Your assessment support package

 how LSE can support you

Information and guidance about taking online assessments

We know that these are uncertain and difficult times for the whole LSE community, especially as you start to prepare for your assessments. LSE has created an assessment support package to help you understand what support is available to you, and how to access it at this critical time. 

What is the assessment support package? 

The assessment support package includes significant changes to some key policies and procedures, alongside a range of support for your studies, your wellbeing and your financial situation. This is to help ensure that you have the best, fairest opportunity to demonstrate and achieve your potential despite the current circumstances.  

There are five areas that make up our assessment support package: 

 You can find out more about each of these areas and how to access support below. 

Supportive policies 

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We’ve made it easier and simpler for you to ask for an extension, defer an assessment or submit exceptional circumstances throughout the summer assessment period, which includes Summer Term assessments, the postgraduate dissertation period and the undergraduate In-year Resit and Deferred Assessment period (IRDAP).

We’ve also introduced a standardised assessment upload window for time-limited Summer Term assessments, made changes to the marking process to account for the anticipated difficulties you may face during the summer assessment period and expanded degree award and classification boundaries.

How our updated policies can support you during your assessments:

Standardised assessment upload window for time-limited assessments

You'll be granted an additional 30 or 60 minutes to prepare and upload documents for all Summer Term assessments with a duration of less than 24 hours. The amount of additional time will depend on the individual assessment and how many documents you are expected to upload - your department will provide more information about this. 

Upload times may vary where there are specific external accreditation requirements.

Relaxed evidence requirements for extensions

You won’t normally be required to provide evidence to apply for an extension. However, if you can provide evidence, it may assist in their consideration.

Extensions can be requested for assessments with a duration of longer than 24-hours and any request must be submitted before the relevant assessment deadline. You can apply for extensions for any number of assessments, but you will need to do so individually. 

 All deferral requests will be granted*

You won’t need to provide evidence to defer an assessment, as deferrals will be granted on request provided you do so either:

  • Before the assessment is first released for 24-hour take-home assessments and shorter, time-limited assessments
  • By the deadline (which could include an agreed extension) for assessments of longer than 24 hours

You can choose to defer one or more of your assessments.

If you’re an undergraduate, you’ll sit deferred assessments in the summer undergraduate resit and deferred assessment period (26 July 2021-17 August 2021) and postgraduate students will sit deferred assessments in the January 2022 postgraduate resit and deferred assessment period. 

*All deferral requests that are received on time (as outlined above) will be granted.

Enhanced Exceptional Circumstances (ECs) policy 

We recognise the ongoing impact COVID-19 may have on your ability to perform at your best academically in an assessment, without making you unable to sit / submit it. We’ve adjusted our Exceptional Circumstances (ECs) policy to take into account COVID-related circumstances and provided examples of what might be acceptable as part of the ECs procedure.

In these instances, you should use the ECs procedure to demonstrate the detrimental impact your circumstances had on your academic performance, which will then be considered at the relevant exam board. In addtion, if you are eligible to graduate, we have expanded the criteria which the exam boards consider in order to award a higher degree classification than the regulations would normally allow. See the Expanded classification and award boundaries section below for more information.

We’ve also extended the deadline for submitting ECs. You’ll need to submit them within 14 days of your last assessment or by 25 June 2021, whichever is earlier. More details are available in the ECs policy.

It's important to remember that by sitting an assessment, you are declaring yourself fit to sit. Where this is not the case, you should consider deferring the assessment.

Expanded classification and award boundaries (ECs)

If you have submitted ECs and are considered to have a borderline mark profile, then the exam boards will carefully consider whether it is appropriate to award you a higher degree classification than the regulations would normally allow.

We’ve expanded the borderline classification and award criteria for postgraduate and undergraduate students as follows:  

Postgraduate students 

To be considered borderline, you will need to be within four marks of the classification boundary in either one or two classification marks or having achieved the required number of classification marks you are within ten marks of the required aggregate.

You will also need to achieve marks in the higher classification range in other courses, demonstrating that your performance in the affected assessment was significantly out of line with your performance in other, unaffected assessments.

We have also established a new borderline Pass/Fail criterion, such that you will be considered borderline if you are within 10 marks of the compensation aggregate for award.  

Undergraduate students 

The borderline classification criteria for undergraduate students have been expanded such that you would be considered to have a borderline profile if, having achieved the required number of classification marks you are within 15 marks (rather than 10) of the required aggregate.

To find out more about the expanded borderline criteria and the other regulatory changes we have made as part of the assessment support package for 2020/21, please refer to the regulatory addenda for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes or the executive postgraduate addendum.

A commitment to cohort-level scaling

For any assessments taken in 2020/21, examiners will be required to analyse historical data to identify if marks for any individual courses are significantly lower than in previous years. Where this is the case, marks will be scaled up for the entire cohort, to bring them in line with historical mark distributions.

A commitment to cohort-level scaling acknowledges the difficulties our community have faced this academic year and aims to remove any negative impact at the cohort level.

A more permissive approach to repeat teaching

If you’re progressing into your next year of study and you have deferred of failed up to one unit of assessment, you may be eligible for 5th unit repeat teaching in addition to the teaching for your next year. This means that you could apply to receive teaching in your failed/deferred unit to help prepare you for your outstanding assessments. Applications for 5th unit repeat teaching are considered by the Repeat Teaching Panel and your department.

In addition, we’re also taking a more permissive approach to repeat teaching applications, relaxing the requirement for external evidence, due to COVID-related circumstances that may have affected your ability to engage with teaching and learning during 2020/21. 

Wellbeing support  

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We know that assessment periods can be challenging, and that it's not always easy to put your wellbeing first. LSE has lots of support systems in place to help you navigate this challenging time. We’ve also put together an assessment wellbeing checklist to help you balance your studies with your wellbeing.  

Study advice and guidance  

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There’s a wealth of study advice available to you at LSE, both at a department level and from across our School. Whether you need help with an academic concept or understanding how to make the most of your revision time, there’s someone at LSE who can help.   

Departmental support 

In your department, you can get support from your academic mentor, your Departmental Tutor (if you’re an undergraduate) or Programme Director (for postgraduate students), your class teachers and professional services staff in your department.  

School-wide support 

There are lots of other ways to get support with your studies outside of your department, from one-to-one sessions and workshops with LSE LIFE, to getting advice from your Academic Support Librarian and developing essential skills with the Digital Skills Lab.   

Financial assistance 

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COVID-19 has introduced many challenges, and we know that some students may be facing additional financial pressures. Both LSE and the LSESU have support funds that can provide financial assistance to those who need it, and LSE’s Financial Support Office run drop-in sessions for advice and guidance that are open to all. Here’s where to find financial support:  

Tech support  

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LSE's Tech Support team will be providing support throughout the summer assessment period. We’re finalising the details of our tech support and we'll update you as soon as we can.

More information will be available soon.

Online learning and assessment guides

There are lots resources available to help you prepare for completing assessments online, including how to enrol for Moodle courses, submit assessments and scan documents.