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Exams Examined


The policy which stipulates that course grades be entered within a week of the final examination may limit the horrible anxiety, but it does have its drawbacks.

For example, consider Epistemology 2043, whose enrollment used to hover around 200 in the good old days. Assuming that a week means six days of working time, Epistemology 2043's grader, assuming again that there was only one of him, had to complete about 40 examinations each day. If he could spend ten hours a day reading, he was left with eighteen minutes for each three-hour exam. This is not reassuring.

There are two reasons for the one-week limit. First it insures that the administration will receive grades in a fairly steady flow, which in turn facilitates the book-keeping. Second, any other system would be "unfair," or so the argument runs, since it might allow some faculty members more grading time than others.

The question, however, is not one of being easy on the administration or fair to the Faculty. Students deserve to have their examinations given as careful and prolonged attention as is possible. An effort by the Departments to put courses with high enrollments and few graders in hours with early examination dates, together with an extension of the seven-day limit for courses examined in the first, say, third of exam period, would further this end.

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