Higher Education Assessment
Student Rules: Higher Education Assessment
Assessment is a broad term that covers both assignments and examinations.
The term assignment refers to a coursework assessment such as an essay, report or practice session which has a due date and word limit and which the student completes under non-supervised conditions. The assignment is marked and returned to the student with feedback.
The term examination refers to any component that requires students to complete an assessment under supervised conditions within a time-limited period. Examinations will typically be held at the end of the term, may include multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and essay type questions, and may be open book.
The following contains important information on higher education assessment at ACAP. Use the links to navigate to the relevant section or scroll down to view the entire document:
- Assessment Responsibilities and Obligations
- Assessment Rules
- Assessment Appeals
- The Grading System
- ACAP Higher Education Grading Categories
- Table of Grading Categories
Assessment responsibilities and obligations
The Academic Board of the college assigns responsibility for coordinating assessment duties to the colleges’ academic staff who are responsible for monitoring the practice of assessment in units and courses to ensure that fair, effective and consistent assessment practices are in place.
The responsibility for conducting assessments lies with the unit academic teachers, who are committed to using good assessment practices, and to maintaining and acquiring knowledge and expertise concerning assessment and the role of feedback in student learning.
Academic staff ensure that assessment for a unit is consistent with the aims, objectives and content of that unit.
The responsibilities of academic teachers include:
- providing constructive and timely feedback on work presented by students
- adhering to the assignment plans, including the documented assignment-submission-deadline policy of the unit
- informing students of the relationship of assessments to a unit’s aims and objectives
- informing students of the expectations of assessment, including any formal criteria and standards against which student’s performance is to be evaluated, length (words/duration), weighting and submission dates for all assessments
- reporting on the student’s progress and achievement in an honest, clear and objective manner which is based only on relevant data
The responsibilities and obligations of students include:
- being aware of the specific requirements to pass a unit, including attendance, submission of work, assessment and progress policies, and the rules of progression and requirements for an award
- being aware of mechanisms within the college for seeking assistance and advice, in particular in relation to problems in meeting assignment deadlines, absence or withdrawal from a unit and special consideration due to illness or other misadventure
- behaving in a manner that does not result in either academic disadvantage to any student or unfair advantage to any student
- acting with integrity and not engaging in academic misconduct of any kind
- ensuring that full acknowledgement is given to the use of another person’s work, thoughts and/or intellectual property, and not engaging in plagiarism
- being aware of the procedures for appeal against academic decisions
Passing a unit
To pass a unit:
1. the student’s aggregate mark must equal or exceed 50%; and
Unless otherwise stated, students are not required to pass all assessments in order to receive an overall pass result for the unit, as long as their total mark is equal to or greater than 50% and all assessments have been submitted.
2. all compulsory requirements of the unit as specified in the unit manual or plan must be passed; and
For the unit Counselling Skills 2 in which there is a skills based assessment (practice session) and central to the learning outcomes of the unit, it is a requirement that the student passes the skills assessment. If the assessment also requires a critique then both the skills assessment and critique need to be passed to pass the unit Counselling Skills 2. Skills assessments and requirements will be identified in the unit manuals or unit plans and will be communicated to students by the educator. Please note that both the skills-based units and assessments may change from time to time.
3. all assessments for that unit must be submitted and any examination for that unit must be attempted; and
It is a requirement that all assessments for a unit must be submitted in order to pass the unit. This rule applies regardless of whether a student has received marks of 50% or more without submitting one or more assessments.
4. attendance requirements must be met.
Ungraded pass and ungraded fail
Some units at the college may have ungraded results, that is, ungraded pass or ungraded fail. To be awarded a result of ungraded pass students must:
- complete all assessments for that unit; and,
- pass all compulsory components of the unit as specified in the unit manual or unit plan; and
- pass all assessment components to pass the unit where specified as a requirement in the unit manual or unit plan; and
- meet the specified attendance requirements for the unit.
Completing the assignment
Assignments may take a variety of forms as outlined on the Student Learning Website academic guides. Refer to the information on the different types of assignment genres and what is required in terms of general formatting for all assessments. This site contains information on academic writing skills and will assist students to learn about referencing. Referencing guidelines can be found on the ACAP Library Website.
