By Adrian Morrow
Two student groups at Ryerson are offering copies of old tests to students as study help, despite some opposition from their profs.
The Business Management Students’ Union (BSA) has doled out more than a hundred tests, mostly business midterms, at $2 a pop.
“People come in to purchase multiple tests,” said Alexander Debowski, VP finance of the BSA. “It’s one of our main sources of revenue.”
The BSA primarily obtains tests from its members and from students who bring them in to exchange for other tests. “A lot of profs give us a lot of heat for it,” said Debowski. “They try to bring in copyright laws.”
Professors haven’t formally tried to shut down the test bank, but they have warned members of the BSA about copyright laws when they see them selling their tests.
“It’s usually just individual profs so it’s not too bad,” said Debowski.
While the BSA’s test bank has been around longer than Debowski can remember, a similar service operated by the Economics and Management Science course union (EMSCU) just started up last semester.
Currently, the EMSCU has almost 30 midterms available for students to view for free in the course union’s office.
“We’re aiming for upper-level courses,” said Daniel Brent, EMSCU’s vice-president finance. “I put all my old tests (in the bank).”
The course union tries to find tests written by the professor currently teaching the class the student is studying for.
While professors don’t seem to have a problem with EMSCU’s test bank, they opposed their attempt to put the tests online.
“When we pitched the idea of an online test bank, profs shot it down,” said Brent.
So far, the EMSCU has had five or 10 students use the test bank, but many people don’t know about it, he said.
“One guy (who used a test) last semester came back and asked for more,” said Brent.
Jordan Siddall, a fourth-year economics student, said the test bank helped him study for a statistics test and that he’d gladly use it again.
“It’s a great service they provide,” he said. “I’d recommend it to others.”
Nina Cole, an associate business professor, sees no problem with sharing old tests, as long as it’s legal.
“It’s always helpful,” she said. “I’m sure other professors have different opinions.”
She expects that students will share old exams whether through a test bank or informally with their friends or roommates.
When she was an undergrad at Queen’s, she said, the library kept old exams around for study purposes.
“I think the whole reason I passed my fourth-year class was because I studied them,” she said.