Student Assessment

To ensure consistent and rigourous academic standards, the following expectations and regulations apply.


Assignment expectations

These will be clearly set out in the syllabus provided for each course.  Although the pattern will vary considerably the total assignments for each course will be equivalent and will require the same total amount of time to complete. 


Late Assignments

Students must submit their assignments within the deadlines detailed in course syllabi.

 Late submission will incur the following penalties:

  •    For an assignment 1-2 days late, penalty is at instructor’s discretion.
  •    For an assignment 3-5 days late, grade will drop 2 grade steps (e.g., from B+ to B- or from B to C+)
  •    For an assignment more than 5 days late, grade will drop 3 grade steps.
  •    Any assignment more than 10 days late will receive no higher than a C grade.
  •    Assignments more than 15 days late will receive an F grade.

·         Note: Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays do not count in the calculation of days but if an assignment is due on the last day of a semester, normal vacation days do count.

 In exceptional cases, students may request an extension of deadlines. The request must be submitted in writing to the Registrar, clearly setting out the circumstances and stating the length of extension required.  Employment, ministry responsibilities or minor illnesses (i.e. of one or two day duration) are not considered valid reasons for extensions; students must plan their work taking these into account.  Wherever possible, extensions must be requested in advance.  The Registrar will consult with the Dean of Studies and the student will then be informed whether or not an extension has been granted.  If an extension is granted or if the circumstances leading to the late submission of an assignment are considered valid, then will no penalty is applied.

 Students, however, must not seek unfair academic advantage over other students by misrepresenting their personal circumstances in order to obtain the extension of deadlines.  

Return of assignments by Faculty

Students can expect to receive their marked assignments back within four weeks of the submission date.  If faculty are habitually late in not returning assignments within four weeks, students have the right to appeal to the Dean of Studies.

Grading Matrix and Policies

In order to award degrees of an academic standard comparable with international institutions, grades for assignments are awarded according to the “matrix” detailed below. The matrix considers specific criteria within a number of key areas that indicate academic quality. Students should use this as a tool when proofreading their assignments before submission.

 With regard to grades earned and students' rights of grievance the following guidelines are to be observed:

  • Some instructors may choose to share semester grades with students before the Registrar officially releases them.  No student, however, can demand to know his/her semester grade before the Registrar releases transcripts. 
  • Students are not allowed to go to the Registrar to inquire of grades at any time except when the semester grades are announced by the Registrar. 
  • Any student may ask for further clarification of comments made by the instructor or a grade awarded on an assignment.  This does not mean, however, that the student may negotiate for a different grade nor put pressure on the instructor to base grades on criteria other than academic standards.
  • If student still has concerns after meeting with an instructor to request further clarification of a grade earned, the student may speak to the Dean of Studies.
  • Any student demonstrating inappropriate behaviour or attitudes toward instructors with regard to grades will face disciplinary action.

 Grades will be calculated according to the following scale:

A   =   4.00    (95 – 100%)            C+  =     2.75    (77 – 79%)

A-  =   3.75    (90 – 94%)             C   =     2.50    (73 – 76%)

B+  =   3.50    (87 – 89%)             C-  =     2.25    (70 – 72%)

B   =   3.25    (83 – 86%)             D+  =     2.00    (65 – 69%)   

B-  =   3.00    (80 – 82%)             D   =     1.75    (60 – 65%)

                                           F   =   0.00    (below 60%)


A   The task has been fully understood and all parts of the assignment have been completed in an excellent fashion. There is evidence of special sensitivity to context and audience.

B   The task has been clearly understood and all parts of the assignment have been dealt with competently.

C   Some attempt to answer the question but clear omissions and some minor misunderstanding of what is required.

D   The task has been partly misunderstood or twisted and not satisfactorily completed.

F   Complete misunderstanding of what is required



A  An excellent knowledge of the area. No irrelevant or inaccurate material is included and the coverage of the issues involved is judicious and comprehensive

B   A good grasp of the material with an acceptable coverage of the issues involved and very little irrelevant material.

C   Shows some competence but there is only partial coverage of the material which identifies some but not enough relevant issues.  There is only a small amount of inaccuracy.

D  The work includes only a small amount of relevant material and a significant proportion of irrelevant or inaccurate material. There is little awareness of the hermeneutical or other theoretical issues involved. Little indication of the student’s independent thinking with a tendency to overuse undigested source material

F  Very little relevant material, failure to grasp the central issues in the area. 



A  Well crafted, convincingly relevant and strongly supported argument with well-drawn conclusions. Excellent evidence of analysis and critique – both of the writer’s own position and that of those who hold a different view.  Clear signs of creative and independent thinking.

B  Good evidence of ability to organise thought.  Clear focus.  Clear well-supported argument leading to well-defined conclusions.

C  There is some attempt to develop the argument within the assignment and to provide evidence to support points made, but somewhat lacking in focus and with a tendency to generalise.

D  Very limited focus and little logical development. Insufficient connection between discussion and conclusion and limited amount of analysis or critique.

F  No logical flow, very few signs of analysis or critique, little connection between discussion and conclusion. Failure to produce evidence to support points made.

Use of Literature and other Sources

A  Evidence of wide and appropriate reading which provides a relatively outstanding awareness and use of the available material and good critical engagement with alternative perspectives and approaches. The sources have been consistently used to support and not to replace the student’s own argument.

B  Good evidence of reading outside class and good use of appropriate sources. Evidence of awareness of sources coming from different perspectives or taking different positions.  The material has been interacted with in an appropriate way and there is no over-use of quoted material. Sources have been used to support and not replace the student’s own argument.

C  Some evidence of reading and some use of the appropriate reference tools. However the usage is likely to be either insufficient or in excess and/or there is indication that the material has not always been well absorbed.

D  Very little evidence of reading outside class sessions and the material has not been well used

F  Virtually no indication of reading outside class sessions or any sign of the understanding and absorption of any material that has been read.

 Structure and Format

Excellent presentation, all sources correctly cited and with virtually no errors. Clear and well thought out structure, with a good use of headings and paragraphing which enhances the argument.

B  Virtually all sources are correctly cited. Footnotes and bibliography well presented and with only occasional errors. Clear structure and good layout. Good paragraph construction.

C  Clearly traceable sources but with some errors in formatting. One can identify the beginnings of a structure to the essay but it needs more formulation. 

D   Poor citation of sources, poor or confused structure, inadequacies of layout 

F  Serious mistakes in the construction and formatting of footnotes or bibliography meaning that sources would be untraceable. Poor layout. Poor paragraph construction


Use of English

A        Excellent English, a clear style, fully comprehensible and with no more than the occasional error.

B        Clear English, easily understood and with few mistakes

C        Comprehensible English but poor style and with a series of grammatical and spelling mistakes

D        Unclear or consistently ungrammatical English with numerous errors and a strong degree of incomprehensibility.

F        Consistently poor English, with many mistakes in spelling and grammar leading, on many occasions, to incomprehensibility.



A        This assignment is an excellent piece of work and shows clear evidence that the student could be capable of undertaking advanced post-graduate work. The academic standard reached approximates to that expected from someone who could teach at undergraduate level.

B        This assignment is a good piece of work that indicates that the student is clearly achieving Master’s level standard. The academic standard reached  approximates that expected from someone who could teach at Certificate level.

C        This assignment gives some but not clear or sufficient evidence of Master’s level ability

D        This assignment evidences serious weaknesses but does go some way to fulfilling requirements and shows evidence that improvement is possible

F        The assignment has not been fulfilled in anything like an acceptable way.



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