University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame

PERSPECTIVES

First-year Files: How Do I Fix an Exam Conflict?

Hello everyone! My name is Annie Fick, and, as a freshman at Notre Dame myself, I’ve had a lot of questions about adjusting to college life. The question I am answering today is one of my own: “How do I handle final exam conflicts?”

As soon as I had all of the syllabi from my classes, I wrote down important due dates and exam times in my planner. After looking at them all together, I figured out that I have three finals in one day. On December 14th, I am supposed to take my Spanish final exam at 8am, my Cosmology final at 10:30am, and my Microeconomics exam at 1:45pm. I thought this day was just going to be exhausting and that there was nothing I could do to change it. However, after speaking with some of my classmates, I learned that actually I might not have to take all three exams in one day. I heard several different and confusing suggestions on how to make exam schedule changes, so I decided to find out the real process myself.

I talked with Robin Hoeppner (pictured above), the First Year Student Services Coordinator in the First Year of Studies. Mrs. Hoeppner explained that according to du Lac, Notre Dame’s student handbook, no student is required to take more than two exams in a 24-hour period, so I could change one of my exam dates. Students can also adjust exams if they have two exams at the same time.

Here’s a summary of the required process that Mrs. Hoeppner explained to me:

Step One: Figure out your exam schedule and any conflicts you may have.

Plan ahead and figure out when your exams are. No one is going to make sure that your schedule is conflict-free except for you.

Step Two: Talk to your First Year advisor.

Your advisor will look over the conflict with you and then submit an adjustment request to Mrs. Hoeppner. All exam schedule adjustment requests must be made through First Year advisors.

Step Three: First Year Student Services will process the request.

After double-checking that you do indeed have a conflict, Mrs. Hoeppner will email your professor stating the exam conflict, and ask that he or she work out an alternate time to take it with you. She will copy both the student and First Year advisor on this message.

Step Four: Work out a new exam time with your professor.

The ball is now back in your court. Make sure you communicate with your professor in a timely manner to decide a solution that works for the both of you. Your professor will then inform the First Year of Studies of your new exam date and time.

Special Circumstances

A special circumstance does not mean leaving early to go on vacation! But, if you think you have a special need for adjustment to your schedule, talk to your First Year advisor for help.