Assessment methods vary by institution. They tend to reflect the UK teaching method and style. Written examinations (at the end of a year or, in some cases, in the final undergraduate year only) are the most common form of study assessment. Continuous assessment, which is a combination of written work, performance and sometimes oral examination is used frequently as well. Individual institutions can provide you with more information on their assessment methods.
Other Tips on UK Study
- You will find that you have much more time for independent study, which means that you will have to organize your private study time. This is often particularly difficult for US students who are used to having their time scheduled and getting credit for simply attending class. Remember, a good balance between work and play is vital to success in the British education system.
- You will not always be dealing with facts and right or wrong answers. The UK system teaches learning how to think, not what to think and independent learning is encouraged.
- You will often attend "lectures" in lieu of actual "classes." Keep in mind that in the UK "lectures" tend to uphold their name. You may not have the opportunity to put your two "pence" in during lectures, but realize that you will be expected to put in your two pence and more during your supervisions or tutorials.
When you've worked out your timetable of research or of lectures, seminars and tutorials, you may be surprised to find that you have quite a lot of "free" time. Take control of this time and organize it carefully. Time that isn't organized can disappear very quickly, leaving you rushing to catch up on your work or even running out of time altogether.
Pub and Drinking
It is more likely you will be invited out for a "pint" than you will be asked to go to coffee. However, if you are not comfortable drinking, or you simply can't or don't drink, don't feel pressure. Again, it is perfectly acceptable not to drink alcohol and there are certainly British students who don't drink either. There are plenty of other things to do besides going to pubs and those activities aren't difficult to find.
Consider a day trip to see local sites and the availability of weekend travel in the UK and Europe. Check with your Student Union or in the local paper for events around town including local clubs and sports events or go to dinner with friends, have coffee or see a movie.
In India what we understand by cheating is if during exams if we copy from somebody elses answer sheet and present that answer as our own (with or without the other persons knowledge. This form of cheating in exam has zero tolerance in Universities abroad. So, each of you will have to give your exams after working hard and honestly.
However, plagiarism refers to a different type of academic fraud and it is important you make yourself aware of this from now itself. Especially, since there are cases of plagiarism that have been caused by students misunderstanding the plagiarism rules.
Copying assignments off the net, using a previous students assignment from the years before are some obvious cases of plagiarism. Then there is the more subtle level of plagiarism and that is getting inspired from somebody else's work and not giving credit to the source.
Poor referencing is another case in point. If you refer to several books for developing an assignment then you might forget to give credit to certain words, ideas that you may have read elsewhere. Also, in some countries there is limited sensitivity surrounding plagiarism, to the extent that some of you might come from a University or a college where may have been encouraged to copy text directly form original sources. But in most international academic environments this would be considered unacceptable.
One grey area, in plagiarism, is group work. On some assignments students are required to work together to some extent and then subsequently work on their own on an individual assignment. There is obviously a point at which this collaboration goes beyond what is deemed acceptable; however, this point varies according to the nature of the assignment. It is always good to clarify at the beginning of the assignment at what stage individual assignment needs to begin.
It is therefore very important that when you join a University you make yourself aware of the rules surrounding referencing for an assignment and the proper way to do the same. Good Luck.