So in my first year of university, I failed one class. I was really good at that subject and had great grades but because of my final exam, I have failed it. I felt discourages and thought that maybe I deserved it because I did not prepare for it as much as I could. I thought that I did okay on the exam but there was a thought that maybe I am just thinking that I did well but actually I didn't? Not sure how to describe it.

Next year I am going to graduate and this thought still bothers me, like did I actually do that badly on the exam? I keep thinking about asking the prof for my final paper but I don't know if that's okay. I checked and he is still teaching at my university.

Do you think it is okay to ask about the exam even if it's been so long?

  • 4
    OK to ask, okay for the professor to say no. Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 8:04
  • 3
    Depending on your university's policy for storing exam papers, that exam paper may no longer exist after 3 years.
    – TimRias
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 8:13

2 Answers 2


It is completely fine for students to request to see their final exam scripts. As a lecturer, I am actually surprised and slightly frustrated that many students seem to be only interested in their mark, not the feedback.

However, asking for an exam dating back 3 years may be a bit more difficult. Exam papers are only kept for a particular amount of time, often ~3 years. So if you want to ask, do it as soon as possible before your exam paper is discarded.


Most universities specify in the policy / rules / regulations the amount of time between the exam taking place and any review permitted by the student.

Usually this is a few weeks to a few months after the exam board has sat and the official marks sent to the students.

Also, "odd" performance by any student will normally be noted and discussed as part of the exam board - any extenuating circumstances etc. But if the other subjects were fine then they may have simply concluded you had "had a bad day" for that one exam.

So, ask but do not be surprised if the answer is no. If you were asking about the final exams you just took then the answer would probably be an easy "yes".

I have students asking each semester - hoping for extra points... but it does not happen, because I mark looking for reasons to give points not remove them.

But instead of posting here, you could have emailed your professor directly and had a response already - which may have been that they will give you a run down of the questions / answers even if you are not allowed to physically see the script anymore.

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