The important thing to remember is that assessment at University is not about passing the exam then forgetting the content; it is about testing your understanding in order for you to build on your knowledge and progress onto subsequent units and years.
Your school/department will provide you with details of how and when your work will be assessed. The type of assessment you experience will depend upon the unit taken and your course, but may involve some or all of the following:
Types of assessment
Broadly, every piece of work or exam you complete will be either for learning (sometimes referred to as 'formative') or of learning (sometimes referred to as 'summative').
It is important that you understand the purpose of each:
- Assessments for learning are designed to provide you with feedback on your progress and to inform your development, but do not contribute to the overall unit or programme mark. These assessments should help you gain further knowledge, understanding and skills.
- Assessments of learning provide a measure of achievement in relation to the learning outcomes of the unit or programme. These assessments are designed to test how much you have learnt, i.e. your knowledge, understanding and skills.
Different forms of assessment will be used to test different types of skills and the formats used will vary depending on your degree programme. Typically, assessment may include:
- Essays and reports
- Group projects
- Laboratory work and write-ups
- Online assessments
- Oral and aural assessments
- Peer-to-peer assessments
- Performance assessments
- Problem sheets
- Self assessment
- Written exams.
Assignments are a type of assessment which are completed outside of a timetabled examination. At the start of each unit you will receive notification of when assignment is set, when it is to be submitted and when it will be returned to you. Clear statements about how to apply for an extension to the original deadline and the penalties for late submission will be provided by your school.
Marking criteria for assessment
Marking criteria are designed to help you know what is expected of you in the assessment and to provide guidance on how your performance may be improved. Marking criteria may vary dependent on your programme and on the type of assessment you are undertaking. It maybe useful to refer to the University's generic marking criteria. Your school will be able to provide you with subject specific marking criteria for your assessment(s).
Assessment and progress
To progress to the next year of your undergraduate course, or on to the dissertation / project stage of a taught Master's programme, you will need to:
- meet the minimum prescribed mark (pass mark) for assessments,
- gain the necessary number of credit points.
Your progress will be discussed by your school and faculty. You can find more about the rules on progression in the regulations and code of practice for taught programmes.
Understand and interpret the different types of feedback that you may receive.