Assessments are designed to engage students in the learning process. They also measure achievement, accredit learning and provide evidence that your work satisfies the necessary measures of quality.

It's important that you understand the way you are assessed as it can shape your learning experience and strongly influence what and how you learn. The type of assessment – completing a quiz, writing an essay or a report, or engaging in a simulation or role play – will influence your focus, and as result, what you learn.

The Macquarie University assessment policy outlines how assessment serves a variety of purposes and the diverse forms of assessment used throughout the University, which can vary across the academic disciplines.

Stages in the process

Assessment (formative)

Monitors your progress and provides you with feedback. The goal is to map and monitor your learning progress.

Assessment (summative)

Determines a final mark or grade.

Key assessment terms

  • Examination script: Your attempt at an examination paper.
  • Final examination: An examination held within a specified period and administered by the Registrar’s office.
  • Hurdle requirement: An assessment task that requires a minimum level of performance to pass a unit.
  • Invigilation: Direct supervision of an assessment task to prevent cheating.
  • Program of study: The minimum sequence of study to qualify for an award.
  • Rubric: An outline of assessment criteria.
  • Serious attempt: When you've tried to address the set task but failed to reach the required standard. If a serious attempt has been made at a hurdle requirement, you will generally be given one more chance to meet that requirement.
  • Take-home examination: An exam paper attempted away from the University over a set period.

Assessment grades

Assessments are returned with a grade derived from a mark out of 100. Below are the common grade ranges.




HD – High Distinction



D – Distinction



Cr – Credit



P – Pass



F – Fail



There is also a range of final grades that do not receive a numerical grade.

Academic honesty

Students are expected to abide by the University’s academic integrity policy.

Text-based work submitted by students for assessment will be subject to plagiarism detection software, such as Turnitin or another similar approved software.

Plagiarism detection methods are used on a routine basis to check student work or when plagiarism is suspected.

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