Assessment & Associated Regulations
1.0 COURSEWORK AND EXAMINATION
1.1 Allocation of Marks between Coursework and Final Examination
(a) The award of a final grade shall reflect performance across the entire assessment portfolio.
(b) The assessment portfolio may comprise 100% continuous assessment, or a combination of continuous assessment and final examination, as approved by Senate.
(c) For examinable courses, the continuous assessment and final examination shall each constitute not less than 40% and not more than 60% of the total allocation of marks across the assessment portfolio.
1.2 Deadline for the Submission of Student Coursework
(a) All continuous assessment should be submitted no later than the due date stated in the Course Outline. Penalties may be applied for late submission at the discretion of the Course Coordinator.
(b) All continuous assessment must be submitted through Moodle, using Turn-it-in, except where clearly stated otherwise in the Course Outline.
(c) Requests for extension should be made ahead of the due date, including supporting evidence (e.g. medical certificate). Extensions may be awarded at the discretion of the Course Coordinator.
(d) If a student wishes to appeal the Course Coordinator’s decision regarding extensions, they may do so by following the Student Grievance Policy and Procedures.
1.3 Minimum Requirement for Courses
(a) Minimum required participation and/or pass marks may be specified for continuous assessment, final examination, or any other substantial assessment activity (e.g. laboratories, field trips, etc.). Any such requirement must be approved by the Academic Programmes Committee, and must be stated explicitly in the Course Outline, available from the start of the semester.
(b) Students who fail to attain the specified minimum requirement in clause 1.3(a) shall be
awarded a fail grade as prescribed in clause 7.1. This fail grade will hold even if the student otherwise meets the pass mark for the course.
(c) 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.
(d) Tutorial and Laboratory Attendance
(i) Science Laboratory Attendance
Where science laboratory classes are a compulsory component of a course, students who fail to attend at least 75% of said classes shall be awarded a fail grade even if they otherwise meet the pass mark for the course, as per clauses 1.3(a-c).
(ii) Tutorial and Computer Laboratory Attendance
Where tutorials or computer laboratory classes are a compulsory component of a course (in any mode of delivery), students who fail to attend at least 60% of said classes shall be awarded a fail grade even if they otherwise meet the pass mark for the course, as per clauses 1.3(a-c). Additional tutorials prescribed for at-risk students may be counted as compulsory components of the course, and subject to the same attendance requirements.
(e) Students with valid extenuating circumstances for non-compliance with clause 1.3(a) or 1.3(d) may apply to the Head of Academic Unit or nominee for exemption from these Regulations, providing relevant supporting evidence.
 Refer to the definition in the Glossary section of the Handbook and Calendar
1.4 Publication of Coursework Marks
(a) The Course Coordinator shall publish assessment marks via Moodle Marksheet within three weeks of the submission deadline, or, in the case of an approved late submission, within three weeks of submission.
(b) For examinable courses, the total and itemised continuous assessment marks shall be published on Moodle Marksheet before the beginning of the examination week.
(c) For courses with 100% continuous assessment, final assessment marks shall be published via Moodle Marksheet within three weeks of the submission deadline, or by the end of the assessment period, whichever is sooner.
(d) If a student has not received marks or feedback for their assignment within three weeks of the submission deadline, they should in the first instance enquire with the Course Coordinator. If the Course Coordinator does not provide a satisfactory response, students may follow the Student Grievance Policy and Procedures.
(a) Tests constitute part of the formative assessment portfolio. Test topics and provisional dates shall be included in the assessment portfolio, and published in the Course Outline, by the start of each semester.
(b) Mid-Semester Tests shall be conducted before the Mid-Semester Break.
(c) Mid-Semester Tests for a given course shall as a rule be conducted within the timetabled lecture and/or tutorial slots for that course.
2.0 ORGANISATION OF EXAMINATIONS
2.1 Examinations may be written (open or closed book), oral, or practical, as determined by the examiners, with the approval of Senate. All examination papers shall be moderated in accordance with clause 3.
2.2 Examinations shall be conducted at the places and times specified in the examination timetables published by the authority of Senate. No examinations shall be held on religious public holidays.
2.3 Examinations shall be conducted in the presence of a duly appointed supervisor.
2.4 An examination script shall be marked by the examiner(s) or approved delegate.
2.5 All examination scripts shall be stored securely by the examiners for a period of nine months, after which they shall be disposed of in accordance with the Records and Management Policy
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
(a) The Head of Academic Unit or delegated committee will moderate the paper and processes to ensure that the questions are fair, are at an appropriate level, and are aligned to the Senate-approved Course Learning Outcomes.
(b) During the moderation process, Course Coordinators are expected to produce the following:
(i) The proposed examination paper;
(ii) The Course Outline for the relevant course, demonstrating the alignment of the examination paper to the Senate-approved Course Learning Outcomes;
(iii) Detailed solutions or bullet-point model answers to the proposed questions; and
(v) A detailed marking scheme or rubric.
3.2 After Examination
(a) For each examined course the Discipline shall collectively:
(i) Review marked sample papers from the mean, high and low marks against the marking scheme to verify the fairness and accuracy of marking;
(ii) Identify questions that were generally poorly answered, discuss possible reasons for these trends, and consider how they may be redressed in future course offerings;
(iii) Discuss possible reasons for high or low pass rates, and consider how these may be reinforced or redressed in future course offerings;
(iv) Consider all borderline cases in adherence to clause 7.2 of these Regulations.
(b) For each examined course the Discipline shall submit a brief report of the review described in clause 3.2(a) to the Board of Assessment, as per clause 7.3 of these Regulations.
