The Department of Physics have agreed that for written examinations in 1998 and thereafter, examiners will mark to agreed criteria. Due to the way in which marks from different subjects are combined to create the final list in Parts IA and IB. The criteria used in Physics are not reflected directly in the class list. For Parts II, III and MASt the examinations are under the direct control of the Department, in conjunction with scrutiny by External Examiners. The criteria for classing in Physics Part II and Part III are as follows:
First class marks, (70.0 to 100%)
A candidate placed in the first class will be able to demonstrate very good command and a secure understanding of the examinable material. Scripts will contain substantially correct solutions to most of the quantitative parts of a question, showing a good grasp of mathematical skills. For questions of an essay nature, first class marks will be awarded for work which is excellent, both in range and in depth of knowledge and in the argument and analysis that it brings to bear.
Upper Second class marks, II.1, (60.0 to 69.9%)
A candidate placed in the upper second class will be able to demonstrate a good command and understanding of the examinable material. Scripts will contain solutions to most of the quantitative parts of a question, thereby demonstrating the basic skills involved. For questions of an essay nature, II.1 marks will be awarded for work that demonstrates knowledge, but which does not provide as impressive a display of understanding, argument and analysis as those in the first class.
Lower Second class marks, II.2, (50.0 to 59.9%)
A candidate placed in the lower second class will be able to demonstrate a reasonable command and understanding of the examinable material. Candidates should demonstrate the ability to make good attempts at the straightforward parts of questions but limited ability to tackle any of the more challenging topics. Answers to questions of a mathematical nature will show an indication of what is required, but fail to proceed sufficiently far into the later parts to demonstrate the skills involved. Essay questions in this class may often read like prepared material rote learnt for the occasion and fail to be impressive in the range of relevant knowledge and depth of understanding, being superficial in scope or lacking clarity of structure.
Third class marks, (40.0 to 49.9%)
A candidate placed in the third class will be able to demonstrate some knowledge, but have little command and understanding of the examinable material. Essay questions in this class may be unduly brief, lacking in examples or failing to adhere to the rubric, by for example answering intelligently, but on material unrelated to the question, or containing some relevant material presented without clear structure or reasoned explanation.
Ordinary / Fail (< 40.0%)
A fail mark for a question demonstrates very little knowledge of the material and little or no ability to begin to tackle questions of a mathematical nature. Essay questions in this class will demonstrate unsatisfactory command of material through a lack of knowledge and an inability to demonstrate any appreciable understanding. It is likely that such answers will be very brief and incomplete, or rambling and irrelevant.
For the MASt degree, a performance marked "D" (Distinction) corresponds to a First class mark; those marked "C" (Commendable) correspond to an Upper Second class mark. A Pass corresponds to a Lower Second or Third class mark.