As grades are posted on the MyUM system, you may find yourself confused about some of your grades and wish to go over some of your examinations with the faculty members who taught the courses. This article outlines the best way to go about doing so.
What you can gain from reviewing an exam:
Reviewing an exam in a course where your grade was not as high as you expected can help improve your performance in the next set of exams. Not all problems are exam-related, but you may find out that there are aspects of how you approach exam-writing that are undermining your ability to communicate fully what you have learned. There are several things you can do to review your performance:
The Student Handbook (p. 34) provides that students have a right to examine their essay examination papers, if they so request within a semester of the completion of the examination. While faculty members are not required to meet individually with students, most are available for such appointments. You should be aware, however, that faculty may impose conditions on your review:
If you have any questions about the procedures and policies that faculty members have, the best way to find out is to ask the faculty member or his or her assistant. You will need to make sure you comply with those procedures, as faculty members have sound reasons for developing the exam review procedures they have in place.
What you should not expect when reviewing an examination:
You may not:
When to review an exam: Your bluebooks should be available for you to review soon after the grade is posted. Typically that should be a week or at most two. Remember, though, that it may take longer for a faculty member to have a sample or model answer prepared and that often there's really very little to be gained just by re-reading your bluebooks if the professor is going to prepare a model answer.
You should also consider that faculty members are not required to schedule appointments immediately, and may set out a block of times when they will be available. In the spring semester, when students seek to go over fall exams, many faculty are not immediately available for appointments. Getting a model or sample answer typed up and proofed may take up to a few weeks. In addition, right after they hand in grades in one class, faculty members may be focusing on current classes or finishing grading exams in another course, or they may have other things they've put off while grading that they have to attend to first. Ordinarily, faculty who are scheduling appointments would begin doing so within a month of the posting of grades, and some would be available earlier.
Don't wait beyond the end of the Spring semester to review Fall semester exams (and don't wait beyond the end of the next Fall semester to review Spring or Summer exams). While there is no rule forbidding you from waiting longer than that, remember that the whole purpose is to improve your performance on the next round of exams. Also, we do not typically save bluebooks for more than a year after the exam was given. Finally, even if an arithmetic or transmitting error were discovered, the Handbook provides that any resulting grade change could be made no later than the end of the semester following the semester in which the exam was given.
While a number of faculty members are available over the summer to review spring exams, you should be aware that not all faculty will be around during the summer. Others have intense summer teaching schedules or research projects that may make meetings difficult over the summer. You should be able at least to examine your bluebooks during the summer, however, and faculty who have not been able to meet with students over the summer about spring semester exams will typically be available in the Fall to do so.
Once again, if you have any questions about when faculty members will be available to meet with you, the best way to find out is to ask the faculty member or his or her assistant.
The Dean of Students is always available for advice and guidance on your academic performance. However, note that the Dean of Students does not have authority to change grades nor is there a formal appeal process.