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Exam horrors — You are being tested in, what? Algebra 1, Veterinary pharmacology or New Testament Exegesis 2? We have been delving into statistics and curricula again to find some of the most feared exams at UCPH.
About the same time last year we wrote about the nine most evil University of Copenhagen (UCPH) exams. And we got buried in responses from readers telling us about all the horror that we had missed out on. Now we are repeating the success: Here are more dreadful exams with syllabi from hell – and sky high failure rates. But remember: It’s all over in a month!
Subject: Veterinary medicine
Form of exam: Four-hour written exam with no materials permitted on topics such as basic pharmacology, toxicology and infectious diseases in animals. The student needs to have an overview the effects of a number of medicinal products, and how they are to be used effectively with the least possible side effects. The student must also be able to identify the toxic reactions in both production animals and pets, and how they are processed.
Syllabus: Approximately 3,000 pages
Failure rate: 17.1
Most evil UCPH exams, part 1
The nine we had last year were:
Film history (Film and Media Science): Oral exam in film history from 1895 to 2017
Historical method (History): 54-hour written exam in classical source criticism.
Microeconomics (Political Science): Use both text and geometry, but no electronic study aids permitted
Property Law (Law): Four hours with the digital land registration system and the rules for debtor and creditor
Propaedeutic Arabic 1 (Arabic): Test of basic Arabic grammar, reading comprehension and writing skills
Function and structure of the central nervous system (Medicine): Syllabus is 1,008 standard pages. No materials or aids permitted.
Introduction to the Bible (Theology): Explain the central points of a biblical text in one hour
Algorithms and data structures (Computer Science): The failure rate is 30.2
Statistics 2 (Psychology): You have three hours to analyse data using a statistics programme
Form of exam: Four-hour written examination under supervision, where the student demonstrates that he or she is able to identify, analyse and assess rights disputes relating to property, including mortgage disputes (priority of claims). The student must also show that he or she has knowledge of the interplay between finance law and creditor law, and the place of collateral during insolvency proceedings in particular .
Syllabus: 500 pages
Failure rate: 19.8
Bonus info: From next year the subject will be combined with collateral and creditor rights for one single 30 ECTS subject.
Form of exam: Three-hour written exam where the student demonstrates that he or she can explain and apply concepts like matrix groups, homomorphisms, isomorphs and Sylow’s theorems on specific problems. And that he or she can argue with simple abstract concepts within group theory.
Syllabus: 80 pages
Failure rate: 24.1
Form of exam: One of the exams which has pulses racing on the economics study programme is the second part of the course in microeconomics. The exam is a three-hour written assignment without electronic study aids that is sat at the department under supervision. In the assignment, the student must answer a number of questions and show that he or she can refer to the relevant microeconomic theories and models with both text and geometry. A prerequisite for sitting the exam is that the student has had approved two out of three assignments that have been submitted during the semester.
Syllabus: 600 standard pages.
Failure rate: 21.6
Form of exam: Four-hour written exam with study aids, where the student demonstrates that he or she can use the binomial distribution, the Poisson distribution, and the normal distribution, and determine which of them are relevant in a given context. The student must also be able to calculate the electromagnetic field in simple examples using Gauss’ theorem, and calculate the relationship between energy and the charge of a capacitor.
Syllabus: 800 standard pages.
Failure rate: 38.2.
30-minute oral exam with 30 minutes of preparation with only limited study aids, where the student must translate and analyse the Epistle to the Galatians and the entire First Epistle to Timothy from the Ancient Greek.
Form of exam: Ninety minutes of free oral dialogue without study aids, where the student accounts for four selected subjects within general archaeological knowledge. Prior to the exam, the student has submitted four essays, which count towards 25 per cent of the overall grade. It is expected that the student can analyse the specified literature and describe the most important works.
Syllabus: 3-4,000 standard pages, divided up into approximately 60 titles
ECTS: 30 ECTS
Failure rate: 12.1
Bonus info: From the autumn the new curriculum applies, which means that the subject is replaced with two separate courses, each with its own examination.
How we did it
First, we asked the students what examinations they fear the most. Then we read the subjects’ curricula for a description of the exam form and cross-checked them with the heads of the different study programmes. Then we checked the latest failure rate on karakterstatistik.stads.ku.dk.
Form of exam: One of the killer exams on the Medicine study programme is the four-hour written exam with study aids. Here the student must be able to explain basic principles of drug discovery and development as well as understand various diseases and their treatment. The student must also be able to account for the use of immunological principles and factors (like antibodies, cytokines, vaccines) in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases.
Syllabus: Approximately 3,000 pages
Failure rate: 18.9.
Form of exam: 30-minute oral exam with 30 minutes of preparation with only limited study aids, where the student must translate and analyse the Epistle to the Galatians and the entire First Epistle to Timothy from the Ancient Greek. The student must also be able to account for the epistles historical, literary and theological context. If the student has passed a written assignment of 6 to 8 pages on supplementary material and actively participated (with at least 75 per cent attendance of classes), the student doesn’t have to be tested in the supplementary syllabus.
Syllabus: 422 standard pages.
Failure rate: 17.9.