Students are expected to conduct themselves in an honest and ethical manner at all times and be aware of the official ACAP Academic Misconduct Policy. Students must always acknowledge the source of the ideas and material used in assessments using the referencing guidelines found on the ACAP Library Website.
All work used in the preparation of assessments must be acknowledged according to the official discipline referencing guide. ACAP has mainly adopted the use of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual (6th edition) [APA] style. The discipline of Criminology uses the Harvard Referencing System.
Submission of assignments
The college acknowledges the family, work and community commitments and responsibilities of students, however, all students are expected to submit their assignments by the due date and plan their time to ensure this occurs.
The timely submission of assignments or the appropriate negotiation of an extension is the responsibility of the student.
- All students are required to submit their written assignments online by the due date. The due date is midnight Sunday at the end of the week specified by the unit assignment requirements. All written assignments must be uploaded onto the online grade book in my.acap. All written assessments must be submitted in Microsoft Word format. PDF format will not be accepted.
- Audio-visual assignments (e.g. practice sessions) can be submitted online or in hard copy on DVD. Online submission is preferred.
Audio-visual assignments can be uploaded into the online grade book in the online class space no later than midnight Sunday at the end of the week specified by the unit assignment requirements.
Submissions on DVD must be received by 5pm on the Friday of the week specified:
a) for on-campus students at the respective campus
b) for online students by the Online Assistant at the address:
Online Assistant, ACAP, Locked Bag 11, Strawberry Hills, NSW, 2012.
Students are required to retain a copy of all parts of their submitted assignments, including written and recorded materials, until graduation and to produce these if requested by the college.
Turnitin is a system which compares a text, such as an assignment, with a range of sources including the internet, electronic journals, books, databases, literature, works of art, bibliographies and any student assignments which have been submitted previously through Turnitin.
At ACAP all written assignments must be submitted through Turnitin. This is an automated process. Draft assignments are able to be checked through Turnitin and are able to be reviewed and reworked by the student prior to final submission. In this way the submission through Turnitin is envisaged as a formative and educative process.
When an assignment is submitted through Turnitin the system will colour code the sections which appear in other sources and will produce a similarity score expressed as a percentage. The similarity score indicates how much of the assignment is found in other sources. For assignments at the college, the amount of directly quoted material should be no more than 10% as a general rule. Students should submit their work through Turnitin before the due date and allow sufficient time for revision if required. It is important to note that Turnitin only compares the assignment to other sources it does not check whether correct referencing has been used. Correct referencing is the responsibility of the student and is assessed by the educator.
Client/Interviewee Consent Form
To protect the privacy of individuals who consent to participate in recorded client sessions, role-plays or interviews that involve the disclosure of private information, the college requires students to seek the informed consent of the client and/or interviewee. Students are required to engage persons 18 years of age or over for the purposes of recorded sessions, role-plays and interviews unless otherwise stated in the assignment requirements.
Where it is a requirement of the assignment to engage a person under the age of 18, it is mandatory that parental consent be sought and obtained prior to the practice session or interview taking place in addition to the consent of the person if they are of an age whereby they can make an informed decision regarding their involvement (12 years and older). Please note that if there is a need to engage a person under the age of 18 that this person cannot be a family member of the student.
Client/Interviewee Consent Form can be found on the ACAP website.
Upon completion of the program of study at the college, the student must ensure that the recorded role-play or interview is erased or destroyed.
Please refer to the Assessment Policy and Procedure on the policies page of the website.
A late assignment is one that was not submitted by the original due date and for which the student has not been granted an extension.
Late assignments will only be accepted for marking within ten (10) calendar days of the original due date.
Late assignments will receive an academic penalty of five (5) percent per day late. For example, if a student receives 67% but was 2 days late in submitting the assignment the final mark is calculated as 67 – 10 (i.e. 2 days x 5%) = 57%.
Requesting an extension of time for an assignment
Students are notified of assessment details well in advance of due dates. All students are expected to submit their assessments by the due date. In rare circumstances a student may be granted an extension of time for the submission of an assessment.
