NatScis left confused by exam results on CamSIS: Update

Image credit: Joe Whitwell, Students flocked to Senate House to confirm their results after confusion on CamSIS

NatScis across Cambridge have been left in a state of confusion today as exams results published on CamSIS are completely different to what had been expected, with the university appearing to have presented the results very differently from previous years.

Rather than the conventional grade boundaries marked out of 300 it appears that the marks for Natural Science exams have been awarded out of one hundred, with the student’s position in the year alongside.

Under this system the student with the highest marks in the exam is given a mark of 100 and everyone else is scaled under this curve. This has meant that anyone getting between 40-80% has been awarded a 2:i, with the marks not reflecting the grades in the usual way.

Photo Credit: Joe Whitwell, Students confirmed their grades at Senate House after confusion online

Coming at the end of a stressful waiting period, confusing results have not been welcomed by students, with no-one seeming to know exactly what has happened, or why the confusion has occurred. 

Tom Spence, a second-year NatSci from Trinity, noted that the grade boundaries were “not conventional” and that most students were confused by it.

A second second year NatSci pointed out that having checked CamSIS this afternoon the mark section which had previously been filled out now lay vacant. He explained to The Cambridge Student: "It's just pretty horrible emotionally. After a pretty stressful exam term it was such a relief that things might have turned out for the better. I'd logged on looking for a 2.ii as a good thing, hit a high upon seeing 2.i, and now what once was a good thing, a 2.ii, is now a seemingly pretty horrible outcome".

The student also received the following email from his Director of Studies this morning acknowledging the confusion: "Students have noted suspicious marks and camsis are investigating an error into the issue. Expect many marks to change in due course".

The Chairman of Examinations for the Natural Sciences for NST IB, NST II and NST III has since issued the following clarificatory email to college DOSs: "I am writing to clarify the unfortunate series of events around the release of this year's NST IB results on CAMSIS. You may be aware that this year we have adopted a new system for combining subject data to produce a combined Tripos classification and ranking. 

"...We have experienced a number of technical problems with the way that CAMSIS handles the new data... May I apologise for the confusion and the very regrettable delay in releasing that data and assure you that we are doing our utmost to try and resolve the issues as quickly as possible.  I can reassure you that the data which is now visible, Tripos Rank and Class, are correct."

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