The disruption on the computer network of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) was resolved at the end of Tuesday afternoon. The exams scheduled for Wednesday will therefore continue, a spokesperson reported.
In total, nearly 6,000 exams were canceled at the UvA on Tuesday morning and afternoon. Due to a major login failure, a large part of the network was down.
Testvision, the program in which the digital exams have to be taken, was hardly accessible. The disruption is extremely inconvenient in the first exam week of the year. Due to the corona crisis, almost all exams will take place online this year.
The UvA confirms that there is a malfunction in the central login system, as a result of which an estimated 6,000 students could not log in this morning to take their online exams. “Very annoying, we are working hard to find out the cause of the outage,” says a university spokesperson. The exams that were to take place in the afternoon have also been canceled. The cause is still being sought. “Our engineers don’t think Tuesday’s problems will repeat themselves,” said the spokesman.
According to Nina Hol, chair of the UvA’s Central Student Council (CSR), thousands of students have been affected. “It is exam week, so exams are now underway at all faculties. At the law faculty alone, I know that an exam was planned for about a thousand students. This also applies to most other faculties. ”
Exam for a thousand students
First-year law student Timo van Helvoort (19) was also ready for his very first exam ever, but came home from a cold fair. “The exam started at 9.15 am and everyone tried to log in at the same time. I did not enter the program and was shown a screen that there was a malfunction. ”
A number of his fellow students did manage to log in. They were probably there early: the outage started around 9 a.m., people who were logged in before that time could usually start their test.
Ruben Peetam (18) is one of the few students who could start the criminal law exam. “I finished right on time, maybe I was just a second earlier than the others. About three hours later I was done and saw that my phone had exploded with messages from fellow students. ”
Peetam: “One of them said the exam had been canceled. That’s not possible, I thought, didn’t I just make it? ” In the meantime, the students have been informed by their department that there will be a new exam. Peetam does not yet know whether his exam taken is valid. “If they declare it invalid, I hope I will see my results, you have worked hard on it for three hours.”
He remains laconic about it: “I would understand if we had to do it again, they have to apply the same standards for everyone, right? And well, if you have mastered the material now, you will also know it in a month. ”
It is not the first time an online exam has gone wrong at the UvA. In 2018, around 200 law students had to retake their tests after a security error by the IT department. The same exam was previously postponed due to an overloaded server.
CSR chairman Nina Hol was one of the affected students herself at the time. “I remember how annoying that was then. It surprises me that things are now going wrong again, and on such a large scale. You would hope that it would go smoothly now. ”
How should things proceed with the students who did not take their exams? “Those exams will be rescheduled,” says the UvA spokesperson. It is not yet clear whether they can take the same exam, or whether a new exam may have to be put together. It is also not yet known whether the exams of students who did manage to log in will be valid in the future. “The Examination Board will have to consider that.”