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Trinity College Dublin

TCD Mathematics

School of Mathematics

Note: Some details are different for Moderatorship papers (where the external examiners are directly involved). See different guidelines.

1  General Information

The grading scheme for examinations in TCD has third class honors (lowest passing grade) at 40% and a first class honors at 70%. There are intermediate thresholds at 50% and 60% for second class honors (2nd division and 1st division). Although there are failing grades of F.1 (30%-39%), F.2 (0-29%) these have limited direct significance. Depending on the course the student is on, a mark above 35% (but less than 40%) may allow the student to pass by compensation.
The individual module marks are considered by an examiners meeting, which has final approval of the results for each student (and the consequences of applying the various rules regarding progression and compensation and supplementals).
All freshman (JF & SF, or first and second year) students are normally entitled to a supplemental (or second chance) examination. In 2010 these supplementals will start on August 30.
For mathematics students, including those in Theoretical Physics and the Two-subject moderatorship, there are several significant prizes on offer to the students with the best results. For some of the prizes, students from different years compete for the same prize. It has undesirable effects if the results on any one module are much higher than the norm, and it also has undesirable effects if they are very low. As a guide, marks above 80% should be rather rare and indicate exceptional merit.

1.1  Design of examination papers

In particular, the questions and the marking scheme on the papers must allow weak students to show what they know, but should not allow the best students to get excessively good marks. Only truly exceptional students can deserve high marks, but this is less of a worry for Science and Engineering students.
In practice this means the following: