How am I assessed?

Forms of assessment

Assessment in first-year history is generally based on a combination of tutorial attendance and participation, class papers, written exercises and essays. However, there is no single, standard assessment procedure. Examinations are not held for all subjects, though provision is made for them. Some subjects also use "journals" or weekly summaries of notes and reflections for assessment. At the commencement of the subject, assessment requirements are posted on the subject notice board. If you have any queries, check with your tutor or lecturer. It is advisable to do this at the beginning of the semester.

Your written work will be given both a numerical mark and a grade. Below is a general statement of the meaning of these marks and grades.

Grades for written work

Official gradeMarkIn a word
H1 80-100 Excellent

Papers in this category involve superior analysis, comprehensive research, sophisticated theoretical or methodological understanding and impeccable presentation. They state a clear, convincing, and original argument, which is apparent from the synopsis if one is required. They support this argument by a critical evaluation of the relevant evidence. They demonstrate a thorough theoretical and/or conceptual grasp as well as a solid empirical base and the theoretical orientation is effectively applied to the empirical base. Arguments are succinctly and clearly developed and the material shows originality of thought. The written expression is crisp and lucid.

The above is common to all forms of written work. First-class research essays also feature appropriate notes and bibliographies of suitable relevance, length and breadth to the topic. All material used is correctly cited. The presentation is of the highest standard and documentation is consistent with a recognised historical style.

Papers that fully accomplish all the above receive a mark in the high 80s and the 90s. Such papers should be outstanding. Papers that do all or most of the above very well but are not judged quite so outstanding should receive a mark in the low 80s.

It is Faculty policy that we should mark across the full 80-99 range. Within this range higher marks will be given for work that is more erudite, original, exciting or challenging.

Official gradeMarkIn a word
H2A 75-79 Very Good

Papers in this category are well argued and thoroughly researched. They make use of scholarly presentation. They will be similar to those in the H1 category but deficient in some minor respects. Generally speaking the paper should be very sound and solid, with a wide and suitable degree of reading, but the argument may be somewhat lacking in originality, the written expression may not be quite so crisp and elegant, the evidence may be less thorough or convincing or it may not be evaluated critically enough, and/or the presentation and citation of evidence may be not of a high standard. The paper may on the other hand simply demonstrate the qualities of an H1 paper but at a slightly lower level. This mark is appropriate for high quality work that is less inspired, original or creative than an H1.

Official gradeMarkIn a word
H2B 70-74 Good

This mark signifies second-class Honours, although at a slightly lower standard than an H2A. Papers in this category must be of better than average standard. They must involve solid research, effective argument, perceptive analysis and appropriate presentation. They meet a high standard in answering the question or making an argument. They are sound and solid, demonstrating good effort but somewhat flawed in argument, evidence and/or presentation. Overall they demonstrate real application and diligence in preparation. They demonstrate good coverage of the issues and satisfactory reading. They are clearly presented. Some papers in this category are generally solid and well crafted but do not go beyond the materials and issues generally available in the subject. Others are uneven in quality, possessing some of the superior aspects mentioned above with some elements of weakness, such as inconsistency of argument or failure to base all the argument in solid evidence.

Official gradeMarkIn a word
H3 65-69 Competent

This mark is used to distinguish papers that demonstrate real effort and some accomplishment from those which are merely satisfactory. Papers in this category are based on sound analysis and do make a clear argument. This distinguishes them from “Pass” papers. They use reasonable evidence mustered in support of this argument, but either they do not produce enough evidence to establish the argument fully or they fail to evaluate the evidence critically enough. This distinguishes them from papers that receive second-class Honours. Their presentation is of a good standard. Some possibly significant limitations and errors may be evident, but they will not detract substantially from the overall understanding of the task and/or argument(s) of the paper. The diction may be weaker than in second-class Honours work, but not so poor as to prevent discerning an argument.

Official gradeMarkIn a word
P 50-64 Satisfactory
(a) High Pass 60-64 Very satisfactory

Papers in this range fulfil all the requirements of the Pass mark (see below). In this case, however, the assignment is of higher standard in one or more of the required categories for this piece of work. It indicates potential for Honours work if attention is paid to the problems identified by the assessor.

Official gradeMarkIn a word
(b) Pass 50-59 Satisfactory

Papers in this range involve completion of key tasks at an adequate level of performance in argumentation, documentation and expression. They should demonstrate understanding of the task and a minimally appropriate usage of the literature. The diction and presentation, if not satisfactory, should nevertheless be of a quality such that the paper can be readily understood.

Official gradeMarkIn a word
N 0-49 Not satisfactory (Fail)

Assignments in this category are judged as having failed the set task. Normally, this will involve several fundamental problems. The question may have been substantially misunderstood or simply not answered properly. The paper may contain fatal errors based upon misconceptions of limited reading. The diction may be so poor that one cannot discern an argument. The work may have been inadequate or inconsistent so that, despite most of the paper being judged in the Pass range, a major omission or flaw lowers the mark. The paper may also be extremely poor in presentation and citation.

Faculty policy is that, where a student fails a subject, all failed components of assessment must be double marked.