This system runs under many titles, yet ultimately entails the same thing: The DP system helps regulate who may or may not write the exams in a course.
This may seem odd to anyone who has only ever experienced high school, where everyone writes the exam regardless of whether you’re passing or failing. Yet, unlike schools, universities see writing the exam in a course as a privilege, and you must work hard during the term in order to be allowed to write the exam in that course (all courses include a number of tests, essays, assignments and a final exam).
At first, many high school leavers are up in arms over this ‘unfair’ way of conducting examinations. But at some point or another, they all seem to warm up to the idea. It only makes sense: If you’re not prepared to work at your degree during the term, then why should you be allowed to write the exam? It was your choice of degree, and the university doesn’t want to waste its time helping people who aren’t prepared to work hard at what they claim to be interested in, so those people should not be given the opportunity to pass a course on the basis of their exam alone, which may have required just 2 or 3 days’ hard work to pass!
Essentially, the DP system simply sets a floor on the entry-level percentage to an exam. In other words, a course may have a 45% DP requirement, which means that you must achieve a weighted average of 45% for all assessment pieces (such as tests, essays and assignments) during the term in order to qualify to write the exam. Having met this requirement, you will sit the exam for that course, and hopefully score high enough to pass the course, which may be, say 60%, when the exam mark is combined with the DP mark that you achieved.
In the event of you not meeting the DP requirement in any course, you will not be allowed to write the exam, and as a result will fail that course. If the course is an additional course to your chosen degree stream (called an ‘elective’), then this may not be a major problem, but if it is a required course for your degree, then you will have to apply to redo the course- a situation you do not want to be in. As with all university systems, the DP system is not set in stone, and a missed DP requirement by 1 or 2 percent may be overlooked if you wield some charm on your faculty head or professors. Though many universities, in particular the top ones will stick to their DP policies quite stringently, for fear of degrading their good name.
Ensuring you meet the minimum DP requirements of more at university is essential for continuing your studies. If you fail to meet the DP percentage, you won’t be allow to write the exams and you will need to redo the entire module the following year. Make sure you work hard throughout the year and not just exam time. It’ll all pay off in the end.