In Oxford a contracted form of moderations. The three necessary
examinations in Oxford are the Smalls, the Mods, and the Greats. No one
can take a class till he has passed the Mods. There are no Mods at
“While I was reading for Mods I was not so unsettled in my mind.”—Grant Allen: The Backslider, part iii.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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