Bad Exams: Error in Physics Paper Forces Resits.

3rd June 2014

A third year physics exam can be resat on Friday.

Here at the University of Nottingham we are in the midst of exams. Exams are pretty stressful anyway, but for some students they are even MORE stressful because the exam itself contains errors.

This has come to light recently as a recent third year Physics paper had so many errors in it that they have offered the students a resit this Friday – an unprecedented drastic solution.

We spoke to a Physics student who took this exam to get the full story:

We spoke to the Physics department and found out that the original paper had been proofread and did not have mistakes in it, but it was actually the fault of the printing company. Apparently the printers couldn’t read all the scientific symbols and so some were missed off. Clearly though, once the paper got back from the printers no-one checked it before it was given to students.

We spoke to Professor Bowtell, the Head of Physics, to see what they are doing about this massive mistake:

We asked our Physics student how this has affected him and what he thinks of the resit opportunity:

This isn’t a rare occurrence as there seem to be mistakes in lots of exams. We’ve had some tweets in about exam errors:

Exam mistakes in Physics have caused headaches

Leigh – Linear maths, non-calc paper. They forgot to change the front sheet to say you couldn’t have a calculator, so half of the students had calculators, the other half didn’t.

Patrick – History, the World War 1 Paper was designed with 9 questions (answer two of them) but only 7 of them appeared. The two questions missed off accounted for half the topics I’d revised. A total shambles.

Jess – My housemate studies Civil Engineering and there were two exam halls and the lecturer who set the exam went into one hall half way through the paper to inform the students that they were allowed their notes, yet not all of them had them in their bags. The others in the other hall did not get informed this. Yet the university are not moderating the results and they do not know which students had notes and which did not. This is incredibly unfair and stupid by the lecturer! But he is being fired as a result

Amanda – This was really common at A Level too; lots of people who sat Further Maths exams were unable to complete their exams because of poor quality exam scripts. There definitely should be a better protocol in place to stop this happening – especially at university level!

We spoke to SU postgraduate officer Laura Theobald to find out what the University are doing about all these mistakes in exams.

Have any of you had errors in your exams? Leave your experiences in the comments below.