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Addressed to the Vice-Chancellor and other Members of the Councils of the
Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
We, the undersigned Schoolmasters and Teachers from Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall, now assembled in Exeter during the Public Examination for Prizes offered by several gentlemen who take a deep interest in the Education of the Middle Classes, beg to memorialise your Body.
We are aware of the movement now being made at both Universities to connect them more closely with the Middle Classes by authorizing a system of Annual Examinations throughout the whole country, and giving the candidates who distinguish themselves an honorary title.
We know from experience in preparing our own pupils for the Examination now going on in Exeter, what a benefit it is to give to different middle-class schools a unity of action, and to boys a stimulus and an object to work for, which they never had before.
We therefore respectfully beg the Members of the Council of the University of Oxford to establish such Examinations, and to grant to successful candidates the title of A.A., or such other mark of distinction as the University may approve of. (Signed) JAMES TEMPLETON, M.A., Exeter.
S. M. RIDGWAY, LL.D., Exeter.
Cambridge, Head Master of Kingsbridge School.
It will probably save trouble to others hereafter to state the arrangements made for the assembly of the Candidates at the Examination.
Three respectable innkeepers undertook to provide candidates with single beds and three meals per day, attendance included, at the several charges of 5s. 6d., 6s., and 6s. 6d. each per day. The Committee gave this information to the Candidates, incurring no further responsibility, and leaving them to make their own arrangements. Many, as might have been expected, were received in private families. Every Candidate was requested on his arrival to report his place of residence to the Secretary, from whom he learned the number by which he would be distinguished during the Examination.
Two spacious rooms were engaged for the Examination at the Clarence Hotel. One was used for the examination on paper, the other for the examination in reading aloud. With a view to remove all air of mystery, and to satisfy public interest, the friends of the youths and a few other persons interested in the examination were allowed access to both rooms. Considering that it was the first experiment of the kind, the advantages of this course predominated over the disadvantages; in future it will probably be desirable to confine the attendance of strangers to the room in which the examination viva voce is being conducted.
A plan of the arrangement of the room devoted to paper work is subjoined, as it may furnish some useful hints. It was a back room not opening into a street, lofty, well lighted, with a northern aspect. The candidates were placed in rows facing the Examiner, who was on an elevated platform, with a raised seat, at one end of the room. The senior candidates at the end furthest from the Examiner. The candidates had the light on their left hand, a point not to be disregarded, especially with reference to an examination in Drawing. There was an interval of nearly two clear feet between each candidate and his neighbour: no two candidates from the same school sitting side by side--an arrangement easily effected, by giving even numbers to the candidates from the most numerous schools, amounting to about half the whole number entered for examination, and filling up the odd numbers between from other schools. The desks were made of two deals placed on simple tressels, and covered with
Each boy's number was nailed to the desk by the side of his inkstand, 120 penny inkstands having been placed at the proper intervals, and prevented from falling by an india-rubber band and two tin tacks. The Candidates were supplied with halfsheets of foolscap paper, ruled on one page; and they were desired
to write on the ruled page only, leaving on the left hand a margin of an inch on which the number of each question was to be written. At the head of every page the Candidate's own number was to be written, under the penalty that the answers would not be looked at if compliance with this condition were neglected.
The half-sheets, at the end of each part of the Examination, were to be brought by each boy to the Secretary's table, and were immediately arranged in the order of the numbers held by the boys respectively, placed between two pasteboards of the size of foolscap with two india-rubber bands, marked with the name of the subject, and delivered to the Examiners. Attention to uniformity in a few simple matters saves much time and trouble in looking over the answers to the questions, and comparing the results. The entire expense incurred at the Examination is stated below
d. Hire of examination room
5 5 0
4 0 0
2 7 6 Sundry articles of stationery, total, about
7 0 0 Printing of examination papers
15 0 0 Printing and Posting Prize-List
3 0 0 Sundry Payments, including Doorkeeper
2 0 0
£42 3 6
LONDON: PRINTED BY W. CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET,
AND CHARING CROSS.