The examiners' final report

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The Independent Online
The Degree Committee of the DIY University is pleased to announce that it will be awarding 503 degrees for the 1996 summer course. There were 50 questions asked of our students (two for each lecture); and the standard of answers was very high, with 414 of the winners scoring 90 per cent or above (45 or more correct answers). The examiners report that, in total, fewer than 50 scripts were submitted containing less than 40 correct answers.

Four students answered all 50 questions correctly: I H Wynn-MacKenzie of Hereford; Rita Pountney of South Woodham Ferrers, Essex; Martin L Whitehead of Burbage, Leicestershire; and Peter Rose of London SE3.

Thirty-two students answered 49 questions correctly, and thus were runners- up for the six remaining free subscriptions. These six were chosen by their replies to our tie-break: "choose one of the 25 subjects and precis it in not more than 50 words, marks to be given for concision, wit and accuracy". The six successful contestants were Douglas Blane of Glasgow; K & J Tomlinson of Newport, South Wales; Mark Cumberland of East Twickenham, Middlesex; Paul Brassley of Newton Abbot, Devon; Elizabeth A Gaskell of Kennington, Oxford; and GW Thynne of Coulsdon Surrey.

To give the flavour of these tie-breaks, we have room for two examples. Mark Cumberland summarised Freud as follows: "Freud hacked with his hypnotic, later psychoanalytic, machete at the jungle of human consciousness, stripping away the foliage of respectability, contradicting branches of repression to discover his own clearing of primary-motivating sexuality. Granting relief to some Viennese neurotics he unleashed a powerful new therapy, curing generations of Americans of their wealth."

And here's how Douglas Blane described the Big Bang: "There was no sound because there was no air. There wasn't even space or time. And it wasn't big. But it grew. And it's still growing. As it grew it cooled. Matter condensed out, and clumped to-gether in galaxies, stars and planets. People came later. That's when the noise started."

Finally, for those who kept copies of questionnaires and answers, here is a set of correct replies:

Einstein: 1 b, 2 c. Big Bang: 1 a, 2 b. Evolution: 1 a, 2 c. Freud: 1 b, 2 c. Quantum Mechanics: 1 c, 2 a. Classical Architecture: 1 c, 2 b. Modern Architecture: 1 c, 2 b. Tragedy: 1 b, 2 c. Comedy: 1 c, 2 a. Classical music: 1 b, 2 a. DNA: 1 b, 2 b. Anthropology: 1 a, 2 c. Language: 1 b, 2 a. Economics: 1 b, 2 a. The Brain: 1 b, 2 b. Renaissance art: 1 c, 2 b. Modern art: 1 a, 2 a. Opera: 1 a, 2 c. Ballet: 1 c, 2 a. Myth: 1 b, 2 c. Epistemology: 1 a, 2 b. Metaphysics: 1 a, 2 a. Logic: 1 c, 2 a. Ethics: 1 b, 2 c. Truth: 1 b, 2 b.

The Director of Studies