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Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck College
London

Experience of Birkbeck exams/tests?

Hi everyone,

I’m a Biomedicine (BSc) undergraduate student at Birkbeck, just finished my 2nd out of 4th year as I am on the 4 year part-time pathway. So far, all my exams/tests have taken place online due to the pandemic and although it seemed like this would be the case indefinitely, an increase in students cheating by using AI etc means some tests/exams are likely to go back to in-person.

As somebody who has a full-time job during the day, it is incredibly frustrating that this has happened. I feel so annoyed with the people who cheated for making this the case! Like how idiotic can you get. Given that Birkbeck is meant to be an evening university, I was discouraged to hear that exams take place during all times of the day. This would make the course very tricky for me to complete as I have limited annual leave so can't take endless days off for exams.

Anyway, my question is - before the pandemic, what was the text/exam structure like at Birkbeck? I’m interested to hear about any experience but particularly from anybody who studied on the Biomed course or did another science subject.

I did an undergraduate degree at the Uni of Manchester 10 years or so ago but it was a humanities subject so very few exams, almost all of my assessed work was essay-based.

I guess I just want to know what to expect? Thanks.
Reply 1
I didn't go to Birkbeck but I did a STEM degree just round the corner at UCL so I assume it's somewhat similar and I also did my degree long before covid so they were all in person. Most of my exams were in the morning and the venues were annoyingly dotted all over central London, I barely got to sit any exams in UCL campus buildings. Don't know if the same will be true of Birkbeck but I'm not really sure there's much you can do tbh. If your uni sets an exam on a certain day and time then you just have to attend or get a zero for absence. You could always speak to a member of your uni on the very very slight off chance they can make personalised arrangements for you but I think it's not likely because if you for example were to sit an exam in the evening when everyone else did it in the morning then there's a possibility you could have got the questions/answers off someone, that would be the logic lecturers and the like would use. You will in all probability just have to use your annual leave and maybe take a couple of fake sick days off too if needed. But again speak to your uni team now and see if there are arrangements they could put in place.
Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck College
London
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
I didn't go to Birkbeck but I did a STEM degree just round the corner at UCL so I assume it's somewhat similar and I also did my degree long before covid so they were all in person. Most of my exams were in the morning and the venues were annoyingly dotted all over central London, I barely got to sit any exams in UCL campus buildings. Don't know if the same will be true of Birkbeck but I'm not really sure there's much you can do tbh. If your uni sets an exam on a certain day and time then you just have to attend or get a zero for absence. You could always speak to a member of your uni on the very very slight off chance they can make personalised arrangements for you but I think it's not likely because if you for example were to sit an exam in the evening when everyone else did it in the morning then there's a possibility you could have got the questions/answers off someone, that would be the logic lecturers and the like would use. You will in all probability just have to use your annual leave and maybe take a couple of fake sick days off too if needed. But again speak to your uni team now and see if there are arrangements they could put in place.


Thanks! I knew that would be the case for a "normal" uni but thought Birkbeck would be different given that lectures (and labs) are from 6pm onwards and it brands itself as a uni for people who work during the day. I could always change to the 6-year course which spreads modules out more to make it more manageable with work - I guess it depends how many exams I will actually have vs lab reports etc. Personally I think a lengthy lab report is much better for assessing scientific competency, and is mostly ChatGPT-proof.

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