Monday, October 10, 2011

Shortage of question papers forces NUS to cancel economics exam

by Wendy Wong 04:46 AM Oct 04, 2011

SINGAPORE - Some 700 first-year undergraduates at the National University of Singapore (NUS), who were supposed to sit for a paper on managerial economics last Saturday, were told on the spot that the exam was cancelled - because not enough question papers were printed.

In response to MediaCorp's queries, an NUS spokesperson attributed the gaffe to "human error". The university is looking into the matter "to strengthen the processes to prevent this from happening again", the spokesperson added.

According to the spokesperson, the mid-year test for the module "BSP 1005 Managerial Economics" was scheduled to be held at 2pm last Saturday. The spokesperson said 750 copies were supposed to be printed for a class of 725. The lecturer-in-charge of the exam, who works in the banking industry, had another class in the morning and he discovered at "about 2pm" that there was a shortage of 200 scripts, the spokesperson said. The spokesperson said: "The lecturer-in-charge discussed with fellow colleagues on duty that day on the various available options. There was insufficient time to make additional copies as another test had been scheduled in the same hall immediately after the stated test.

"After considering all options, the lecturer-in-charge made the difficult decision of cancelling the test. The lecturer-in-charge then made the announcement to the students, took responsibility and apologised for the human error made, and followed up with an explanation email to all affected students."

The mid-year test would have made up 30 per cent of the students' overall grades. The weightage will now be shifted to other assignments.

In an email sent to the affected undergraduates last Saturday - a copy of which was obtained by MediaCorp - the course coordinator said: "On behalf of the entire team, I am really sorry for today's fiasco. We fell short in the number of printed papers we had and we could not find a way to make this work."

Pointing out the difficulty of rearranging another sitting for the exam, he added that there will not be a mid-year exam.

Adding that the situation was "completely unintended", the coordinator said the question paper will also be made available to the students for them to try the questions for practice and for tutorial discussions.

An affected undergraduate, who wished to be known only as Mr Tan, said he felt "very frustrated and annoyed".
He added: "I studied so hard for it and it got cancelled at the last minute."

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Wah!! How come this kind of crap didn't happen to me when I was not well-prepared for my exams/tests?!?!?!

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