I miss 24 hour exams - we should bring them back


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By Tim Bodey, Second Year History

We were so quick to criticize the University that the 24 hour exam has now been replaced with something much worse.

The 24-Hour exam was an imperfect solution, but it’s a lot more perfect than the new system.

Exams are the bane of all students. But, they are a sad reality.

It is hard to come up with a way of removing the issues that students are so quick to find with exams. When people complained that they were overly simplistic memory tests, we had coursework. But coursework took up too much of our term so that did not work.

So, history students were then given the 24-hour exam. This was a system that gave you a standard exam question, but let you write it with the leisure of 24-hours so that time wasn’t an issue, and let you do it at home, so memory wasn’t an issue.

As with any exam format, we found a way to hate it.

Despite students frequently getting better marks in the 24-hour exam it was scrapped after complaints about it endangering student health. Students would stop eating, sleeping and showering. All this from a format meant to lower pressure.

So, what do history students have now? A seen exam.

The exam is still written in two hours, and even more so it will require pointless memorising challenges to ensure that enough statistics are included. It then will become a direct test of writing speed as people endeavour to put down all that they memorised in the allotted two hours. It will penalise those with other exams in the seven days before it and will ensure that those who do best are those who can remember the most.

The new solution was too focused on a previous answer, rather than looking at the problem to start with.

We should go back to the 24 hour exam.

By having an exam paper outside exam conditions, people could prepare as normal, and they could write as normal, but they would not be penalised for not remembering the right set of statistics.

The moral of the story is that students tend to criticise too readily.

When we are given what we ask for it is invariably imperfect, and so rather than adapt we ask for something completely different. Thus, the response to the new exam type must be one of patience.

Featured image: Epigram/Will Charley

Do you dislike the format of your exam, or could you imagine a solution to the memory-speed-stress issue? Write for Epigram

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