Macquarie University uses the grades HD, D, Cr, P and F for grading the achievements of students in units of study. The meaning of each symbol is explained in Schedule 1 of the Assessment Policy, available at
It may be possible to pass this unit by rote learning formulae and applying them to the easier routine questions within the assessment tasks. To obtain a credit or higher grade higher you will need to also be making progress on some of the harder questions in the assessment tasks that test deeper understanding. These questions require
- applying concepts and principles to solve problems which are not necessarily of exactly the same type as problems encountered previously; and
- explaining, in clear, simple, non-technical language the concepts, processes and rationale behind the mathematical symbols.
To assist you in understanding this distinction, the tutorial exercises are divided into routine questions and harder question.
When you work as an actuary or in any other profession, if you have a dangerous misunderstanding of a concept you may provide incorrect advice to a client, possibly with severe financial consequences for your client and yourself. However, if you realise that you don’t understand a concept you may refrain from giving advice on it until you have filled the gaps in your knowledge. That is, dangerous misunderstandings have more serious consequences than a recognised lack of knowledge.
The grading philosophy and marking scales adopted in this unit (and in many other university units) reflect this situation. Correct relevant statements earn marks. Statements revealing dangerous misunderstandings result in the deduction of marks. If your answers reveal that your misunderstandings are very severe or numerous, you might earn a negative mark for a question. If a part of a question is worth x marks, the smallest mark you can be allocated for that part is –x marks.
As an example, a minor error when keying numbers into your calculator is not usually regarded as a dangerous error provided the resulting incorrect answer is plausible. However, if a calculator error results in an obviously unreasonable answer, such as a probability outside the range 0 to 1, or an expected value outside the range of possible outcomes for the random variable, and you fail to state that you realise this answer is unreasonable, this would be regarded as a dangerous misunderstanding.
Results for the online quizzes become available at the deadline for submission. It is the responsibility of students to view their marks for each quiz on iLearn within 20 working days of their release. If there are any discrepancies, students must contact the unit convenor immediately. Failure to do so will mean that queries received after the release of final results regarding assessment marks (not including the final exam mark) will not be addressed.
Assessment criteria for all assessment tasks will be provided on the unit iLearn site.