Archive for exams

‘How I cheated the UCD exam system’

Posted in Legal issues, teaching with tags , , on 1 March 2011 by Steve

“‘There was nothing ingenious in the plan we concocted. It was nothing like Ocean’s Eleven or anything’, says ‘John’, who has sat exams on three separate occasions in the past two years on behalf of students that had been struggling with their course, including at least one case in which the individual had failed the paper previously …” (more)

[Paul Fennessy, University Observer, 1 March]


Exam Cheating: Reaction and Analysis

Posted in Legal issues, teaching with tags , , on 1 March 2011 by Steve

“Following revelations of cheating in exams, Quinton O’Reilly gets the reaction and opinion from this news …” (more)

[University Observer, 1 March]

Exams? What Exams?!

Posted in Life with tags , on 13 February 2011 by Steve

“The word ‘exam’ has historically gone down in the vocabulary of students under the heading of ‘beware’. Generally they have been regarded with disdain and they are one of the prime causes for secondary school nightmares. Their soul destroying, hope-crushing qualities have left many a bright student, simply a hollow shell of their former self …” (more)

[Gary Wall, University Times, 13 February]

Probe over exam body

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 4 February 2011 by Steve

“Uncertainty surrounding education reform in Northern Ireland means it is difficult to make improvements at the body overseeing exam marking, a report has said …” (more)

[Belfast Telegraph, 4 February]

Assessments and examinations at risk

Posted in teaching with tags , on 31 January 2011 by Steve

“As governments in a number of countries try to square the circle of rising higher education participation rates and budget (and therefore faculty) cuts, one thing in particular should be borne in mind: the risk to the quality of exam and assignment correction …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 31 January]

School tours and exams could be cut to make up for snow days

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 29 January 2011 by Steve

“The country’s secondary schools may be forced to cut the number of days assigned for end-of-year exams – in order to make up for the days lost to the cold weather earlier this month …” (more)

[, 29 January]

Learning from Crunch Time

Posted in teaching with tags , , , on 28 December 2010 by Steve

“… Here’s what interests me more than any other facet: ‘For some they see this course as a competition. Is it? Should it be?’ Competition is healthy as well as harmful. I see third level education as an opportunity for students to discover complementary talent. For that kind of group dynamic to evolve, people need to appreciate diverse skill sets …” (more)

[Bernie Goldbach, Inside View, 28 December]

The ‘Bizarro World’ of Irish Final Exams

Posted in teaching with tags , on 8 December 2010 by Steve

“According to Wikipedia’s definition of the famous DC Comics, ‘In the Bizarro world of “Htrae” [Earth spelled backwards], society is ruled by the Bizarro Code which states “Us do opposite of all Earthly things” …’. Schooling in Ireland has been ‘backwards’ to us all semester, but never as much as it has become for final exams …” (more)

[Roaming the Rolling Green Hills, 8 December]

Two exams per day proposal dismissed

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 27 October 2010 by Steve

“Academic Council to consider shortening study period in December. A proposal by the Deputy President of DCU to increase the amount of exams a student sits to two per day has been dismissed by Academic Council …” (more)

[Tallyman, 27 October]

The Exam Is Over

Posted in teaching with tags , on 6 October 2010 by Steve

“A depressing, if somehow unsurprising given the current state of higher education, read from the Boston Globe. It seems that only 23% of spring 2010 courses at Harvard offer final exams. At least one reason is embarrassing – the university has cut back on funding exam proctors, meaning that professors or their teaching assistants now need to supervise the three-hour final exams …” (more)

[Minding the Campus, 5 October]

Lecturers oppose setting aside of fail results

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 30 September 2010 by Steve

“The third-level system faces new controversy about an alleged ‘dumbing down’ of academic standards after the results of 36 students who failed an exam at Tralee Institute of Technology were set aside …” (more)

[Sean Flynn, Irish Times, 30 September]

Have examinations failed?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 20 July 2010 by Steve

“Earlier this year I wrote a post for this blog in which I wondered whether continuous assessment as the principal form of evaluating student performance could be sustained, given budgetary constraints and the problems of plagiarism …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 20 July]

Escaping exams

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 27 June 2010 by Steve

“I am knackered – for a myriad of reasons, but partly because I have just finished being chair of our Part 1a exams. OK I am sure that taking exams is more exhausting than marking them; but marking takes it out of you too, and you don’t get all the sympathy …” (more)

[A don’s life, 25 June]

Exams body changes procedure after last year’s English paper leak debacle

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 8 June 2010 by Steve

“The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has changed how exam papers are opened and distributed in exam halls following the debacle last year when details of English questions were leaked on the first day of the exams …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 8 June]

Why, oh why, do students have such bad handwriting?

Posted in Life with tags , on 1 June 2010 by Steve

“In every decision, so a friend tells me, there is the good reason and the real reason. Last year, I decided that all my modules from now on would be examined by course work rather than sit-down examinations. The good reason? There is something very strange in testing a student’s ability to master, analyse and engage with difficult philosophical material by sitting them down for two or three hours at a rickety table, under neon lights. The real reason? I just can’t bear reading students’ handwriting any more …” (more)

[Jonathan Wolff, Guardian, 1 June]

Doctor cheated in postgraduate exam

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“A doctor working in psychiatry who cheated in a postgraduate examination was yesterday found guilty of professional misconduct by the Irish Medical Council. A fitness to practice inquiry held by the council heard that Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal (44) from Pakistan had worked at a number of Irish hospitals, including St Fintan’s in Laois, St Brigid’s in Ballinasloe and St Brendan’s in Dublin, before travelling to the Britain in 2004 …” (more)

[Eithne Donnellan, Irish Times, 18 February]

Scheduling conflict could mean Christmas Eve exams

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 February 2010 by Steve

“Christmas exams in 2010 could run on into Christmas Eve in a bid to resolve the scheduling conflicts around Orientation Week. The start of the 2010-2011 term has been provisionally deferred by one week, to accommodate scheduling conflicts which saw Orientation Week clashing with the first round CAO offers …” (more)

[Natasha Wetten, University Observer, 2 February]

Tough Choices

Posted in Life with tags , , on 2 February 2010 by Steve

“In the aftermath of exam results in UCD, Peter Molloy examines the perennial issue of students struggling with the difficult choice of whether or not to drop out of college, and speaks to two students about their experience withdrawing from university. Social networking can come in for its fair proportion of criticism. Sometimes, though, it can be right on the money …” (more)

[Peter Molloy, University Observer, 2 February]

Students writing university exam answers on arms ‘most popular cheating method’

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 20 January 2010 by Steve

“Dozens of students were caught cheating at their exams at university around the country, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show. The old-fashioned technique of writing hidden answers on their arm appeared to be more popular than hi-tech scams such as using the internet with mobile phones …” (more)

[Andrew Hough, Daily Telegraph, 20 January]

Those pesky exam corrections

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 5 January 2010 by Steve

“It’s nice and quiet around college this week as the students aren’t back yet. However, this is also correction week as the semester exams took place before the Christmas break (one of the by-products of semesterisation is that we now get to correct twice a year, yipee) …” (more)

[Cormac O’Raifeartaigh, Antimatter, 5 January]