The University of Cambridge has announced that it has been considering allowing students to take typewritten exams. This is due to the fact that students’ penmanship has been getting worse and worse each year. Academics are stating that due to student using laptops and computers, they are losing the ability to write legibly, especially for long hand-written exams.
Actually, there are several schools all over the world that allow students to use electronic devices to take their exams. One of the reasons why Cambridge is hesitant is because they are not willing to change a tradition that has been upheld in the school for more than 800 years. It is also one of the reason that Cambridge is one of the most prestigious schools in the world, because of its many traditions.
“Fifteen or 20 years ago students routinely wrote by hand several hours a day, but now they write virtually nothing by hand except exams.” said Sarah Pearsall, a senior lecturer at Cambridge’s history faculty, “As a faculty we have been concerned for years about the declining handwriting problem. There has definitely been a downward trend. It is difficult for both the students and the examiners as it is harder and harder to read these scripts.”
The University will now be launching its consultation on the proposed strategy of implementing digital means to taking an exam. The school allowed an exam typing scheme in the History and Classics departments earlier the school year. This trial was similar to a consultation done at the Edinburgh University in 2011. The school implemented a typewritten exam for first and second year divinity students.