The School of Medicine in UCD has withheld grades to 5th Year (4th Med) students who took the ‘Medicine 1’ module MCQ as part of the 2020 Christmas exams. Students have temporarily received an ‘Incomplete Assessment’ (IA) grade.
In an email seen by The University Observer, the Medical Education Team informed students that on the 27th of January the Medicine Programmes Examination Board (PEB) “did not ratify the MCQ component results for the Medicine 1 Module”. The exam was worth 40% of a 10-credit module. It is understood that the majority of the class received A Grades, and so the assessment has been deemed ‘inaccurate’.
The email explains that “The PEB has recommended that an alternative assessment be held”. The exam was not monitored or proctored and so the results cannot be stood-off. It is understood by The University Observer that students will have to repeat the exam at the same time as they are doing their exams for this trimester.
Class Representatives were elected over the weekend of January 30th and two student representatives from both the Mater Hospital and St. Vincent’s University Hospital met with Senior Academics from the School of Medicine on Monday, February 1st. The Class Reps. are due to meet once again with the School on February 8th.
Speaking to The University Observer, UCDSU President Conor Anderson explained that the verity of the students’ results was not being called into question: “I can confirm that grades are being withheld for students of Medicine 1 due to abnormally high marks on the exam. The School is working with students to resolve the situation, and there is no suspicion of untoward activity on the part of students."
This is not the first time the year group have faced drama surrounding examination results. In January of 2018, the undergraduate cohort had to resit their PHYS20050 Cell-Cell Communication exam. The exam was a 50-question multiple-choice question (MCQ) paper and was worth 100%. The exam was described by the School as ‘compromised’ as a similar paper had been circulated prior to the exam, which led to the extraordinarily high grades. Students who spoke to The University Observer at the time reported that approximately 230 of the 300 students who took the exam received an A grade, followed by a large number of B grades also. The students re-sat their exam in week 5 of the second trimester.
The School of Medicine did not respond to a request for comment.