The Faculty Council yesterday turned down a petition from the teaching staff of Chemistry 20a, "Organic Chemistry", seeking approval for a final exam lasting four instead of the normal three hours.
Frank H. Westheimer, Loeb Professor of Chemistry and lecturer in the course, asked the council to allow the change so that students in the difficult pre-med course could have time for leisurely completion of the problems on the test.
Chem 20 had a four-hour exam at the end of the fall 1972 semester, but all exams since that time have been the normal three hours.
Organic Chemistry is traditionally the most rigorous of the courses in the pre-med sequence. Chem 20a is the first half of a full courses in the subject and its final exam assumes great importance because students who do poorly on it are not allowed to complete the course, and may thus be unable to gain admission to a medical school.
The Council suggested to Westheimer that he could still give a longer exam by seeking to replace the regular examination with one scheduled before the end of reading period.