Another one: UCL Psychology students given last year’s paper and told to carry on

Yet another exam mishap


Another day, another UCL exam mishap. This time, second year Psychology students were given the 2016/17 developmental psychology exam paper instead of the 2017/18 paper.

Invigilators told students to continue with the exam despite the fact it was clear they had been given the wrong paper.

A new paper was eventually given to students 40 minutes after the exam was supposed to have started.

If you've been paying attention recently, this latest calamity – after choral music blasting during an exam, missing formula booklets, unanswerable questions, and two hour resits to make up for things – will leave you as incredulous as Brenda from Bristol:

Pippa Vanderplank, a second year Psychology student, told The Tab London: "It's frustrating that UCL could make such a sloppy mistake."

Students immediately recognised that they had been given the wrong paper and told invigilators.

Some of the questions on the PSYC2209 paper were the same as the practice ones the department had put on Moodle for students to use when revising

However, the invigilators did not appear to know how to resolve the problem.

Pippa said, "even the invigilators seemed stressed out about it. They were so confused."

Another student observed: "There was clearly no protocol for the external invigilators to follow given the occurrence of such a situation. Some of the invigilators were giving conflicting instructions."

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14 minutes after it was identified that the students had been given the wrong exam, the invigilators told students to continue with the paper.

This instruction caused outrage and many students refused to keep answering the exam.

The developmental psychology course was changed this year which meant that many of the questions on the 2016/17 paper were on topics the students had never covered.

In addition to this the 2016/17 paper was designed to be a three hour exam but this year the exam was only scheduled to be two hours.

Pippa explained that this was the worst part of the exam because "we didn't know what [parts] of a three hour paper to do in two hours. It was such a mess."

Eventually, a "new" paper was brought for students to do and the exam was re-started at 10:38.

An international second year Psychology student told The Tab the incident was made worse by the fact "it's obvious that [UCL] have not learnt from the previous mishaps in the engineering exams."

She added: "You would think they would be more cautious after what happened but I guess they just don't care enough."

The student explained the incident is a very good illustration of "why UCL has such low student satisfaction- come on you wouldn't expect the 7th top university in the world to screw up this badly," adding that it was frustrating to pay £21k per year to face a "series of unfortunate events."

The Psychology department has sent a email to students informing them that the Head of the Exam board is aware of the "unfortunate mishap" and that the department would be taking measures to ensure no students' marks are disadvantaged.

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Unfortunately, not even a day can pass without another UCL exam mishap. Just before publication The Tab London was informed that Maths students were not given formula books or instruction for the MATH6401 paper, which is worth 90 per cent of their final grade.

One student who was in the exam told the Tab London: "The recent events make me feel that the only thing which makes our university top is it's name."

In a statement, UCL told The Tab London: "The error was quickly noticed, and administrators promptly sent over the correct exam paper.

"Students were then given the full time they needed to complete the exam. We sincerely apologise for the difficulties caused by this administrative error, and have issued an apology to affected students. We are taking steps to ensure that students will not be disadvantaged by the error."

Related stories recommended by this writer:

1. Here’s a round up of all of this year’s biggest exam blunders

2. Third year Warwick History students mistakenly given two hours to sit exam, rather than three

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