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Taking finals early?

westernhillsmomwesternhillsmom Posts: 170Registered User Junior Member
edited April 2009 in Tufts University
I see by the academic calendar that the fall semester classes end on December 11, but finals go through December 22, which would make it pretty stressful for my D to get back to California in time for Christmas given the nature of holiday travel. Ayone know how common it is at Tufts for professors to let students take finals a week or so early?
Post edited by westernhillsmom on

Replies to: Taking finals early?

  • WCASParentWCASParent Posts: 1,968Registered User Senior Member
    Keep in mind that just because the last final exams are on 12/22 this year doesn't necessarily mean that your daughter's exams will go that late. You might want to wait until you know what courses she's in, and hence what her exam schedule will be, before addressing this.
    Getting to a direct response to your question, though, it would obviously be up to each professor, but it would also probably mean that they would have to make up a separate test for her, since they wouldn't let her take one that the other students hadn't taken yet. Given that problem, I personally wouldn't be overly sanguine about the prospects. I also think that it will be possible to get home after finals. She'll just take her last final and leave that day; the combination of reading period and the exam week will leave her plenty of time to be packed and ready to go.
  • westernhillsmomwesternhillsmom Posts: 170Registered User Junior Member
    True about the issue of previewing the tests- I seem to mostly remember writing final papers in college instead of taking actual tests, but that was more true for grad school. She'll have to wait and check the syllabus for each class I suppose, to see what's what. Thanks-
  • eye53eye53 Posts: 58Registered User Junior Member
    Westernhillsmom glad you brought up the calendar...My concern is about Thanksgiving break, which I noticed is very short (Weds. to Sunday). We too live in California, and have always gone to Mexico that full week, as our traditional family holiday. We are currently booked to do the same this upcoming November. I am wondering if it's going to be okay to take my daughter out two days early, meaning she'll miss that Monday and Tuesday, so that she can have the whole week. At this point it's just too short of a time frame with all the travel, as she'd have to get all the way from the east coast to Mexico for just a few short days! I must admit, I was disappointed that the Thanksgiving holiday was so short! I'm wondering if the school is flexible or strict about those two additional days on this particular week? Would greatly appreciate a reply!
  • WCASParentWCASParent Posts: 1,968Registered User Senior Member
    I really don't think it is a question of whether the school is flexible or strict, because this is college, not high school, and each student is responsible for him/herself. I assume that there will be students who will simply skip MOnday and Tuesday, and others who will think the classes they have that day are too important to skip. Whether your daughter would miss something important will depend on what classes she would miss those days, which she won't know until she has her schedule.
    Bottom line: I think the answer is that a student can skip any days s/he wants, but "Proceed at your own risk."
  • CUlater21CUlater21 Posts: 161Registered User Junior Member
    Westernhillsmom glad you brought up the calendar...My concern is about Thanksgiving break, which I noticed is very short (Weds. to Sunday). We too live in California, and have always gone to Mexico that full week, as our traditional family holiday. We are currently booked to do the same this upcoming November. I am wondering if it's going to be okay to take my daughter out two days early, meaning she'll miss that Monday and Tuesday, so that she can have the whole week. At this point it's just too short of a time frame with all the travel, as she'd have to get all the way from the east coast to Mexico for just a few short days! I must admit, I was disappointed that the Thanksgiving holiday was so short! I'm wondering if the school is flexible or strict about those two additional days on this particular week? Would greatly appreciate a reply!

    I'm sorry, I'm generally an easy-going nice person. But this post made me laugh out loud. (Watch out for swine flu while you're there!)
  • sailgirlsailgirl Posts: 19Registered User New Member
    I don't have any kids in college yet, but it seems to me that WCASParent is spot on. Your daughter is now a young adult, and must make informed choices about when and where to be, weighing pros and cons. When our kids were young, we regularly pulled them from school for travel. By high school, they got a vote in the matter. In college, I plan to leave it up to them. But the key, is that they need to make INFORMED decisions, and until they've met the professor, seen the syllabus, etc., they cannot do so.
  • westernhillsmomwesternhillsmom Posts: 170Registered User Junior Member
    I agree with sailgirl. The final decision is up to my daughter- just was wondering about any ancedotal experience regarding Tufts profs and how flexible they are. I was talking to D the other day about how in college, skipping class will be between her and her final grade, not up to anyone else, anymore, so she'll have to be super self-motivated (or, um, not- her choice.) There really is no "school" to contend with anymore, just individual situations with profs and class assignments. It's a switch from thinking of it as "taking her out" of school and her deciding what to do about her classes.

    And, given the fact the swine flu may come back with a vengence this fall, I'd be a bit leery of Mexico myself!
  • eye53eye53 Posts: 58Registered User Junior Member
    I appreciate the feedback...I do understand more clearly that it's a class by class and professor by professor basis...and that she won't really know until she gets there. Though I do want to clarify that the decision is and has been hers, even if it may not have sounded like it. Bottom line is it's our priority to be together. So, we may just have to embrace this as a perfect opportunity to start something new. This is all a process...and it reveals itself as we go along.
  • sailgirlsailgirl Posts: 19Registered User New Member
    WesternHillsMom,

    When I replied earlier - I had forgotten the original post was specifically about final exams. I was thinking of leaving early for Thanksgiving break. As a former college instructor, my experience was that in the core courses we were much LESS lenient about changing exam times - too much opportunity for information to be passed from student to student. That was 15 years ago, before cell phones or email - so it can only be EASIER to pass information along now. I have no experience with Tufts, but would not be surprised or disappointed if most professors are pretty "firm" as to scheduled exam times. One time, my class had a scheduled exam time of 3:00 - 5:00 pm the day before spring break. My department's rule was "no exceptions" - but I made them anyway for kids that showed me a plane ticket.

    The other thing I'd note, is that in many schools - both high school, college and grad schools, very few exams are scheduled for the final day of exam week. Your daughter could be an unlucky one - time will tell.
  • SnarfSnarf Posts: 444Registered User Member
    Hey parents- student here.

    Very, very few finals are actually given on the 22nd. Most students, especially non-engineers, will be done by the 18th or 19th, so check out your individual class schedules before taking drastic measures.
    If you are unfortunate enough to have a child with a final on the 22nd, I'm sorry to say they'll have to stick around. Generally, exceptions with final exams are made only in cases of serious illnesses or death.

    As far as taking days off, that really depends on the course. In a lecture course, no one will miss your child, and they'll probably skip all the time- well. . . not YOUR child, they'd never do that ;-). But for some courses, attendance is watched closely, especially in two cases. The first is language courses. The school places a high priority on exposure, so any language course will allow at most two absences (exceptions are made in cases of serious illness or death in the immediate family, provided there is some documentation). A third absence will drastically affect a student's grade- I can't remember if it's half a letter grade or a full letter grade. The second is labs. Generally, if you miss too many labs (for some classes, one is too many), you won't get credit for that course until you make up that lab in the next semester that the class is offered.
    The big exception to all this is Jewish holidays. Class is still held on Jewish holidays, but no student is obliged to go (funny how many people end up being Jewish during Passover).

    The vast majority of classes are easily skippable. Unfortunately, the reality is that most of my friends from California or anywhere west of the Mississippi either stay on campus, go home with friends who live close by, or visit family in the Northeast during Thanksgiving.
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