Assessed Problems and Christmas Test
Assessed problem sheets
Most weeks of term each lecture course will give you a problem sheet including an assessed question. Some weeks this assessment takes the form of multiple choice questions, other times will be a long question needing a written answer.
The long assessed questions are in the style of exam questions and are quite involved. If you know the course material they will typically take 30 mins – 60 mins each to answer and will be marked by a group of highly-experienced PhD students and young researchers. In addition to marking each question you will usually receive feedback on how to improve your answers for next time. In all these questions contribute ~15% to the marks of each course.
The multiple choice questions are assessed online and are primarily used to help you check your own progress on each course. They do not contribute to your final degree mark but you must submit a set of answers before the deadline or there will be a small penalty applied to your other marks.
On the last day of the first term there is a Christmas test. The test will consist of a long question from each of the courses and will be 2 hours long.
The test is primarily used to give you all an experience of working in exam conditions here at Imperial College and to show the standard we expect you to be able to achieve in exams. The test will actually be marked by yourselves in tutorials during the first week of term 2 – and proves to be a good exercise is finding weaknesses in both knowledge and exam technique. Whilst the test does not count towards your final degree marks, it is still important to revise and do your best as it may be used if we need to decide whether or not you can go onto take particular course options later in the year.
Feedback on Assessed Work
All assessed work, whether or not it counts towards the final degree classification, not only tells the student and the department how well they are doing, but also provides information on how the student’s work could be improved. This is referred to as feedback.
Feedback comes in several forms, not just as a mark. In Laboratories, Computing and Tutorial Classes you will be told not only what mark you have achieved but also how you could have improved on that mark. Sometimes students do not fully understand what is expected of them on a particular piece of work. Feedback on earlier work, such as lab experiments, should help to clarify this for later work.
In order to make sure this information is available to you before you have to submit later work on the same course, the College best practice is that that such feedback should be provided within two weeks of the work being submitted.
Sometimes, for example with the Christmas test, the lecturer may give general information to the whole class on what aspects were done well and which badly. In the case of the end of year exams this general feedback is provided through Blackboard.
If you are not satisfied with the assessment of your work, or the feedback received, you should first ask the person who marked the work for clarification. If you are still not satisfied, the person in charge of the exercise, such as the head of the laboratory, etc. should be consulted.
Tutors are another very important source of feedback. If there is anything about the assessment of your work which you don’t understand or on which you need clarification, they may well be able to clarify the issues.