Exam Timing

Exams hosted via the CBTF support two different timings:

  • 50 minutes
  • 1 hour 50 minutes

These sessions typically start on the hour, or off-set to match in-class sessions. 80 minute “in-class” exam sessions have been given 1 hour 50 minute timing.

The CBTF is not enforcing any other time limits except 50 minutes or 1 hour 50 minutes. All of the communication the student has received from the CBTF regarding your exam is based on these session limits, which you should adopt for your exam.

Going over time:

  • Students should complete their entire exam within the time window for their session. This includes any uploading or time spent submitting the digital exam.
  • Additional time will not be given at the end of the exam for uploading.
    • We need to be mindful of students and proctors who may have obligations following the scheduled time.
  • You can observe the submission timestamps in your exam system to see when the students completed their exam. You can also see the student’s CBTF reservation check-out time to observe when they left the proctoring.
  • Students who go over time will be warned and may have academic integrity violations filed against them for not following proctor instructions.

Going under time:

  • Students may finish early and leave without penalty.
  • It’s okay to run a shorter exam in a longer session, but proctors are not enforcing shorter timing. A student will have the full CBTF scheduler-assigned time to them.

Time announcements happen from the proctors to the students at:

  • 20 minutes remaining
  • 10 minutes remaining, with a suggestion to consider finishing up and start uploading (for courses that use uploads)
  • 2 minutes remaining

Best practices:


  • PrairieLearn with an examUuid allowAccess configuration gets the exam and per-student exception timing information directly from the CBTF scheduler. No additional configuration is needed.

Other exam servers:

  • Adopt the CBTF timings for your exam and update your exam access controls to match them.
    • Do not enforce shorter exam timings in your exam access control. It’s okay to say “This exam will take 30 minutes and allow time after for uploading” in a 50 minute session, but the student should be allowed to upload through the entire 50 minutes.
  • When programming access control timing, take DRES time accommodations for some students into effect.
    • You can see a list of your students’ reservations and individual timings on your exam Reservations tab in the scheduler.

DRES student accommodation timing

Students with Letters of Accommodations entered in the CBTF scheduler will get their 1.5x or 2x extensions automatically added to their reservation exam times. See the student instructions for adding DRES accommodations.

CBTF exams allow for a 10 minute “passing period” at the end of the exam independent of their multiplier. Example: A 2x extension on an hour exam (50 minutes) becomes 1h50m (110 minutes) instead of 50 minutes * 2 (100 minutes). See the table below for the session time breakdown:

Nominal exam lengthStudent session time
1 hour50 minutes
1 hour with 1.5x1 hour 20 minutes
1 hour with 2x1 hour 50 minutes
2 hour1 hour 50 minutes
2 hour with 1.5x2 hours 50 minutes
2 hour with 2x3 hours 50 minutes

Student Code and exams

The Illinois Student Code § 3-202 provides guidance for evening, midterm, and hourly examinations.

In general, exams should be given during class time or during an evening session. Students are to be excused from the amount of time equivalent to that required for the evening exam.

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