SIKE3017: Psychology students given exam paper with answers already on it

Faculty screw-up leaves students waiting for almost an hour for correct exam paper

In an odd twist of events, third year Social Psychology (PSYC3017) students taking their final exam yesterday walked into the exam room only to find the majority of questions had been already answered for them.

Students in one exam room discovered the correct responses to the multiple choice component — worth 60 per cent of the exam — were conveniently formatted in bold print after opening their booklets to begin the assessment.

The papers were quickly recalled due to a “compromising” of the exam and students had to wait an extra 50 minutes, inside the exam room, before the new exam was ready.

Some examiners did not permit students to leave the room, access their bags, or go to the bathroom during this time, while others were reportedly allowed to continue studying outside the exam room.

One exam invigilator stated that in over 15 years of invigilating, she had never seen this happen before.

Some USyd psychology students suggested mistakes in examinations are common within the department.

One student present in the exam said yesterday’s screw up “typifies psychology exams at this university”.

“There have been massive errors in almost every psychology exam I have taken.”

Another student said the way the situation was handled was “unfair to the students because the exam coordinators handled it differently, with some allowed to study and others not allowed to leave the room”.

She also described the mistake as “really unprofessional”.

“It’s unfair that they demand such a high standard from students but lack professionalism in their own work”.

While those leafing through the unit outline for the first time on the night before the exam may consider this a godsend, it may have disadvantaged students who put in the hard yards and actually studied for the exam.

Honi has contacted the School of Psychology for comment.