates with your instructor to notify them of your exam accommodations.  
      • Your instructor:  
        1. Calculates your extra-time based on the duration of your assessment.  
        2. Programs your extra-time on the testing platform (i.e. myCourses) 
        3. Communicates with you to confirm that your extra-time has been programmed on the testing platform. 
  3. Check if you received a confirmation from your instructor stating that your extra-time has been programmed. 

After your online exam is released

Make sure that your extra-time has been applied correctly on the testing platform*. 

  • If your extra-time has been programmed correctly, then you should be able to see that the duration has been extended to include your approved accommodations. See FAQ: "I am entitled to receive exam exam accommodations with the OSD. How do I calculate my time-based accommodations?
  • If your extra-time has NOT been programmed correctly
    • Go to Step 1 and make sure that individual accommodations apply to your exam format.  
    • If individual accommodations do apply to your exam format, please e-mail your instructor and CC’ the OSD at exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca IMMEDIATELY so that your extra time can be programmed BEFORE you start your exam

* ALWAYS verify that your exam accommodations have been programmed correctly, when applicable, even if you do not intend to start your exam right away. Similar to when writing in-person exams with the OSD, students are required to verify their exam accommodations before starting their exam, so that any issues can be corrected prior to writing the exam. Whether you are writing an exam in-person or online, starting your exam means that you are agreeing to completing the exam as is. If you have already completed your exam without your accommodations correctly in place, please notify the OSD (@exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca) immediately. We will review the situation and explore possible options with your instructor; however, we cannot guarantee an outcome.

I am entitled to receive exam accommodations with the OSD. How do I calculate my time-based accommodations?

The following chart provides the calculated extra time that students are entitled to received based on 1) their authorized accommodations and 2) the exam duration. It is important to note that individual accommodations do not apply to exams that are 48 hours or more in duration or have been accessibly designed to incorporate additional time in the scheduled duration. 

Authorized accommodations
 
Exam duration
30 minutes 60 minutes 120 minutes
T 1/4 (25%) + 8 minutes + 15 minutes + 30 minutes
T 1/3 (33%) + 10 minutes + 20 minutes + 40 minutes
T 1/2 (50%) + 15 minutes + 30 minutes + 60 minutes
2T (100%) + 30 minutes + 60 minutes + 120 minutes
Stopwatch (SW) + 5 minutes + 10 minutes + 30 minutes

In an online context, students with authorized Stopwatch Time accommodations will be entitled to additional time, which is calculated on the basis of the exam’s original length, to address barriers they may experience during the exam.

  • For assessments of a duration of more than 1 hour, students are entitled to an additional 30 minutes.
  • For assessments of a duration of 31-60 minutes, students are entitled to an additional 10 minutes.
  • For assessments of a duration of 30 minutes or less, students are entitled to an additional 5 minutes.

In addition, any student may be provided extra time to account for any external factors, such as:

  • Technical issues
  • Connectivity problems
  • Time-zone differences
  • Submission time

If your instructor is providing all students with extra time for external factors, this extra time is not used to calculate your time-based accommodations. Students who encounter technical difficulties with a submission due outside IT Support hours should, if possible, ITSupport [at] mcgill.ca (submit a ticket to the IT Service Desk), and copy your instructor, to officially record that they had an issue. For more information, please visit the Guidelines for Instructors and Students on Remote Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (W2021) on the TLS website.

If your instructor is using inclusive pedagogy and providing all students in your class with extra time by doubling the assessment duration, or by providing 48 hours to more to complete the assessment, then individual time-based accommodations do not apply. If you feel your unique situation warrants an exception, exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca (please contact the OSD Exam Centre).

What do I do if I experience technical difficulties during my exam?

Instructors have been asked to include an additional 30 minutes in their submission timeframe to allow for connectivity issues. Students who encounter technical difficulties with a submission during IT Support hours should contact IT. If you experience technical difficulties outside IT Support hours, you should itsupport [at] mcgill.ca (submit a ticket to the IT Service Desk), and copy your instructor to offcially record the issue.

For more information, please review TLS' Remote Guidelines page. 

 

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