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Student Academic Assessment


  • The academic year is divided not into semesters, but into four modules of 8-12 academic weeks, with an examination period at the end of each. The exact dates for every year are outlined in the academic calendar.
  • There are no designated periods for exam preparation. During the seven days of the period, students may be assigned up to 7 exams, but no more than one per day.
  • An exam is the final assessment element for a course. It should commence no earlier than 9:00 AM and conclude by 9:00 PM. The duration of an exam may not exceed 4 academic hours.
  • Instead of a 'Pass', at the HSE University, grades are given on a 10-point scale. There may be no exams for certain courses; in such cases, a grade for the interim assessment is given during the exam period. 'Pass' grades are given only for physical training and for short-term projects as part of practical training.
  • The grade for the interim assessment is calculated using a formula that considers all grades received for all assessment elements. Each course has its formula, outlined in the respective syllabus.
  • HSE University adopts a 10-point grading scale, where every point can be converted to a 5-point grading system, which is officially applied in Russia, and the ECTS grading scale, using the grade conversion scale. Instructors may use any scale for ongoing assessment.
  • The gradebook is electronic. All grades are entered into the record sheet and then they are made available to students through their personal electronic record book in the LMS.
  • The instructor records students' interim results in the ongoing assessment record sheet. The grade for the course is entered in the interim assessment record sheet.


The curriculum can vary significantly. The entire educational process is organised based on curricula for the standard period of study (four years for undergraduates and two years for master's students), developed in accordance with educational standards and revised annually (working curricula) for each specific academic year. The curricula include a list, volumes, and sequence of all courses for each educational programme.

Annually, each student formulates their individual curriculum—a list of courses that the student commits to master over the academic year.

Is it necessary to aim for top grades?

For HSE Univeristy students, receiving a grade of five is perfectly acceptable, indicating satisfactory performance. However, if you intend to achieve good or excellent grades, it is important to remember that HSE uses a 10-point grading scale. Its correlation with the five-point and ECTS grading scales is available via the link.

Students are not permitted to retake an exam to improve a satisfactory, good, or excellent grade to an even higher one. This is prohibited, even if an accidentally received grade of five hinders your ability to graduate with distinction.

Cumulative Grading System

The grade for interim assessment, which is formed during the examination period, depends on a grade formula that considers the grades received during ongoing assessments, including the exam grade. The fundamental principle of evaluating students' learning outcomes is the cumulative nature of the interim assessment: the grade for a course depends on the student's continuous efforts, as demonstrated through grades for each assessment element during the module, semester, or year.

Interim Assessment

Ongoing and interim assessments are conducted in accordance with the Regulations for Interim and Ongoing Assessments of Students at HSE University.

The grade for the interim assessment is calculated using a grading formula that is mandatorily recorded in the course syllabus and takes into account each of the grades from elements of ongoing assessment, the list of which is also fixed in the syllabus with an indication of those elements that cannot be retaken. If the formula for the interim grade uses the weighted sum of grades from elements of ongoing assessment with a total weight of 1, then none of the ongoing grades can weigh more than 70% in this formula.

Any assessment element, including exams, can have a blocking character. If an unsatisfactory grade is received for a blocking control element, the interim grade (or its part) remains unsatisfactory until the student receives a positive grade for this control element (either immediately or on retake), after which the interim grade (or its part) is recalculated taking into account the received positive grade.

An unsatisfactory grade for an assessment element cannot be a reason for barring a student from subsequent assessments for that course (including exams).

Academic Norms

For cheating, using prohibited materials and means, as well as communicating with other students during assessments, the instructor has the right to remove the student from the classroom and assign a grade of "0".

HSE University strictly enforces adherence to academic norms in students' written assignments. Terms papers, final theses, and papers completed as final assignments within the "Academic Writing" course conducted in English are subject to mandatory plagiarism checks.

At the instructor's discretion for a given academic discipline, written homework assignments, essays, reports, and tests may also be subject to plagiarism checks.

A student found to have plagiarised in their work may be expelled from the University.

More about plagiarism

Academic Failure and Retakes

Academic failure occurs when a student receives an unstasfactory final grade of 3 points or less (on a 10-point scale) for an interim/final assessment on the course, does not pass an interim assessment for a course without a valid reason, and/or does not participate in the mandatory external assessment stipulated by the degree programme's curriculum or another regulatory act. It also includes failure to select a topic for term paper or final thesis within the set deadlines.

