Are exam essays marked more leniently than coursework essays?

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difeo
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Would an essay that would get 60% if submitted as coursework also get 60 in an exam, or would it get higher because you have less time and access to information?
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UWS
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(Original post by difeo)
Would an essay that would get 60% if submitted as coursework also get 60 in an exam, or would it get higher because you have less time and access to information?
I don't think there is a correct answer to this, it depends on the lecturer and the mark scheme. The marking procedure would no doubt be different for both and they would mark based on what each band of marks your essay falls into..
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Klix88
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(Original post by difeo)
Would an essay that would get 60% if submitted as coursework also get 60 in an exam, or would it get higher because you have less time and access to information?
There isn't a straightforward answer to that. It would very much depend on the question and subject marking criteria. I've done some exam marking and I would say that the criteria are different to coursework essays rather than being more slack. Coursework deadlines usually give weeks to work on it - the research process is tested by looking at the end result of the essay. Exam essays are usually limited to 1-3 hours. The skills being tested there are mainly your breadth of reading outside lectures, your ability to retain information, and your understanding of that information. They're different disciplines and are testing different skills.

With an exam essay, we look very much more for solid basics. Firstly, has the essay answered the question? It's surprisingly easy to get that entirely wrong. If you've revised a topic in detail but it doesn't come up in the paper, there's a terrible temptation to shoehorn your knowledge into a question which might be vaguely related. I had one example this year. If it had been a question about the topic the student wrote about, it would have scored very highly. Sadly it was a shoehorn job and it just about scraped a pass, simply because the actual question was just touched on. This does happen with coursework, but it's easier to avoid as you have more time to think about it.

Secondly, how well has the answer addressed the question? For example, if the question asks for named examples to illustrate your answer, then you need to get as many correct ones in there as possible. In a coursework essay, you'd probably use fewer and explain them more fully, but in an exam you don't have the luxury of time. Another example would be a question which asks you to "discuss". The temptation in the limited time of an exam is to brain-dump lists of facts, but to answer the question, you need to put together an argument or present different perspectives based on them. The facts would get marks, but the missing discussion would result in a much greater deduction - possibly a fail.

Some people can reference in an essay - I stand in awe of them as I never could. Unless your subject specifically demands it (e.g. Law generally requires sources), then in many/most marking schemes, referencing isn't expected for exams where it would be mandatory for coursework. If people do use correct references in an exam where I am, then they will get extra marks. However if others don't use references, they won't have marks deducted.

Coursework tests your abilities to research and use the information you find. Exam essays are testing what you can remember and how well you can use it under pressure. Personally, I was always great at coursework and pretty average at exams, because my memory is a bit rubbish. Other people have the opposite skillset. Having combined assessment techniques gives as many people as possible, a fighting chance of a decent overall mark for a unit.

It's possible that a 60% coursework essay would be marked more highly if turned in exactly in the same format for the same question in an exam. However, the likelihood of being able to turn in a coursework-length and quality essay in the limited time of a 1-3 hour exam, is going to be minimal for most people. Exam marking schemes will take this into account.
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_Fergo
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(Original post by difeo)
Would an essay that would get 60% if submitted as coursework also get 60 in an exam, or would it get higher because you have less time and access to information?
Of course not. You cannot reference properly during an exam, nor can you submit a bibliography. The structure and quality of expression, let alone the content, will suffer due to time pressure.

There is no such thing as an in between. If you submitted an exam question as a cw essay you'd barely get a pass purely on the referencing.

As for how a cw essay would translate, it obviously depends on the quality of that essay. But I'd reckon a 60 would get a first.

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chazwomaq
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As a lecturer I can categorically say of course they're marked differently. You cannot be expected to produce a coursework essay in 1 or 2 hours in an exam. Exam essays will be shorter, less well structured, and with no formal reference list.

The fundamental criterion in an exam essay is can you show understanding of the question in your answer using examples and evidence.

Coursework essays have broader criteria, and understanding is still very important but we will also look for much more extensive research, a well defined structure, good writing style etc.
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Dinasaurus
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I think so, I did a mock exam essay and it was like really rushed and poorly written and I managed 50% (not good ik) but my coursework essays have been 71% and 65% but I spent like hours writing them with tons of sources and references whereas the exam was whatever just came from my head at the time. If I wrote a coursework essay like that I'd fail as I'd have no references
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