A new examination format is to be followed from the coming examination in May 2011 at the University of the Free State (UFS). According to this, the additional examination opportunity is to follow on the heels of the main examination.
According to the new format, students who qualify to write examinations will be compelled to write their papers during the first opportunity, and will only be allowed to write an additional examination once their applications for this examination have been approved. Students who qualify for re-assessment and special examinations will automatically be admitted to the additional examination and will therefore be exempt from the application process.
According to Dr Saretha Brüssow, Head: Teaching and Learning at the UFS, the Examination Committee requested the investigation of the double examination which applied previously, due to the pressure it caused on the university systems.
She said that, besides this release of pressure on systems such as the registration process, the back-to-back semester-based examination system might also lead to a possible improvement of the academic success rate, due to the shorter time span between the first and the second examination opportunities.
Students attended classes poorly in the past due to the second examination opportunity, which took place during the following semester after classes had resumed. “In some cases it is specifically the student at risk, who cannot afford to miss classes, who makes use of the second examination opportunity.”
Dr. Brüssow said the registration process was also affected by the previous format due to students who wanted to receive their results first before they registered. Other delays which occurred as a result of the second examination opportunity, were the first annual graduation ceremony which took place late in the year, the awarding of bursaries, and the finalisation of residence accommodation. Adding on to this problematic nature is students who occupy residences in the following academic year without a formal application in order to write during the second examination opportunity in January.
The new format is applicable to all students, except those in the Faculty of Health. Main and South Campus students can direct enquiries to [email protected]. Qwaqwa Campus students should email [email protected]. Information on the new examination format is also available on www.ufs.ac.za.
Article by University of the Free State