Are there any phrases or idiomatic ways of replacing it strikes as a rather odd in the context of the following sentence
It however strikes the examiner as a rather odd that the candidate did not include a proper analysis on the issue
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Just remove the "a" before "rather". The word "odd" is an adjective, and "rather" is an adverb of degree. Since "odd" is an adjective, you don't use the article "a" with it.
However, it strikes the examiner as rather odd that the candidate did not include a proper analysis on the issue.
(If I were writing the sentence, I would start it "However, it strikes...", not "It however strikes ...")
The sentence would also be grammatical as
However, it strikes the examiner as a rather odd thing that the candidate...
With the addition of the noun "thing", an article "a" would be required.