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form and conduct of examinations, 2008-09

Notices by Faculty Boards, or other bodies concerned, of changes to the form and conduct of certain examinations to be held in 2008-09, by comparison with those examinations in 2008, are published below. Complete details of the form and conduct of all examinations are available from the Faculties or Departments concerned.

Natural Sciences Tripos, 2009

The Committee of Management for the Natural Sciences Tripos give notice that, with effect from the examinations to be held in 2009, the form and conduct of certain of the examinations for the Natural Sciences Tripos will be changed as follows:

Part IA

Biology of Cells

The practical examination will consist of a three-hour written paper containing ten 'short' questions with equal weighting (instead of nine 'short' questions and one 'long' question). Candidates shall answer all ten questions.

Part IB

Chemistry B

Paper B2 will consist of two sections, A and B. Section A will contain five questions relating principally to the courses Inorganic rings, Co-ordination chemistry, and Organometallic chemistry. Section B will contain two questions relating principally to the course Introduction to chemical biology. Candidates will be required to answer five questions, at least one of which must be from Section B.

Geological Sciences B

Changes to the format and arrangement of theory papers 1 and 2 will be made in 2009. Each paper will be divided into two sections (A and B) as before, but with each section containing five questions rather than, as in previous years, three or six questions. Candidates will be asked to answer two questions from each section, instead of at least one question from each section as in previous years. The sections in the 2009 theory papers will approximately comprise: 1A crystallography, mineral behaviour; 1B Earth formation and differentiation, igneous petrology; 2A magmatic settings, volcanology; 2B metamorphic mineralogy and petrology, tectonics. All other parts of the examination remain unchanged.

Materials Science and Metallurgy

The practical work will count for a total of 20% of the total mark for Natural Sciences Tripos, Part IB, Materials Science and Metallurgy, and comprises two parts:

(i) Candidates undertake a project during the Lent Term, which is assessed by a combination of a written report and a viva-voce examination. This exercise will count for 10%.
(ii) Candidates are required to submit records of their practical work conducted during the year. This work will be assessed by the Examiners and will count for 10%.

Full details are available at http://www.msm.cam.ac.uk/Teaching/.

Physics A

All candidates take two three-hour papers.

Paper 1 will contain four sections: candidates should answer all questions from Section A, two questions from Section B, one question from Section C, and one question from Section D. Section A will contain five short questions; Section B will contain four problem questions on Oscillations, waves, and optics; Section C will contain two problem questions on Condensed matter physics; Section D will contain two questions on the same courses as Sections B and C, these questions being essays, brief notes, largely descriptive questions or less-structured problems.

Paper 2 will contain four sections: candidates should answer all questions from Section A, two questions from Section B, one question from Section C, and one question from Section D. Section A will contain five short questions; Section B will contain four problem questions on Quantum physics; Section C will contain two questions on Quantum physics; these questions being essays, brief notes, largely descriptive questions or less-structured problems; Section D will contain two questions on Experimental methods.

Physics B

Candidates take two three-hour papers. All candidates take Paper 1; candidates not reading Mathematics in Part IB of the Natural Sciences take paper 2A; other candidates take paper 2B.

Paper 1 will contain three sections: candidates should answer all questions from Section A, two questions from Section B, and two questions from Section C. Section A will contain five short questions; Section B will contain four questions on Electromagnetism and dynamics and fluids, these questions being essays, brief notes, largely descriptive questions or less-structured problems; Section C will contain four questions on Thermodynamics, at least one of which will be an essay, brief notes, a largely descriptive question or a less-structured problem.

Paper 2A will contain four sections: candidates should answer all questions from Section A, and four questions from Sections B, C, and D, of which at least one should be drawn from each section. Section A will contain five short questions; Section B will contain four problem questions on Electromagnetism; Section C will contain four problem questions on Dynamics and fluids; Section D will contain four problem questions on Mathematical methods.

Paper 2B will contain three sections: candidates should answer all questions from Section A, two questions from Section B, and two questions from Section C. Sections A, B, and C will be identical to those of Paper 2A.

Plant and Microbial Sciences

There will be a written practical examination, lasting three hours and constituting 25% of the total marks. The format of the exam will consist of a minimum of three questions (instead of four), of which two should be attempted.

Part II

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Minor Subject: History and ethics of medicine

The paper is divided into two sections: Section A - History of medicine - and Section B - Ethics of medicine. In previous years, candidates have been required to answer two questions in each section (four questions in total). Candidates will now be required to answer at least one question in each section and will still be required to answer four questions in total. It is still possible to answer two questions in each section, but it is also possible to answer one question in one section and three questions in another. All questions carry the same weight.

Major Subject: Psychology (BBS)

All papers are constructed in the same way as for NST Part II Psychology Option A (Psychology). Candidates are required to answer three questions from each paper and there are no constraints on the choice of questions.

Dissertation

The Faculty Board of Biology give notice that, with effect from the examinations to be held in 2009, the form of the examination for the following papers for Natural Sciences Tripos Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences will be changed as follows:

The dissertation shall include a summary of not more than 300 words. This will not count towards the 6,000 word limit.

Full details on preparing and submitting the dissertation can be found at http://www.bio.cam.ac.uk/sbs/facbiol/bbs/dissertations.html.

Experimental and Theoretical Physics

(See also p. 278.)

The examination will consist of the submission of further work, as outlined in the Physics Course Handbook, and four written papers of three hours' duration.

