Assessment & Associated Regulations
1.0 COURSEWORK AND EXAMINATION
1.1 Allocation of Marks between Coursework and Final Examination
The award of a grade shall take into account performance in coursework and examination, or coursework only without any final examination for a course approved by Senate to be assessed in that manner.
For courses with a final exam the final exam and the work assessed during the semester/trimester shall each constitute not less than 40% and not more than 60% of the allocation of marks upon which the final grade is based.
1.2 Deadline for the Submission of Student Coursework
- Students shall submit for marking the requirements of a course that form part of the continuous assessment process according to deadlines prescribed in the Course Outline. All continuous assessment must be submitted no later than the last day of lectures for that semester/trimester.
- Assessed coursework shall be provided to students within three weeks of submission.
1.3 Minimum Requirement for Courses
- Students may be required to attain a specified minimum standard of performance and participation (that shall be stated in the course outline to each student at the beginning of each course) in the continuous assessment and/or at the final examination.
- Students who fail to attain the specified minimum requirement in clause 1. 3(a) shall be awarded a fail grade prescribed in clause 1. This will apply to students regardless of having attained total marks for the continuous assessment and final examination equal to or greater than the pass mark.
- Students who fail to attain the specified minimum requirement in clause 1.3(a) shall not be considered for a Restricted Pass under clause 8.
- Science Laboratory Attendance
Attendance at laboratory classes is compulsory. Students who fail to complete at least 75% of the practical requirements of a course (including laboratory work) shall be awarded a fail grade regardless whether the student has attained total marks for the continuous assessment and final examination equal to or greater than the pass mark.
- Attendance in Tutorial and Computer Laboratories
- To pass a course (in any mode of delivery) where tutorials and/or computer laboratories are required, students must attend at least 60% of these to be eligible to pass the Students who do not meet the 60% minimum requirement will fail the course under clause 1.3 (b).
- Students with valid extenuating circumstances for non-compliance may apply to the Head of the Academic Unit1 or nominee for exemption from these Regulations by providing relevant supporting evidence.
- Any additional tutorial support for at-risk students is included as the minimum tutorial requirement.
1.4 Publication of Coursework Marks
- The Course Coordinator shall publish each assessment mark on the Moodle Marksheet within three weeks of the submission deadline.
- The total and itemised continuous assessment marks shall be published on Moodle Marksheet before the beginning of the examination week.
- The Mid Semester Test shall be conducted before mid-semester break.
- Any test apart from the Mid Semester Test shall be conducted no later than Week 12.
- For a course delivered in multiple modes in any one time, the test(s) shall be the same.
2.0 ORGANISATION OF EXAMINATIONS
2.1 The examinations conducted by the University shall be written, (open or closed book), oral practical as determined by the examiners, with the approval of Senate, may determine. All examination papers shall be moderated in accordance with clause 3.
2.2 The examinations shall be held at the places and times specified in the examination timetables published by the authority of Senate, provided that no examinations shall be held on religious public holidays.
2.3 Students shall take the examination in the presence of a duly appointed supervisor.
2.4 An examination script shall be marked by the examiner(s).
2.5 All examination scripts shall be stored securely by the examiners for a period of nine months after which they shall be disposed in accordance with the Records and Management Policy (see https://policylib.usp.ac.fj/form.readdoc.php?id=343)
3.0 MODERATION OF EXAMINATION
To be read in conjunction with the Process for Moderation of Exams (see https://policylib.usp.ac.fj/form.readdoc.php?id=703)
3.1 Before Examination
- The Head of the Academic Unit or nominee will moderate the paper and processes to ensure that the questions are fair, at an appropriate level and test the specific required learning outcomes of the course.
- During this process, course coordinators are expected to produce the following:
- Exam papers;
- Course outline;
- Alignment of assessment to outcomes;
- Detailed solutions for the questions; and
- Detailed marking scheme.
3.2 After Examination
For each course the relevant Board of Studies must consider the following:
- An independent assessment of marked sample papers from the mean, high and low marks against the marking scheme is carried out for all courses;
- Identify questions that were poorly answered and discuss possible reasons for it;
- Discuss possible reasons for either high or low failure rates;
- Any extra assistance provided by the course coordinators and the effectiveness of this;
- Consider all borderline cases in adherence to clause 7.2 of these Regulations.
