Finals time is often a stressful period – not just at Bar-Ilan University. Below is everything you need to know about taking exams in BIU, such as test dates, receiving and challenging grades, special benefits, and more!
General Information About Final Exams
Most courses in Bar-Ilan University require students to take a final exam. Exams are spread out over semester intersession.
Students are eligible to take each exam twice, with the first test date (Moed Aleph) offered shortly after the end of the semester, and the second (Moed Bet), offered adjacent to the following semester/ academic year. In certain circumstances, an extra test date (Moed Miyuchad / Moed Ishi) may also be made available.
Exams are written either by the teacher or the department for a specific course group. Even if the department establishes a course-wide exam, students may only take the exam with their group, unless they obtain special permission from Mador Status.
The structure of the exam, and as well as its weight on your final exam are listed in the course syllabus. Only with agreement by all students may this be changed.
Exam Dates and Locations
Preliminary exam dates are usually publicized on Inbar during course registration before the start of the semester, but may be subject to change. Once the semester begins, the department may only change a Moed Aleph exam date with 80% student approval during Tkufat Shinuyim, and 100% student approval thereafter. No changes to exam dates may be made during the last two weeks of the semester. At any point in time, you can view your exam schedule on Inbar (Bchinot / Tzinuyim > Luach Bchinot – Student).
Exam locations are publicized to Inbar three days before the exam, and you may also receive an email. It’s good practice to recheck your exam location on the day of the test, to ensure it hasn’t been moved to a different room.
What to Bring
BIU students should make sure to bring the following to all of their exam:
- Valid Photo ID (Student ID, Teudat Zehut, Driver’s License)
- Pens – blue or black. Red pens, pencils, markers, or highlighters are not allowed to be used on exam booklets.
- Calculator (if necessary) and Spare Batteries. Keep in mind, anything other than the standard scientific calculator (e.g. graphing or financial calculators), may not be used on the test, although not all proctors are aware of the difference.
- A Hebrew-English Dictionary (with Ishur).
- Other Miscellaneous Ishurim
While not required, students are suggested to print out and bring both their Ishur Knisa Lbchina (Inbar > Ishurim / Tfasim L’lo Tashlum > Hafakat Mismachim), as well as pick up an authorization that declares them eligible for extra test time as an oleh or foreign student from the Moravut Chevratit office.
Arriving Late / Leaving Early
Students may arrive up to 30 minutes after the start of the exam, after which, they will not be allowed to take the test. Note: this does not count as a “fail.”
Similarly, students who take the exam and finish early, will not be able to hand in their test and leave, until these 30 minutes have passed.
Students who show up to take an exam and get cold feet, may choose to leave so long as they have not yet received the exam itself. Once they have been given the test, leaving without answering any questions will earn you a failing grade.
In the event the exam does not begin on time, students are required to wait for one hour from the publicized exam time. After one hour, the proctor will take the attendance of the students present, and the situation will be handled by the department.
Students are allowed to take a bathroom break, so long as they are escorted by a proctor. Bathroom breaks will not be given during the first 45 and last 30 minutes of the exam.
In BIU, the passing grade for most courses is a 60; however some departments may require students to earn a higher score in certain subjects.
A course’s final grade can be made up of several parts: course attendance, homework, projects, and the final exam. These requirements the way they are weighted will be written in the course syllabus. You can view your final grade – and all it’s components – on Inbar (Bchinot / Tziyunim > Reshimat Tziunim).
Exam grades are required to be returned to a student within 14 business days. If it has been longer than 14 business days, contact the Exam Office (Mador Bechinot) and your professor.
If the test was a written exam, once the grade has been submitted, students will be able view their test booklet, and the teacher’s remarks on Inbar. While this service is free for Agudah members, it costs 5NIS per exam for everyone else.
If the exam was multiple-choice, students have the option of attending a Ptichat Machberot, where the professor will review the exam and explain the correct answer. Contact your professor or department to be informed when the Ptichat Machberot will be held.
Challenging a Grade
Students who are unhappy with the results of their exam, and believe they received their grade in error, may challenge their grade. This request should be made in writing to both their teacher and department secretary. Grades can only be challenged within two weeks of its publicization on Inbar and new grades will be returned within two weeks of the request.
In the event that a teacher refuses or cannot regrade a test, the exam will be regraded either by the department head or a teacher from a different course group.
