There are two assessment mechanisms for courses taken at Queen's University. The first is that the professor for the course assesses student performance through a variety of assignments, tests or exams. Secondly, students assess how well the course was presented and how effectively the material and professor met the course overview.

Student Assessment

By the time you have arrived at university, you will have had plenty of experience with the various forms of assessment that teachers have used. This does not change significantly at the university level. One difference to note is if a student has been diagnosed with a disability that requires accommodation, accommodation will be provided with the provision of documentation. This does not mean that any student's personal medical information will be disclosed, only that the medical professional can assist in determining accommodation that the university will seek to provide. If students have not been diagnosed with a particular problem, but feel that extra assistance is required, they are urged to go to the Health, Counselling and Disability Office as soon as they become aware of difficulty in order to document concerns.

The sooner that notification of accommodation requirements is made the greater the likelihood of having assistance before a student gets in significant academic difficulty. Some methods of accommodation include extra time for writing an exam; assistance of a note-taker; or a private space to write a test. If you have had an extenuating circumstance such as a death in the family or other serious family matter, speak to your instructor immediately in order to request accommodation. For more information on special arrangements for examination, see the  University Registrar.

Instructor/Course Assessment

The second type assessment is at the end of the course when the student has an opportunity to provide feedback on how they felt the course and instructor met their needs. This process is called by its acronym, USAT (University Survey of Student Assessment of Teaching). Using the USAT process, courses and instructors are evaluated through student responses to four university-wide evaluation items, up to seven department-chosen items, and up to ten instructor-chosen items. The evaluation statements are printed on Scantron forms and require a response ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree". The form includes space for comments, which students are encouraged to complete in order to give instructors specific feedback.

USAT is designed to evaluate each individual course/section/instructor, so that students in a course with several instructors will be asked to evaluate each instructor separately. There will be only one evaluation for each course/section/instructor, so that full courses continuing from the fall to the winter term will be evaluated once towards the end of the winter term. It is important to note that the Dean, department head, and student societies see the results of the university-wide and department-chosen items. They do not see the students' comments or the results of any additional items the instructor selected for the evaluation form. The completed evaluation forms are sent with the report to the instructor after final marks have been submitted.