timetable
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Warwick’s delays in releasing our exam timetable is a disgrace

The provisional summer exam timetable released last week by Warwick has been the latest in a line of major let-downs dished out by the University this academic year. The timetable was released over a week later than expected, with students’ frustrations understandably growing in the mean-time, as exams are now due to start in just over a months’ time. However, things only seemed to get worse upon it being released, with many finalists expecting to be finished in May, only to see exam dates in late June and even early July appear on their exam schedule.

On the 1 April, nearly two weeks after the provisional timetable was scheduled to be released, the University have taken down the ‘inaccurate’ timetable, and have released a statement offering their apologies for the delay.

This seems to be the appropriate finish to what can only be described as a disappointing and stressful year for many. The University of Warwick has released very little information that suitably justifies their actions, and students have been reduced to a mass that seemingly provides nothing other than financial gain, expected to comply with any decision the institution makes. Students are left to speculate the reasoning surrounding the exam schedule, with no statement given that clarifies exactly why this timetable differs so substantially from previous years’ patterns.

I am sure any necessary building work could have been scheduled to work around exam season, in order to have the appropriate amount of venues required to allow students to sit exams.

The University did make an incredibly vague statement, as reported by The Boar News: “There have been changes and improvements to the examination capacities and venues to enhance and improve the student experience during the examination sessions which has added to the complexity for producing the schedule.”

You will have to excuse my lack of sympathy, Warwick, but the various new car-parks, an Art Centre refurbishment, and a new Sports Centre, contribute very little to the grade I achieve in my degree, which is what I am ultimately here to obtain. My exams, however, might have something to do with this. I am sure any necessary building work could have been scheduled to work around exam season, in order to have the appropriate amount of venues required to allow students to sit exams. The University could have even attempted to source venues off campus. This is not a justification, in my eyes.

When the exam timetable was initially released some students were even faced with sitting exams into July – after term has ended on the 29th of June. This caused confusion among students, particularly those who’s let tenancies are scheduled to end when term ends, such as those who live on campus, resulting in extreme and unnecessary panic. While this particular problem has now been rectified, with a new exam timetable published later on the same day , several students still face exams in Week 10 of term, with the exam season supposed to only last from Weeks 4 to 9.

I believe I speak for many when I say this is an extremely disappointing outcome

As I stated previously, this also includes several finalist students seeing their exams finishing far later than expected. This interferes with several University-organised celebrations for students finishing their degree, such as the Grad Ball, and POP!. This is as well as students who may have individual commitments scheduled, such as job interviews and internships. 

As a third-year Film and Literature student, I seem to have gotten off quite lightly compared to some of my peers. I’m still not thrilled at all, however. Having spent two years watching finalists reach the end of their exams in May and go off and celebrate while I was still in exam halls, I couldn’t wait for it to be my time to do so. Regardless of anything else, I have reached the end of a very challenging three years, and was looking forward to a well-deserved celebratory period, which has now been cut short. I believe I speak for many when I say this is an extremely disappointing outcome. 

The University simply cannot publish things if they are expected to change. The entire situation should have been avoided

We have to also entertain the other side of this story – with rumours that the exam timetable may be changed circulating, we also must sympathise with those who have dissertations and various other assignments due, and were therefore happy about the extra revision time the timetable has granted. The University have stated “The exams team are working to resolve these problems ahead of publication of the Final Timetable w/c 22nd April, 2019.” If this happens, it may mean that several students who are expecting to have time to revise until June can then told their exams are in just in a few weeks. I will of course share their anger.

The University simply cannot publish things if they are expected to change. The entire situation should have been avoided, so when the time came the University had correct information that wouldn’t cause such extreme upset among their students. Even if the University had thought to provide some warning that this exam season would be different from the previous structure – surely they must have known before now this was going to cause issues? Did no one think to inform students prior this might be the case? After the disruption this year has brought, I applaud all who do well in their upcoming summer exams, and wish everyone luck.

Either way, whether the schedule is permanent or not, I share the SU’s sentiment that the University of Warwick have once again let down many of their students. I for one am grateful that, as a finalist, it will hopefully be for the last time. Unless, god forbid, Week 10 POP ends up cancelled. That really would take the cake on this rubbish academic year.

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