ECTS (Serbian acronym: ESPB) is a numeric value used to assess student's participation needed to complete:
- a course as a whole,
- all courses in a semester,
- an academic year,
- whole studies.
ECTS credits are gained for the total participation of students in various forms of active teaching (lectures, practical classes, term papers, progress tests, exams and graduation thesis), field work, professional training and individual work such as studying in the library or at home.
All forms of active teaching, including the exam, make one whole. Credits are gained by participating in different forms of coursework defined for each course but they are assigned to a student only after he has passed the course exam. The credits gained for each course make up a total sum of credits needed for finishing each school year or a level of studies (level one - basic studies, level two - graduate academic studies or specialist academic studies or specialist professional studies, level three - doctoral academic studies).
At the Faculty of Chemistry in Belgrade a total sum of 60 ECTS credits corresponds to the average overall student engagement within the scope of 40-hour working weeks in one academic year. During one semester a total of 30 credits can be gained. At the Faculty of Chemistry, the basic academic studies which last four years carry 240 credits, the graduate academic studies carry 60 credits, specialist studies carry 60 credits and doctoral studies carry 180 credits.
Are ECTS credits and course classes related?
Generally speaking, yes, but don't forget that ECTS credits are not based on the course classes themselves but on the overall engagement generated by the classes. Therefore, all elements of coursework are included when a course value is determined through ECTS credits.
ECTS credits are assigned to courses and they can only be given to the students who successfully pass the exam according to the grading terms. In other words, students do not gain ECTS credits by merely attending the classes or listening to a specific topic. Students have to fulfil the grading terms in order to show that they have achieved the defined teaching goals of a specific course. Grading procedure involves a number of forms: written or oral exam, evaluation of students' participation in the classes and combination of these and other methods included in the elements of active teaching.
Students' knowledge assessment
Students' knowledge assessment goes on during the whole semester and it includes points gained for attending lectures, for completing practice work, for term paper, or progress tests as well as for the final exam which can be either written or oral. By passing the exam, a student 'gains' ECTS credits assigned to that course and he/she is given a grade which describes the quality of his/her knowledge and the results achieved in that course. The grade is formed based on the points gained (out of a maximum of 100), and the grading system is defined for each course by the Regulation on gaining credits and forming the final grade.
For example, depending on the form of the knowledge assessment and student participation (out of a maximum of 100), the points can be gained according to the following model:
|Pre-exam requirements||(min. 30 points, max. 70 points)|
|Attendance||15 points (1 point per session)|
|Taking progress tests||8 points altogether|
|Writing a term paper||8 points altogether|
|Doing professional practice work / fieldwork||8 points altogether|
|Experimental / theoretical / computer practical classes||15 points (1 point per session)|
|Exam requirements||(min. 30 credits, max. 70 credits)|
|Practical exam – or||46 points|
|Written exam – or||46 points|
|Oral exam – or||46 points|
|Eliminatory written exam + oral exam||26 + 20 points altogether|
|Points altogether||100 points|
The regulation on gaining points and forming the final grade defines how many points a student needs in order to pass the exam, which activities carry ECTS points and how many points he/she needs to get a certain grade.
Credits are assigned to each student who successfully passes the exam. Apart from credits, a student also gains a grade which describes the quality of his knowledge and the results achieved in that course. The interrelation between these three kinds of grades and the definition of descriptive grades are given in the following table:
|ECTS grade||Num. grade||Definition|
|A||10||EXCELLENT - excellent output with some minor mistakes|
|B||9||VERY GOOD - output above the average, but with some mistakes|
|C||8||GOOD - good output in general, but with a few considerable mistakes|
|D||7||SATISFACTORY - mediocre output, but with considerable deficiencies|
|E||6||PASS - output meets minimal criteria|
|FX||5||UNSATISFACTORY - additional work needed for the credits to be assigned|
|F||5||UNSATISFACTORY - copious/considerable additional work needed|
In this way, a student is always given a grade which describes his/her accomplishment of the course in detail in addition to ECTS credits.
Regulation on taking exams and grading (2019 - in Serbian language)