Marking and Classing
The following marking scheme has been approved by the Committee of Management for the Natural Sciences Tripos.
Examiners are nominated by the various Faculties and Departments who contribute to teaching on the Tripos and are formally appointed by the General Board. In each subject, there is a Senior Examiner and other appointed Examiners and Assessors who are responsible for setting the papers and marking the scripts. There is also a Chairman of Examiners who, along with the Senior Examiners, assigns classes to candidates and produces the class list and final markbooks.
Marks from individual subjects
In each subject, the Examiners produce a mark out of 100 for each candidate using the local subject examination processes which may include necessary scaling.
There are no specific targets for class distributions in particular subjects, other than, an overall normal expectation that 60% of all candidates taking all papers of a subject shall obtain marks of 60.0 or above.
Deviation from this normal expectation can occur when supported by IA cohort performance.
The final (aggregate) mark will be expressed as an integer in the final markbook, but as there may be intermediate stages of manipulation it is required that marks from individual subjects be submitted to full precision.
The marks for each subject are summed to produce an aggregate mark for the Tripos out of 300.
The aggregate mark is rounded to the nearest integer (for example, 245.4 becomes 245 and 245.5 becomes 246) and is then used by the Senior Examiners to determine an order-of-merit according to the following boundaries:
Class Aggregate mark 1st 300-210 II.1 209-180 II.2 179-150 3rd 149-120 Fail 119 or lower
The order-of-merit compiled by the Examiners is used as a tool to aid them in determining the overall performance of candidates. It is not meant as a firm indicator of any individual candidate's relative standing in the field.
If the final meeting of examiners decide that the fixed mark boundaries above produce results which the meeting agree are unacceptable in terms of deviation from established norms, they may vary the boundaries. A formal vote should be recorded on any such decision.
Candidates who achieve 119 marks or less (out of 300) will not necessarily be awarded honours, although this will be a decision of the Examiners.
The final boundary marks used and the number of candidates in each class are included in the final markbook which is sent to Colleges.