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ELISE | Informing your studies: Exams and assessment


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University exams require careful preparation and revision.

The types of exams you may sit include:

Being able to interpret clue or instruction words, and know the angle you need to take to answer an exam question, will help you to better formulate your answers.

Some tips for preparing for exams include:

  • find out what kinds of exams you will be sitting and prepare accordingly
  • start studying early
  • organise your time
  • organise your notes and other material
  • clarify anything you are not sure of
  • prioritise the hardest subjects
  • set study periods
  • set study goals
  • review past exam papers if they are available

Here is some more detailed information on surviving exams


As a student of UNSW, you will be assessed throughout your studies. A range of assessment techniques are used, including non-examination assessment.

The two types of assessment you will undergo as a student are:

  • formative assessment during the semester, aiming to enhance learning by identifying weaknesses in understanding and performance
  • summative assessment at the end of semester, demonstrating learning through the achievement of marks and grades

It is important that a range of assessment techniques be used to achieve course and program goals and develop students' graduate capabilities.

Forms of assessment can include:

  • written or oral examinations
  • written assessments such as essays and reports
  • group-based assessment
  • oral assessment tasks
  • performance-based assessment
  • clinical assessment
  • studio projects in art, design, architecture etc.
  • professional experience
  • class participation

Your course outline includes the assessment requirements and due dates for your course.

Learn more about assessment at UNSW

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