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Informatics Student Tips

Informatics Student Tips

School of Informatics students give their tips on studying Computer Science and living in Edinburgh

Assignment Grading

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The University uses the Common Marking Scheme as guidance for markers when they are determining a grade for a submitted piece of work. This also gives you feedback on how you are doing at each stage of assessment. If you’re wondering what it means for your grades, read ahead!

What is it? 

The Common Marking Scheme (CMS) is a guide for markers and students when assessing coursework and exams. It provides guidance to students on how they are performing at each stage of their degree and shows the different grade boundaries.  

The grades laying within A1-A3 are supposed to be very hard to attain, so congratulations and well done if you do! A lot of time, especially for essays, the grade of 80-85 and above will be only achievable if you submit something of outstanding quality that could be published. Sometimes you may feel like you haven’t done as well as you would have liked, especially compared to the grades you might have achieved in your education so far. But it’s important to realise that most times you would have actually done well when you take into account the CMS. 

The University CMS is set out below with brief descriptors clarifying the interpretation within the School of Informatics.

Common Marking Scheme

Why do we have it? 

The Common Marking Scheme is a good way of highlighting exceptional students because it is hard to score in the upper A grades. Moreover, it means that the value of an A is high as not many students will be getting them. It also means that only exceptional students will get a 1st class degree when they graduate. 

In the below video, Director of Teaching, Björn Franke explains the types of assessment in the School of Informatics and how the Common Marking Scheme works.

Video – Philosophy of Assessment – what, who, why? by Björn Franke [EASE Login Required]


Blog post originally written by Donald Jennings, Informatics Communications Intern 2022.

Edited by Dimona Videnlieva, Informatics Communications Intern 2023.


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