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University maths test 'impossible to solve'

Published: 03 Apr 2009 12:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Apr 2009 12:25 GMT+02:00

A maths test presented to students at the prestigious Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm contained problems that proved impossible to solve.

Despite the erroneous test, in which three of the five mathematical problems could not be solved, students at the department of industrial economy at KTH, will not be given a chance to repeat the exam, according to a report by news website Svd.se

After a frustrating two and a half hours battling to solve apparently impossible problems, the 155 assembled students were informed by a lecturer that the exam contained two errors.

After a further 30 minutes had passed the teacher returned to inform them that in fact the final, fifth problem was also impossible to solve.

"One thinks as a student that it is you that is wrong and the exam that is correct. I was counting away like a madman, but it just wouldn't work," Emelie Baedecke Yllner told Svd.se.

As if to add insult to injury the students were then later informed that they wouldn't be given the chance to re-sit the exam.

The tests were instead marked as normal and the erroneous problems were taken into account when grading.

The students whodid not achieve a pass in the test will be given further problems to solve with which to complement their exam.

"We can't just pass them because the text was wrong in the exam. They have to show that they know their subject if we are to pass them. I can't do any more than that," said Per Enqvist at KTH.

Enqvist was responsible for the three month course and for the writing of the exam paper and expressed some understanding for the students.

'"This should not happen. I have written the exam and checked with a colleague and we have both missed the three mistakes."

The institution's prefect informed Svd.se that a review of the routines for the checking of exams could be undertaken.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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