In order to pass the unit, you need to obtain a total mark of at least 50%.
Late Assessment Submission Penalty: Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, a 5% penalty (of the total possible mark) will be applied each day a written assessment is not submitted, up until the 7th day (including weekends). After the 7th day, a grade of '0' will be awarded even if the assessment is submitted. Submission time for all written assessments is set at 11:55 pm. A 1-hour grace period is provided to students who experience a technical concern. For any late submission of time-sensitive tasks, such as scheduled tests/exams, performance assessments/presentations, and/or scheduled practical assessments/labs, students need to submit an application for Special Consideration.
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.
Assignments (25%): two assignments relating to material covered in class will be given to test students' general understanding and problem-solving skills, as well as prepare students for the type of questions they can expect in the final exam. In each assignment, students may be asked to write short computer codes to solve parts of problems; 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 profession that requires a science degree as a platform.
Class Presentations (30%): in 2 separate weeks students will be asked to read sets of notes, book pages or journal articles, or some combination of these media dealing with an astrophysical topic. Some of the material will be new to the students, and some 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 detail, 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 place them within a broader context.
Final Examination (30%): The final examination will be three hours in duration, plus ten minutes of reading time. The final examination questions will be similar in style to those in the quizzes and assignments, but answered 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 generally 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.