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Marking criteria for written answers

% Class Written answers





  • Brilliant answer
  • Exceptional understanding of subject and relevant literature
  • Outstanding critical analysis, full of insight
  • Excellently organized, expressed and illustrated
  • Excellent understanding of subject
  • Answer goes well beyond lectures
  • Effective critical analysis and grasp of relevant literature
  • Well organized, expressed and illustrated
  • Very good understanding of course material
  • Sound evidence of outside reading
  • Some critical analysis
  • Well organized, expressed and illustrated
60-69 2.1
  • Sound to good understanding of course material
  • Limited use of extra-course material
  • May contain minor factual errors or omissions
  • Well organized, coherent and adequately illustrated
50-59 2.2
  • Based entirely on course material
  • Lacks some detail in content
  • Contains significant factual errors or omissions
  • Some deficiencies in organization, style or illustration
40-49 3
  • Based imperfectly on course material
  • Contains numerous factual errors or omissions
  • Answer has merit but lacks a sound structure
  • Concepts poorly expressed and illustrated




  • Inadequate content, some maybe irrelevant
  • Poorly organized, expressed and illustrated
  • An attempt at the question, but lacking most relevant content
  • An answer with only isolated glimpses of relevant content
  • A nearly worthless or irrelevant answer
Expectations of appropriate ‘critical analysis’ and ‘relevant literature’ will vary from year to year of the Tripos