Business School Exam Errors Called Out

Business School Exam Errors Called Out

Uni exams almost as bad as Critic’s crosswords

Successive errors in finance paper mid-term exams in 2023 and 2024 have prompted the Business School to take “further action” to ensure they’re mistake-free in the future. While most students may experience one or two exam errors in their degree (hey, mistakes happen), for Commerce students, this has reportedly been happening at a much higher rate.

Critic Te Ārohi received multiple reports of errors in the exams or midterms of FINC206, BSNS114, FINC102, and BSNS112. Both finance papers reportedly had mistakes in the 2023 second semester exam period, with FINC206 receiving a whopping three corrections within the two-hour exam.

For the 100-level core business papers, it was reported that BSNS114 has had multiple errors over the last three semesters in internal assessment, with mistakes being found in quizzes, mid-term tests, and the final exam. BSNS112 assignment answers were reportedly posted on Blackboard for several hours before they were taken down this semester. Yikes.

Responding to these claims, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Otago Business School, Maree Thyne, said in a statement to Critic Te Ārohi that she “would like to reassure students that we do have a peer review process in place so that all of our papers are double-checked for accuracy prior to examinations […] In most cases in your examples, the errors are typographical (typos).”

Roisin, a second-year business student, told Critic, “As someone who has done papers from science and business, there is definitely a lack of attention to detail which I don’t see in my other papers from different departments.” She added that the mistakes have “made me lose trust and doubt their thoroughness. Overall, I believe it doesn’t demonstrate the quality a mandatory first-year paper of this size should have.”

Roisin also believes that the exam errors “definitely” affect student performance. “It’s a pain when you’re stuck on a question and waste a bunch of time on it in the test for them to then announce that it actually makes no sense. The wasted time on incorrect questions I would say is the biggest thing that affected my performance.”

Jamie*, a tutor working in the Business School, thought that the errors kept occurring “simply because of a lack of attention to detail or possibly less care surrounding the earlier level finance papers, as they are deemed not as important.” She also agreed with Roisin, saying, “I think definitely compared to all of the other papers I have taken, there have been significantly more mistakes in finance papers.”

About the mistakes, she reassured students, “In all cases we endeavour to ensure that students are not penalised.” She added, “We take any instance of errors in exams very seriously and while staff are aware of most of these instances, we have not been made aware of any errors in the FINC102 paper or a sustained period of errors for BSNS114.”

Thyne has asked for “further actions” to be taken after Critic Te Ārohi enquired about a series of exam errors. “These include triple checking all examinations in large core papers and requesting that each Head of Department receive a report of any exam issues at the end of the examination period.”

As students are now gearing up for a rough couple months of exam grinding, business students are hopeful there’ll be less hiccups in their next round of 3-hour mandated torture.

*Name changed

This article first appeared in Issue 11, 2024.
Posted 5:38pm Saturday 11th May 2024 by Gryffin Powell.