What does my assessment mean? – OurWarwick

What does my assessment mean?

Meredith Whiting | Global Sustainable Development and Sociology Contact Meredith

Modules and assessment methods are choices that some will have to make at the start of their first year, and every following year, whereas some people might not make much of a choice at all. Warwick, from my experience, has been one where I’ve had a lot of choice in what I am able to study and how I will be assessed.

Some degrees will have more set ways of assessments, for example, exams or essays, but for my degree, I have found that some modules have given me the choice of essays or exams. Personally, I prefer the essays – as stressful as deadlines are, I prefer working on an essay for multiple days rather than being assessed on one single day of my university career; although this is purely a personal preference. I really enjoy being able to choose the method that I’ll be graded on, as it gives me some flexibility within my degree, however it is not just these two forms of assessment. Below, I’ve given a little glossary for what some of the terms that you hear might mean, that I’ve come across in my time in GSD.


Anywhere from 750 words to 10,000 words, these are written on a specific topic that is either given to you or that you choose. Often there is a choice of questions for you to write upon, but these can take many forms. Essays may include analysis or commentary, as well as research. They are sometimes seen as similar to coursework, with deadlines that are set that must be met.


Sat in summer, or in some cases in January, these are much like the exams you would have encountered at school. These can include short answer questions, or be one long essay question with a time limit. Often around 2 hours in length, but they can vary.


As the name suggests, you would be working with upwards of 2 of your coursemates to produce a presentation to give to the class, either on a project you have completed or research you have undertaken. Between 5-20 minutes in length, they are a change to the standard writing otherwise done.


Used in some modules, this is a form of assignment that is formatted as a proposal for a policy based upon research you have undertaken. Possibly teamed with a 2-5 minute speech about your chosen topic, the length of this assignment can vary from 1000-3000 words, and is often up to you to decide the specific area of interest.


In this, you are graded upon your participation and engagement within workshops. From answering questions to engaging in in-depth discussion with your peers in the seminars, it’s a way for tutors to recognise those who interact in class and encourage more discussion!

While these may not be all the forms of assessment for modules you do, they’re certainly some of the more common ones. I hope that this might have demystified some of the work here at university – and in GSD – and please ask if you have any questions!

Meredith Whiting | Global Sustainable Development and Sociology Contact Meredith

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