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Why do some courses at university not have final exams? How is this fair? Watch

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    So at this time of year most students are preparing for their final exams. Personally, I have final exams worth 25% of my degree. Now I think is neither a lot, or a little. 25% is a sizable chunk, though I know people at Oxbridge have 100% of their degree assessed through exams in their final year. So I can put things in perspective.

    However, it really really gets on my nerves that some respected subjects like English in many 'Russell group' universities don't have final exams! How is this fair? It's not as if it's impossible to assess such a subject in an exam. Exams are so much harder than coursework in my opinion - and so much more time consuming - you have to revise lots of information, over half of which probably won't even come up in the exam etc. And then (at my uni) you have only an hour to write an essay that is marked as rigorously as an essay, except for the fact that you don't need a reference list (but you still must include references). So can someone enlighten me as to why some respected subjects are spared the pain of the exam period?

    FYI I've heard about this phenomenon at various respectable unis, so it's not just mine. Also, I don't count a 'take home exam' as a proper exam either. 24 hours is easily enough time to write a perfectly good essay.

    The reason I get so annoyed by this is that receiving less than optimum questions in an exam, or poor performance on exam day for various reasons, can be all the difference between a 2.1 and a 1st. People getting 1sts in respectable subjects at respectable unis should have had to do so with exams, just like everyone else!

    /rant over
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    Does it really matter? I'd rather have an exam than all the coursework I have to do for my degree. Sitting a couple of 2 hour exams at the end of the year seems much better than thousands of words of coursework I have to agonise over for months.
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    Fairness doesn't come into it. Universities set the exams, not a central exam board, so if a course doesn't involve final exams it's because the tutors and lecturers who teach the course don't think exams are needed to prove a student understands it.
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    (Original post by Rainbowscarf)
    Does it really matter? I'd rather have an exam than all the coursework I have to do for my degree. Sitting a couple of 2 hour exams at the end of the year seems much better than thousands of words of coursework I have to agonise over for months.
    I completely agree with this. When I was at university my course consisted of both examinations and course work; and I must admit that I was much more relaxed when it was exam time. I find exams rather easy- I can go into them and just write and write. Whereas when I was trying to write up my coursework I would just stare at a blank screen for weeks. It's true that I work better under pressure though

    I hope you're all well

    xxx
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    I don't think it's anything to do with fairness really, lecturers write the exams and so they only teach you things that are likely to come up, they don't mislead you and want you to do well so you should receive adequate support and time to prepare. I have loads of exams in final year and I would much prefer coursework, but everyone has their preferences. I prefer having plenty of time to write things and know it's good quality rather than panic in an exam under time constraints, but if the lecturers who structure the course don't feel exams are appropriate then they won't set them.

    Some people may think it's really unfair that they don't have exams and constantly get 3000 word essays to write, so it's swings and roundabouts. I think exams are much easier to prepare for, but stress me out more at the same time so coursework is my preference despite it being a lot more time consuming. I do think that the entirety of your degree marks coming from your final year exams is a little extreme though, if you have an off day/week it can really mess things up for you if you've performed well consistently otherwise.
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    The whole education system isn't very fair.
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    (Original post by SpicyStrawberry)
    I don't think it's anything to do with fairness really, lecturers write the exams and so they only teach you things that are likely to come up, they don't mislead you and want you to do well so you should receive adequate support and time to prepare. I have loads of exams in final year and I would much prefer coursework, but everyone has their preferences. I prefer having plenty of time to write things and know it's good quality rather than panic in an exam under time constraints, but if the lecturers who structure the course don't feel exams are appropriate then they won't set them.

    Some people may think it's really unfair that they don't have exams and constantly get 3000 word essays to write, so it's swings and roundabouts. I think exams are much easier to prepare for, but stress me out more at the same time so coursework is my preference despite it being a lot more time consuming. I do think that the entirety of your degree marks coming from your final year exams is a little extreme though, if you have an off day/week it can really mess things up for you if you've performed well consistently otherwise.
    Our Lecturers write the final exams? Wow, I never knew that.

    Do these exams have to meet some kind of regulated criteria?
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    (Original post by pizzle223)
    Our Lecturers write the final exams? Wow, I never knew that.

    Do these exams have to meet some kind of regulated criteria?
    If your degree is accredited (mine is) the course will need to meet regulations set by the body that accredits the degree, e.g. having the right content, resources etc. but the lecturers themselves write the exams. I can only speak for my university though but as far as I'm aware it happens in most if not all universities.
 
 
 
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