January exams get underway at UCT

11 January 2016 | Story Andrea Weiss. Photo Michael Hammond.
Students preparing for their exams.
Students preparing for their exams.

UCT started its January exam set on Monday 11 January with a total of 5 879 students set to write.

The number of students has more than doubled compared to last year when 2 546 students wrote exams in January.

About 25% of undergraduate students are expected to sit for exams after they opted to defer their finals due to protest action at the end of 2015.

All arrangements had been put into place and the university was confident that the exams would proceed as scheduled. “UCT is not anticipating any glitches and we expect that the exams will go smoothly until they are completed on 26 January,” the university said in a statement.

There were mixed feelings among the students who were writing. For Mona-Lisa Toleni, a BSocSci student set to go into her second year, the experience of delaying her final exam to January was “terrible”.

“It's difficult. Our lives are just going through everything right now. It was difficult studying in the holiday and we're not sure if we will be able to afford to study this year,” she said. She also felt the January schedule was too pressurised with some students having to write two exams a day.

However, classmate Khensani Canca said she had not regretted deferring her entire set of exams to January. “I prefer it this way. I feel more rested and more ready to write than I did in November.” She said while the truncated schedule was more stressful it also meant the exams would be over quicker.

Lisa Vabaza said she'd found it difficult to study during the holiday even though she'd elected to defer her exams because of the situation at the time.

Political science and English literature student Adam Sykes, who writes three exams this week, said that he would have preferred not to defer his exams but the disruptions had made it difficult for him to study. He hoped the university would take into account the effect this had had on the students writing in January.

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