King’s War Studies students to sit take-home exams due to coronavirus

They will replace unseen exams in the Olympia

This afternoon, the Department of War Studies announced that War Studies students at King’s will be sitting take-home exams, replacing unseen exams.

The news comes after the university informed students on 11 March, the day students would normally expect their exam timetable to be published, that the university in most cases “will not hold conventional unseen exams” for the exam period this spring between 27 April and 29 May, but that students would have to wait for detailed announcements from their department and faculty confirming whether this news applied to them, and for the exact details of how they would be assessed.

Today’s email from the Department of War Studies advised students to “expect your scheduled examinations to be replaced by KEATS-based, take-home exams” to be completed during the normal exam period.

These take-home exams “can be written and submitted from anywhere with an internet connection.”

They are open-book and students “are permitted to use whatever resources are available” to them to complete the papers, but the department advised students to prepare “exactly as you would for the original exam.”

Michael Goodman, Head of Department, confirmed the department are “working on alternative arrangements” and students can expect more detailed guidance soon “on the precise format, timing, expectations and marking criteria” of their take-home exam papers.

Goodman thanked students for their “patience” while the department is working out “the best possible solution” to the situation.

Speaking to The Tab King’s about the decision to replace unseen exams, a third-year War Studies student said “I just think it’s really stupid and the most ridiculous thing ever.

“Given the pandemic which is happening, a take-home exam is just the last thing any of us need, it’s just putting more and more stuff onto our plate. I don’t feel like the students have been taken into account here.”

She added “it’s just another thing to now stress about.”

Constantin, a third-year War Studies student, said “we are quick to blame King’s and it is a frustrating situation but it’s probably hard for them too. This is a situation no one has faced before.”

A third-year International Relations and History student said “generally it’s a positive for me, as I prefer take-home exams to the stress of the exam hall.”

He added “this is King’s being smart and preventing the spread of a potentially deadly disease.”

Maddy, a third-year War Studies student, said “I’ve never done a take-home exam before so I’m not really sure what it’ll be like. As it’s so uncertain no one can really plan.

“But I think the amount of information King’s has provided has been really good, and they are obviously willing to discuss the situation with students.”

She commented “with it being third year it represents such a big proportion of our marks. It’s quite unsettling not knowing what’s going to happen.”

However, she added, “People chose their modules based on whether they were good at exams or coursework. So people who are good at exams will be disadvantaged by this change.”

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