The Very Basics of Assessments

Updated: Jul 3

Assessment events don’t have to be stressful, but they can often seem daunting to students at any stage of their learning. As distance-learning students, it can feel like we are facing these assessments alone but don't worry - we have your back! In this blog post, we’ll go over the very basics of assessments and where to find more information.


So, when should I apply for an assessment event?

In order to go through the assessment without unnecessary stress, it's always good to make sure that you have all your ducks in a row beforehand. This usually requires:

  • that you have submitted the penultimate assignment of your module (and ideally have received tutor feedback for it). This is contained in the Academic Regulatory Framework which is on the OCA's site.

however

Okay, I'm ready! How do I apply?

You can apply for the assessment using the OCA assessment application here.

From there, you'll need to fill out the application and select which event you'll be aiming for.


What do I need to submit?

In general, you'll need to submit the following:

  1. A selection of learning log entries evidencing the connections between your coursework and learning outcomes (this requirement does not apply to Creative Writing course units). See the Course Guides which will provide information on your learning outcomes.

  2. A selection of creative work, such as a portfolio, or other presentation of your final or strongest pieces. See the Course Guides for details.

  3. Any critical reviews, essays, or other written reports. Check the Course Guides to see if you need to submit a written element.

  4. A reflective presentation or evaluation reflecting on your work and learning journey as a whole. For most students, this will either take the form of a 6-minute presentation, or a 750 word written evaluation. For students submitting Creative Writing course units, you will submit a reflective commentary.

  5. Your tutor reports. You should have received five or six reports, depending upon your course unit, from your tutor. Please submit these.

Please check your course guides to find out exactly what you need to submit. These can be found HERE. For more information regarding what you'll need to submit, please click here.


When are the assessment events?

Each year there are three events for you to choose from. These are the March, July & November Assessment Events. Don't be fooled by the months though (easily done), if you're aiming for a particular event, keep in mind that you need to submit your work roughly two months before the event.


Here is a handy little guide showing when the events are and when you need to prepare for them.


I applied but I'm not ready, can I defer?

Sometimes, things take longer to sort through or perhaps you've got a lot going on right now. Either way, if you've signed up for an assessment event but you're not quite ready, email the assessment team at assessment@oca.ac.uk. They can defer you to the next assessment date.


When will I receive my results?

Although there isn't a definite answer for this, the pattern for receiving results is usually within 1-2 months following the assessment event, however, this can vary. The exam boards typically meet towards the end of the assessment event month, for example, for the November event, the exam board will meet between the end of that month and the early part of December. OCA does not make any commitments to deliver results within the time frame written here, if you're concerned that you haven't received results please get in touch with the Assessments Team.


You're all set to go through the assessment! Good luck!


We also have a dedicated assessment channel in the Discord Server which opens just before each application deadline. Here you can talk about all things assessment, get feedback on your chosen pieces or just share a meme! Feel free to join; you can find the link here.

Sources:

When in doubt, the most up-to-date information is (at time of writing) in these places:

  1. Course: Assessment Guidance (OCA Learn)

  2. OCA Academic Regulatory Framework v19 Sept 2020

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