Beaver (feature): Campus Is Abuzz With Exams Talk As LSE Clarifies Its Assessment Regulations

This feature article was first published in The Beaver.

This week saw the long-anticipated release of the LSE exam timetable for summer 2019. The full timetable of exams for all subjects is now available on the LSE website.

However, this renewed talk of exams has reignited some concerns about the way the LSE regulates its assessment procedures, with drawbacks of the system being highlighted and fears expressed.

For instance, at the LSE, if an exam is passed, it is not possible to retake it under any circumstance including mental health or personal circumstance. This means that students may be stuck with a low pass grade even if capable of a higher result and are willing to resit the exam in question.

An LSE spokesperson confirmed this: “The School’s General Academic Regulations outline that it is not possible for students to resit an assessment they have passed as this would harm the academic integrity of the School’s awards.”

The spokesperson also highlighted the extra provisions made by the LSE where necessary: “We have a ‘fit to sit’ and exceptional circumstances policy to ensure students do not attempt assessments when they are not well enough to do so.

We also provide academic and pastoral support within Departments and across the School to provide students with advice and guidance.”

Another common concern among students surrounds contesting the marks given to summative assessments. Since these results often count towards the final degree classification, students are keen to ensure that their marks are fair and accurate.

An LSE spokesperson said: “LSE has robust marking practices and an External Examiner system to ensure our marks are safe and accurate.

However, LSE’s appeal regulations allow students to challenge individual summative marks when they believe there has been a procedural defect. It may also be possible to request an administrative mark check.”

The LSE is keen to reassure students about their rights in exam procedures, and emphasise its confidence in the integrity of its assessments:

“LSE is committed to reviewing its regulations and listening to student feedback through liaison with the Students’ Union, input from Student Representatives, and the student community more broadly.

For example, as a result of student feedback, in-year resits will be available for first year undergraduates in 2018/2019, with further roll-out from the 2019/2020 academic year.

Information has already been provided online for students who have received provisional results for January exams, and we will continue to support all students with their assessments through advice and guidance across the academic year and beyond.”

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