In an attempt to crack down on cheating in exams, Melbourne University has decided to ban ALL watches from being worn in the examination hall. Watch connoisseurs such as myself are naturally quite peeved. The statement below is taken from the University’s updated exam procedures:
All watches including analogue, digital and smartwatches will need to be stored for the duration of your exam.
There are many issues with this policy, some obvious, others less so. To make my incoherent rage seem somewhat more intelligent, I’ll summarize it in a nice little list.
How can you cheat with an analogue watch?
Smart watches, despite their small screen size, are relatively simple to cheat with. The capability to store text means that you can have all your notes at your disposal during the exam. In contrast, with an analogue watch you have access to twelve numbers and a hand that moves every second/minute/hour. Banning analogue watches seems a bit extreme, and maybe a bit watch-ist on the University’s part.
Clocks don’t exist.
Well, it may appear that way when you’re sitting in the middle of the Royal Exhibition Building. The clocks are rarely visible amidst the horde of anxious students, meaning that you may not be aware whether you have hours or seconds until your exam is finished. This could have serious ramifications in terms of results, as many students cannot perform as well without a constant reminder of the time within sight.
Nothing makes you feel better on exam day than walking in and knowing you’re the best dressed person in the room (personally, I don’t know this feeling). An outfit is not complete without accessories and if I can’t look good, I probably can’t write good either (clearly). So without a watch, some people may not have that much-needed confidence boost to do their best on the day.
Clearly, this new policy needs some serious revision if it is to be followed in the upcoming exams. The introduction of smart watches does not justify this watch-based discrimination that’s occurring. The University should really watch what they’re doing.