The timely submission of assessment or the appropriate negotiation of an extension is the responsibility of the student. As students are notified of assessment details well in advance of due dates, extensions will not be granted without demonstrated serious cause.
ALL EXTENSION REQUESTS are made using the official ASSESSMENT EXTENSION REQUEST FORM
The assessment policy applies to all current students of the College.
Extensions will only be granted in extenuating circumstances and will only be considered on medical, compassionate or other serious grounds. The request must be accompanied by supporting documentation. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure all relevant supporting documentation is forwarded with the extension application. Submitting a request for an extension does not automatically mean that the extension will be granted.
Types of Extensions Available and How to Apply
Extension requests are made directly to the Academic Administration Team via the online form.
The unit/subject teacher will be informed via email if the extension is granted. No requests for extension should go to the teacher directly.
Extensions will normally only be granted if the request is made 48 hours prior to the assessment due date.
The College must be satisfied that unforeseen special circumstances apply and will not give extensions on other grounds, such as, poor time management or over commitment in terms of workload.
Students can apply for:
- Seven calendar days extension from the original due date
- An additional seven calendar days extension from the re-negotiated due date, if special circumstances apply
Required Supporting Information
Supporting information will depend upon your circumstances, but may include medical certificates, reports from a treating practitioner, or a police report.
If you are requesting an extension due to religious obligations you should provide a letter from your religious leader who is an authorized leader or your local faith or spiritual community, which includes:
- Your name and student number
- Details of the religious event, including name, dates and times
- How this impacts on your studies
- Specific assessments impacted, including unit code and name, assessment number and name, and the due date
- Details of your religious leader, including name, title, location, signature and contact detail
Limitations of Extensions
- The maximum extension granted is 14 calendar days
- No extensions can be granted beyond the end of a trimester; this may mean that the maximum extension may not be available to all students in all assessments tasks.
- Extension requests can be made up to 48 hours before the assessment due date
- No extensions are available for resubmitted assessment tasks for which a grade of RR (Resubmission Required)* has been awarded* Applicable to ACAP VET only.
Notifications of Extensions
Students, and their teacher, will be notified of the outcome of their application by email as well as a note in the online gradebook. Students who have not received a response within this time frame should email [email protected] to follow up on their application.
Unsuccessful Extension Applications
If the application for an extension is unsuccessful the Assessment Late Submission Guidelines in Attachment 3 allows a student to submit their assessment for marking up to 10 calendar days after the original due date; however, an academic penalty of 5% per day will apply.
A student may appeal a decision to refuse an extension by following the College’s Grievances, Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure.
|Extension Requests (1-2 weeks)||Late Assignments|
|Person responsible||Academic Administrator||Unit educator|
|Timeframes||Extensions of up to 1 week||Maximum 10 calendar days from the original due date|
|Consequence for student||No grading penalty if submitted by the agreed date||Academic penalty of 5% per day late|
Examinations are held under supervised, timed and controlled conditions.
Students must sit for the examination at the scheduled time and place as prescribed by the Registrar unless special circumstances apply.
Conduct at examinations
Students must bring their current student identification card into the examination room and keep it displayed at all times.
Students must comply with all directions given by the examination invigilator and all instructions outlined in the examination material or displayed in the examination room.
When requested, students must permit examination invigilators to inspect any material taken into or out of an examination room.
A student’s behaviour must not disturb, distract or adversely affect any other student.
Students are not permitted to remove any examination material from the examination room at any point in time. All examination papers and materials must be left on the table or handed to an examination invigilator before leaving the examination room.
Requirements for entering or leaving
Students are not permitted to enter or leave an examination room unless instructed by, or with the permission of, an examination invigilator. Students are not permitted to leave an examination room for any reason other than an emergency:
- In the first 30 minutes of the examination working time
- In the last 10 minutes of working time so as to minimise disruption to other students
Students who arrive late but before 30 minutes of working time have elapsed will be permitted to undertake the examination. However, no additional working time will be allowed.
Students who arrive after 30 minutes of working time have elapsed will not be permitted to enter the examination room.
