Covid-19: NTU implements pass/fail option for all undergraduate courses in the semester

NTU had previously announced that most semester exams will be brought forward and converted into continual assessments.

Melanie Lim | March 25, 2020, 05:39 PM

On Mar. 25, NTU sent out an email stating that students will be able to exercise the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option for all undergraduate courses taken in the current semester.

This means that the grades each student receives for the modules they take will not affect their existing grade-point average (GPA) or cumulative grade-point average (cGPA).

This move comes after the University had previously announced that most semester exams will be brought forward and converted into continual assessments as a precautionary measure against Covid-19.

Four changes made to current semester including pass/fail option

After numerous complaints were made on platforms such as NTU confessions about the move, the school announced these four changes that will be implemented this semester:

  1. Only content taught up to Week 10 will be tested in exams and Continual Assessments (CAs).
  2. The Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option can be used for all undergraduate courses this Semester.
  3. Deadlines will be spaced out.
  4. During examinations, students will be seated two metres apart. For in-class Continual Assessments (including quizzes and tests), students will be seated at a minimum distance of alternate seats and in alternate rows.

These changes were made known to students in an email by Professor Ling San, the Deputy President and Provost of NTU who added that the faculty had been listening to students' feedback and comments made directly to the school and through various platforms.

Students respond

Speaking to Mothership, Goh Kay Vin, who is a third year undergraduate at Nanyang Business School, said that he "felt really happy" that the University had heard the concerns of students.

"There was initially a lot of worry among engineering students because they had their deadlines pushed forward, and caused a lot of stress," Goh said, adding that this news relieved a lot of their stress.

Chai Su Tian, a final year undergraduate from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, also agreed.

"I think it's a step in the right direction, and it's good that the leadership is stepping up and making big calls instead of the individual lecturers being headless chickens. I do appreciate being able to S/U everything and I think that's the most important part," he said.

However, there have been a small minority of students who say they prefer the previous arrangement.

According to a final year student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences who wishes to remain anonymous, his studies were not affected by the changes the school had previously made.

"Initially, I was like what the heck? Ultimately, this is a learning institution but students just want to pass the module and not work hard for it. It's like, do they even learn anything from it?"

Goh agreed, adding that learning may be jeopardised as students may take advantage of the system by producing subpar work just to pass.

In his most recent email, Ling also mentioned that the school would do its best to allay student concerns and, at the same time, "uphold the quality of (students') learning and education at NTU".

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Top image via NTU Graduate Studies Blog