Last week, more than 200 Harvard undergraduates took final exams within the first month of the semester.
The Faculty of Arts and Science Registrar administered a total of 208 makeup final exams in the Student Organization Center at Hilles. Students who were unable to take their spring 2022 finals last semester were required to make them up last week — roughly four months after classes concluded.
Some students who took makeup exams expressed mixed feelings about the policy, citing difficulty preparing for the belated test.
“It’s a blessing and a curse. I got more time to study, but at the same time, over the summer, I forgot a lot of material,” John P. Ho ’25 said. “I think it could be more convenient to have the final take place in May. Having alternate dates for you to take the final within the same week that you missed it.”
Scott W. Arbery ’24 said he utilized class resources, including office hours, to prepare for his Ec10b: “Introduction to Macroeconomics” makeup exam.
Julian Giordano ’25 said he received minimal support and communication from course staff for his makeup final.
“The exam, as it turns out, was a different format from the exam that I was expecting to take in May, which was not communicated to us,” said Giordano, a Crimson multimedia editor.
For certain classes, the final exam could make or break a student’s grade.
“Knowing that it was out of my hands, if I did poorly, it was more of a reflection on the fact that it was such a long time in between when I was studying for the class and when I took the exam,” Giselle Chiprez ’25 said. “It definitely felt like I was on my own.”
For some students, making up last semester’s work meant sacrificing this semester’s.
“I had to, obviously, miss classes that day,” Adam S. Mohamed ’25 said. “I guess I would have liked to have more time to study, but since that didn’t happen, retrospectively, I would have preferred to do [the exam] last semester.”
FAS spokesperson Rachael Dane declined to comment on student criticisms, pointing to the policy guidelines.
“Regarding makeups, there is quite a lot of communications with both faculty and students,” Dane wrote. “During makeups last week, if a student missed an exam due to positive COVID diagnosis, the Registrar invited them to reach out to exams to see if they could accommodate them on a day this week.”
“The Registrar is holding a special makeup exam day this Wed. for those students who are out of isolation and feel well enough to take it,” she added.
—Staff writer Edona Cosovic can be reached at email@example.com.