Review into the Business Finance Module (AC502) and Final Exam (2017)
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Students who have completed the module believe that aspects of it were poorly taught, and as a result, many students felt unprepared for the final exam. Throughout the year, a number of individual grievances have accumulated about the module. However consensus only formed after the final exam where students had the opportunity to discuss them. This highlighted all the problems students wished they could have raised earlier in the year but lacked evidence.
There will be students who may consequently miss out on a 2.1 or a 1st in their degree despite consistently achieving the required grades across all other modules. This is a reminder to students of AC502 to consider, whilst reading this petition, the financial impact of future job opportunities that may be lost.
The majority of modules on the Accounting and Finance 3rd year course provide solutions to seminars on Moodle. Unfortunately for this module, students are at a disadvantage as there are no solutions to review. Given the limited office hours and instances where seminar questions were only partially covered, it is unreasonable that students are not freely provided with such seminar solutions.
The exam is structured so that written questions make up 53% of the total marks, making it the greater part of the paper. At the beginning of this module, students were told that there would be very little to no guided essay preparation covered by module convenors and that students were practically on their own for this area. Out of the two graded pieces of coursework set, there were no elements of graded essays. Essentially this means that there was no guided preparation offered to show students what is expected of them for this module, and how they could be successful in their final exam.
The points raised above exacerbate the fact that most students felt let down by the course following the final exam.
Students relied heavily on the revision pack that was provided (past papers from 2009-2012) as a gauge of how prepared they would be, as it was understood to be relevant for the upcoming exam. Furthermore, it is unacceptable that a student had to complain before even the most recent papers were uploaded on to the library resources. There were no solutions given for these papers either. In order to do well on this course, particularly where there are computational questions, practice is of upmost importance and students believe that they were lead down the wrong path as students were only openly provided with solutions for outdated years.
It is agreed that if all of the papers from 2009-2016 were used as an example, one can see that questions are clearly worded and topics are easily identifiable within these exams. Contrary to this, many students were left confused with this year’s questions, which were ambiguously worded and often left to the students own interpretation. This meant that students were unfortunately left unable to assess the topics by which they were being examined. The goal was not to try and predict what will come up in future. Students had a specific knowledge of how to attempt certain topics examined in past papers and seminar questions. However, only one computational question in the exam had a clear, identifiable topic by which students had been prepared for from past papers and seminars.
Students have recognised that the delivery of the module has not fully prepared them for the final exam and topics were not easily identifiable. For a majority to leave an exam not understanding what was being asked is not due to the lack of preparation or lack of intelligence in this case. It is down to not only the exam paper but the guidance provided for this module. Students were not given the opportunity to accurately apply their knowledge of the course content and have been left feeling cheated.
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