LETTER : Oxford must ease pressure on students

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The Independent Online
Sir: A possible cause of Oxford student Sarah Napuk's death is a course structure in which by far the most significant assessments are the Finals, those examinations which test everything learnt over the past three to four years, which are effectively a test of memory and ability to cram, rather than of real knowledge and aptitude.

On the other hand, modular courses, where the examinations are taken throughout the course, reduce the stress of the final term by spreading it out over the whole course. Modular courses feel more rewarding because once a module is examined, that part of the course is done. This does not mean that modular courses are any easier. With traditional courses, it is possible to get away with doing very little until the final term - this is not so with modular courses, which demand steady work throughout, all of it counting.


Llanddewi Rhydderch, Gwent