Candidates offering Option A shall offer Papers 1 and 2 and any two sections from Papers 3 and/or 4. Candidates offering Option B shall offer Papers 1 and 2 and any three sections from Papers 3 and 4.

Paper 1 shall be of three hours' duration and shall consist of two sections. Section A shall contain four questions on Thermal and statistical physics. Question A1 shall consist of three short parts. Question A2 shall be of the brief notes style. Candidates must attempt question A1, question A2, and one other question. Each of questions A1 and A2 has approximately one quarter of the total weight of the section. Section B shall contain four questions on Relativity. Question B1 shall consist of three short parts. Question B2 shall be of the brief notes style. Candidates must attempt question B1, question B2, and one other question. Each of questions B1 and B2 has approximately one quarter of the total weight of the section.

Paper 2 shall be of three hours' duration and shall consist of two sections. Section A shall contain four questions on Advanced quantum physics. Question A1 shall consist of three short parts. Question A2 shall be of the brief notes style. Candidates must attempt question A1, question A2, and one other question. Each of questions A1 and A2 has approximately one quarter of the total weight of the section. Section B shall contain four questions on Optics and electrodynamics. Question B1 shall consist of three short parts. Question B2 shall be of the brief notes style. Candidates must attempt question B1, question B2, and one other question. Each of questions B1 and B2 has approximately one quarter of the total weight of the section.

Paper 3 shall be of three hours' duration and shall consist of two sections. Section A shall contain four questions on Particle and nuclear physics. Question A1 shall consist of three short parts. Question A2 shall be of the brief notes style. Candidates must attempt question A1, question A2, and one other question. Each of questions A1 and A2 has approximately one quarter of the total weight of the section. Section B shall contain four questions on Astrophysical fluid dynamics. Question B1 shall consist of three short parts. Question B2 shall be of the brief notes style. Candidates must attempt question B1, question B2, and one other question. Each of questions B1 and B2 has approximately one quarter of the total weight of the section.

Paper 4 shall be of three hours' duration and shall consist of two sections. Section A shall contain four questions on Soft condensed matter and biophysics. Question A1 shall consist of three short parts. Question A2 shall be of the brief notes style. Candidates must attempt question A1, question A2, and one other question. Each of questions A1 and A2 has approximately one quarter of the total weight of the section. Section B shall contain four questions on Quantum condensed matter physics. Question B1 shall consist of three short parts. Question B2 shall be of the brief notes style. Candidates must attempt question B1, question B2, and one other question. Each of questions B1 and B2 has approximately one quarter of the total weight of the section.

Materials Science and Metallurgy

The format of all four written papers is changed from previous years. Each paper will consist of eight questions, based primarily on a grouping of lecture courses as advertised on the Department website and notice-board before the beginning of Michaelmas Term. On all four papers, the rubric will read 'Answer any five questions. All questions carry equal credit.'

Only the Part II Data Book will be made available for the written examinations (not the Part IB Data Book).

Full details are available at http://www.msm.cam.ac.uk/Teaching/.

Physical Sciences

(See also p. 278.)

Half Subject: Experimental and Theoretical Physics

The examination will consist of the submission of further work, as outlined in the Physics Course Handbook, and written papers taken from the Part II Experimental and Theoretical Physics course. Candidates will be required to take two sections from Papers 1 and/or Paper 2, and one section from either Paper 3 or Paper 4.

Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience

(See also p. 278.)

Each candidate will be required to undertake, and prepare a report on, a research project which may be either experimental or literature-based. The report will consist of not more than 8,000 words excluding tables, figure legends, and bibliography, and including a summary of not more than 500 words. It is to be submitted to the Examiners for assessment not later than the third day of Full Easter Term. During the Easter Term candidates will be examined viva voce on their project. The report and viva voce examination will together carry 30% of the total marks for the examination.

Each candidate will take four compulsory papers, each lasting three hours and carrying 17.5% of the total marks for the examination. Two papers will cover Michaelmas Term modules and two will cover Lent Term modules. Candidates will be required to attempt three questions in each paper except for those taking the Research skills in neuroscience module, who will be required to attempt a compulsory question and one other question in one of their papers.

Psychology

The examination shall comprise two alternative options, (A) and (B). Option (A) forms part of the course of study accredited by the British Psychological Society, and will be known as Psychology (Psychology); Option (B) does not provide accreditation with the Society, and will be known as Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience).

Both options include four written papers and also require the submission of project work.

There shall be separate written papers for Options (A) and (B). The questions in Sections A and B on each paper shall be the same for each option.

Written papers - Option A (Psychology)

Paper 1 is unchanged.

Papers 2, 3, and 4 will contain more questions than previously. In total, six questions, rather than five, will be drawn from each module of the course. Each of these papers will have a choice of two questions from each module. The restrictions on question choice are unchanged.

Written papers - Option B (Cognitive Neuroscience)

Paper 1 is unchanged.

Papers 2, 3, and 4 will contain more questions than previously. In total, six questions, rather than five, will be drawn from each module of the course. Each of these papers will have a choice of two questions from each module.

On Papers 2 and 3 candidates will be unable to answer two questions from the same module. Other restrictions on question choice are unchanged.

Part III

Experimental and Theoretical Physics

Candidates may now replace up to three (instead of two) minor topics with further work. Further work comprises classwork and/or practical work and/or other approved courses.

Materials Science and Metallurgy

Only the Part III Data Book will be made available for the written examinations (not the Part II Data Book). All other parts of the examination remain unchanged.


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Cambridge University Reporter 03 December 2008
Copyright © 2008 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.