Today, when one chooses to retake a failed course, they also forfeit their previous grade. If the exam goes less well the second time, it is the last grade that is retained nonetheless. At the initiative of a section director, the Conference of Section Directors (CDS) voted to create a working group that would reflect on the pros and cons of such a change.

Comprised of section directors, members of the AVPE, and two student representatives from the AGEPoly, a working group was formed to consider the feasibility of this idea. For us, this change would allow us to retake courses because they interest us and because we want to fill our gaps, without the pressure of an exam where we might perform less well.

However, many problems arise in doing this. Firstly, several regulations would need to be changed, which takes not a small amount of time and is by no means trivial! Furthermore, this possibility would inevitably lead to an increase in the number of students in courses, especially in the first year. This would, among other things, impact the workload of the central services of EPFL, so they are more hesitant. Similarly, for the school, the ambition is to note an improvement in students, and it doesn’t make sense to accept that one does worse on the second attempt, despite the stress these exams might cause. Indeed, since we are talking about a second attempt here, it comes with a heavier emotional burden than a usual exam, as the student finds themselves in a situation of failure. However, for EPFL’s legal experts, this is not a sufficient argument to change the laws governing the school. On the other hand, everyone agrees that final failures caused by a lower grade on the second attempt are regrettable and should not exist. The possibility of keeping the best grade in case of a final failure and passage to the grade conference is completely abandoned, as it does not guarantee the fundamental principle of equal opportunities.

Thus, the road is still long, but we continue to move forward, discuss, and negotiate. In March, EPFL’s board will decide whether or not to proceed with the project for consultation.