Unprecedented indeed: Students react to exam arrangements

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The Easter Term exam arrangements have dropped and there’s definitely a mixed bag. Here is a glimpse of students’ reactions to the news:

There have been positive reactions from many:

“Emmanuel 1 – rona 0” – Emmanuel, ChemEng finalist

“I’m glad that the grades aren’t classed for first and second years because everyone will have different circumstances, although I think everyone should have some form of assessment so they can make the most out of learning and their degree.” She added “faculties should really get back to us ASAP so we know how and what to revise!!” – Emma, first year linguist

“I’m gassed I don’t have to do any work lol” – Izzie, second year Engling

“I’m genuinely really pleased. It’s almost better than cancelling exams, because now I have purpose still and I can bled the work I do to revise for the exam into my work next year” – a second year Historian

Some aren’t convinced

“I’m confused – how am I supposed to do a dissertation on rare books when I can’t access those rare books in a library? There is no way that is possible.” – An English Master’s student

Others really aren’t happy

“I think it’s a really bad idea to do exams that aren’t marked. It’s the worst of both worlds, and will be really hard to get students to motivate themselves when we know it won’t be marked / given a class” – Erin, second year MML

“Once again, students on integrated Master’s schemes are being overlooked. We should also have a safety net of sorts” – A 4th year Chemist

“I think its an absolute mess. Some first years have exams cancelled entirely, some still have to work and pressure themselves unnecessarily in the middle of a global pandemic for a grade that won’t appear on their transcript and doesn’t count towards the grade they graduate with.

“Some students have been told it’s entirely their choice whether they sit exams, while others are being pressured by their departments. Some are doing coursework, while others who could easily be doing the same instead have to do online exams in a 5 hour window regardless of timezones, which massively disadvantages international students and those from access backgrounds. Some students, including 2nd year Law and Medicine, still haven’t actually heard what their exams will entail, instead receiving yet another email that basically says ‘we’ll tell you later lol’.

“Cambridge has already lagged so far behind other unis in addressing this situation, and the outcome is still so inconsistent, incoherent, and incomplete – all this does is show up what a disorganised institution this place is, and how little regard they hold for actually prioritising student welfare.” – Louis, second-year HSPS

Cover photo: Alex Brown

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