Imperial College Business School students were left reeling when it was revealed to them that they would have to resit an exam due to an error.

The students, who originally sat the Corporate Finance exam in Spring, noticed a “huge mess up”. Speaking to Felix, an MSc Climate Change, Management and Finance student in the Business School, who has asked to remain anonymous, explained the situation:

“In our Corporate Finance exam given by [Associate Professor of Finance] Dr. Claudia Custodio, we were given the exact same paper as was previously released to us under the premise of a mock paper, prior to the exam. Firstly, the lecturer denied this and said the exam we sat was completely deliberate and not a mistake. Then, when other colleagues got involved, they realised the greater issue at hand.”

The mistake was immediately spotted by the cohort of students sitting the exam and it was allegedly reported to the invigilator within ten minutes of the exam starting. The invigilator is said to have then contacted the lecturer, who was abroad at the time, but was told that the exam was fine. Subsequently, the students were forced to sit through the rest of the two hour exam for no apparent reason.

Within a week of the erroneous exam, students were contacted. In a statement released to the students by Sue Mossey (Assistant Directror, Specialised Suite, Business School) and Dr. Mirabelle Muuls (Assistant Professor in Economics), students were told the following:

“Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you yesterday regarding the Corporate Finance exam. As we explained, all questions and answers on the exam paper had been accidentally given to students prior to the exam. The Business School and Registry have taken this very seriously. Multiple options were considered to ensure that the learning outcomes of the module are assessed as intended. For this reason, a new exam has been set for 17th May, 10am - 12pm.”

This decision has reportedly not gone down well with the cohort and has been described by some as “simply unacceptable”. An anonymous student told Felix: “None of the cohort like this option. Our voices are not being heard or considered and we are suffering for someone else’s mistake.”

In response to this unfortunate situation, Felix approached College for comment. A statement given by a College spokesperson reads as follows:

“A recent Corporate Finance exam paper was given to students in error ahead of the assessment instead of the planned sample questions. We aspire to the highest academic standards for our students and, while errors like these are rare, we take them extremely seriously. To ensure that the learning outcomes of the module are assessed fairly and as intended, a new examination has been scheduled for all students for 17th May. This date was selected to minimise impact on students’ other work and assessments. However we understand that the rescheduling of the exam is frustrating for students and apologise for the disruption at what we know is already a stressful time. The Business School has been liaising closely with the cohort to assist any students experiencing difficulties and is reviewing its processes to ensure that this does not happen again. Anyone with concerns should contact Edgar Meyer, Associate Dean of UG Programmes and Education Quality: e.meyer@imperial.ac.uk”

Students are said to have proposed a 24-hour coursework as an alternative to resitting the exam, however this was to no avail.

An anonymous student told Felix: “Obviously it wasn’t ideal, but the bulk of the cohort realises that mistakes do happen.”

As of August 2019, the fees for the MSc Climate Change, Management and Finance course are £16,500 for EU students and £28,300 for overseas students.