Philosophy freshers were told to answer the wrong number of questions in exam

What would Plato say to this

The department said it themselves, what an “unfortunate” exam.

The stress of a 9am exam is at times unspeakable, that anxiety and rush you feel as you leap out of bed in a desperate attempt to make breakfast and review the sparse notes you managed to make the day before. Yet, the stress got a lot worse for some 1st year philosophy students this morning.

The freshers sat down in Elvet Riverside to take their exam in Knowledge and Reality. Throughout the year they were told they would have to answer three questions in two hours. Yet the front of the paper this morning stated that they should only answer two.

The subsequent panic and confusion meant students were left unclear as what to do and the instructions at the beginning took longer to be explained.  As a result some students continued with the exam answering three and others merely two.

A short while later the Philosophy students received an email from the department apologising for the “very unfortunate experience”, a phrase I commonly use to describe most of my exams.

They explained that due to a “clerical and checking error, the rubric in fact stated two questions”  yet “for those students who answered two questions, the markers will take the rubric as asking for two questions; and for those who answered three, they will take the rubric as asking for three questions”.

For some we can hope that we now managed to successfully trick the examiner into thinking we had deeply learnt the module by displaying such in depth knowledge of two small topics.  For others there now lies a disappointment in being restricted from showing their full potential after attending every lecture.

Just think at least we weren’t told all year we’d have to answer two and then be told to answer three. Don’t worry Philosophy, we still rate you and Descartes.