Conduct during the examination
Upon entry to an examination room, a student will not communicate by word or otherwise with any other person except the examination invigilator or examiner.
Material allowed to be in the possession of the student
Students are not allowed to have mobile phones or other electronic devices including smartwatches in their possession during the examination. All mobile phones must be turned off prior to entering the examination room and may be left at the front of the examination room with the invigilator.
Students are permitted to take into the examination room:
- Writing instruments needed to complete the examination such as pens and pencils, ruler and white out.
- Water in a clear container
- Any other materials approved for the examination that has been specified in writing prior to the examination.
Students who are found to have breached any of the above rules for examinations may be found to have engaged in academic misconduct and are subject to the Academic Misconduct Policy.
Alternate Examination Sittings
If a student is unable to sit an examination at the scheduled time due to special circumstances beyond the student’s control the student may be granted an alternate examination sitting. The Registrar will prescribe an alternative examination, time and place.
Alternate examination settings will only be approved in the following circumstances:
- Medical or compassionate reasons
- Religious preclusion of attendance. These must be communicated to the Registrar who will prescribe an alternative examination, time and place.
- Work commitments which are unforeseen and beyond the student’s control
- Competitive sporting event at a state, national or international level
- Military service
Applications for special circumstances must be made to the Academic Program Coordinator and must include documentary evidence to support the case for an alternate examination sitting. Students will need to provide documentation from a doctor, counsellor, employer or independent member of the community, which states:
- The date the special circumstances began
- How the circumstances preclude the student from sitting the scheduled examination
- The date it became apparent that the student could not sit the examination at the scheduled time.
Students with disabilities are normally required to sit the examination at the scheduled time and place however reasonable adjustments will be made to address the effects of their disabilities.
Each student has the right to appeal against an assessment decision, based on the valid grounds identified by the college. The student is the only person who can lodge an appeal. In the case of an assessment appeal, the student must approach the unit educator directly and every attempt should be made to resolve the issue at this level.
Appeals must be lodged by students within ten (10) working days of notification of the assignment decision as it can take up to 10 working days to be processed. To lodge an appeal the student must complete the Assessment Appeals Form and sent it to the appropriate address on the form.
If an assessment appeal is accepted as valid, the assessment will be re-marked by another educator. The old mark will be deleted and the new mark will be recorded as the mark received for the assessment. Should the appeal mark differ substantially from the original mark, a third, independent marker may be appointed to confirm the final grade. If a student is dissatisfied with the appeal decision, they may follow the Academic Grievance and Appeals Policy and Procedure.
Valid grounds for appeal:
- the grade was not based on assignment marking criteria as specified in the ACAP assignment outline
- the grade may be objectively considered unfair based on stated criteria and quality of work
- obvious bias affecting the assignment result – this must be supported by specific instances
- other grounds accepted for appeal by the staff member coordinating the review
Invalid grounds for appeal:
- student’s uncertainty about the objectives of the unit
- the standard required to receive particular grades in the unit
- over enrolment or over commitment to work on the part of the student
- personal and medical problems (which should normally be dealt with by an extension request or deferral of studies)
- financial implications of not passing the unit
- grades received by the student in other units
- the amount of work the student has done
- a penalty imposed for plagiarism in accordance with ACAP’s policies
- general grievances
- the need for additional marks to enable a pass or higher grade
Please note: Personal, medical and employment difficulties will not be considered as valid grounds for an assignment appeal. Students experiencing such difficulties should consider deferring their studies with special circumstances. See the enrolment section of this handbook or the ACAP website (http://www.acap.edu.au) for further information.
The Grading System
Each unit generally has two or more assessments. Each assessment carries a percentage weight of the total mark. Where the assessment is an assignment it is generally accompanied by an attachment with specific guidelines to assist students in the development or presentation of an assessment. These guidelines are intended to assist students in meeting the assignment standards and learning outcomes.
Individual assessment grades: Each assessment is marked and awarded a grade of High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, Pass, Fail, Ungraded Pass and Ungraded Fail. Results Pending is recorded as a temporary grade indicating that the results are pending marking of the assessment.
