Five applicants were belatedly admitted to the University of Iceland’s undergraduate medical program after an error in the admission examination test result calculations was discovered.
According to initial results, they were far from being accepted. More than 400 applicants were registered for the notoriously difficult medical school entrance exam in early June. At the beginning of July, the examination results were available and 55 were offered admission, but Árni Daniel Árnason and Þórður Björgvin Þórðarson were not admitted. Árni Daniel came in 150th place and Þórður Björgvin managed 130th place.
“I felt maybe I had actually done better so I just asked for a breakdown of the results, that way I would know what I could do better if I would try again later,” says Árni Daniel told RÚV.
Þórður Björgvin Þórðarson also requested a breakdown of the test results. “When I saw this number, I knew that some mistake must have been made, either by me or by the medical school examiners.”
In mid-August the individual test results were available and they both asked to see the exam results. Those applicants whose results were closest to passing were offered a first look. But then Þórður Björgvin was called.
“At first I thought it was just an office manager calling to let me know that I would finally be able to check exam results.”
“I sat there in a philosophy class at the University of Iceland’s law school, where I had been studying for three weeks, when I got this call,” says Árni Daniel.
It was Engilbert Sigurðsson, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, who invited them to begin their studies in the Faculty of Medicine. According to Engilbert, a student had discovered a calculation error when he was going over his examination results. The Faculty of Medicine contacted the mathematicians who calculated the tests and asked them to review the calculations who discovered that five more had actually qualified for admission. The Faculty of Medicine subsequently decided to increase the student body to 60. Engilbert emphasised that no one who was already admitted to the Faculty of Medicine was there on false grounds. According to the correct results, Árni Daniel came in 23rd place and Þórður Björgvin in 28th place. On Friday when Þórður Björgvin went to his job where he works part-time in addition to his math studies, everyone was happy for him.
“There was a bouquet of flowers and a card with my name on it, and a surprise party. It was absolutely priceless. I’m completely surrounded by good people all around me.”
“For three weeks I got to try the Law studies which I have long wanted to do, and that gave me a little bit of an introduction to law but I also got to chase the dream and go into medicine,” says Árni Daníel, who has just begun looking at Medical school textbooks for the first time at 12:30 in the morning.