This paper draws on a longitudinal study of students who entered an ancient Scottish university directly from further education colleges (FECs) to discuss the role that different assessment regimes played in their university careers. It illuminates aspects of learning from feedback from the perspective of students whose pre-university experiences of assessment provided a major contrast to that of the majority of their peers. Overall it shows that students do learn from feedback and become able to self-assess and monitor their own learning and develop their own standards. It argues, however, that their experiences can be much more productive if there is more emphasis on feeding forward to meet changing expectations over time. This enables students to develop as independent learners and means that different strategies are appropriate at different stages of students' university careers.