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
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 an expected present value of benefits which exceeds the maximum possible benefit, and you fail to state that you realise this answer is unreasonable, this would be regarded as a dangerous misunderstanding.
It is the responsibility of students to view their marks for each within session assessment on iLearn within 20 working days of posting. 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.