Authentic assessments resemble the tasks that graduates will be required to perform in the workplace. This report compares grades obtained for essays with those for two authentic assessments, namely, the presentation of a poster and the publication of an information pack. Implementation of authentic assessments requires carefully devised assessment criteria, cooperative staff, and students who have been coached on the requirements of style and content. The authentic assessments reported here are valid, reliable, fulfilling and capable of motivating students to achieve. The results are set in the context of marking workload, didactic benefits and student and lecturer job satisfaction. The data illustrate some of the difficulties encountered in 'action research' in the classroom.