Second-year medical students in University College Dublin have been forced to resit an exam for the PHYS20050 Cell-Cell Communication module after it emerged that a very similar past paper of the exam had been shared among students and therefore "compromised" the exam.
Suspicions arose when a reported 230 out of 300 students sitting the exam received an A grade. “The usual bell-curve that you get with grades didn’t happen. It was skewed to the right, so there were more A and B grades than would usually be the case,” a source told the University Observer.
The students who sat the exam before Christmas received an email on Monday January 22 stating that the exam was “compromised and thus rendered invalid.”
They were told that they would have to sit a new exam and would not receive their grades for the exam that was compromised.
A student who sat the exam told the University Observer that, ”there was an old exam that a student produced…that was going around between us and we saw that paper before we’d gone in.”
Some students have said that they were allowed to look at past papers of this particular exam after failing in in preparation for their repeat, and in doing so were able to take notes on all the questions - of which 80-90% appeared on the new exam.
Dr.Baugh, the Cell-Cell Communication module coordinator has said however that she has never provided students with access to questions which may appear on future exams.
“I have never provided students with exam questions ahead of resit exams. I have allowed students to review, under supervision, the exam paper that they sat and failed so that they can identify topics they need assistance with.
"Students have never been allowed to copy questions or take exam papers from my office. Students taking this module are explicitly informed that the School does not release past MCQ papers," Dr.Baugh said.