Anthropology paper mistakenly released before the exam

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The exam paper for a final year social anthropology module was accidentally released prior to the exam.

When one student sat down to take their exam last Thursday (14 May), they were surprised to find a copy of the paper for another module (SA4005 “West Indies and the Black Atlantic”) mistakenly stapled to the back of their own exam. The SA4005 paper was subsequently released to all students taking the module.

A spokesperson for the university said: “The School discovered the error, immediately notified the exams office, and after consideration took the decision to release the paper to all students on that module in the interests of fairness. This approach is regarded as best and legitimate practice in the circumstances. It is not unusual to release exam questions to students prior to some exams – this already happens in other Social Anthropology modules.

“This single incident was however an error, which the University regrets and which staff sought to mitigate in the fairest way possible. It is the first such error on record in a period of over 30 years.”

The Saint has also learned that the Computer Science department accidentally emailed all honours students private information about students that was only intended for the eyes of honours coordinators.

One such email showed staff discussing potential problems with the exam paper for one module ( CS3105 “Artificial Intelligence”) – some students had said during the exam that one of the questions was wrong. The matriculation numbers of those students who noted the alleged mistake were attached, as were the matriculation numbers of all students who had left the exam hall early during that session.

Another email discussed a student who had missed an exam and was asking the department to allow him to sit it that week. Included were personal details about why he had missed the exam and issues he had discussed with Student Services.

A University spokesperson said: “The emails did not contain any information relevant to exam content. Steps have been taken to avoid any reoccurrence.”


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