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that building work shouldn't take place during exams in campus?

(15 Posts)
NotTheQueen Mon 08-May-17 16:03:32

I sat an exam today for a postgraduate diploma. I was very well prepared, and had done very well in my assignments so was oddly looking forward to it.
About ten minutes in, a loud thumping crash sound started repeatedly. One of the supervisors went out and came back in, and muttered to a fellow supervisor that it was pole driving as part of the foundations for a new building on campus. This went on for twenty minutes, followed by some 'low level' hammering and banging. There was a brief period of silence before the thumping crash sound returned for another 20 minutes.
Then silence.
My exam was three hours long, but an hour of it was disturbed by the loud building works right outside the window. The supervisors did try closing the windows but half the windows wouldn't close (broken catches) and those that did just rattled by vibration
I'm quite upset as I really struggled to concentrate and wasn't able to answer everything to the level I should. I could potentially do the repeat exam if I fail, but I'll have a 100% exam, losing out on the 48% I gained in the assignments.
Am I unreasonable to expect that loud building work shouldn't be scheduled during the exam session, and is there anything that can done?

LineysRun Mon 08-May-17 16:09:37

YANBU. The lead invigilator should have written a report about the disturbance - I would have - and if it had been me I'd have rung through to Estates and/or asked the works supervisor to stop. I've done it before when it happened right outside an exam hall during a Finals Exam.

Are you going to complain?

LIZS Mon 08-May-17 16:11:57

Ds' campus has at least 3 areas of building atm. One near his exam room , another in front of his hall. Annoying and yes I would hope that the schedule would allow for less noisy works during exam sittings but I suppose it may not always be possible.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Mon 08-May-17 16:13:35

Where I work, they suspend noisy building works during the exam period.

BorpBorpBorp Mon 08-May-17 16:15:28

Check your university's policies about impaired assessments. Your personal tutor or the staff at your department's office will be able to help. Register with somebody that your performance may have been impaired because of this.

At my institution, the disturbance would have been noted by the invigilators, and that report would be considered by the exam board. The exam board would look at the students' overall marks for the module and determine whether they were out of line with their marks for other modules, i.e. whether the noise had been detrimental to the students' marks.

Where individual students had made a claim that their performance had been impaired by the noise, the exam board would note that when making its decisions, e.g. it might decide to round up to a higher classification for borderline students, or condone the credits if the module was failed, or offer an uncapped resit.

Basically, the university should do everything it can to make sure your grade doesn't suffer because of this, and you should make sure they know that you feel your performance might have been impaired.

NotTheQueen Mon 08-May-17 16:21:39

I wasn't sure if anything would actually come of it if I did complain, but I think I will. One of the other girls spoke to the supervisor as she handed in her paper and was very upset crying, saying she couldn't concentrate either. The college is closed for over four months between exams and the academic year, so I really think they could organise the noisy site works a lot better. I've paid 7k for the course so I'm angry that my result is unlikely to reflect my knowledge or effort.

Creampastry Mon 08-May-17 16:24:44

I would definitely log a complaint. Imagine if your result was a point of the next grade or something, and the noise could have been a factor.

NotTheQueen Mon 08-May-17 16:57:25

I called the college and got transferred to the exams office. I explained the situation and asked if there was a form I could complete or someone I should email, but got told no. I got told "You just have to do your best on the day". I tried emphasising politely - no raised voices etc - that I am certain my grade has been damaged, and she responded that I was welcome to do the repeat exams if I thought I could do better under different circumstances.

LineysRun Mon 08-May-17 17:09:03

What sort of college is it, OP?

Grimbles Mon 08-May-17 17:17:56

Every university I have worked at has an extenuating circumstances policy where you can apply to resit the assessment without penalty if there was a good reason why you were unfit/unable to submit or your exam performance was impaired.

The only downside is in some cases you have to wait for the next exam period to do it which will hold up your results.

NotTheQueen Mon 08-May-17 17:19:08

Without being too identifying, a proper one that confers its own recognised by the government degrees at bachelor masters and PhD level. It wouldn't be a top 10 or even top 50 though

RhiWrites Mon 08-May-17 17:51:23

I'm used to building work at the uni I work in, life must go on.

However pile driving is the worst of all building work. It makes the whole building vibrate. I think you should complain to the Head of Examinations.

Scholes34 Mon 08-May-17 18:47:38

Yes - go through your tutor, or other appropriate academic. It should be done as soon as possible and certainly before results are published.

LineysRun Mon 08-May-17 18:48:41

What Scholes says.

Scholes34 Mon 08-May-17 19:59:52

Lineys smile - welcome to my world. I'll have lots of this coming up in the next two months! Alas.

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