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What you need to know about assessments

Assessments come in many shapes and forms, including assignments, tests, pracs, laboratory reports, and exams. These are the assessable components of your course.

There are strict guidelines on submissions, especially due dates. Students can be penalised for submitting an assessment after the due date. If you are having issues with an assessment, Student Assist is here to explain the options available.
Student Assist can provide advice on:

  • Assessment Task Appeal – students can appeal against the mark you received for an assessment completed during semester

  • Final Result Appeal – students can appeal against the overall unit mark shown on your transcript once the semester is complete

  • Application for Assessment Extension – students can request to defer/ extend an assessment submission deadline because of exceptional circumstances

  • Supplementary Assessments – students are informed that they have been given an additional assessment task that provides students with an opportunity to pass the unit

  • Conceded Pass for an Assessment – students are informed that they have been given a pass mark awarded for a unit even though the student’s final mark does not meet the requirements for a passing grade. Very strict criteria applies.

Assessment Appeal 

Sometimes you receive an assessment or final result back and you may feel that it does not reflect your hard work or the marking criteria.  If this is the case and you are unhappy with a university decision, the University’s Student Charter provides you with the right to have your objection heard fairly, and within a reasonable time.
There are two types of appeals

  • Assessment Task Appeal (for an assessment mark completed during study period). 

  • Final Result Appeal (for the overall unit mark shown on your transcript once the study period is complete).

 The information below applies to both types of appeals.

Request for Initial Review (Informal Process) 

We strongly encourage you to contact your tutor, lecturer and/or, where appropriate, your course coordinator to gain the reasoning behind the mark awarded and any options you may now have. It also gives you a chance to explain / defend your work and ask for an informal reconsideration of your grade. If this is unsuccessful you can progress to a formal appeal.
Please note: Following the informal process may not be possible at times when staff are away on leave or failed attempts to contact them are not followed up, we encourage you to progress to the formal appeal stage and later attach documentation to show attempts at contacting academic staff as well as indicate this on the Formal Appeal Against Assessment form. 

Appeal Against Assessment (Formal Process) 

If you are unsuccessful with the Request for Initial Review, and you wish to continue to appeal the decision, your next step is to put your appeal in writing. This is a more formal method of appealing and your letter should explain the assessment mark you are unhappy with and why you are unhappy with it.  You will need to include clear, strong grounds for your appeal to be considered (see below).  The letter should be set out formally with your name, student number and contact details as well other information which may be relevant to your appeal (e.g. course / unit details). To view a sample appeal letter template, please click here.

Please be aware, formal written appeals must be lodged within 10 working days from the date you received your final marks. You will need to download Formal Appeal Against Assessment Form and attach this to your appeal letter.

Grounds for Appeal 

In order to appeal an assessment you must be able to demonstrate that the work has not been assessed in a fair and reasonable manner. Perhaps you think you have been marked unfairly based on the marking criteria and the quality of the work submitted, or perhaps you feel you have not been graded against the previously agreed marking criteria. Below are the grounds for an appeal listed on the Formal Appeal Against Assessment form:

  • Assessment method differs from the description in the unit outline

  • Assessment criteria used to evaluate the work differs from the agreed assessment criteria

  • Unfair or biased application of the assessment criteria

  • Final result is not equal to the aggregate of the individual assessment components Evidence of the grade received for each assessment component

  • Inappropriate penalties have been applied

Adequate documentation is required to support your appeal application.
Please note: Where a student wishes to appeal against a mark or final result on the grounds that personal circumstances have affected his or her ability to perform well in the assessment task (for example, an illness or medical condition), students should indicate this to the Head of School in their appeal.

Where to send your appeal 

You should address your formal appeal letter to your Head of School. The Head of School will notify you of the outcome within three working days of the decision. If the Head of School is the Unit Coordinator responsible for the original assessment, then you should direct your formal appeal letter to the Pro Vice-Chancellor for your Faculty.
If after formally appealing to the Head of School and they do not provide reasonable grounds for the rejection of the appeal, you have the right to appeal to the Pro Vice-Chancellor within five working days of the date in which you were informed of the outcome from the Head of School.
The Assessment Appeals policy is located in Curtin's Assessment and Student Progression Manual. The policy outlines the process you must follow if you want to appeal against any formal assessment.


Assessment Extension 

Sometimes you may become aware that you might have difficulties submitting an assessment on time due to circumstances beyond your control. In this instance, as soon you are aware of these difficulties, it is best to apply for an Assessment Extension.  This process enables you to request to have your assessment task due date changed to after the original submission date.

Application for Assessment Extension

The application for Assessment Extension is a formal process in which you submit your application to your Unit Coordinator demonstrating that there are unexpected circumstances outside of your control that will prevent you from submitting your assessment at the set deadline.

You can find the application form at:
Please note: Student will have to complete and submit one application form for each separate assessment tasks.

