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General questions

  • Q. I can't find my examination location.

    A. Click here for a complete list of buildings where exams are held, along with maps and addresses.

Exam rules

  • Q. How long is an exam?

    A. Formally scheduled final exams are three hours long. You are obliged to remain in the exam room during the first hour. You can arrive at the exam up to one hour after it has begun, but you will not be given extra time. Midterms, lab exams and In Department exams may be less than three hours in length.

    Q. Can I leave after I have written my exam or do I need to stay for the full three hours?

    A. You are obliged to remain in the exam room during the first hour and during the last 15 minutes.

    Q. What am I allowed to bring to an exam?

    A. You can bring:

    • pen/pencil and eraser
    • water/juice and a snack to help you stay energized (Don't bring food/beverages that may distract others, and note that food is prohibited in some classrooms.)
    • extra sweater depending on the season
    • calculator* (usually non text-storing models)
    • translation dictionary* (must not include word definitions)

    * only if specifically instructed by your professor

    You can't bring:

    • Cell phones, iPods and other electronic devices.

    Q. I lost my student ID card. Can I bring a different photo ID?

    A. University exam regulations require you to have your McGill student ID card with you to write an exam. If you do not, please provide a government issued ID with your full name written on it.  Verrification of your ID will be made at the time of your exam. 

    Q. I am supposed to bring a non-programmable calculator to my exam, but I only have a graphing calculator. Can I bring it?

    A. It depends. The best way to find out if your calculator is acceptable is to ask your instructor. Generally, non-programmable calculators neither store text nor have lettered keys.

    Q. What should I do if I feel sick while writing my exam?

    A. The invigilator will assist you if you need to take a walk, get some air or visit the washroom. If you are unable to continue the exam, you will be instructed to go to a clinic, get a doctor’s note and apply for a deferral as soon as possible. Consult your Student Affairs Office for more information.

    If you are unable to complete your exam, you will receive a grade of "J" until your deferred application is accepted, at which point an L grade will be assigned for the course. Your best bet is to stay healthy during the final exam period!

    Q. I am late to the exam. Can I still enter the room and write the exam?

    A. You can arrive up to one hour after the exam has begun, but you will not be given extra time.

Students with disabilities

Q. Can special arrangements be made for students with disabilities?

Yes. Visit the Office for Students with Disabilities or phone them at 514-398-6009 for more information.


  • Q. I have two exams at the same time!

    You have an academic conflict, and arrangements will be made to resolve it. Approximately 2 weeks before the start of the exam period, you should have received an e-mail from the Exam Office telling you what to do. If you haven’t, you should exam [dot] es [at] mcgill [dot] ca (e-mail) the exam office immediately.

    I have four exams in two days! Can I write one later?

    A. To find out what constitutes a conflict, click here.

    Q. I was sick and missed an exam, or need to defer an exam for another reason. What should I do?

    A. If you arrive at a final exam but then find that you are unable to write it due to illness or another serious reason, you can apply for a deferral. If your request is approved, you may be permitted to write it during the next deferred exam period. Students registered in the Faculty of Engineering who are accepted for a deferral will write their exam the next time the course is offered. Click here for more information.

After the exam

  • Q. How do I get my graded exam re-graded and/or returned to me?

    A. Every faculty has its own procedures in these areas. Consult your Student Affairs Office for more information.

    Q. I received a very low grade in a course. Can I take a supplemental exam?

    A. Every faculty has its own policies regarding to Supplemental exams. Click here for general regulations and then consult your Student Affairs Office for specific instructions.