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Examination

The courses offered by the Department of Earth Sciences are examined as part of the Natural Sciences Tripos at the end of each academic year. Dates, times and locations of examinations will vary from year to year, and will be published when appropriate here. You should contact your Director of Studies if you have any questons. For Part IA and Part IB, since you will be taking other courses within the Natural Sciences Tripos, the marks from each of your subjects (except your IA Maths course, which will contribute 70% or 75% of a full subject) will contribute equally to your overall result for the year. For Part II and Part III your performance within the Earth Sciences course is your result.

Past Tripos Papers

Examinations consist of one or more theory papers, with questions requiring essay-type answers, and one or more practical papers posing questions related to calculations, physical specimens and geological maps etc. Copies of all past papers can be found by following the links below. Remember that although past papers are a good guide to the sorts of questions posed, be aware that the specific format of your papers may be different to those in previous years.

1A Earth Sciences tripos papers
1B Earth Sciences A tripos papers
1B Earth Sciences B tripos papers
Pt II Earth Sciences tripos papers
Pt III Earth Sciences tripos papers

Marking and classing

All theory questions are marked according the the Department's marking criteria, interpreted as appropriate for the relevant part of the Tripos. Practical questions tend to have right /wrong answers and are marked according to criteria specific to the question.

Marking criteria for answers in Earth Sciences written papers

Marks for individual questions are then totalled for each paper. Practical and theory paper marks are summed in fixed proportions (60% theory, 40% practical in Parts IA and IB) and the percentage total converted to a grade according to the marking scheme for the relevant part of the Tripos. The IA and IB marking schemes are the same for all subjects in the NST tripos:

Marking schemes for Part II and Part III are also given in the relevant Course Guide for each part of the tripos.