Continuous assessment faq

Year 1: How does the Assessed Problem Sheets system work?

There are two different types of assessed problem sheets: multiple choice questions that you answer on Blackboard, and long assessed problems that you hand in written answers for and are marked by the teaching assistants in your tutorials.

In coming up with these assessment methods the teaching committee has had to ask itself ‘what assessment is good assessment?’ In particular we have to be sure that the assessment is useful to you, and, in some ways, not worth so many marks that you are always under pressure from it. What we have come up with is hopefully a good compromise.

The coursework part of your lectures is worth ~15% of your marks in the first year. We have decided that this coursework will only be made up of your long assessed problem sheets. The multiple choice questions will not contribute to your degree, but are designed to provide a way for you to check your own progress on a course, providing fast feedback on your own progress.

So the point is, always try to do the multiple choice sheet. Answer the ones you can do as best as you can, they are for your benefit to make sure you are making good progress on the lecture courses. Of course if you continually just answer a,a,a,a,a and don’t bother trying your tutor will notice.

Year 1: What is the Christmas Test?

The test will take place on the last day of term 1. It is compulsory, and you have to take it.

The test is primarily to give you all 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 in 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.

Year 1: What if I can't meet the deadline?

You can find the rules for late submission on the College's policy document.  If you are ill or have a very good reason that delays you being able to hand in your work. Here is a guide on what you must do in these cases:  

1)   If you are delayed handing in an assessed problem sheet through no fault of your own – for instance the entire rail network is down / volcanic ash closes airports / you are training with the Olympic team (all used in the past)  – then you must email Simon Bland STRAIGHT AWAY. If the reason is judged to be valid, he may be able to grant a small extension of a few hours to enable you to hand in the work. Note, over sleeping does not count, neither does simply missing a train or bus (you should always count on the London transport conspiring against you). 

2)   If you are ill, with flu or a cold etc, and will not be able to hand in a piece of coursework then you must fill in a minor mitigating circumstances form. If you are ill for <5 days, you can self-certify. Any longer and you will need a doctors cert

3)   If you are more seriously ill/going to be away for a longer time due to exceptional circumstance you must fill in a major mitigating circumstances form (similarly this must be filled in if you are missing an exam).
Again this must be handed into the Senior Tutor. The Senior Tutor will also want to discuss this with you.

Year 2: Continuous Assessment

All core lecture courses in the second year have an exam paper that counts for approximately 85% of the course grade. The remaining 15% comes from continuous assessment.

There are two types of continuous assessment. Multiple choice questions (MCQs) are answered on Blackboard and are compulsory but do not add towards the grade. However, as with the first year, failure to complete the questions leads to a 10% deduction from that lecture course’s other coursework mark. Long handwritten questions are submitted to a deadline and marked by teaching assistants to be returned with detailed feedback and a grade. These are also compulsory and add towards the lecture course grade.

The first term is busiest. In week 1 there is one handwritten question, then from weeks 2 – 8 there are 2 MCQs and 1 handwritten question per week. There are no assessed questions in week 9 to allow time to complete the essay.

Terms 2 and 3 are less busy with either 1 handwritten plus 1 MCQ or 2 MCQs per week.  

There is no Christmas or New Year Test in year 2.