Take-Home Examinations

Take-home final examinations are sometimes substituted for regular final examinations. If a course has been assigned a final examination group number, a take-home examination for that course is due on the day on which the final examination has been scheduled. If a course has not been assigned a final examination group number, a take-home examination for the course is due on the day specified in the final examination schedule by the meeting time of the course. (See Final Examination Schedules in the YCPS.) If a course does not meet at a time covered by the final examination schedule, a take-home examination may not be due during the first three days of the final examination period. No take-home examination may be due during the reading period. Whenever it is due, a take-home examination that requires from students a disproportionate amount of time during reading period for its completion violates the intent of reading period.

The assets of take-home examinations are evident, but they have liabilities as well. One is that they run the risk of inviting improper collaboration. If collaboration on a take-home examination is not to be permitted, or if the take-home examination is to be a closed-book exercise, directions to that effect should be clear, precise, and emphatic. The chief liability, however, is that frequently students spend an excessive amount of time in completing such examinations. This works to the detriment of their other academic obligations at a time when they are attempting to conclude all of their courses in a satisfactory and timely fashion. Instructors are requested, therefore, not to give take-home final examinations if a regularly scheduled examination would be equally appropriate to the nature and purposes of their course.