A brief report of this for each course be brought to the Assessment meeting with the results.
3.3 The moderation report and the results of all courses shall be submitted to the Assessment Board (AB) for approval. The AB shall:
Look at a sample of papers from the mean, top and bottom marks against the marking scheme to ensure that marking was fair;
Find out from the markers if there were questions that majority of students did poorly in and see why this might have been so;
Discuss possible reasons for either high or low failure rates;
Any extra assistance provided by the course coordinators and the effectiveness of this;
A brief report of this for each course be brought to the Assessment meeting with the results; and
Consider all borderline cases in adherence to clause 7.2 of these Regulations.
4.0 EXAMINATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
4.1 Students with a profound visual impairment:
- shall sit their examinations in rooms separate from other students, and
- may use Braille typewriters or other approved enabling technologies and
- shall be allowed an additional 30 minutes writing time for each one-hour examination time, and
- may be provided assistance to complete parts of answer sheets that they cannot fill in unassisted, such as multiple choice questions.
4.2 The guidelines for the preparation of an examination question paper for a course in which a reader of Braille is registered are that:
- a secure electronic copy of the examination question paper shall be provided to the Vice- Chancellor or delegate or nominee, who shall arrange for its translation into Braille.
- University staff approved by the Vice-Chancellor or delegate shall supervise the translation of the examination question paper into Braille.
- the examination question paper that has been translated into Braille shall be kept in safe custody by the Group Manager, Student Administrative Services until the time of the examination.
4.3 Answering of examination questions by a reader of Braille shall be as follows:
- Where the examiner requires the answers to be written on the question paper or on special stationery such as a multiple choice answer sheet, an amanuensis shall write the answers given by the student.
- Where the examiner requires the answers to be written in a standard answer booklet, the student shall instead use a Braille typewriter or computer to do so.
4.4 The Braille answer scripts shall be handled as follows:
- The student’s answer script shall be collected by the examination supervisor and forwarded to Student Administrative Services.
- The answers shall be translated into ordinary print by a person under the supervision of University staff approved by the Vice-Chancellor or delegate.
4.5 A student with profound visual impairment or other disability may use an amanuensis (writer) with the permission of the Vice-Chancellor or delegate.
4.6 For a student with any other type of physical impairment that may adversely affect his/ her performance under ordinary examination conditions, examination procedures shall be determined by the Vice-Chancellor or delegate.
5.0 CONDUCT IN EXAMINATION ROOMS
5.1 Students shall comply with all written examination instructions issued prior to or during an examination, and shall comply with all oral instructions of an examination supervisor.
5.2 No student shall have in an examination venue any written or printed material, any electronic or computing device capable of storing material, or any device that is capable of transmitting, storing or receiving messages, except:
- where the written or printed matter has been authorised by the examiner of the course; and/or
- where the use of the electronic calculator has been authorised by an examiner.
5.3 No student shall enter the examination room later than 45 minutes after the beginning of the examination, nor leave the room before one hour has elapsed from the beginning of the examination, nor leave the room during the last 15 minutes of the examination.
5.4 No student shall be readmitted to an examination room after they have left it unless during the full period of their absence they have been under approved supervision.
5.5 Students may read their examination papers for a period of not more than 10 minutes before the examination commences but may not begin writing their answers until the room supervisor announces that they may do so.
5.6 Students shall display their USP student identification cards or any other form of acceptable identification on their examination desks.
5.7 No student shall communicate with any other person (apart from an examination supervisor) in the examination room, nor copy or attempt to copy from another students’ A student wishing to communicate with an examination supervisor shall raise their hand and shall communicate as quietly as possible.
5.8 No student may, in the examination room, smoke or consume food or drink (other than water from a non-spill container).
5.9 No student may continue writing an answer after the exam supervisor has announced the expiration of time. In no circumstances may any time over and above the time allotted to any paper be allowed to a student for reading over scripts or making any amendment or addition to scripts.
5.10 After an examination, no student shall communicate with an examiner in regard to an examination except through the Vice-Chancellor or delegate.
