Put it in verse to lift exam curse

May 30, 2003

As the exam season gets under way, pity the invigilator, endlessly dreaming up ways to relieve the boredom. But now the dreaded three-hour stints could be transformed into poetic interludes.

Invigilators could save their sanity by trying their hand at writing verse for a poetry competition, called Under Exam Conditions, launched this week.

The idea was conceived at Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds University, where director of learning Tim Leadbeater tried it with his staff last year. It was so successful he gained sponsorship from booksellers Blackwell's and the Royal Literary Fund to go nationwide.

Invigilators welcomed the competition. "The most exciting thing is when a student puts their hand up for more paper," said Stephen Adams. "And if someone needs to leave the room to go to the bathroom there's practically a scrum."

Emma Roberts confessed to counting the number of baseball caps and beanies when she was not doing pelvic floor exercises. Then, said John Earley, there was the thrill of an illegal mobile phone going off. Janice Graham said her invigilating career highlight was supervising an exam in a maternity hospital.

The three best poems will win book vouchers of £35, £25 and £15. The poem, in limerick form, must have been inspired while invigilating on the theme of something in the room or outside the window.

Entries should be emailed by June 30 to k_scott@tasc.ac.uk . For full details see www.tasc.ac.uk

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Elderly woman looking up at sky

A recent paper claims that the quality of researchers declines with age. Five senior scientists consider the data and how they’ve contributed through the years

Otto illustration (5 May 2016)

Craig Brandist on the proletarianisation of a profession and how it leads to behaviours that could hobble higher education

smiley, laugh, happy, funny, silly, face, faces

Scholars should cheer up and learn to take the rough with the smooth, says John Tregoning

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration 19 May 2016

Tim Blackman’s vision of higher education for the 21st century is one in which students of varying abilities learn successfully together

James Minchall illustration (12 May 2016)

An online experiment proves that part of the bill for complying with the Freedom of Information Act is self-inflicted, says Louis Goddard