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Durham engineers told of error in exam paper with 20 minutes to go, only for there to be no error after all

The Engineering Department has made its second apology this exam season

Students questioned whether the Engineering Department “even take their exams seriously" after an erroneous announcement was made during Electrical Engineering 2 on 29 May.

With 20 minutes of the two-hour exam remaining, students were incorrectly informed of an error in the final question, only being told that the question was correct once the exam had finished.

The Engineering Department has made an apology for the second time this exam season.

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Students were left stunned at how an exam worth 80% could be such a "shambles."

Jack Barthorpe, 20, told The Tab Durham: “I’m beginning to wonder if the Engineering Department even take their exams seriously. Three out of five papers with mistakes is a joke,” before adding “I’d already finished the question. I’m just glad I didn’t cross it all out.”

Joe Wilderspin, 20, branded the situation as “annoying,” while Charlie Bawden, 21, labelled it a “shambles – people had changed their answers and then a woman came in and told us the question was actually correct in the first place.”

Professor Simon Hogg, Head of Engineering, said: “The quality of our exam papers is of the utmost importance. Following the previous examination paper error earlier this month, we had made every effort to ensure the examination was correct throughout – which it was.

“When a student raised a concern regarding a question during the latter half of the examination, we also took this very seriously. In seeking to rectify the issue within a very tight time-frame, a mistake was made where a change to the question was issued.

"Unfortunately, this had the unintended effect of complicating it. The appropriate response would have been to confirm that the question was correct as originally written. This was recognised a short time later, but by this point it was very close to the end of the standard examination time. For this we apologise.

He further added: “We would like to reassure students that appropriate measures are in place to ensure examination papers will be marked fairly and appropriately, taking into account the above. As with our standard marking procedures, each examination paper will be considered on a case by case basis.”

The errors follow a similar situation in which students sitting the “Electronics 2” paper had to endure errors in three out of the four questions – two of which were told to the students upon arrival, while the third – an error in the final question that made it unanswerable – was told to the students with 15 minutes to go.