Undergraduate Teaching 2017-18

MET Part IIA Examiners and Assessors: Faculty Board guidelines

MET Part IIA 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).  

MET guidelines

Setting the paper

  1. Papers should be set at a level of difficulty that will produce an average mark in the range 60% to 65% on each paper.
  2. An Examiner may request the Lecturers to provide questions with worked solutions. It is one of the duties of Lecturers to collaborate with Examiners in this way according to the timetable set by the Examiners.  It is considered important that the person setting the questions refers to the Examiner's report on the paper for the previous year in order to see how candidates coped with individual questions.  The Examiner, or an Assessor appointed for the purpose, should be fully conversant with the subject matter of each question so that he or she can check it thoroughly and give fair credit for an unconventional answer.
  3. Questions provided by the Lecturer or Examiner should be checked twice. The checkers work through the question independently to make sure that each question is conceptually correct and properly posed, appropriate to the course as taught and of a length and level of difficulty that will allow it to be completed in the allotted time.  The appointment of checkers and the timetable for setting and checking will be agreed at an early meeting of the Board of Examiners.  Any checker who is not an Examiner will be shown the revised paper before it is forwarded with crib solutions and a proposed marking scheme for consideration by the External Examiner and also by the Board of Examiners at a meeting called for this purpose. 

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.  Where an Examiner finds a serious discrepancy arising, the Chairman 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 only be normalised in exceptional circumstances in agreement with the Chairman of Examiners.

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. Examiners 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 IIA supplement

Setting the paper

Questions should aim to examine the current year's work as listed in the objectives and syllabus for the module.

The first solution should be provided by the setter.  The second would normally come from the Examiner, but when questions are provided by the Examiner another Lecturer should do it.


The MET IIA Major Project Prize should be awarded to the team of students with the best performance in the Major Project.

The Morcom Lunt Prize should be awarded for the best overall performance in MET IIA.


Related Information

Marking & classing criteria

Exam data retention policy

Regulations for the Engineering Tripos

Regulations for the Manufacturing Engineering Tripos

Last updated on 11/10/2017 15:31