To continue their studies, students must timely eliminate all academic failures. Both parts and a set of assessment elements for a course (as outlined in the syllabus) may be subject to retake. According to the Regulations for Interim and Ongoing Assessments of Students at HSE University, retakes are organised within specific deadlines to clear academic failures: the first and second. The first retake is conducted by the instructor who assigned the interim assessment grade, and the second retake is taken before a special examination board comprising a minimum of three examiners, including the course instructor. After retakes, the interim grade for the course is recalculated using the original formula described in the syllabus, taking into account the new grades for the retaken elements.

After the first retake, students with one or two failed assignments have the following options:

  • opt for the second retake within the ongoing retake period (referred to as the "standard option");
  • choose not to participate in the second retake and postpone it, requesting to repeat the course: to reattend it, undergo all assessment elements, and then proceed to the second retake, which would be the last remaining opportunity to pass the final assessment for this course.

There are two* retake periods, during which academic failures can be eliminated.

Academic failure in

Deadline for retake periods

Modules 3–4

October 15

Module 1–2

February 15

*Students in their final year of study will be granted an additional retake period for failed courses in Module 3 before the commencement of the final state certification. 

Retake dates should be mutually agreed upon by students and programme offices, and in the event of a significant conflict between the retake timetable and the class schedule, students may request the programme manager to explore potential options for rescheduling retakes within the established retake period. There must be a minimum interval of 5 calendar days between the first retake and the second retake administered by a board.

If after all retakes at least one failed assignment remains unresolved, the student will face dismissal from the University due to academic failure.

Student Performance Assessment

After every examination period a student is evaluated based on their student performance assessment (SPA) to determine the conditions for continuing their studies. In simple words, SPA is a number of failed courses. Most of the students have a critical SPA value of 2, meaning that they cannot have more than two failed assessments. Students surpassing the critical SPA value assigned to them taking into account their status in a special student category are subject to dismissal for not fulfilling their obligations to diligently pursue the degree programme and follow the curriculum, and then they may get reinstated.


Students are entitled to appeal the outcomes of key assessment elements and/or exams. However, appeals purely on dissatisfaction with the received grade will not be accepted.

Appeals are justified if there are inaccuracies in question formulation, errors in task or test formulations, breaches in assessment procedures, grading methodologies, or any circumstances that could have biased the lecturer's evaluation. Appeals must specify these reasons. The reasons for an appeal must be specified in the application.

An appeal is to be submitted by the student within three working days from the announcement of the grade, addressed to the academic head of the educational programme or Vice Rector, S.Yu.Roshchin, if the appeal concerns the results of exams and/or blocking assessment elements of the university-wide elective.

A dedicated commission of at least three lecturers, excluding the one who administered the exam or assessment, will review appeals within three working days of submission. This commission meets with the involved student and lecturer, possibly alongside a pre-approved Student Council representative (of the faculty where the student is enrolled/the university-wide Student Council—if there is no faculty Student Council/ the Student Council of the branch).

Non-attendance by the student or lecturer does not hinder the appeal's consideration.

Successful appeals may lead to a retake or reassessment, with the possibility of an updated grade if the assessment was written and amendable based on the appeal's outcome.

Valid Reasons for Absence

Valid reasons for missing an assessment include illness (with a medical certificate form 095/U submitted on the return-to-class date via the medical certificate service) and other documentable reasons submitted online to the Student Service Centre within three working days post-absence. Validity is confirmed upon document verification.

Students absent from an assessment constituting at least 30% of their grade are eligible for a retake.

Missed exams for valid reasons are retaken during the designated period, with the study office scheduling the earliest possible date. Successful retakes result in updated grades.

Should a student be unable to retake due to valid reasons during the academic debt clearance period, they must seek a medical institution's conclusion on eligibility for academic leave. Without this conclusion, retake scheduling outside the regular period requires a motivated application to the faculty dean.

Student Rating

The ranking system orders students within an educational programme by academic performance for a specified period, based on the sum of semester grades weighted by course credits.

This ranking impacts the distribution of minors and internships and may offer tuition discounts.

There are both current and cumulative rankings, assessed before and after retakes. Current rankings evaluate half-year achievements, while cumulative rankings consider the entire study period.

Absent or failing students’ grades are entered as zeros pre-retake but are updated post-retake for ranking purposes.

More about student rating


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