Final year Economics students had ‘unanswerable’ questions in their exam

Half of the questions didn’t make sense

birmingham tab brum chaos exam guild of students students the tab brum undergraduate university of birmingham UoB

On Saturday, final year Economics undergraduates opened their exam papers to find a series of impossible questions.

It was brought to the attention of the invigilators shortly after the exam, which was part of the Game Theory module, started. Invigilators tried to fix the problem mid exam, but only allocated 15 additional minutes to students in which to complete it.

A third year Economist told the Tab: “There were major issues with the paper. Three of six questions were completely unanswerable, due to either missing information, counter factual information or simply being unreadable. This affected at least 63 marks out of a 100 mark paper.”

He said no announcement was made regarding any issues until at least 40 minutes into the exam, when one question was clarified and students were told to make note of the amendments.

After 70 minutes everyone was notified that a total of three questions were unanswerable, and students were made to take note on the paper of the correct questions. At no point was a new exam paper handed out.

Another finalist told us: “Further to this, only 15 minutes extra time was given, which considering the time elapsed and that the exam time was only two hours to begin with, was an absolute joke and left many of us angry and complaining throughout. It was simply not enough time.”

The exams office have said due to procedure, 15 minutes is the maximum amount of time they could give. They said that given time constraints it was impossible to get a new paper prepared and distributed.

An email sent to Economics students from the university stated that the Department of Economics would be launching a full investigation to establish what happened, and to prevent it from doing so again in the the future. The email then went on to state “that a solution will be found [to this problem]” suggesting the saga is far from over.

Any students who have been affected by this conflict are reminded of the wide range of support services at the university and the Guild of Students. They are invited to use them if needed.