4.0 EXAMINATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
4.1 Students who have disclosed their temporary or permanent Disability with the Disability Resource Centre:
(a) Shall sit their examinations in rooms in a distraction-reduced environment separate from other students.
(b) Shall be allowed the necessary provisions, as approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President or delegate. These may include but are not limited to:
(i) up to 30 minutes of additional time for every hour of examination;
(ii) provision of assistants, readers, scribes, or sign language interpreters;
(iii) provision of assistive technologies, such as computers and screen-reading technology;
(iv) provision of alternative formats, such as large print or braille.
4.2 The examination supervisor approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President or delegate to supervise the examination of Students with Disabilities shall ensure that all examination requirements outlined in these Regulations are strictly followed.
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 provided by an examination supervisor.
5.2 No student shall hold or access in an examination venue any written or printed material, any electronic or computing device capable of storing or accessing digital material, or any device that is capable of transmitting, storing or receiving messages, except:
(a) where the written or printed matter has been expressly authorised by the examiner of the course;
(b) where the use of an 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 they have remained under approved supervision for the full duration of their absence.
5.5 Students may not read their examination papers nor 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 another form of approved identification on their examination desks for the duration of the examination.
5.7 No student shall communicate with any other person (apart from an examination supervisor) in the examination room, nor copy nor attempt to copy from another students’ answers. 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 beyond the time allotted for any examination 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 and President or delegate.
5.11 Where an examination supervisor or other competent authority has reasonable grounds to believe a student has breached or attempted to breach any of the Assessment Regulations, or examination rules or instructions, or has committed any other dishonest practice or misconduct with respect to an examination, that student shall be liable to:
(a) be denied admission or re-admission to the examination room; and/or
(b) have any illicit material and/or devices confiscated by the exam supervisor for the duration of the examination; and
(c) have their partially completed answer script confiscated and be given a fresh answer booklet; and/or;
(d) be required to move to a different desk; and/or
(e) be required, at the end of the examination, to accompany the exam supervisor to the office of the Vice-Chancellor and President or delegate; and
(f) be reported to the Vice-Chancellor and President or delegate.
5.12 Where an examination supervisor or competent authority has taken any of the actions in clause 5.11, the alleged offender shall be referred to 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 for reasons beyond their control, may make application for the award of an Aegrotat Pass, Compassionate Pass, or to sit a Special Examination.
6.2 The application shall be made to Student Academic Services using the prescribed form, as soon as possible, and normally prior to the examination or no more than one week after the end of the examination period. The application must 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 in the same way as described in clause 6.2, using the prescribed form.
6.4 Application for Aegrotat Pass
(a) Students prevented by illness or injury from presenting themselves at the final examination, or who consider that their performance in the examination was seriously impaired by illness or injury, may apply for an Aegrotat Pass.
(b) An Aegrotat Pass may be given with the approval of the relevant Board of Assessment 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 practitioner’s opinion the student was unable, through illness or injury
to present himself/herself for the examination(s); or that the student’s performance was seriously impaired by the illness/injury;
(ii) that the student achieve in the continuous assessment a mark equivalent to a grade of at least a B; and
(iii) that the quality of any work completed by the student in the affected examination be taken into account; and
(iv) that the Chair of the Board of Assessment has the right to seek a second medical opinion.
(c) In receiving applications under these Regulations, the Board of Assessment may also take into consideration any 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 may be given with the approval of the Board of Assessment under the same conditions (with the necessary changes) as stated in clauses 6.4 (b) (ii) and (iii).
(c) In considering applications for a Compassionate Pass, the Board of Assessment may also take into consideration any 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 Board of Assessment 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)(iii), 6.5(b), 6.5(c). In this case, the student must have achieved a continuous assessment mark of at least 50%, in addition to any other minimum participation or pass mark as described in clauses 1.3(a) and 1.3(d);
(ii) if the relevant Board of Assessment 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 distinct 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), 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).
(f) The final grade for students sitting a Special Examination shall reflect both continuous assessment and examination, as per 1.1(a).
(g) If a student is permitted to sit a Special Examination, the relevant Head of the Academic Unit or nominee in consultation with 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
|Pass with Distinction
|Pass with Distinction
|Pass with Credit
|Pass with Credit
(ii) Other Pass Grades
|Competent (for competency based assessment)
|Not yet competent
|Pass or Competent
|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
|Work below the standard required for a pass. This grade will also be awarded for failure to meet course minimum requirement
|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
|Failed because student did not sit the final examination
|Null and Void: This is awarded for plagiarism or dishonest practice
|Failure to achieve a pass in a thesis
|Note: Fail and U correspond with Pass and S above respectively.
(iv) Provisional Results
|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 Board of Assessment shall, for all credit courses offered by that Academic Unit::
(a) consider for approval final results (reviewing continuous assessment, 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 Pass in accordance with clauses 6.4 and 6.5 (relating to cases where the continuous assessment of a student is at least a B-grade);
(c) consider for approval applications for Special Examination in accordance with clause 6.6.
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 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 if they wish to 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 and President or delegate within four weeks of the date of official release of the particular course result..
9.3 Applications for Reconsideration of Course Grades shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee. The fee for Reconsideration of Course Grades 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 (% continuous assessment vs % final examination) previously established by the examiner;
(b) that each examination question and part of question was assessed by the marker and given an appropriate mark;
(c) remarking of each examination question and part of question;
(d) that the continuous assessment mark has been accurately transcribed within the weightings previously established by the examiner; and
(e) computation of the marks awarded for all continuous assessment.
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 through the substitution of another course, this Substitution/Exemption 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, and will not be considered retroactively.
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 graduand.
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) the 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.