Comment & Analysis
Feb 11, 2018

Proposed Exam Changes Will Only See Students Suffer

Trinity needs to decide which it values more: its students or the Trinity Education Project.

Léigh as Gaeilge an t-Eagarfhocal (Read Editorial in Irish) »
By The Editorial Board

The results of a feasibility study into how exams will be organised within the new academic year structure present a potentially fraught future for students.

The study by Academic Registry presented several different working solutions for the week-long exam periods at the end of each semester. Some of the solutions suggest that there should be more than two exam sessions per day, meaning exams would not finish until 7pm or even 9pm in the evening, with exams running until Sunday.

It is simply unacceptable to expect students to sit an exam this late in the evening. There needs to be consideration of a person’s mental ability that late in the day and the effect this added stress will have on student wellbeing.


Those implementing the Trinity Education Project have argued that, firstly, students wouldn’t be necessarily sitting three exams in a day and secondly, that there will be less emphasis on exams – making them less important to a student’s degree.

There is a key problem with this train of thought. The current organisational abilities of the Exams Office leave a lot to be desired. Students in the past have often found themselves with their exams crammed in over a few short days. The office cannot guarantee that systems will be in place to take clashes and a student’s overall exam timetable into account. The Academic Registry study did not take these factors into account either.

Just because Trinity did not anticipate its new year structure throwing up the issue of whether they can host enough exams so late in the game does not mean that students should bear the brunt of the lack of foresight.

In this scenario, the Trinity Education Project is detracting from the College’s mission to be a place of equal opportunity and provide developmental learning for every student. These new proposed changes will only see students suffer for the sake of Trinity being able to advertise how great it is for transforming its teaching practices.

College needs to decide in this case, and with every future issue the Trinity Education Project casts out, whether it values its students well-being over its revolutionary project.