UQ policies and guidelines regarding the conduct of assessment and examinations are described fully the in various Policy and Procedures Library (PPL) documents available centrally. Students can also refer to the My UQ webpages “Manage My Program.

As required by UQ processes, electronic course profiles (ECP) contain the definitive statement on assessment matters related to a particular course. This includes the types and weighting of assessment, the grading methods, late submission and penalties, and a statement that supplementary assessment is not available in the course, where relevant. The specific details for each assessment item in each course may then be detailed further in the course Blackboard site.

This document (General Assessment Guidelines – MD Program) provides guidelines for staff and students in relation to those aspects of assessment that are common across all courses in Phase 1 and/or Phase 2 of the MBBS/MD program, and which are not described in PPL.

Students should initially seek information about assessment processes within the ECP, and where appropriate this will direct them to this document, or to the relevant UQ central policy document.


Deferred assessment

Deferred assessment will be approved in line with the provisions outlined on the My.UQ website. As a guide, deferred examinations are available for mid-semester and end-of-semester exams, and for written, oral, theory-based, practical, or online exams. Students may be eligible for a deferred exam:

  • if there are exceptional or unavoidable circumstances, or
  • as a one-off discretionary request

In seeking a deferred assessment, students should note that most assessments in the MD program are run by the Faculty (School-based exams). Exams of this type are referred to within SI-net as “mid-semester” exams”. In Step 8 of the application process (or step 7 for discretionary deferred applications), students should therefore select mid-semester exam even if the assessment was held at the end of semester.

Extension of deadlines for assessment submission

Where an assessment must be submitted by a student, this fact and the date and time of the submission will be specified in the electronic course profile. Penalties may apply for late submission. Where required, students may seek an extension of time for the assessment prior to the stated deadline by following the processes outlined in Applying for an Extension section of my.UQ.

Supplementary assessment

Supplementary assessment is an additional opportunity to demonstrate that the learning requirements for an eligible course have been satisfied and that the graduate attributes for the course have been attained. Supplementary assessment may only be granted where PPL 3.10.09 Supplementary Assessment – procedures allow.

A grade of 4 (or P) is the highest grade that can be awarded in a course where supplementary assessment has been granted. For further information on supplementary assessment please see the my.UQ website.

From 2019 MD/MBBS students need to apply for supplementary assessment, up to a maximum of 4 units of course(s) in a semester. If you have failed a course with a grade of 3 – or a non-graded 'N' – you may be eligible for a supplementary assessment. Further information on how to apply for a supplementary assessment is provided here. Please note applications are due by 5pm on the fifth calendar day following the release of results.

Supplementary assessments may not be available for some courses or assessment components within a course. Non-availability of supplementary assessments will always be stated in the ECP. The decision to not provide supplementary assessments is typically made where the assessment is based on the successful development and demonstration of professional competence over the entire course, or participation and contribution to clinical placements or tutorials over the entire course. Assessment components that are not generally eligible for supplementary assessment include but are not limited to Workplace-based assessments such as Clinical Participation Assessments (CPA) or Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS), and participation in CBL tutorials or Clinical Coaching sessions.

Timing of supplementary and deferred examinations

Students are provided with only one opportunity to attend deferred and supplementary examinations, and students must attend the exam at the scheduled time. Failure to attend a deferred or supplementary examination may hinder progression to the next stage of the MD program. While the details below are provided for guidance, specific details regarding the date, time and venue of all deferred and supplementary exams will be provided closer to the time of the exam.

Phase 1

Deferred and supplementary end-of-semester written exams in Phase 1 are scheduled to take into account the longer semesters in the MD program and the Year 1 Observership. The following is provided as general guidance.

Semester 1

  • Year 1 and Year 2 courses:
    • Deferred Exams will take place after the official exam period and before the official Supplementary period. This deferred exam period will generally be in Week 1 of Semester 2.
    • Supplementary Exams will be held in the official Deferred and Supplementary Exam period, as per the University’s Academic Calendar.

Semester 2

  • Year 1 courses:
    • Deferred Exams will take place in the official Deferred and Supplementary Exam period, as per the University’s Academic Calendar.
    • Supplementary Exams will take place in January of the following year.
  • Year 2 courses:
    • Deferred Exams will take place after the official exam period and before the official Supplementary period. This deferred exam period will generally be in the first week of December.
    • Supplementary Exams will be held in the official Deferred and Supplementary Exam period, as per the University’s Academic Calendar.

Phase 2

Deferred exams will be held in the official Deferred and Supplementary Exam period for each semester, as per the University’s Academic Calendar. Supplementary exams will also usually be held in this period, though in some cases such as following failure of a deferred exam, they may be held at a later date as per UQ policies.

Please note: students who undertake a deferred or supplementary assessment in Semester 2 of Year 4 will NOT be eligible to graduate with the main year cohort in December.

Hurdle Requirements

A hurdle requirement is an assessment task mandating a minimum level of performance as a condition of passing the course. Some, but not all, courses have one or more hurdle requirements. If a course does have a hurdle requirement, it will be listed on the ECP. Usually, a hurdle requirement will require that a student attend a certain percentage of classes, achieve a pass mark in an end-of-semester examination, or complete all assessments for a course.

Where the pass mark for a hurdle requirement is not specified in the ECP, it will be the same as the mark required to pass that course overall. Where not otherwise specified in the ECP, the Hurdle component pass mark may also be lowered using the same standard setting mechanism used to determine the pass mark for the course overall.

Please note that meeting the Hurdle Requirement for a course does not guarantee a pass mark, but simply means that a student is eligible to pass if they perform sufficiently well in their assessment overall.


Individual assessment elements (mid-semester exams, assignment grades etc.) will be recorded to two (2) decimal places. The overall mark obtained for the course, as expressed as a percentage will be rounded to a whole number such that a percentage mark for the course of x.50% or greater will be rounded up to (x+1)%. A percentage mark of less than x.50% will be rounded down to x%.

Standard Setting

The process of determining the minimum level required to demonstrate competency in the course (the “pass mark” or “cut score”) is called standard setting. There are a number of recognised standard setting methods that are employed in the MD program. Where a pass mark has been set at a pre-determined level prior to the actual assessment, standard setting may be used to moderate a set pass mark downwards to the advantage of students. Standard setting will not be used to raise a pre-determined pass mark.

Exam review procedures

ExamSoft delivered exams

When the exam is conducted on the ExamSoft platform students will typically receive detailed feedback regarding their performance in the exam. A number of options for the provision of this feedback are available to the course coordinator and the timing of the release of this information depends on the scheduling of the deferred examinations. In some instances students will receive a “Strengths and Opportunities Report” highlighting their performance in the various curriculum content areas. Course coordinators may also elect to release the full exam paper.

Exam review for papers not delivered via ExamSoft

Section 7 of PPL 3.10.08 Release of Examination Papers outlines the processes by which students are able to view their examination paper. If a student identifies a specific query, area of concern or potential error when viewing their paper, they should refer to the following My UQ information: https://my.uq.edu.au/information-and-services/manage-my-program/academic- progress-and-final-results/querying-result.

For queries in relation to Phase 2 examinations students should in the first instance contact the course coordinator.

Re-marks for workplace-based assessments

Many assessments in the MD program comprise expert evaluation within an authentic clinical learning environment, often over an extended period. Assessments of this type cannot be duplicated, and therefore cannot be remarked, or cross-marked by another examiner. Assessments that fall within this category include, but are not limited to Clinical Participation Assessments.