Sir: Quite apart from the question of stress, is the British (and not only Oxford) system of assessing performance efficient? Except in the cases where more than one classified exam is taken, a student's whole academic career is summed up in one number - first, second or third class.
Every tutor knows that there are many cases where the class does not correspond to the ability shown over time. The strange thing is that anyone takes seriously the results of so crude a system.
P J STEWART
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Oxford