Revised Exam Schedule Unveiled; No Readings Days, Shorter Exams Part of New Plan

by   Posted on February 18th, 2010 in Uncategorized

Emily Sharrer, Editor-in-Chief

To make up classes missed due to last week’s snowstorms, final exams originally scheduled for May 5-7, will be pushed back to May 8-12 and a reading day scheduled for May 4 has been cancelled. Final exams, which are usually two hours and 45 minutes long, will be reduced to two hours, with six exams scheduled over four days, as opposed to the original plan of having five exams over five days.

George Mason University Provost Peter Stearns announced the makeup class plan and unveiled the new final exam schedule to students, faculty and staff via e-mail on Friday.

Classes at the university, which were cancelled since 12:30 p.m. Feb. 5, resumed Friday.

“We can press the exam schedule back and that frees up several days — plus the reading days — to make up as best as possible for the days we missed in this latest series of storms,” said Stearns.

This is the first time within at least ten years the university has scheduled exams on a Saturday according to Stearns.

“We’ve used Saturdays in case of difficulty, as well as for some Saturday classes, but this is the first time to my knowledge that we’ve used it so extensively,” he said.

In his e-mail to faculty, staff and students, Stearns said rescheduling exams “seemed the most feasible, least disruptive option.”

Other options considered by Stearns, the Faculty Senate and the Student Government included using Saturdays or spring break days to make up classes missed due to cancellations. According to Stearns, the revised exam schedule was the best option due to limited classroom space on Saturdays and the wrath of students if spring break was cancelled.

“I saw the threads on Facebook, and I don’t want a rebellion,” joked Stearns.

Also in his e-mail, Stearns acknowledged that the university “would probably have to use a Sunday or two” should further snow days

“If we felt we have to do a makeup we might have to turn to a Sunday, but we’d have to see how bad the situation was,” said Stearns.
According to Stearns and Dan Walsch, the university’s press secretary,
this is the first time in recent memory classes at the university were cancelled for an entire week.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been closed this long and for this extent of time,” said Walsch. “This is really an unusual situation and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t have any more days we have to take because of the weather.”

“In terms of my experience, this is unprecedented like the storm itself was,” added Stearns.

For more information about the new exam schedule visit

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