School of Mathematics and Statistics Assessment Policies

Important Information for Mathematics and Statistics Students

*First year students should refer to their Course Information Booklet for policies and procedures specific to them.

UNSW Plagiarism Policy

The University requires all students to be aware of its policy on plagiarism.


The School of Mathematics and Statistics follows the Assessment Policies of the University (see also Policies, Procedures and Guidelines for Students), and in addition has its own internal policies.

If these policies in any way conflict with any other policy, then the University policy applies.

General Principles

It is a student's responsibility to ensure that they are enrolled in the correct courses, including the correct classes, and it is suggested that all students check their enrolment through myUNSW before the census dates in each semester. If students are unsure about which courses they should be enrolled in, they should contact the relevant staff member. The School will advise students about the mathematics courses appropriate for their program, but is not reponsible for the program itself since the School is not the Program Authority for any undergraduate program.

Most Mathematics courses have 50-80% of the final assessment mark based on a final formal examination. The remainder is based on assignments, tests, computing lab work and similar. Each course will announce its exact policy in its Course Homepage and the Initial Handout for the course.

UNSW assesses students under a standards based assessment policy. Accordingly, the School of Mathematics and Statistics expects students to give solutions to problems and questions in tests, assignments and exams with the steps and arguments explained clearly and logically. You should attempt as far as possible to present your work to the same standard of exposition as given in lectures, notes and text books. The course syllabus outlines the material we expect you to master, and your lecturer(s) and tutors will provide more detailed guidance in classes and course notes.

All final assessment marks must be approved by the Head of School who has delegated this role to the Director of First Year, Heads of Departments and Director of Undergraduate Studies. The marks recommended by the School are then considered and may be changed by Faculty Examination Committees before becoming official.

Missed tests, assignments or lab work will be scored as ZERO unless there is medical or other special consideration.

If special consideration for an assessment (other than the final exam) is granted, then a variety of actions may be taken. The normal policy is that the mark is replaced by the average of other marks for assessment of a similar type. If there are insufficient existing marks, then the mark may be ignored and a higher weighting given to the final examination. For some courses a repeat or additional assessment test may be given. Each course may have its own policy on this which is announced in its Course Homepage and the Initial Handout for the course if it differs from the School Policy.

All test, assignment and lab work is marked, with comments where appropriate, and returned to the student (or made available for collection) in a timely manner. The normal expectation is that work is marked and returned (or made available for collection) within 7 to 14 days. If special circumstances extend this timeframe, then there should be an announcement to that effect. Final formal examinations are not returned.

Students should note that University policy on attendance stipulates that attendance at classes (lectures and tutorials etc.) is compulsory, and that students must apply for permission from the Registrar to be absent. Hence, rolls are normally marked at all Mathematics tutorials. Students are expected to attend 70% of their tutorials or they may not be eligible for special consideration, if it is required.

Students must therefore be registered in a tutorial (where there are multiple tutorials) no later than Week 4. As well as the marking of rolls, test, assignment and lab work marks are normally recorded by tutorial and handed back in tutorial. In addition, announcements may be made from time to time in tutorials.

If a student disputes any test, assignment or lab work mark, this must be taken up as soon as the mark is released and the work returned to the student. Once the final examination period commences, then no disputes of during-semester marks will be considered. Disputes should be resolved with the person who undertook the marking or, if this is not possible, with the Course Convenor. If this is not satisfactory, then the Director of First Year or Director of Undergraduate Studies has the final authority to decide the mark.

Any request for re-marking of final examinations, or any dispute over granting of additional assessment etc. for the course, must be lodged with the University or School within 15 working days of the release of the final marks for the course.

If a student feels that any rule of the School of Mathematics and Statistics or its implementation significantly disadvantages them in relation to other students in the same course, then they may appeal to the Head of School.

The primary source of information about matters related to a course is the Course Homepage and Initial Handout. If this needs to be varied in any way, then announcements will be made in lectures and placed on the Course Homepage. In some cases an email will also be sent to students.

Email sent to the official University student email address will be treated as an official communication and it will be assumed that the student has received and read it within three working days.

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