Undergraduate Teaching 2017-18

MET Part IIB Examiners and Assessors: Faculty Board guidelines

MET Part IIB Examiners and Assessors: Faculty Board guidelines

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Guidelines approved by the Faculty Board for use in 2017-18.

Guidelines for Examiners and Assessors: key points for all Parts

  1. Examiners and Assessors are required to adhere to the timetable and detailed instructions provided by the Chairman of Examiners.
  2. Form and conduct notices that detail any changes to the examinations from the previous year are published annually in the Cambridge University Reporter.
  3. External Examiners have an important role to play in our examinations. In particular, Examiners should pay due attention to comments made on their draft question papers by the External Examiner.
  4. The exam paper will show the approximate number of marks for each part of a question in the right margin, the mark to be level with the end of the paragraph(s) to which it refers.
  5. Examiners must follow all aspects of agreed policies on security.
  6. Symbols used in questions should be clearly defined except where the definitions are systematically provided in examination data books or data sheets.
  7. No comments whatsoever should be made on the scripts.
  8. Each Examiner should mark the scripts in accordance with the published Marking & Classing Criteria.
  9. All aspects of the marking process must be fully auditable and defensible in case of an appeal.  Examiners must mark the scripts in such a way that a third party (e.g. a checker, External Examiner or Chair of Examiners) can understand what process has been followed. 
  10. Where a candidate answers more than the required number of questions the Examiner should mark all the questions answered and then exclude from the marks recorded the question(s) scoring the lowest mark(s).  

Useful links

Guidelines for Examiners & Assessors: Part II information

Summary of duties

The Principal Assessors are responsible for setting and marking the examination papers and preparing the cribs.  The Second Assessors assist in these tasks.  The Group Examiners have overall responsibility for ensuring that the quality assurance procedures are maintained within their group.  Their level of responsibility is above that of the Principal Assessors. 

Setting the paper

  1. Questions should aim to examine the current year's work as listed in the objectives and syllabus for the module.
  2. Papers should be set at a level of difficulty that will produce an average mark in the range 60% to 65% on each paper. All candidates who have attended lectures and worked through examples papers should be able to gain at least 40%.
  3. It is recommended that Assessors set well-structured questions in order to arrive at the right level of difficulty.  A convenient and well-tried structure is the three-part question which asks in turn for:
    1. a statement of principle;
    2. a straightforward application of the principle; and
    3. a development of the application at a deeper, more demanding level.

Marking and scaling

  1. As the standard of questions may change from year to year and between modules, it is recommended that Assessors check that their setting and marking have not been either unduly severe or unduly lenient. Scaling should be used where necessary, and to the least degree consistent with producing the required change, to manage discrepancies between paper choices.  The Chair, in consultation with the Assessors, will issue instructions as to how to proceed. In determining the target average for a module the past examination performance of the cohort of students may be taken into account.   Where an Assessor finds a serious discrepancy arising, the Chair should be consulted and consideration given to either modifying the marking scheme or otherwise adjusting the marks.
  2. Marks for written papers and coursework will be normalised according to procedures agreed by the Board of Examiners.  Where marks have been normalised, the Examiners at their meetings will consider only the normalised marks in their discussions and in reaching their decisions.

Cribs and reports

  1. The Faculty Board requires every Assessor to provide a written report on the examination to be sent to the Chairman at the time the marks are handed in.  A copy of the report is to be placed in the Assessor’s file for the Assessor in the following year.  Where raw marks have been adjusted, the effect of the adjustment on the raw marks must be recorded in the report.
  2. Assessors are required to provide cribs for their papers.  The Faculty Board recommends to Assessors the practice of including in the cribs comments that may serve as a useful guide to future students.  Specific comments may be added after each solution. Alternatively the section of the Assessor’s report that deals with individual questions may be reproduced on the last page of the crib. Assessors should update their crib in the light of examination marking where necessary and ensure that this updated version is supplied for putting on the web for future students.

MET Part IIB supplement

Setting the paper

Questions should aim to examine the current year's work. This may encompass not only material in the specifications for taught modules, but also generic topics covered in other elements of the course such as project work and industrial visits.

The first checker for each question will be nominated by the Board of Examiners, the second checker will normally be the Examiner, or, when questions are provided by the Examiner, another Lecturer.

Further information about the assessed elements

  1. Two written papers will be set.  Each will normally comprise six questions and candidates will be required to attempt four:

Paper 1 will consist mainly of questions on technological aspects of Manufacturing Engineering.

Paper 2 will consist mainly of questions on managerial aspects of Manufacturing Engineering.

Credit will be given for answers which draw on relevant knowledge gained from experiential aspects of the course such as projects and industrial visits.

  1. The assessment of the Robot Lab takes account of team-working, together with an individually assessed component. The exact criteria and mode of assessment will be notified to the students at the start of the project. 
  2. Group industrial projects are assessed according to criteria published in the MET IIB Handbook. Project marks are subject to normalisation by the Project Coordinator in discussion with the Chairman of Examiners and the Course Director.
  3. The individual Long Project is assessed according to criteria published in the MET IIB Handbook. The report is marked independently by the Academic Supervisor and an internal Assessor. Any discrepancies in marks awarded are discussed and a single mark agreed. Where the discrepancies are more than 10 marks, or there is a failure to agree a mark, the Project Coordinator is consulted. The Chairman of Examiners and the Course Director may also be consulted.
  4. Also see the project, coursework & exam credit notice for Part IIB MET.


The Morcom Lunt Prize and the Institution of Engineering and Technology Manufacturing Engineering Student Prize should be awarded, at the discretion of the Examiners, to the most outstanding student in MET IIB, taking into account both examination and project performance.

The Prize for the best performance in projects should normally be awarded to the candidate with the highest aggregate mark in coursework (industrial assignments and robot lab).

Related links

Last updated on 11/12/2017 14:50