Assessment registration

DACR Assessment 1 (online)

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.

Assessment dates for academic year 2021/22

Please note that registration closes 48 hours before the assessment. Students who need to register after registration has closed, please contact english@imperial.ac.uk as soon as possible.

DACR Assessment 2 (online)

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

Assessment dates for academic year 2021/22

Please note that registration closes 48 hours before the assessment. Students who need to register after registration has closed, please contact english@imperial.ac.uk as soon as possible.

Assessment descriptions

DACR A1 description

Please watch this video about DACR A1

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 written assessment of a student's ability to communicate scientific or technical information as a doctoral candidate. It consists of two pieces of technical writing and some additional short language tasks. It takes 2.5 hours maximum to complete the assessment.
 
DACR A1 is used to assess competences such as text organisation, sentence structure, grammatical accuracy and academic vocabulary. Note that we are assessing a student's academic communication competence, not their scientific knowledge. Students will not be assessed on the scientific accuracy of what they write.

DACR A2 description

Please watch this video about DACR A2

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 written assessment of a student's ability to communicate scientific or technical information as a doctoral candidate. It is similar to DACR A1 in that it consists of two pieces of technical writing and some additional short language tasks. In the extended piece of writing, students are required to write a slightly longer and more complex technical text closely related to their field of research. It takes 3.5 hours maximum to complete the assessment.

DACR A2 is used to assess competences such as text organisation, sentence structure, grammatical accuracy and academic vocabulary. Note that we are assessing a student's academic communication competence, not their scientific knowledge. Students will not be assessed on the scientific accuracy of what they write.

Assessment results

DACR A1 results

Please note that in cases where plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) is detected, we are unable to assess that student's competence and cannot place them in a writing course. In addition, we cannot then assess progress via DACR A2 as part of the Early Stage Assessment (ESA). In such cases we refer decisions regarding fulfilling the Requirement to the department.

  • 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. 

DACR A2 results

Please note that in cases where plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) is detected, we are unable to assess that student's competence. This will be reported to the student's department. 

  • 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 programme.

  • 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 programme.   

  • 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.