Students’ finals performances have been jeopardized by a string of exam paper errors, ranging from sources cited that were not on the syllabus, to an entire paper being reused from last year.
The University has admitted to “administrative errors” in the production of at least one paper, while a Microeconomics exam was so hard that it forced two students to rusticate.
Students who sat the PPE Politics in South Asia exam on Monday 2nd June found that the questions were exactly the same as used for last year’s exam.
Wadham’s Violet Brand told Cherwell, “The oddest thing about the paper was actually the front cover; it looked like a photocopy of an old paper with a box pasted over the area where the date and time are written.”
The University has blamed the mistake on the aforementioned “administrative error”. In a statement, a spokesperson explained that, “The Proctors’ Office and external examiners have been informed, and results will be scrutinised to ascertain whether any students were disadvantaged by this mistake.
“Those affected will be kept informed of developments, and a review of procedures will be undertaken to help ensure this does not happen again.”
Elsewhere, a Microeconomics exam on Friday of 5th week was so hard that two St Catz students rusticated immediately afterwards.
An anonymous economist told Cherwell “The problem questions at the start of the exam took up far too much time, while the essay questions were much harder to predict than usual. Many people were heard coming out of the exam saying things like ‘Oh my God, what was that?’”
Exeter’s Adam Baxter told Cherwell, “I think it was generally thought to be a difficult exam. The paper was generally more complicated than previous years, from what I can recall – although, in truth, I’m trying to block it out – and in particular the questions on binomial distributions and policy evaluation were certainly less broad and more technical than in the past.”
Another student who preferred to remain anonymous claimed that, while “Part A is normally 1 hour and Part B 2 hours, everyone I talked to spent over 1 hour on Part A. It was definitely tricky. But I wouldn’t say it was abnormally tricky – they can throw some tough questions in the economics exams.”
Elsewhere, there were also problems with at least two special-subject history papers. In the “Slavery and the Crisis of the Union” exam a gobbet of information was misattributed, while the “Politics, Art and Culture in the Renaissance” paper contained a quote that, according to Jesus’s Nathan Joss, was “from a source not on the syllabus.”
The History and Economics faculties have yet to comment.