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Guidelines for Awarding Supplementary Examinations, Terminating & Faculty Passes


These guidelines should be read in the context of the University’s Code of Conduct for Teaching and Learning and the Policy on Assessment Practice.

To provide a final unit result for a student that has achieved at a marginal level, in terms of overall unit requirements, faculties may choose to use supplementary assessment by examination, terminating or faculty passes. These guidelines will inform the decisions of faculties using these assessment mechanisms and grades. Faculties and schools are not required to award supplementary examinations, faculty or terminating passes – wherever possible the use of appropriate, alternative assessment mechanisms and considered academic judgement for resolving marginal cases is encouraged.

The mark ranges specified in these guidelines are indicative and define general University benchmarks. They do not provide for supplementary examinations, faculty or terminating passes to be automatically awarded within those ranges. Faculties and schools may establish their own guidelines, consistent with these University guidelines, and with more specific requirements. However, except in exceptional circumstances supplementary examinations, terminating passes and faculty passes should not be awarded where marks are below the ranges indicated.

  1. The results of students falling just below the pass standard should be finalised first, on the basis of unit assessor/s and school assessment of the student’s performance in the unit in question and second, on the basis of review of and considered decision by the relevant faculty assessment committee on the school’s assessment recommendation and the student’s overall performance in the course in that semester.
  2. Students close to a pass mark on their continuous assessment and examination performance in a unit, in the range 45-49%, should be reviewed with a view to granting an outright pass or fail without recourse to a further formal examination. Options include making a firm decision on the basis of all work to date (taking account of the proportion of continuous assessment in the total assessment), viva voce assessment, or setting another piece of work, specifically on a weak area, prior to submitting the final result. Combinations of these and other options should be considered where appropriate by the unit assessor/s. Students granted a pass on the basis of such a review should have their marks raised to the pass standard.
  3. The result of NS – failure with permission granted to sit a supplementary examination – may only be granted under exceptional circumstances to students with results less than 45%. Supplementary examination should normally be limited to cases where a student has an aberrant result in terms of his/her overall performance in the course in that assessment period. This group should include students requiring one unit, or 25% of total workload, to complete their degree, or to complete a full year or semester program, and students with a non-standard study pattern with good general performance but with one poor result. These cases should normally involve results in the range 40-44% although academic judgement should be exercised in determining eligibility based on performance in all units.
  4. Students whose results fall in the range 45-49% may also be considered in line with guideline 3, if the initial review under guideline 2 results is a failure and where that failure may be considered an aberrant result.
  5. Students should normally only be granted supplementary examinations in one unit or in 25% of normal study load for the semester or year, whichever is greater. Having regard to the range of possible study patterns, this guideline should be interpreted as setting a maximum of 25% of the normal study load in the course year. Thus, in semester-based courses a student would not normally be granted supplementary examinations in more than 12.5% of the workload for the year. Where workload is less because of part-time study or a non-standard study pattern academic judgement should be exercised.
  6. Supplementary examinations should normally only be offered as a ’re-sit’, not where substantial review [say, more than ten days work – this is the maximum period available in mid-year] of the unit content is necessary. If substantial review is considered necessary then the result should normally be determined to be a failure.
  7. Within the range 45-49% a terminating pass (TS – permission to sit a supplementary examination) may be awarded where a student has passed the coursework requirements, but not the examination component. A terminating pass (TP – no access to a supplementary examination) may be awarded where a student has passed the examination component, but not the continuous assessment component. Terminating passes (TP or TS) may be awarded to a maximum of 37.5% of a 300% course, or to an equivalent level for courses of longer or shorter duration.
  8. A Faculty Pass (FP) may only be awarded in exceptional circumstances, beyond the circumstances in which supplementary or deferred assessment might be considered. Without limiting the circumstances, examples might include:
    • A student with an otherwise successful record granted a Deferred Examination (DO) but who remains incapacitated at the DO period, and with no alternative way of finalising the assessment and result.
    • Given an otherwise clear academic record, an FP may be award to enable a student to graduate, or
    • In a course that requires full-year passes, to allow a capable student to progress to the next year, provided that the school and faculty determines that the student would have passed requirements under normal circumstances.
  9. Any faculty-specific guidelines on supplementary examinations, terminating passes and faculty passes should be fully documented and made available to students.Students judged to have performed marginally and upgraded to a pass level should be counselled about course progress requirements.

Chris Carstens
Academic Registrar
6 November 2003

Approved by Academic Senate 5 March 2004