While many parts of Oxford life have transitioned back to a state of pre-Pandemic normality, the English Faculty has announced that the majority of finals papers in 2023 will be held online.
Course I papers 2, 3, 4, and 5, and Course II papers 1, 2, and 3 will be held in an eight-hour open-book format. Meanwhile, students studying Old Norse, Medieval Welsh for beginners, Old and Middle Irish for beginners, for Course II paper 6 will sit three-hour closed-book exams.
Finalists in 2024 will sit closed-book handwritten exams in the Examination Schools. The Faculty say they will provide further details at the start of Michaelmas Term 2022.
These arrangements have been announced in order to give students clarity about their exams ahead of time. Through the 2022-23 academic year, the Faculty will review their assessment system “to make decisions about the best way to assess English students’ work”.
The 2023 cohort of finalists sat their preliminary examinations in an eight-hour open-book format. Sohaib Hassan, a student from this cohort at Hertford College, told Cherwell that he didn’t feel the lengthy online format suited him. “But it’s a relief to know that we won’t be expected to drastically change the exam and essay format we’ve been used to,” he added.
Finalists across different courses will have varying experiences in upcoming years. Unlike English students, History finalists will sit the majority of their exams in-person. PPE finalists in 2022 will sit open-book economics finals, but closed-book finals for politics and philosophy.