Examination Schools

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The main purpose of the Examination Schools of the Oxford University is to organize and take care of the administration of the university examinations. Many of the final and other examinations take place here. It also provides the main lecturing facility for the University and is used as a meeting and conference place outside term time. It is one of the largest buildings of the University located in High Street, with entrances both from the High Street and Merton Street.

The Examination Schools (known also as “Schools”) was designed by Sir Thomas Jackson Bart as the University examination centre. It is considered to be his masterpiece. The building was built between 1876 and 1881 and opened in 1882.

Jackson believed that the architect is essentially an artist and he built and decorated the building with the respect and love for past, illustrated by his use of materials from old buildings. To some notable features belong marble inlay on the West staircase from Rome, Wren's pulpit from the Divinity School which he turned into the Examiner's throne in the South School; the throne in the North School made from the Vice Chancellor's seat from the Old School and creatures from Aesop’s fables in the marble floor in the Great Hall.

During the school year, there are lectures taking place here. When taking exams, students still have to wear traditional sub-fusc clothing (black and white attire). Throughout the various time of the year examinations for several types of degrees are held here (several types of Bachelor, Master and even Doctorates).

There are often conferences held in the Examination Schools. It has three major areas suitable for these occasions: The South Writing School, The North Writing School and The East Writing School. On 1 May 1883 the Examination Schools was inaugurated by a grand concert in the South School in the presence of the Prince of Wales.

During the two World Wars the Examination Schools was used as a military hospital.
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