Overall unit grades: For their overall academic performance in a unit students are awarded a grading of High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, Pass, Fail, Ungraded Pass and Ungraded Fail. Results Pending is recorded as a temporary grade indicating that the results are pending marking of the assessment.
Please refer to the specific unit manual or unit plan for pass requirements.
Students will be able to view their results when they are released by logging into my.acap and clicking on “My Academic Results” on the left hand Navigation Panel.
Term results will be made available as soon as possible after the end of the relevant term once approved by the Board of Examiners.
ACAP Higher Education Grading Categories
Each assessment component of a unit, including coursework assignments and examinations, is assessed according to the criteria listed below. There are two categories of results:
- graded result,
- ungraded pass/fail.
Unit manuals or plans indicate the result category that applies to each assessment component.
For units where all assessment components are graded, a final result for the unit is awarded by combining the marks for each assessment according to the weight assigned to that assessment as specified in the unit outline or plan.
To be awarded a grade of Pass or higher students must:
- achieve an overall mark of 50% or greater;
- complete all assessments for that unit;
- pass all compulsory components of the unit as specified in the unit outline;
- meet the specified attendance requirements for the unit.
Components assessed using ungraded pass/fail receive a grade only with no mark assigned:
- ungraded pass (UP) or
- ungraded fail (UF).
Ungraded passes are used to assess acquisition of essential professional skills. For units that include components in which essential skill acquisition is assessed with ungraded pass/fail grades the final result for the unit will be UP or UF (no mark).
Ungraded pass/fail assessment grades are not included for the purpose of calculating student grade point averages.
To be awarded a grade of Ungraded Pass students must:
- complete all assessments for that unit and,
- pass all compulsory components of the unit as specified in the unit outline;
- may be required to pass all assessment components to pass the unit where specified in the unit outline;
- meet the specified attendance requirements for the unit.
Table of grading categories
This table list grades used to report student academic achievement. Grades are used at both the individual assessment task and overall unit/ subject final result level except where marked with an asterisk (*) which are used only at the individual assessment task level or marked with a caret symbol (^) which are used only at the overall unit/ subject final result level or market with a footnote.
(Appears on the Statement of Results)
|85% – 100% overall mark, and all components of the unit were completed||Exceptionally clear understanding of subject matter; clearly and logically organised with excellent presentation. Addresses all of the assessment criteria to an excellent standard above expected. Extensive evidence of insight and originality where appropriate. Demonstrating excellent levels of understanding with graduate capabilities and learning outcomes.||HE|
|D||Distinction||75% – 84% overall mark, and all components of the unit were completed||
Strong grasp of subject matter; clearly and logically organised with good presentation. Addresses all the assessment criteria to a high standard majority of the time relating to the unit outcomes. Evidence of insight and originality where appropriate. Demonstrating high levels of understanding with graduate capabilities and learning outcomes.
|C||Credit||65% – 74% overall mark, and all components of the unit were completed||Competent understanding of subject matter and appreciation of most of the main issues. Addresses most of the assessment criteria reasonably well. Competent organisation and presentation. Reasonable command and superior of understanding. Demonstrating moderate to at times high levels of understanding with graduate capabilities and learning outcomes.||HE|
|P||Pass||50% – 64% overall mark, and all components of the unit were completed||Demonstrates appreciation of subject matter and issues. Addresses most of the assessment criteria adequately but may lack in depth and breadth. Often work of this grade demonstrates only basic comprehension or competency. Work of this grade may be poorly structured and presented. Demonstrating an understanding of graduate capabilities and learning outcomes.||HE|
|UP||Ungraded Pass||Professional skills assessed, where the student has met specified performance criteria at an appropriate level within a specified time.||
Professional skills assessed, where the student has met specified performance criteria at an appropriate level within a specified time. Includes units where assessment is based only on professional placement
|F||Did Not Achieve Learning Outcomes||49% or below the overall mark, and all components of the unit were attempted||Demonstrates limited appreciation of subject matter and issues. Does not addresses the assessment criteria adequately. Inadequate achievement of specified learning outcomes.||HE|
