Types of assessment

Assessment preferably takes place immediately after the end of the lectures concerned, and for some subjects also during the lectures. The type of assessment also depends on the learning goals of the subject.

Written exams

  • open questions (including essay questions)

  • multiple choice questions

  • open-book exams

The type of exam is determined by the goal: multiple choice questions are good for testing knowledge and less suited to assessing insight and application. The advantage of multiple choice questions is the wide range of questions, which makes it possible to address all subjects. The faculty uses this type of exam for an encyclopaedic subject in the propaedeutic year. However, as the study progresses, the faculty feels that it is important to also test insight (BA2) and application. For that reason, only open exam questions are used in exams in later years.

With open questions, it is important that the range of subjects is as wide as possible. It is therefore important not to have too few questions and essay questions must be formulated in such a way that the lecture material is comprehensively tested. Any gaps could be filled by testing the remaining material with interim assignments.

Open book exams are ideal for subjects involving calculations like statistics, where the use of a method or skill is tested. This type of exam can also be taken via BlackBoard.


Essays assess the student at several levels: various general academic skills are tested, such as problem formulation, reporting, critical analysis of texts and application of the acquired knowledge. An essay lends itself well to combining knowledge of several disciplines, application and insight with clear reporting. If necessary, a literature search can be added to this, depending on the extent of the assignment.


Assignments vary widely within the faculty: they may be part of a module aimed at encouraging the student to actively follow the lectures, after which the subject is concluded with a written exam. This might involve exercises, or producing discussion points or an essay on a subject that has been addressed in class. Such assignments usually count towards the final assessment. This can vary according to the subject and is explained in the subject description.

The faculty also includes a practical component in the Bachelor programme: students must be able to carry out independent field work, as well as analyse material in the laboratory at basic level (Bachelor) or advanced level (Master). These practical exercises mainly take place in the Bachelor phase, by means of field work and material practicals. In principle, there is no field work in the Master programme, but there is plenty of scope for analysing material for a student’s own research project.


Presentations are an essential part of the programme’s curriculum. In the first year, students are taught the basic skills, after which presentations regularly appear on the timetable, including feedback on style and reasoning, so that the student learns to recognise his/her strengths and weaknesses. A standard form is available for this.


An active attitude during discussions and practical skills in interactive lectures and practical sessions is usually part of an assessment of these components. This may be assessed separately, but may also be used to round a grade up or down. In all cases, this assessment takes place alongside other types of assessment, such as essays, a presentation or report, so that it is always possible to compensate.

Last Modified: 23-02-2015