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Access Assignments and Grading Critieria watch

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    In order for many of us students to enter our choice Universities, it is necessary to be awarded a certain number of Distinctions in order for an application to be considered.

    On my own course, every assignment cover sheet has "Grading Descriptor" that gives a brief description of what is required for a Distinction or Merit grade. Unfortunately, it is of precious little use and is open to so much interpretation via if, buts and maybes that there may as well be no "Grading Descriptor" at all.

    Worse than this is the lack of transparency from my tutors regarding how assignments are marked. They have refused to show us examples of assignments that received Distinction grade, despite us asking many times, and their reviews of our work in general are vague. Something such as: "Less description, more analysis" and several people in my group have even been penalised for referencing according to the instructions our tutor gave us - which turned out to be completely incorrect.

    I just don't really get how the grading metrics work. I've done exams before, and it depended on being able to recall key information, which is a simple process to understand. With these assignments, though, I'm just not sure. Does anyone have any insights regarding this at all?

    So far, out of 5 grades that I've received, 4 are Merits and one is a Distinction. Out of around another possible 52 grades, I need at least 14 to be Distinction, but I don't hold much hope for it at the present moment. I just feel like I'm open to be penalised for the slightest thing, and with word counts in place I can't be thorough in regards to the topic I'm writing about.
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    Anyone?
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    I completed my Access course in July and am now at uni. We were never shown any examples of assignments from former students.

    Pay attention to the wording of the assignment criteria. If it says "critically assess" then look up what that means and do what it says. Paying attention to this is where the distinctions lie. One of my tutors printed out a list of process words and their meaning which ended up being invaluable to us. Too many people just see what needs to be talked about without look into how it should be talked about. There is a huge difference between describing and explaining something.

    From experience, different tutors have different preferences in terms of referencing. Ask each one what they like to see.

    I would keep pushing for more thorough feedback. Maybe try to arrange a one-to-one meeting with your tutor to discuss this? Just say you want to talk about your assignment. The vagueness of your feedback seems absurd.
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    I like the previous post. I am in the exact same position and have never received any exemplar of students assignments (this could possibly lead to plagiarism). What I do, is have a little notebook and pay attention to the wording of the grading descriptor - I look up the word in essay forms such as 'analyse', 'criticise' 'evaluate' and write them down, so that I can go back to it when I am applying them to my essay. I hope this helped somehow? Sorry I couldn't be of any further help!
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    What subjects are you taking? Less description more analysis means to stop describing what you are talking about so much and evaluate it instead. It's difficult to put into context without seeing the assignment though.

    Are you talking about essays? My teachers have been telling us to make sure we signposts things we will get marked up for. For example, if an essay asks for advantages and disadvantages, to use those exact words to make it obvious. Personally it seems like dumbing down to me, but if it helps your grade
 
 
 

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