The exam embarrassment is not the end of all things for finalists

While the University has made an awful mistake for third-year History students, the damage can still be rectified

From what I’ve learnt so far, the last term of your University degree is all about pressure. Everywhere you look, people are wondering what you’re doing next year. It’s a buzz question even when people aren’t asking it. You look left and your friend’s picked up an internship. You look right and your housemate’s suddenly studying Theology in Rome. You look at your life at York as a sinking ship and everywhere people are jumping overboard into 2:1 dependent lifeboats.

So you’ve got enough to think about. Each final deadline and each final exam has no room for error. Whether we’re ready or not for the outside world in its glorious unpredictability is a separate issue, but this is universal across all departments. Any upset to our rhythm is disasterous.

Of course, the initial reaction to hearing about the History exam mess up is sympathy for those involved. We’re so used to exams that we all have our habits to turn us into fine-tuned examination a disaster.

the mistake is one that could have happened anywhere

With over seven hundred members and counting in the Facebook group, it’s clear that not everyone took the exam. Our display of student camaraderie is really promising and is driving some sort of satisfactory outcome. Optional resits and “special mitigating circumstances” have already been offered.

The University are not entirely to blame here, the mistake is one that could have happened anywhere, even in a world-class university. It’s not as bad as it could have been either, the papers were at least in the same module. Some are even pleased about how it’s turned out, with more time to revise a tougher paper and the exam more impenetrable to studying out of the way.

It might be fair to say there is no better revision than having a paper in front of you in exam conditions.

I hope that all these measures, and those that are to come, are fair consolation. Indeed it is nice to hear that for once everyone involved; including the students, examination officers, the department, YUSU and the University itself, will all be looking for a fair and common outcome from this – one that doesn’t damage overall grades.

Charlie Leyland hits the nail on the head when she says that people should try not to let this distract them from the rest of their studies. It’s good advice, because the last thing finalists need is more pressure.


  1. “the mistake is one that could have happened anywhere, even in a world-class university.”

    Is York not a world-class University?

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  2. 25 May ’10 at 1:41 pm


    That wasn’t an article, you told us nothing we didn’t already know. What a load of old tosh.

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  3. it was a bit dull but…two student papers, a tiny campus, therefore not every article is going to be pressing, unmissable news is it?

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