My students know before the exam that it will be individual and will include both skill and application questions. My Assessment video discusses why I chose those options for this assessment. They've had an opportunity during class time to organize their notes, review and ask questions. Today is about demonstrating what they know and understand. I have the Algebraic Structure Exam face-down on the desks as my students come in and they know they can begin as soon as the bell rings but not before. I also have graphing calculators, blank and lined paper, and graph paper available for any student who requests such items.
During the testing time I walk around observing and answering those questions that I can. I also observe which problems are giving my students the most difficulties and which seem to be fairly easy. This part always intrigues me because it's not the same with every class even though I try to be as consistent as possible. I advise my students when they have only ten minutes left so that they have time to wrap up their work and at least attempt all of the problems.
There is no significant activity to close this assessment other than to have students turn in their exams as they leave.