In order to pass the unit, you need to obtain a total mark of at least 50%, as well as a mark of at least 40% in the final exam.
Assignments (25%): four exam-style assignments will be given to prepare students for the type of questions they could expect in the final exam, as well as to test their general understanding and problem-solving skills. Programming a computer to answer questions that are not simple to answer in any other way is an essential skill not just in Astrophysics but in virtually any job that requires a science degree as a platform. In part of each assignment, the student will write short computer codes to answer questions.
Quizzes (15%): short quizzes will be scheduled approximately fortnightly, to help students keep up with the material covered, and to help identify any problematic concepts.
Class Presentations (30%): On 4 separate weeks the students will be given a week to read a set of notes and book pages. In order to digest the material, the students are asked to print and annotate the pages, including answering a questionnaire and to be prepared to explain any part of the material to their peers in class during a 2 hour long round table discussion. Part of the material will be new to the students and part will be from content already presented. It is not expected that students understand everything they read; however, it is expected that they be able to present questions about any aspects that they do not fully comprehend, and that these questions be in the context of those concepts that they do understand. The ability to explain a concept in a clear fashion and according to a pre-agreed specification (level of depth, time constraints, etc.) is a key skill to be mastered by any science student, which is why this assessment task is part of the unit.
This assessment task also allows the lecturer to "flip" part of the unit. The oral sessions in which students are presenting and discussing material that has not yet been presented by the lecturer will allow the lecture time to be a far more interesting and in-depth discussion session, rather than a board presentation. The lecturer will be there to consolidate concepts and stimulate a deeper understanding.
Final Examination (30%): The final examination will be three hours long duration plus ten minutes of reading time. The final examination is similar to the theoretical side of the Assignments in style but is carried out under controlled conditions and without the help of books. Battery or solar-powered calculators which do not have a full alphabet on the keyboard will be allowed into the examination. Calculators with text retrieval are not permitted for the final examination.
You are expected to present yourself for the final examination at the time and place designated in the University examination timetable (http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au/). The timetable will be available in draft form approximately eight weeks before the commencement of examinations, and in final form approximately four weeks before the commencement of examinations.
The only exception to not sitting the examination at the designated time is because of documented illness or unavoidable disruption. In these circumstances, you may wish to apply for Special Consideration (see ‘Special Consideration’ in this Guide). You are advised that it is the policy of the University not to set early examinations for individuals or groups of students. All students are expected to ensure that they are available until the end of the teaching semester, i.e. the final day of the examination period.
If you receive special consideration for the final exam, a supplementary exam will be scheduled after results are released. By making a special consideration application for the final exam you are declaring yourself available for a resit during the supplementary examination period and will not be eligible for a second special consideration approval based on pre-existing commitments. Please ensure you are familiar with the policy prior to submitting an application. Approved applicants will receive an individual notification one week prior to the exam with the exact date and time of their supplementary examination.