Letter from Frances Mary Buss concerning the regulations of the special examination for women
1 June 1876
Fol. 1 r.
Notes on The Women's Examination
1. The regulations issued for the Women's
Examination are, of course, clear to the
authorities, but it is surely evident from
the general failure, that they were not
clear to those, from whom they were intended.
Miss Beale, for instance, as little understood
as I did, that the standard in Latin was
to be raised.
2. By a minute comparison of the
Women's regulations with the matriculation
regulations - for several years - it may be
possible to see that more Latin was demanded
in the latter, in spite of the statement in
the former, "That the standard in corresponding
subjects was the same", but this expects us
Fol. 1 v.
to study the regulations of an examination, from
which we are excluded, in order to understand
the regulations of the one, to which we are
admitted. I had no special motive for
studying the Matriculation regulations and
therefore did not so.
3. Confusion caused by the two programmes.
There was no uniformity
in Euclid, English Language and English
History, there were two papers in each subject.
In German, no notice whatever
was put on the paper, but the examiner
gave oral notice. This was not understood
in every case.
In French a lithographed
notice called attention to some difference
between Old and New regulations.
Fol. 2 r.
In Latin Grammar there was no
notice of a difference. In Latin Translation
the choice of the prepared or unprepared piece
was apparently optional, it being stated that
"This need not be attempted", etc.
4. With regard to the Chemistry -
"The attention of the Examiner was called to a
question (one out of six!) which was beyond the
scope of the regulations". This was done by the
girls themselves in a memorial, which they
drew up and send ot him. This act on their
part caused me a great amount of anxiety,
lest in their youthful ignorance, they should
have been guilty of some unintentional disrespect.
If the girls had not risked this, would not the
Examiner have remained ignorant of his own
mistake and the candidates have suffered?
Frances Mary Buss
June 1st 1876