Note: Scores received after a test has been remarked are final, even if they are lower than the original score.
Improving a Grade
Students who are unhappy with their grade can request to improve their grade, so long as they have only taken the test once before. For more information, see Moed Bet.
Moed Aleph, Bet, Miyuchad, & Ishi
All Bar-Ilan students are eligible to take their final exam at least twice, more depending on the circumstances.
Remember, no matter how many times you take an exam, it is your final test score that is counted as your grade, notyour highest one.
This is your first test date. Moadei Aleph occur within a few weeks of the semester ending.
Officially, students are required to attend at least 75% of their Moadei Aleph in a given year.
Students who either skipped or failed Moed Aleph, or just want to improve their grade, are eligible to take their exam a second time, on Moed Bet. Moedei Bet take place either in the first month of the second semester, or in the month before the following year’s holidays.
Registering for Moed Bet
Students who scored 70 or below as their final grade, are automatically registered for Moed Bet. If you scored above a 70, you must register for a “Shipur Tziun” via Inbar (Bechinot / Tziunim > Luach Bchinot – Student).
Students can only register via Inbar between 17-7 days before the date of the Moed Bet. If you want to register after that, you must do so in person and pay an 80 NIS surcharge.
Students who missed one of their exams, may be eligible for a Moed Miyuchad or Moed Ishi. Students can apply for a Moed Miyuchad via Mador Status, at least 30 days before the exam date.
In order to be eligible for a Moed Miyuchad, you must have a ‘valid’ excuse for missing your exam. Ultimately, validity is determined by Mador Status, however here is a partial list:
- Conflict with another exam.
- Marriage of a close relative, Pregnancy.
- Sickness (with valid doctor’s note).
As of 2019, an immigrant visiting their family overseas is no longer included on the list of ‘valid’ excuses. Students missing exams for this reason are encouraged to contact Mador Status for clarification in advance.
Students eligible for Moed Miyuchad, take their exam the next time the test is offered, usually in the following semester or year. In the event that the course is a prerequisite for the following year’s courses, a test date will be arranged beforehand.
In extreme circumstances, students can request a Moed Ishi from Mador Status, instead of waiting for the next time the course is offered – usually in March. Moedei Ishi are approved in the following case:
- Marriage or Mourning.
- Army service the day of the exam.
- Hospital Stay (with valid doctor’s note).
- Childbirth on the day of the exam.
- The class is the sole remaining requirement to graduate.
In rare circumstances, a third exam date (or a Moed Gimmel) may be authorized. This can be granted to you if your teacher or his representative does not attend the exam, if your grade for the exam is not publicized within 7 days of your Moed Bet, or if your exam score or booklet is lost.
Skipping an Extra Exam
Students who register for an extra test date (Shipur Tziyun, Moed Miyuchad, etc) and do not show up to take it are required to pay a 40 NIS surcharge. If you miss more than three exams for which you registered without valid reason, you will be unable to register for additional test dates for an entire year.
Note: This does not apply to regular Moed Bet exams that you get signed up for automatically.
Special Benefits for Olim Chadashim
Bar-Ilan University gives overseas students and new immigrants several benefits to aid them on their exams. Click here for a full list of benefits offered by BIU to Olim.
Extra Test Time
For every hour of an exam in Hebrew, Olim and overseas students are granted 15 minutes extra to complete the test. Keep in mind, translated tests are not afforded this benefit.
Students who meet the criteria are automatically eligible for this benefit. However, due to logistical errors, the database is not always updated. As such, it is highly recommended for students to check their status at either the International Office or the Moravut Chevratit Office, and get a stamped Ishur to this effect.
Hebrew-English Dictionary Use
With the permission of their teacher, immigrants and foreign students can use either a print or electronic Hebrew-English dictionary on their exams.
To use a dictionary, stop by the International Office, and pick up an Ishur l’Shimush b’Milon, and then get it signed by your teacher. If you plan on using an electronic dictionary, the teacher’s must explicitly authorize its use.
With the teacher’s approval, students can ask to have their final exam translated into English.
As of January 2018, the official cost of a test translation is 270 NIS. First year students may translate up to 4 exams per semester, while second- and third-year students may translate up to 2. Translations must be requested via the Dean of Students Office at least two weeks before the exam date.
Despite these official costs and limitations, many teachers will translate your exam for free if asked. Translations done by your teacher also do not count toward the official semester limit.