Grounds for Application for Assessment Extension 

In order to apply for an Assessment Extension you must be able to provide supporting documentation proving circumstances beyond your control, which may include:

  • Student illness, injury or medical condition of such significance that completion of the assessment task by the original date/time or due date/time is not possible

  • Family issues (for example, family injury, illness or bereavement etc.)

  • Documentation may include:

    • A medical certificate or signed statement from a medical practitioner registered by the relevant National Medical Board (http://www.medicalboard.gov.au)

    • A letter of support from the Counselling and Disability Services may also be included where relevant.

Statements signed only by a pharmacist are unacceptable.

  • Commitments to participate in elite sport or other activities that warrant favourable consideration

  • Commitment to assist with emergency service activities (for example bushfire protection)

  • Unavoidable and unexpected work commitments (for example relocation, change to fly-in fly-out shift work)

For more detailed information, please refer to section 13 of Curtin's Assessment and Student Progression Manual.


An application for Assessment Extensions must be submitted to the Unit Coordinator before the assessment submission deadline. In unexpected circumstances a request may be accepted up to five working days after the due date of the assessment task. This may happen if you provide a satisfactory explanation of why you were not able to submit the application by the due date of the assessment task.
When an application for Assessment Extension is granted you should be informed by your Unit Coordinator of the outcome of your application within three working days from submission. The Unit Coordinator will indicate on the application form for Assessment Extension the new details of your assessment, for example date and venue if it is an exam or test.  
Should your application for Assessment Extension be approved, you are advised not to commit to any other arrangements that will prevent you from completing the assessment task(s). If you fail to complete the deferred assessment at the specified time, you will not be allowed another extension, unless this was due to unexpected circumstances beyond your control.
If you can demonstrate ongoing or further unexpected circumstances, you can be granted additional extension. If the circumstances are different than those described in the original application for Assessment Extension, you must complete a new Assessment Extension application form.

When an Application for Assessment Extension is not granted

If your application for Assessment Extension is unsuccessful, you have the option to appeal to the Head of School within five working days of being told you were unsuccessful. The Head of School should inform you of their decision within three working days of the outcome. Should your second appeal to the Head of School be unsuccessful, you can appeal to the Pro Vice-Chancellor within five working days of receiving your outcome and they should respond within three working days of the decision being made. The decision from Pro Vice-Chancellor is final.
For clarification about  the grounds of appeal and to review your draft appeal letter, come and speak to Student Assist.  

Supplementary Assessment 

A supplementary assessment is the approval by the Board of Examiners for a student to sit an additional assessment task in order to provide the student another opportunity to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes.

Not all units provide supplementary assessments. If supplementary assessments are provide this will be indicted in the Unit Outline. There are no appeals or application process for students ask for a supplementary assessment.

If you are granted a Supplementary examination you will be notified in writing (via your OASIS Official Communication Channel, a hard copy letter or email to student provided account) by the relevant School of the date, time and venue of the Supplementary examination. Should you pass the Supplementary examination or assessment, you will be awarded a pass in the unit. The mark of the initial examination/assessment will be retained (for example, your mark might be displayed as P46).

It is the responsibility of students to be available to attend or complete the Supplementary Assessment based on the instructions provided by the School or organising area. International students must attend their Supplementary Assessment at the Curtin campus that they are enrolled.

The Board of Examiners will may make a decision on a case by case basis. These are some of the guidelines that may be considered:

  • Approval for Supplementary Assessment should not be granted simply on the basis of a “near pass” ie a mark close to 50%.

  • Student has attempted all required assessment tasks for the unit

  • Student has obtained an overall mark of at least 45% in the unit

  • The student has obtained a Semester Weighted Average (SWA) greater than 50.0 for the current study period (unless only one unit is attempted in the study period)

  • Student's past academic record warrants them being given the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes.

  • A maximum of two Supplementary Assessments may be granted to the same student in a study period

Feel free to come and chat to Student Assist if you need any clarifications. More information can be found in Curtin's Assessment and Student Progression Manual

Conceded Pass for an Assessment  

A conceded pass is when the Board of Examiners has granted a pass for the unit even though the student’s final mark does not meet the requirements for a passing grade.

A conceded pass is determined by the Board of Examiners and there are no appeals process or application to ask for a conceded pass.

The Board of Examiners usually meet at the end of each study period and comprises of:

  • Head of School or Nominee (Chair of the Committee)

  • Course/ Unit coordinators and/ or teaching staff of the units

As schools are allowed to place their own resections on granting a conceded pass, here are some basic guidelines:

  • The student has attempted all required assessment tasks for a unit (including any final examination, if applicable)

  • The student has an overall mark of less than 50, but in the opinion of the unit coordinator has achieved the unit learning outcomes

  • A Conceded Pass may be particularly appropriate for a student with a good academic record in their final study period

  • A student may not be granted a Conceded Pass with a mark of less than 45

  • A student may not be granted more than one Conceded Pass in any one study period.

Here is a link to the policy that guides the approval of Conceded Pass in Curtin's Assessment and Student Progression Manual.  

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