Customs Process Examination
To Whom It May Concern,
We are inclined to refer to the Customs Process Final Examination, held on May 13, 2020 at 1pm as unfair and impractical. We are therefore requesting that the examination body and other relevant boards re-evaluate, investigate and regrade the exam on a curve.
The Caribbean Maritimes University (CMU) did not take into consideration several important factors when administrating this and other examinations. Unlike the UWI, CMU only gave us 3 hours to complete and submit a paper that required calculation and essay solutions. We weren’t allocated any additional time to read through the examination and as such there were room for misunderstanding of the questions asked. The UWI and UTech gave students 2 days and sometimes up to a week to complete the exam and submit. Why wasn’t this approach considered? We have a diverse group of students coming from some of Jamaica’s most remote communities. Many students had internet speed and connectivity issues, access to device issues, and many of us living conditions doesn’t support completing an important examination within only 3 hours.
We are in unprecedented times and it cannot be a case where students are given a failing grade for an exam that wasn’t administered fairly and is only offered in semester two of the school year. This would mean that final year students would have to wait and pay to redo an exam. Additionally, this exam was given to another group as an assignment which gave them a greater advantage. If we do an analysis of the number of students who passed the exam against those that failed, we would see that majority of the students who passed were those that did the take home assignment. There should be an equal playing field for all classes of students.
The exam was a short and tedious one, and consisted of notes that we had not covered fully in zoom online class. Though some of the notes had been covered in the group project we had been given, many students are unaware of whether what they had done in the group project was correct, as we are yet to receive those grades or the answers that were required for the course works. Our lecturer, Mr. Stewart had informed us that he would not be available via office hours, as he had an emergency and efforts to reach him by email have proven to be futile at most times.
In section A which requires doing essays worth 30 marks, we were given half as many notes to adjust as our project—which we were given 2 weeks to do. Section B comprised of 2 questions in part 1 and 1 question part 2 both worth a total of 50 marks. Both questions were a bit confusing to many as it seemed to be consisting of calculations on the duty on items/goods. Even though we had gotten calculations similar to the problems. We were given a system new to us which requires you to insert symbols that weren't even pertinent to do these calculations. Section C was worth 20 marks, and had short answer questions many students were unable to complete section B and didn't even attempted section C; all to be done in 3 hours.
I urge you to seek the advice of past lecturers to justify that the entire course population is not being overly dramatic because we were unprepared, but we weren't given a fair chance to show we understood the concepts. We recommend a change in the lecturer for our future students because we work hard to do our best and it is unfair and unjust for the entire course population to have had problems with the exam.
As a collective, we believe that a fair solution would be for the examination to be graded on a curve, or the mark scheme revised with the above things taken into consideration. A petition will be disseminated with the cohort signing their agreement to these terms. The results will be made available to you.