Ask Meaghan: Easing your pre-final exam worries

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My name is Meaghan and I’m the Student Advocacy Resource Coordinator with the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University. I have so much to tell you about self-advocacy!! Through this bi-weekly series, #AskMeaghan, my goal is to answer any questions you may have about this crazy-little-thing-called-UNIVERSITY ♫ (see this video to sing along).

News flash: there are only TWO weeks of classes left! With the end of the term approaching quickly, it’s time we discuss exams as it’s important to know your options about exam deferrals. Always be prepared, right?

I can’t write my exam because of my ongoing health problems. What can I do?

If there’s something preventing you from writing your exam, you can apply for a deferred examination. (Side note: not wanting to write your exam is not a valid reason to apply for a deferral, as tempting as that may be!) The valid reasons for exam deferral, according to the Academic Calendar, are “personal illness, bereavement, personal injury, unavoidable and unanticipated demands in caring for dependents.” If you think you are eligible to apply for an exam deferral, you can pick up the form at the Registrar’s Office. Another thing you could do is apply for a withdrawal with cause. Flip on over my last blog post to read about this in greater detail.

What happens if I fall out of my chair when I’m writing an exam and break my leg?

Well, first I’d suggest you refrain from tilting your chair back so that you can prevent this from happening in the first place, but I can understand how these things happen under pressure. Perhaps bringing a stress ball to your exam will help with these nervous jitters. Stop by the Student Advocacy Resource Centre to pick up yours today!

As for your question, hakuna matata! If you do become injured or ill during an exam and it inhibits your ability to finish writing, there are steps you need to take. First, you’ll need to hand in your unfinished exam and tell the invigilator (the person overseeing your exam) to cancel your exam. Next, take a trip down to Health Services to get treated for your injury/illness and to get medical documentation. This will then get attached to the exam deferral form which you will obtain and return to the Registrar’s Office. You will also need to inform your Professor and Chair of your department of what has happened in writing (keep everyone in the loop, ya know?). If Health Services is closed, or in the event of an emergency, medical documentation is still required. You have three days to collect this documentation from a physician off-campus, and then submit it at the Registrar’s Office. Exam deferrals cannot be granted once your exam is handed in, completed.

I have more than one exam scheduled on the same day! I’m FREAKING OUT! Can I get one of the exams moved to a different day?

First of all, I’m sorry you’re in this circumstance. As if exam season wasn’t stressful enough, right? The scheduling of multiple exams in one day is unfortunate, but it can and does happen. The short answer to your question is, it depends. According to the Academic Calendar, if you have “more than two exams scheduled on any calendar day” you may speak to the Registrar about getting an exam deferral. If you are a student who utilizes Accessibility Services, and you receive extra time during exams, you may find that your exam times overlap. If this is the case for you, we suggest you speak with your Access Advisor to see if anything can be done.

Lastly: the weather is getting warmer, the birds are singing, the term is coming to a close – things are looking up hopefully. Why not take a walk in this beautiful weather, Simba style!

How to submit your questions to Meaghan:

Get involved today and #AskMeaghan to discover how you can become a #SAMRUselfadvocacy champion! Submit your questions by using the #AskMeaghan hashtag on social media or email me directly at m.paturel@samru.ca. I’m in the Student Advocacy Resource Centre (Z303) in Wyckham House from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm but feel free to pop by during drop-in hours from 12 to 2 pm on weekdays. The Student Advocacy Resource admins or myself would be happy to help you!