Tips for first-years: always go to exam inspections

To make the transition to a new life in a new city a bit smoother, UKrant‘s student editors give their top tips over the next three weeks. Today: always go to exam inspections.

‘I wouldn’t completely trust the TAs with their grading’, my roommate once told me. 

She worked as a teaching assistant herself, assisting her professors with grading papers, and she was shocked by the inconsistency among some of her colleagues. While there was always the supervising professor to fall back on, she emphasised, ‘Always attend the exam inspections and double-check your points.’

This advice proved useful for a friend of mine who unexpectedly received a failing grade on an essay he had worked hard on and even submitted early. It turned out that the TA had misinterpreted a crucial aspect of the assignment prompt. The TA hadn’t seen other essays yet to compare my friend’s work with when she graded his work, and when she realised that, she concluded she had been too strict and revoked his failing grade.

So, if you failed an exam you prepared hard for, attend the exam inspection. Maybe you’ll be able to argue your case successfully and secure those extra points needed to pass. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll learn what you need to focus on when studying for your resits. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and advocate for your methods; that’s what these meetings are for.

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