Two junior History concentrators will take generals Monday under a new department policy which opens the exam to juniors who have completed their course requirements, Gerald F. Denault '67, History tutorial secretary, said yesterday.
The department "simply wants to give students as many chances as possible to pass the exam," David H. Donald, chairman of the board of examiners and Warren Professor of American History, said yesterday. Concentrators who fail the exam as juniors will be able to take it again the next year.
The policy was changed in part because "a relatively small but nevertheless disturbing number of seniors failed the exam last year," Donald added.
Few juniors registered for the exams because they did not find out about the new policy until the first week of the second semester, making it hard for them to arrange to complete their requirements on time, Renault said.
The department told six juniors with "poor or erratic" records about the tests, but none of them opted to take it, Denault said. "Some of these students felt they needed more preparation and didn't want to flunk, even though they could take it again as seniors," he added.
John M. Phillips '80, one of the two juniors who registered, called the exam a "no-loss proposition." He added, "If you're a non-honors concentrator and it's merely a pass-fail grade, if you can get it out of the way, why not?"
The option of taking the tests early will remain open to all History concentrators, Denault said, adding that he hoped more juniors take the exams in the future.