Ask King’s To Change The Way They Conduct Exams

Ask King’s To Change The Way They Conduct Exams

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KCL Maths Students 2017-2020 started this petition to 100

To whom it may concern,

This letter has been written to share concerns about this year’s approach to student care. We believe that some serious changes have to be made to the way the university prepares its students to exams.

The lecture hall (-2.18) has no desks so students cannot make any proper notes, such a huge hall discourages students to ask questions or answer them. One tutorial a week with 25-30 students in each class is not sufficient, especially if a tutor is themselves a student. Even an experienced tutor cannot go through every problem set in detail in the time provided. The office hours aren’t helpful as a teacher cannot have private lessons with everyone and any further private tuition has to be heavily payed for.

Most lecturers are only available during the revision week which is not helpful as some of the exams are ‪in 20 days‬ time and help is needed closer to the exam date. Some lecturers aren’t even available for questions during the revision week and some use phrases like “Shouldn’t you have learnt that by now?” when a student asks for help, having previously been assured that all questions are encouraged.

Furthermore students aren’t able to properly prepare for their exams due to there being no past papers that have any resemblance to what ended up being our exams. Almost half of the lecturers are new and all of them have different expectations or styles of writing so nothing that the students prepare for is actually on the exam. Every 2 years or so the lecturers are replaced so there is absolutely no consistency in the material provided.

In addition it is extremely inconvenient that the students have to do all 8 exams in the summer compared to other courses which divide the exams equally between January and May, or at least 2:6. By the time the preparation period comes around it has been 4 months since half the modules are studied and it is extremely hard to start from scratch.

The system in place has not only effected students’ personal performance and allowed there to be a lot of retakes which ruin students’ chances to get above a 2.2, but also casts a shadow on the University’s ratings. The goal of education is to provide skills to use the knowledge given, not catch students out on what they don’t know. Unfortunately at the moment this system is made for the gifted, not for the masses.

We suggest:

Lecturers being available during the exam period, especially last couple of days before their module’s exam. New lecturers have to write at least one mock paper for revision purposes.

Having more tutorials instead of lectures is crucial, along with optional personal tutors being available for one to one tuition.

Homework can be made compulsory. Have time after the tutorial for questions as a lot of the times the room is booked again and answers to specific maths questions are impossible to understand via email

The second year is extremely important for the predicted grades and for our futures and this year has set us up to fail. We hope that this is taken on board and implemented next year.

Kind regards,

Students of 2017-2020 BSc Mathematics course.

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