5.11 Where an examination supervisor or other competent authority has reasonable grounds to believe a student has allegedly breached any of the Assessment Regulations, or examination rules or instructions, or other dishonest practice or misconduct with respect to an examination, that student shall be liable to:
- be denied admission or re-admission to the examination room; and/or
- have any illicit material and/or devices confiscated by the exam supervisor for the duration of the examination; and
- have their partially-completed answer script confiscated and be given a fresh answer booklet; and/or;
- be required to move to a different desk; and/or
- be required, at the end of the examination, to accompany the exam supervisor to the office of the Vice-Chancellor or delegate; and
- be reported to the Vice-Chancellor or delegate.
5.0 Where an examination supervisor or competent authority has taken any of the actions in clause 5.11, the alleged offender shall be dealt with by the Student Discipline Committee.
6.0 APPLICATION FOR AEGROTAT PASS, COMPASSIONATE PASS OR SPECIAL EXAMINATION
6.1 Students who are prevented from sitting the final examination through no fault of their own, or consider that their performance in the final examination will be or was seriously impaired, may make application to the Head of the Academic Unit for consideration for the award of an Aegrotat Pass, Compassionate Pass, or to sit a special examination.
6.2 The application shall be made on the prescribed form, as soon as possible, and normally prior to the examination or no less than one week after the examination period. The application shall be supported by such evidence as the University requires.
6.3 Students registered in a courses that do not have an examination component and whose performance is impaired by injury or illness or circumstances beyond their control may seek special consideration from the Head of the Academic Unit.
6.4 Application for Aegrotat Pass
(a) Students prevented by illness or injury from presenting themselves at the final examination, or consider that their performance in the examination was seriously impaired by illness or injury, may apply for an Aegrotat Pass.
(b) An Aegrotat Pass shall be given with the approval of the relevant Assessment Board under the following conditions:
(i) that the student furnish the relevant Assessment Board with a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner along with the completed application form for Aegrotat pass stating:
the nature of the illness or injury in sufficient detail (and in a form suitable for submission in cases of doubt, to another medical referee);
the date that the medical practitioner examined the student; and
that in the medical practitioners opinion the student was unable, through illness or injury to present himself/herself for the examination(s); the students’ performance was seriously impaired by the illness/injury;
(ii) that the student achieve in the coursework a mark equivalent to a grade of at least a B; and
(iii) that the quality of any work that the student had completed in the affected examination, plus work in examinations be taken into account; and
(iv) the Chair of the Assessment Board has the right to seek a second medical opinion.
(c) In considering applications under these Regulations. it shall also be permissible to take into consideration the effect on the student’s performance during the semester/trimester of any illness or injury.
6.5 Application for Compassionate Pass
(a) Students who will be or were prevented from sitting the final examination by exceptional circumstances beyond their control and other than their own illness or injury, or who consider that their performance in the examination will be or was seriously impaired by the same circumstances may apply for a Compassionate Pass.
(b) A compassionate pass shall be given with the approval of the Assessment Board under the same conditions (with the necessary changes) as those in clauses 6.4 (b) (ii) and (iii).
(c) In considering applications for a Compassionate Pass, it shall be permissible to take into consideration the effect on the student’s performance during the semester/trimester of any exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the student.
6.6 Special Examination
(a) Approval may be granted by a relevant Assessment Board for a student to sit a special examination in the following cases:
(i) if the student applies to sit a special examination rather than be considered for the award of an Aegrotat or Compassionate Pass, subject to compliance with the same conditions as those in clauses 6.4 (b)
(ii), (iii), 6.5(b), 6.5(c); or
(ii) if the relevant Assessment Board, requires the student to sit such an examination notwithstanding the fact that the student may be eligible for the award of an Aegrotat Pass or Compassionate Pass.
(b) Where a special examination is approved for a student, the Course Coordinator shall set a new examination paper ensuring that the questions and problems in the new examination paper are different from but comparable to those used in the scheduled final examination.
(c) Where a student sits a special examination under the provision of clauses 6.6(a)(i) or 6.6(a)(ii), that student shall not be considered subsequently for an Aegrotat or Compassionate Pass in that course in that semester.
(d) Where a student sits a special examination under the provision of clause 6.5(a) (i) above, an examination fee shall be paid by the student before the examination is arranged.
