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Exam cock-up sees Bristol land law paper accidentally uploaded online and left there for SEVEN hours

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Undergrads left angry as staff scramble to draft new paper in time for May exam

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Students at one of the country’s top law schools were left reeling when a 2016 exam paper was accidentally uploaded onto Blackboard, two weeks before it was due to be taken.

Lawkward.

The University of Bristol paper stayed on the website for seven hours for all to see before it was eventually taken down.

The cock-up was made worse by the fact that the exam in question was none other than the king of all nightmare law exams — a land law paper.

The error, which happened last week, means a new paper is currently being drafted for the exam on 26 May. The university has assured anxious students that the exam will still take place on the scheduled date, and that the new questions will be put through “all the same quality control checks as the original”.

Head of the law school Professor Joanne Conaghan also apologised — via an email obtained exclusively by Legal Cheek (pictured below) — for any “alarm or inconvenience” the “unfortunate error” may have caused.

Email

When Legal Cheek got in touch with the elite university, a spokesperson told us:

The questions for this year’s land law exam were inadvertently uploaded to Blackboard. They were removed by the law school as soon as the mistake was realised. A new exam paper has been drafted, and has undergone the normal quality control checks and approval by an external examiner. The exam will go ahead as scheduled on May 26, with no risk of unfairness to students.

This isn’t the first time a Russell Group university has made a land law exam blunder. In 2014, Durham students got a nasty surprise when they received the wrong paper in their dreaded land law exam.

Fingers crossed this won’t become a habit.

20 Comments

Anonymous

Why should this cause any alarm or inconveience to students? They are still going to be taking an unleaked land law paper on the same date. No idea what the fuss is about.

(45)(1)

Danger Mouser Chief Agitator & Rabble Rouser

It’s very serious and alarming and outrageous because no appropriate trigger warning was given prior to.

Hopefully the delicate flowers on the Bristol LLB will be seeking legal advice from their mums and be marked instead on their accumulated knowledge of being able to lie down with a cool flannel draped across their foreheads.

Bristol lol.

(29)(15)

Anonymous

I think idea is that the new questions that they come up with can’t be very well thought out if they only have two weeks to write them. Also it’s generally possible to predict a paper based on the questions from previous years, now they can’t be so sure

(6)(5)

Danger Mouser Chief Agitator & Rabble Rouser

Total whiffle. It’s not for them to assume anything and if they can’t respond to a question in front of them without the need to see previous questions then they don’t deserve to be on an LLB at all.

No wonder they’re dropping like lead in the tables if this is the sort of shoddy ‘reasoning’ wheeled out as an excuse for their inabilities.

(6)(10)

Anaymous

And the tables are the best measure of academic excellence. I see your reasoned and well thought out logic there. It was a mistake, mistakes happen and the uni is doing its best to rectify it.

(11)(0)

Danger Mouser Chief Agitator & Rabble Rouser

Sure. Those tables are utterly meaningless and don’t count for a thing – which is why, presumably, everyone pays attention to them.

Nice attempt at a diversion and completely irrelevant goal-post shifting, too. I shall ignore it however because I’m feeling kind and generous like that today.

(0)(7)

Anonymous

Thanks for the generosity. No attempt at diversion, simply seeking to clarify.
If you aren’t smart enough to see the inherent biases in such tables, which should be used as a guide, then yeah, ’nuff said.

You can now return to your sanctimonious smug attitude in 3, 2, 1…

(0)(0)

Danger Mouser Chief Agitator & Rabble Rouser

And you’ve done it again. Congratulations at being utterly incapable of keeping up with the most basic threads of an argument.

Anonymous

calm down

Anonymous

Why not? Just choose some other similar questions for other years? Many university’s publish the last few years worth of papers in any event. This is no big deal to the academic staff, just a pain to get them approved externally at such short notice…

(1)(0)

Anonymous

It would cause alarm to students wondering whether their exam would go ahead on the scheduled day and what would be the implications for them if it couldn’t.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

BREAKING NEWS; PERSON UPLOADS THE WRONG .DOCX ATTACHMENT ONLINE

(11)(2)

Anonymous

SEVEN HOURS!!!!!!!

(3)(0)

Legal Eagle

Land Law isn’t a particularly hard topic to revise for in terms of picking examinable topics. I sat my Land Law exam 20 days ago, it seems worse than it is.

My advice to any Land Law student would be to become friends with joint tenancy, easements and adverse possession. Landlord remedies to breaches of leasehold covenants are not bad either. Oh, the joys of a s146 (LPA 1925) notice.

(4)(4)

Lethargic Bystander

So have you passed the exam, or are you giving unsolicited advice from the position of objective uncertainty about your performance?

(24)(0)

Definitely Not Not Amused

Oh snap.

(7)(1)

Sandman

It would have been fairer to have drafted a new paper radically different to the leaked one, but said nothing publicly about the leak.

Honest students who inadvertently saw it would have contacted the Administration and could be quietly told to ignore it.

Dishonest students would have prepped to the leaked paper and not done so well.

(4)(3)

DDR calling

Sandmann, liebe Sandmann!

Ist das du?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I am sure it will take a short period of time to alter Whiteacre to Blackacre.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Looks like a quasi-journalism website has run out of actual news.

(2)(0)

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