Archive for the ‘Unisa Past Papers’ Category

The new WikiStudent is now live

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

The new WikiStudent, for Unisa students, went live a couple of weeks ago. The URL:

We need Unisa students to become editors to help fill in the content - see the new site for how to join.

This blog is no longer being updated. You can browse the archives if you’re interested in how WikiStudent was re-built.

Exam timetable for each page

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

I finally found a MediaWiki calendar extension that does the job! Here is what the calendar looks like.


And it’s easily editable because you don’t have to mess with table syntax. All you do is type the date. e.g. 2009-10-13:::ALP101Q Exam

The purpose of this?

Well, if someone fills in the exam date for a module, I’ll know when to email everyone doing that module. Not really a ‘good luck for the exam’ email, but rather a request to come back to the wiki straight after the exam and put down all the questions you remember were asked.

Some improvements to be made:

  1. I think the current year needs to be displayed at the top, next to the month. (Will have to modify the extension’s code for this)
  2. It needs a proper design, maybe even the exam date highlighted. (Will need to look into the CSS)

Calendar dilemma

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Gee, I’m really battling to find a suitable MediaWiki calendar extension for the exams section of the module pages.

There are so many calendar extensions, which all work in different ways, and the ones I’ve tried out either display a huge calendar in its own page (and require a special calendar namespace) or have dates that, when clicked, take you to an article, which is not at all what I want.

Here’s what I want: I need a mini calendar widget-like thing, displaying only one month, with the date of an exam highlighted. It must also be easily editable so that a student can fill in the date of the exam for a module, save the page, and be done.

Will keep looking and experimenting…

So where are the past papers?

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

I’m not sure why, but many people seem to think that you could download Unisa past papers from WikiStudent, and they are looking for them / asking for them on this blog.

There never were past papers for download. Some students did upload exam papers, but I always checked their contents first and never allowed them to go live.

Why not? There once was a similar website for Unisa students, which had past exam papers for download, and when Unisa discovered it in 2003 they made the site owner take it down.

Instead of uploading the screenshot I saved of this website, which will be hard to read, here is a transcript of the site’s notice after being forced to close down:

We are down but not out. Unisa has threatened legal action against myself if the site launches again without their permission. Again, they have sole copyright on the past papers so the decision rests with them. The error made was that the positive feedback received was from academics, and I have thus been informed that it is the management of UNISA and not the academics who make the decision. A pity seeing as UNISA is in the job of educating. I am however not on a crusade to correct everything at UNISA. My sole and single aim is to help students in their studies.

I am trying to reach the relevant people to discuss this matter further, but with little success. I firmly believe that if the issue gets discussed with people worried about education and not lawyers, that this issue can be resolved. This web site has the possibility to help thousands of students around the world in their studies. Surely this is a good thing? The site is a non-profit site asking for no money from the students, surely this is a good thing?

… etc …

I’ve been very careful not to do anything wrong after seeing what happened to that poor guy 6 years ago. But I do not share his views above. At All.

What the WikiStudent wiki will have though is a past paper heading on each module page where you can write, in your own words, what a particular exam was like. You can say things like “In 2009, the first question was a 20-mark essay on topic X” or “It was all multiple choice (4 options each) and everyone finished writing early” or “Many questions came from the assignments, e.g. that diagram we had to draw on X”. Stuff like that.

I think this is better because personal opinions will find their way in, so not only will you know what was asked, but you’ll also see how easy or difficult students found the paper.

Everyone wants past papers

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Sad but true: most students would rather study from past exam papers than textbooks.

I’m proud to say that when I was a student I didn’t rely on anyone else for help. I studied hard, made my own notes, attended the lectures. Hell, I even borrowed library books! Ok, I admit I got hold of a couple of past exam papers and they all did help :-)

But it still gets to me when people beg ME for past papers. Here is a tiny fraction of the emails I’ve received over the years:

Hi. Im looking for past year papers. How do i get it. ECN1M1Z -08-Y2, PMM151U-08-Y2, BSM1M1P-08-Y2

You do not perhaps know where I can get hold of exam papers for BSM201-P (Business Management II)? I can not find any on wikistudent.

I am studying at Unisa and I’m writing CAN 101-M tomorrow but I am looking for a old Question papers for studying, could you please get back to me soonest!


Please advise if you have any note or past year papers on the following courses, ACN203s, MNK203R, TXN201B, IOP102N.

Now, because past papers are what everyone wants, past papers have to feature on the new site. I was going to have a section where people could offload old study material (I’m referring to papers - originals - that could be e.g. posted to a student), but I’m going off this idea…

I have a new idea! One that will work better. It is a fact that students will always ask for past papers, and because the new site is going to be a pure wiki, there’s a danger that students might ‘pollute’ any old page with pleas for past papers. I’ve come up with a (great) solution though. Details another day :-)