(e) There shall be no examination fee if the student sits a special examination under the provision of clause 6.6(a) (ii) above.
(f) The final assessment of students sitting a special examination shall be based on both coursework and examination and shall be graded.
(g) If a student is permitted to sit a special examination, the relevant Head of the Academic Unit or nominee in consultation with the Student Administrative Services shall decide the time and place of the examination.
7.0 CONFIRMATION OF GRADES
7.1 Grading System
(a) The following grading system will be used by all Academic Units in awarding final grades for academic performance in a course:
(i) Pass grades GRADE
|A+||85+||Pass with Distinction|
|A||78-84||Pass with Distinction|
|B+||71-77||Pass with Credit|
|B||64-70||Pass with Credit|
(ii) Other Pass Grades
|CMPT||Competent (for competency based assessment)|
|NYC||Not yet competent|
|PAS||Pass or Competent|
|RPL||Recognition of prior learning|
|Note: PAS and S are used in circumstances where graded passes are inappropriate such as in postgraduate thesis and Professional Diploma in Legal Practice|
(iii) Fail Grades
|D||40-49||Work below the standard required for a pass. This grade will also be awarded for failure to meet course minimum requirement|
|E||0-39 (less than)||Very weak performance or failure to complete to the satisfaction of the examiner such practical, field or other work as may be prescribed|
|EX||Failed because student did not sit the final examination|
|NV||Null and Void: This is awarded for plagiarism or dishonest practice|
|Fail||Failure to achieve a pass in a thesis|
|Note: Fail and U correspond with Pass and S above respectively.|
(iv) Provisional Results
|SE||Special Exam Granted|
(b) Students shall be awarded an Aegrotat or Compassionate Pass if they satisfy the conditions prescribed in clauses 6.4 or 6.5 of these Regulations respectively.
(c) Students may be awarded a Restricted Pass if they satisfy the conditions prescribed in clause 8.
(d) Students who have been granted an extension of time (before the start of the following semester/trimester) past the last day of lectures to complete work required for the final assessment of their course shall be awarded:
the provisional grade of I (Incomplete) for an undergraduate or postgraduate course assessed by coursework; or
IP (In Progress) for a Supervised Research Project or thesis for a Masters degree or a thesis for a PhD degree. At the end of the period of extension the relevant Assessment Board shall determine a final grade.
(e) Students who have not submitted their Masters or PhD thesis or Supervised Research Project by the end of the maximum period of candidature prescribed in these Regulations shall be awarded the grade of NC (Not Completed).
7.2 Double Marking of Borderline Cases
The following procedures, which shall be completed before the relevant Assessment Board, shall be followed in the case of students who have failed a course by not more than 2% (borderline cases):
(a) The initial marker of the course shall review all borderline cases.
(b) If, as a result of the review by the initial marker, the student’s grade has not changed to a pass grade the Head of the Academic Unit or nominee shall appoint another lecturer (appointed reviewer) from within the same Academic Unit to review the case.
(c) If, as a result of the review by the appointed reviewer, the student’s grade has changed the appointed reviewer shall confer with the initial marker before the Head of the Academic Unit or nominee approves the change in the marks.
(d) In a case where the Head of the Academic Unit or nominee is the initial marker, the next most senior person in the Academic Unit shall approve the final mark.
(e) The Academic Units shall submit a report on all borderline cases to the relevant Assessment Board.
7.3 Academic Unit Assessment Meetings
There shall be, for each Academic Unit, an Assessment Meeting which the Head of the Academic Unit or nominee shall chair and which all Course Coordinators as appropriate shall attend. The Assessment Meeting or the Chair, shall, for all credit courses offered by that Academic Unit:
(a) consider for approval final results (coursework, cut-off points, distribution of grades, etc.) and the award of appropriate grades, including the reconsideration of course grades;
(b) consider for approval the award of Aegrotat and Compassionate Passes in accordance with clauses 6.4 and 6.5 (relating to cases where the coursework of a student is at least a ‘B’ grade);
(c) consider for approval applications for special examinations in accordance with clause 6.5
(e) make decisions about awarding of Aegrotat and Compassionate Passes, and for special examinations in accordance with clauses 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6 of these Regulations (relating to cases where students’ coursework grades are below B grade) to the relevant Assessment Board.