|UF||Ungraded Fail||Professional skills assessed, where the student has not met specified performance criteria at an appropriate level within a specified time||Professional skills assessed, where the student has not met specified performance criteria at an appropriate level within a specified time. Includes units where assessment is based only on professional placement||HE|
|FI^||Fail Incomplete^||One or more compulsory requirements or assessment components of the unit were not completed or submitted. At least one unit requirement was attempted||One or more compulsory requirements or assessment components of the unit were not completed or submitted. At least one unit requirement was attempted||HE|
|Fail No Submission^||None of the required components of the unit was completed or submitted||None of the required components of the unit was completed or submitted||HE, VET|
|Withdrawn Fail^||Withdrawn after census. Administrative grade to encourage students to withdraw rather than receive one of the other fail grades||Withdrawn after census. Administrative grade to encourage students to withdraw rather than receive one of the other fail grades||HE, VET, HSA |
|RP||Result Pending||A temporary administrative grade which indicates that the result of an assessment or unit has not been finalised||A temporary administrative grade which indicates that the result of an assessment or unit has not been finalised. Used only to provide an interim result for units normally due to extension of time for submission or delay of marking||HE, VET|
|RPP^||Result Pending Placement^||A temporary administrative grade which indicates that the result for a unit that has a clinical placement component has not been finalised||A temporary administrative grade which indicates that the result for a unit that has a clinical placement component has not been finalised||VET |
|RPeP Transition||Result Pending Placement – Transition||A temporary grade which indicates that the result will be transitioned to the related unit of competency in the updated training package.||A temporary grade which indicates that the result will be transitioned to the related unit of competency in the updated training package.||VET|
|CO^1||Competent^||Vocational competency assessed, where student has met specified performance criteria at an appropriate level within a specified time||Vocational competency assessed, where student has met all specified performance criteria at an appropriate level within a specified time||VET|
|Not Yet Competent^||Vocational competency assessed, where student has not met specified performance criteria at an appropriate level within a specified time||Vocational competency assessed, where student has not met specified performance criteria at an appropriate level within a specified time||VET|
|Advanced Standing^||Credit has been granted through articulation or credit transfer, or for a higher education qualification – in recognition of prior learning||
Credit has been granted through articulation or credit transfer for studies prior completed as part of another VET or higher education studies, or for a higher education qualification – in recognition of prior learning
|RPL Competent^||Credit has been granted through recognition of prior learning assessment||
Credit has been granted through recognition of prior learning assessment for learning attained in part or in full outside of the formal education and training system
|CT^||Credit Transfer^||Credit has been granted through credit transfer for a unit/subject prior completed||Credit has been granted through credit transfer for a unit/subject prior completed as part of another VET or higher education qualification||VET|
|S*||Satisfactory*||Result applied to individual assessment task to indicate student met specified assessment performance criteria||Result applied to individual assessment task to indicate student has met specified assessment performance criteria||VET|
|NYS*||Not Yet Satisfactory*||Result applied to individual assessment task to indicate student did not meet specified assessment performance criteria||Result applied to individual assessment task to indicate student did not meet specified assessment performance criteria||VET|
|Resubmission required*||Result applied to individual assessment task to indicate resubmission / retaking of the assessment task is required||Result applied to individual assessment task to indicate resubmission/ retaking of the assessment task is required||VET |
Class of Honours awarded for Bachelor (Honours) degrees:
|H1||First class||Overall mark in the range 85% – 100%||85% – 100% overall mark; sustained high level of achievement||HE|
|H21||Second class, Division 1||Overall mark in the range 75% – 84%||75% – 84% overall mark; predominantly high level of achievement||HE|
|H22||Second class, Division 2||Overall mark in the range 65% – 74%||65% – 74% overall mark; sound achievement, with some high-quality performance||HE|
|H3||Third class||Overall mark in the range 50% – 64%||50% – 64% overall mark; sound achievement||HE|
 Applicable to ACAP VET only
 Grade is used for the individual assessment task and overall unit/ subject, final result level at ACAP and used only at overall unit/ subject final result level at HSA
 Applicable to HSA VET only
4 HSA: Resulting of units of competency after census will appear as WF where students have not met the requirements of assessment and attendance.