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All examinations take place within the context of the Natural Sciences Tripos. (The Part IA paper is also "borrowed" by both the Computer Science Tripos (CST) and the Mathematics Tripos.) Results for the subjects in Part I of the NST are norm-referenced, while results in Parts II and III of the Tripos are criterion-referenced.

Classes are awarded overall for each Part of the tripos, and not for individual subjects within the Part, although we conventionally talk about a "First-class result in Physics" where we mean that the marks for that subject correspond to those required for a First overall. There is no summative judgement, so that the classes for each year stand alone, and hence classes for all three (or four) years are required to specify a student's performance in the Tripos. Accordingly, Physics does not carry over marks from one year to the next, as do some other subjects.

The standard of classing in Parts II and III (that is, possible final years) is guaranteed by our External Examiners. See list of examiners for details of the current externals. For further details of the marking and classing scheme see the links below.


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