7.4 Notification of Results
Official notification of the grades as approved by the Assessment Board, shall be issued to each student by the Student Administrative Services.
8.0 RESTRICTED PASS FOR A GRADUATING STUDENT
8.1 A Restricted Pass for a failed course shall be awarded to a potentially graduating student who has passed in their final semester all but one of the courses required for the programme, provided that:
(a) the total marks for the failed course are within 5% of the pass mark; and
(b) the student has met the specified minimum standard of performance and participation (as mentioned in clause 1.3 (c) of these Regulations).
8.2 A Restricted Pass in a course shall not entitle a student to:
(a) register for any course for which that course is a prerequisite; or
(b) be awarded a credit transfer for that course.
8.3 A student granted a Restricted Pass may re-register for the same course under a different programme or Unclassified Studies) in an attempt to obtain a higher grade.
9.0 RECONSIDERATION OF COURSE GRADES
9.1 Students may have their grade for any course reconsidered, normally by a lecturer other than the original marker, or where this is not practicable, by the Head of the relevant Academic Unit.
9.2 Applications for Reconsideration of course grades on the prescribed form shall be sent to the Vice-Chancellor or delegate within four weeks of the date of official release of the particular course result in the case of on-campus courses and within eight weeks in the case of courses offered outside Laucala.
9.3 Applications for Reconsideration of course grades shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee. The fee for Reconsideration of a course grade shall be returned to the student if, as a result of the Reconsideration, the grade for the course is raised.
9.4 Reconsideration of a course grade shall include the following checks:
(a) that the total examination mark has been accurately transcribed within the weightings (% coursework vs % final examination) previously established by the examiner;
(b) that each examination question and part question was read by the marker and given an appropriate mark;
(c) remarking of each examination question and part question;
(d) that the coursework mark has been accurately transcribed within the weightings previously established by the examiner; and
(e) computation of the marks awarded for all coursework.
10.0 COMPLETION OF PROGRAMME AND GRADUATION
10.1 The Chair of the Academic Programmes Committee (APC) is responsible for overseeing the academic progress to graduation of students undertaking award programmes.
10.2 Students who wish to be considered for an upcoming graduation ceremony must fill the Completion of Programme form and submit it to Student Administrative Services or their Campus Administration Office by the dates stipulated by the University. In the case of thesis completion, exception to the stipulated deadline may be granted on a case by case basis by the Chair of the APC.
10.3 Completion of Programme forms will be assessed by Student Administrative Services against the programme requirements listed in the relevant Handbook and Calendar.
10.4 If a student is exempt from a course requirement including a substitution by another course, this Substitution/Exemption approval must be approved by the Head of Academic Unit and given to Student Administrative Services when the student enrols for that substituted course. This must be done during the course of their study.
10.5 Students will be informed of the status of their application via written (or email) communication from Student Administrative Services or their Campus Administration Office.
10.6 Prior to receiving approval to graduate, students must ensure that all fees and penal liabilities (financial, accommodation, disciplinary, etc.) are cleared.
10.7 Graduands will receive their certificate/ testamur and one free copy of their official transcript at their approved graduation ceremony. Those who graduate in absentia can collect their certificate and transcript within a week following the graduation ceremony. Otherwise the certificates will be mailed to them.
10.8 The certificate/ testamur will only be awarded once and is not normally reprinted if lost or damaged after it has been presented to the graduands.
11.0 RELIEF OF ACADEMIC HARDSHIP
11.1 Relief of Academic Hardship may be granted by the Chair of APC where a student has shown that:
(a) because of a documented misinterpretation of a Regulation relating to programme requirements by a University staff authorised under the Academic Advice Framework, the courses they had completed were not in accordance with the relevant programme requirements, and hardship would be caused if the student were compelled to comply with the full requirements of the Regulations; or
(b) because of a documented error on the part of the University (such as loss of an examination script or assignment. the receipt of which had been recorded by an employee or agent of the university) a student’s marks did not accurately reflect their total academic performance causing hardship.
11.2 The decisions in all cases considered under these Regulations, regardless of whether relief was granted or declined, shall be reported to APC.