The CRIMSON has already stated its reasons for opposing the beginning of the Senior term as the time of the Authors examinations in the Division of Ancient and Modern Languages. The argument is based on the ground that, with the student engrossed in the advanced work of his field, the last year in college is too late for the examinations to realize their greatest usefulness. Since these tests are designed to insure a background of classic literature they should take place before specialization is well under way.
In History and Literature the Authors examinations are over before the end of the Junior year. This precedent could be followed in Ancient and Modern Languages and a large measure of the objections eliminated. At the opening of the Junior, or the Sophomore year the examinations would necessitate a familiarity with the great source literatures and really be of value in subsequent reading.
It is not alone this factor that makes an early date for the Authors desirable. It is rather the effect which such a date would have upon the character of the examinations. When the tests were introduced their purpose was to make sure a gentleman's acquaintance with the Classics. They were to check up on outside work, to establish the fact that a certain amount of self education was actually taking place.
But since the show down did not come until the Senior year the self education was soon lost sight of, men took courses and tutors lent a hand to prepare for the Authors. As a result the examinations are no longer a check up on outside reading; they are made to fit such detailed preparation as English 2.
To give the Authors examinations, in the Sophomore or Junior year is the logical return to an original policy. It removes the necessity of small detail questions injected because men took courses in the material examined, it provides a ground work when there is still time for future building. In short it means putting theory into practice.