iSci Assessment is designed to be aligned with the research-based, innovative learning methods developed for the program. Assessed activities will be varied and challenging, and will allow students to demonstrate the full range of competencies gained during the course.

ISCI 1A24 is equivalent to taking four, full (two term) level one courses concurrently. This total course equivalence diagram is thus scaled to 400% allowing direct comparison of grading with other courses. For example, the total contribution of math-related activities during ISCI 1A24 will be equivalent to 80% of activities in a standard level one math course.


Continuous Assessment: Discipline-specific coursework, including labs and problem sets, allowing students to practise techniques, develop skills and prepare for exams.

Exams: Mid-term and final exams will ensure students meet knowledge levels of comparable first year science courses.

  • Core knowledge will be assessed through discipline-specific questions equivalent to other level one exams.
  • Synoptic problems are integrated questions which include more involved problems that cross discipline boundaries requiring application of concepts in novel contexts.

Research Projects: Assignments for project work will vary but will include writing, oral presentation, or creation of materials for a specified audience. This will give students the opportunity to experience the professional processes of writing research papers, research proposals, creating funding bids, and communicating scientific information to non-specialists.

University-issued Official Transcripts will contain one grade for the entire first year course. A Program Transcript will be issued as well so students (and future educators and employers) can see discipline-specific proficiencies.

Contact iSci

H.G. Thode Library, 306
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West Hamilton ON L8N 3Z5