Today I took my first self-scheduled exam. This must puzzle the average high schooler or even some college students who fret over taking three exams in two days under the watchful eyes of a proctor. A self-scheduled exam? Yes, I could take this exam any time during exam period. I went to a central location during one of three 3-hour periods (at 9AM, 2PM, 7PM), picked up the test, took it to a classroom and took it under no supervision whatsoever. When I was done, I returned the exam to the central location and was done. It is one of the best things because students have the freedom to take exams whenever they see fit. If one needs to leave early, one can take the test early in the exam period. If one does not feel ready to take it a certain day, then he can postpone taking it to another day. It gives ultimate control to the student in creating as stress-free a finals week as possible. Of course, this operates under the assumption of the honor code stating that everyone is under their own conscience not to cheat. I am not particularly familiar with the honor code as I did not have one at my high school but I am glad it allows for such luxuries as self-scheduled exams.
There are some drawbacks to the self-scheduled exam. From the student perspective, it can be hard to juggle scheduling four exams yourself. It is often too easy to put them off until the end. I certainly postponed mine twice. For teachers, there is a real trust factor in the honor code as it is quite easy to cheat individually or collectively.