Assessment registration

DACR Assessment 1

Students must take the first available DACR A1 after fully registering onto their doctoral programme, within 3 months of the registration date. This is because the aim of the Requirement is to identify as soon as possible those who need to improve their writing competence, and to ensure they can access support in the first 9 months of their doctoral programme.

To book a place, please select the first available DACR A1 date and complete the registration form:

DACR A1 - Wednesday, 18th March 2020 (14:00 - 16:30)

DACR Assessment 2

DACR A2 is to be taken by students who scored level 1 or 2 on DACR A1, and have normally completed both Academic Writing 1 and Academic Writing 2. It is part of the Early Stage Assessment (ESA) carried out by your department, which is usually nine months into the doctoral programme. Please note that the latest a student can take DACR A2 is 3 months after their ESA.

To book a place, please select a suitable DACR A2 date and complete the registration form:

DACR A2 - Tuesday 17 March (13:30-17:00)

Assessment descriptions

Stage 1 - DACR Assessment 1

DACR A1 is not a pass or fail test. Rather, it is a diagnostic assessment to identify any gap between a student’s entry level academic writing competence and the level they will need to reach in order to complete their doctoral programme. No preparation or revision is therefore required.

DACR A1 is a 2-hour written assessment of a student’s ability to communicate science as a doctoral candidate. It evaluates text organisation, sentence structure, grammar and academic vocabulary. Students write a definition of a scientific term and a technical text, and complete additional short language tasks.

  • LEVEL 1: This indicates that there are significant problems with academic writing that need to be addressed within the first 9 months of the doctoral programme. We strongly recommend that the student attends the Preparation for Academic Writing course, followed by Academic Writing 1 and then Academic Writing 2. Their progress will be checked in DACR Assessment 2 around the time of the Early Stage Assessment (ESA).  

  • LEVEL 2: This indicates that there is a need to develop competence in academic writing within the first 9 months of the doctoral programme. We strongly recommend that the student attends the Academic Writing 1 course followed by Academic Writing 2. Their progress will be checked in DACR Assessment 2 around the time of the Early Stage Assessment (ESA).  

  • LEVEL 3: This indicates that the student would benefit from further language and writing development during the first 9 months of the doctoral programme. We recommend that they attend the Academic Writing 1&2 (condensed) course. The student will not be assessed again. 

  • LEVEL 4: This indicates that the student has a high level of competence in academic writing. We suggest that they attend our high-level writing courses Advanced Academic Writing and/or Writing a Research Paper. The student will not be assessed again. 

Stage 2 - DACR Assessment 2

DACR A2 is not a pass or fail test. Rather, it is a progress check that mimics the structure of DACR A1 and so does not require preparation or revision.

DACR A2 is a 3-hour written assessment of a student’s ability to communicate science as a doctoral candidate. In addition to the definition of a scientific term and short language tasks, students are required to write a slightly longer and more complex technical text closely related to their field of research.

  • LEVEL 1: This indicates that there are still significant problems with academic writing and the student is not yet able to communicate appropriately. Students can request a feedback session with a CfAE tutor. We strongly recommend that level 1 students attend the Improving Academic Writing course.

  • LEVEL 2: This indicates that there is still a need to develop competence in academic writing and the student is not yet able to communicate complex information accurately and unambiguously. Students can request a feedback session with a CfAE tutor. We recommend that level 2 students attend the Improving Academic Writing course.   

  • LEVEL 3: This indicates that the student can communicate reasonably well but is not always able to control and organise complex information. We recommend that level 3 students who want further language and writing development attend the Advanced Academic Writing course.

  • LEVEL 4: This indicates that the student has a high level of competence in academic writing and can communicate, control and organise complex information. Level 4 students would benefit from taking the Advanced Academic Writing or Writing a Research Paper course.