Around 2,000 degree and diploma students who sat for a statistics exam at the Singapore Expo on May 7 will have to take it again - as the first one contained an error.
The two-hour paper - set by the University of London (UOL) - did not contain the statistical tables needed for them to answer the questions.
The students - from various colleges here, including the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) - had been expected to answer eight questions in all. But with the tables missing, some parts of the questions could not be completed.
UOL e-mailed the affected students to apologise for the error on May 8 and said it would "commence a detailed deliberation of the assessment" for the subject and the impact that the missing tables caused before marking.
But yesterday, students received another e-mail informing them of the retest.
Signed off by Timothy Wade, associate director of assessment and awards for UOL's international programmes, it said the exam had been "declared null and void".
He added that the university had reviewed the situation and found that the first paper was "flawed" and "does not provide a fair test of candidates' abilities and proficiency in this course".
Students can sit a retest on either May 28 or June 3, and will not have to pay an additional exam fee.
Those unable to make the two dates will have to take the exam in May next year, the e-mail said.
Mr Wade added that the university is "sorry that the delivery of the examination service has failed on this occasion".
The university said it will also review its procedures surrounding the production of exam papers to ensure the error does not recur.
UOL told The Straits Times yesterday that it was acting "in the best interest of both its students and the integrity of its academic award" in calling for a retest.
SIM, where most of the affected students come from, will also provide assistance to students, such as holding optional revision classes for them.
The module is compulsory for a number of UOL courses including banking and finance, and business and management degrees. UOL programmes are also offered at institutes such as PSB Academy.
Second-year business and management student Ellen Chan, 21, is upset at having to retake the test.
"We now have to study for the paper again and I've already made holiday plans," said Ms Chan, who returns two days before the May 28 test. "It's a very basic mistake. I don't understand how the tables got left out. Why didn't anyone check the papers?"
But banking and finance student Aizat Guan, 24, said the retest is another chance for her to complete the paper.
"I wasn't satisfied after sitting for the first exam as I couldn't complete it without the tables."
In 2007, UOL erroneously set a sociology exam paper with only six questions instead of eight.
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