Law Faculty announces plans for closed-book final examinations
In an email to students, the Law Faculty have announced that their final examinations taking place in 2025 will be in a closed-book format, meaning that candidates will not be allowed to bring materials into the exam room.
The communication stated that the 2025 finals will be held “in-person as timed, invigilated exams conducted by the central university”.
Law finals have been typed and open book since the pandemic in 2020, and finalists due to sit their exams next year will have their exams in the same format.
This announcement also noted that a request has been made for finals to be held as “computer-based exams”, but that if this was not feasible then they “may be handwritten”.
If typed exams were not accommodated and they were handwritten, the Law Faculty would be moving away from the policy of other faculties, as the university recently announced computer-based exams for various subjects earlier this month.
Law student Omid Yeganeh told The Oxford Student that he is “disappointed to hear that the law faculty has decided to hold the 2025 finals in an in-person and closed book format”. He raised that “the 2025 graduating class has only taken open book faculty exams, and many have not written closed book papers for close to six years”.
Yeganeh expressed that “[examinees] thus feel underprepared and unfamiliar with what may be the most important paper they will ever sit”. On reasoning behind the change, he held it is “unclear what motivates the faculty to change the exam format”.
He expanded that “[the] quality of papers is only likely to suffer, with emphasis being placed on rote memorisation at the expense of analytical depth and intellectual creativity”. Yeganeh “nonetheless [remains] hopeful and confident that the faculty will ultimately prove receptive to the needs of its students”.
The University commented that “[they] support a range of assessment methods”, and that this is not a change to policy.