Not everybody is ‘bright at Oxford’

Some Oxford University students are unable to spell words such as 'erupt' or 'across' correctly.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: January 23, 2012 6:04 pm

If you thought that everybody studying at Oxford was bright,think again! Some students from the esteemed university are unable to spell ‘erupt’ or ‘across’ correctly,according to examiners’ reports.

Some Oxford University students show a “distressing” grasp of their subjects and the answers to their final exams are often little better than A-level standard,the Daily Telegraph quoted their tutors as saying.

Some are unable to spell words such as ‘erupt’ or ‘across’ correctly and give answers that show a “worrying degree of inaccuracy,” according to examiners’ reports seen by the newspaper.

Academics said a culture of box-ticking at A-level had left students with poor general knowledge and unable to think for themselves.

“We encountered a distinct sense of undeveloped critical thought,first year level work,or at the lower end of the run,A-level-style responses: information dumped but not tackled,” an English examiner wrote.

Examiners were delighted by some candidates,whose work was good enough to be published in academic journals. But they were scathing about large numbers whose answers were “dull” – or worse.

Tutors in many subjects complained that students had failed to revise properly,and instead memorised old class essays and regurgitated them regardless of the question asked.

It was students’ “startling” abuse of English that shocked dons the most.

Some could not spell ‘illuminate’,’bizarre’,’blur’ ‘buries’ or ‘possess’ correctly,with tutors blaming a dependence on computer spellcheckers.

Handwriting was so poor that “scripts from dyslexic candidates proved a welcome relief because they were typed,” an examiner added.

“Any Oxford tutor will tell you that the standards nowadays forthcoming from schools are appallingly low,and certainly much lower than a generation ago,” Professor Peter Oppenheimer,an emeritus professor at Christ Church college,said.

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