Rain and upcoming exams

2007-05-27

in Daily updates, Oxford

Claire Leigh with umbrella

Another day of cold and constant rain is proving a demonstration of how volatile Oxford weather has been in recent weeks. Some mornings start out utterly grim and transition into warm and stunning evenings. Others persist stubbornly in keeping people in the libraries and out of the parks and gardens. Weather forecasts for the coming week suggest that it will be better suited to those determined to study than to those keen on giving punting or croquet a try. My hopes that the Lake District trip would be less rainy than Scotland or Snowdonia may prove unfounded.

With exams only 15 days away, they should probably be dominating my thoughts. It is a bit odd how the qualifying test last year, which involves only half the material of these exams, seemed to have much more presence in the minds of those in the program. This may be the product of the declining momentum that accompanies being at the end. It may also reflect how – barring those going on to the D.Phil – there are not many members of the program for whom it is hugely better to get a distinction than it is to simply pass.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom May 27, 2007 at 8:03 pm

This may be the product of the declining momentum that accompanies being at the end.

After so much work, it would be foolish to let things slip now.

Milan May 27, 2007 at 8:58 pm

Of course it would, and nobody intends to. By the same token, spending our last few weeks cramming material that will mostly be forgotten soon after is not a great use for our final time in Oxford.

Ben May 27, 2007 at 9:44 pm

The reason Brits talk so much about weather is that we have so much of it…

Anon May 27, 2007 at 9:46 pm

From last year’s report on the finals:

“The written exams were less outstanding this year, particularly with respect to the core papers. While there were three Distinction marks on Contemporary Debates in IR Theory – and students demonstrated a broad range of knowledge – there were no Distinctions on the Development of the International System since 1900. On this latter core paper, candidates gravitated toward a narrow set of questions, some of which could be considered ‘low risk’. The Examiners had a sense that students are gambling on particular questions coming up, and revising accordingly, leading to some lack of creativity in the answers. We recommend that next year’s Examinations Committee review the core papers from the last five years, and consider varying the topics asked on the Final Exams. We also wonder whether supervisors should be reminded to organize revision sessions for the two core papers in Trinity Term.”

Anon May 27, 2007 at 9:48 pm

Here is the PDF

Milan May 27, 2007 at 10:28 pm

We recommend that next year’s Examinations Committee review the core papers from the last five years, and consider varying the topics asked on the Final Exams.

I hope that doesn’t cause too many problems for all the people revising on the basis of set topics.

Anon June 6, 2007 at 10:21 pm

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