Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free to post

Is a 2:1, 2:2 and even 3rd class oxbridge degree looked favorably upon then a 1st

Announcements Posted on
Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DynamicSyngery)
    ...At Oxbridge, the very most rigorous universities for entry, they talk to you for 20 minutes and make a decision based on that and a whole lot of random factors...
    I wouldn't have put so much effort into the two hour aptitude test if I had known that it was just a 'random factor'.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by shoshin)
    I wouldn't have put so much effort into the two hour aptitude test if I had known that it was just a 'random factor'.
    Aptitude tests are not used in general, only for some subjects.
    • 97 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    You'd be surprised how much you can gauge about an applicant in 20 minutes :yes:
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    You'd be surprised how much you can gauge about an applicant in 20 minutes :yes:
    This!
    Having given a variety of state school pupils mock Oxbridge interviews to give them some experience of their style, it is generally pretty easy to differentiate between the rubbish, the ones who can respond to slightly obvious hints and the truly impressive who take on minimal input to tackle difficult problems.

    This is not to say that it is always possible to identify who would do best in an end of year exam (even with students I have taught for two years some will show an incredible ability to "pull it out of the bag") but it generally does become pretty clear who can think on there feet and would be comfortable being challenged.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DynamicSyngery)
    Aptitude tests are not used in general, only for some subjects.
    So best not to generalise. That's what concerned me about your post.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Lets remember that the majority of employers won't have gone to Oxford or Cambridge, will be doing pretty well on the back of their own degree...

    While people may say to prospective students and maybe even people studying at uni, once you are out of the educational world its about work performance, and there are plenty of Oxford and Cambridge grads who can't perform and plenty of other grads who will beat them and get the promotions in the workplace.

    Even in educational circles, it'd be very interesting to see which proportion of the Oxford and Cambridge lecturers/professors/teachers etc did their undergrad degrees there...
    • 97 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by t0ffee)
    Even in educational circles, it'd be very interesting to see which proportion of the Oxford and Cambridge lecturers/professors/teachers etc did their undergrad degrees there...
    Almost all the Oxford Music faculty tutors have studied at either Oxford or Cambridge for at least one of their degrees. Obviously can't speak for any other department than my own :nah:
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by shoshin)
    So best not to generalise. That's what concerned me about your post.
    I'm sorry to have caused you such concern!
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    My mum and dad have hired people for BT, and said the university the person went to doesn't contribute to the decision at all. Any degree classification below a 2.1 and you're out, Oxbridge or not.


    I'd rather have a 1st from an ex-poly than a 3rd from Oxbridge any day.
    • 13 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I've read about the first 5 pages of this and thought I'd chuck in a few anecdotes - both on the academic side and on the job-finding side. I claim the following to only be valid for Cambridge science courses and for investment banking.

    Regarding difficulty of the degree, I believe Cambridge is a lot harder than even other top universities. Friends who did a lot worse at e.g. STEP back at school ended up getting triple firsts at Warwick/Imperial/etc. Without exception all my friends who got 2.2s in their degrees and went on to masters courses at other universities ended up getting the top grade possible. Probably the most ridiculous example of this is a guy who got a 2.2 in Maths at Cam, did a masters in nanotechnology at KCL with no prior knowledge of the subject and was the only one in his class awarded a distinction. On the flipside, people who come to do 4th years at Cambridge from other universities will almost always have firsts and on average perform a good deal worse than home-grown undergrads with 2.1s.

    Weirdly though, foreign students who come for 4th years in Cambridge seem to do just as well as the home-grown lot, even if they're not from the most well-known institutions in their country (e.g. non-Ivy League Americans). I don't know why that seems to be the case for other countries but not the UK.

    Now on job-finding, on one side of the coin the computerised systems most recruiters use will simply reject you outright if you put your degree class as 2.2 or less, Oxbridge or not. Nevertheless I know a fair few people who have managed to work around the system by speaking directly to HR or forming relationships with people in the bank. I even have a mate with a 3rd who's on the grad scheme at a top name house. In these cases dropping the Oxbridge name certainly helped cover the stigma attached to the class. I would think though that any other top university would help in the same way - but I can't be sure.
    • 5 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    I've read about the first 5 pages of this and thought I'd chuck in a few anecdotes - both on the academic side and on the job-finding side. I claim the following to only be valid for Cambridge science courses and for investment banking.

    Regarding difficulty of the degree, I believe Cambridge is a lot harder than even other top universities. Friends who did a lot worse at e.g. STEP back at school ended up getting triple firsts at Warwick/Imperial/etc. Without exception all my friends who got 2.2s in their degrees and went on to masters courses at other universities ended up getting the top grade possible. Probably the most ridiculous example of this is a guy who got a 2.2 in Maths at Cam, did a masters in nanotechnology at KCL with no prior knowledge of the subject and was the only one in his class awarded a distinction. On the flipside, people who come to do 4th years at Cambridge from other universities will almost always have firsts and on average perform a good deal worse than home-grown undergrads with 2.1s.

    Weirdly though, foreign students who come for 4th years in Cambridge seem to do just as well as the home-grown lot, even if they're not from the most well-known institutions in their country (e.g. non-Ivy League Americans). I don't know why that seems to be the case for other countries but not the UK.

    Now on job-finding, on one side of the coin the computerised systems most recruiters use will simply reject you outright if you put your degree class as 2.2 or less, Oxbridge or not. Nevertheless I know a fair few people who have managed to work around the system by speaking directly to HR or forming relationships with people in the bank. I even have a mate with a 3rd who's on the grad scheme at a top name house. In these cases dropping the Oxbridge name certainly helped cover the stigma attached to the class. I would think though that any other top university would help in the same way - but I can't be sure.
    Maths at Cambridge is an extreme example to use because undoubtedly everyone is very intelligent. You also presume people do not move forward during their university education and look back to step, a measure used 3 years ago. I got rejected from a grammar school in year 6, in year 11, I virtually walked in. A lot changes over many years.

    There are loads of degrees at Oxbridge where you do not have to be brilliant to get in.

    A 1st from other top class universities will generally be better than a 2.1 from Oxbridge but depends on the subject. Sometimes a 2.1 from Oxbridge may be better than a 1st from other places.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Obviously it depends what you want to go into, but I personally would think of an Oxbridge 2:1 as somewhere between a first from a third-tier university and a first from a second-tier university.

    Your average employer is going to have as clumsy a perspective on university "value" as you or me. Despite the narrative, "employers" aren't all-knowing gods, and even HR departments have better things to think about.

    But often universities have particular specialisms or perceived specialisms which may well be known to people in certain fields. Also the more selective (= popular = highest paying) fields will, shock horror, have filters in place though these may or may not relate to real life.

    Certainly the year-to-year change in league table rankings has very little impact on prestige.
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Arekkusu)
    Obviously it depends what you want to go into, but I personally would think of an Oxbridge 2:1 as somewhere between a first from a third-tier university and a first from a second-tier university.
    Do you see no distinction between second tier and third tier? So would you say a LSE 1st is equal to a low Oxbridge 2:1..I'm guessing LSE is second tier...
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    I've read about the first 5 pages of this and thought I'd chuck in a few anecdotes - both on the academic side and on the job-finding side. I claim the following to only be valid for Cambridge science courses and for investment banking.

    Regarding difficulty of the degree, I believe Cambridge is a lot harder than even other top universities. Friends who did a lot worse at e.g. STEP back at school ended up getting triple firsts at Warwick/Imperial/etc. Without exception all my friends who got 2.2s in their degrees and went on to masters courses at other universities ended up getting the top grade possible. Probably the most ridiculous example of this is a guy who got a 2.2 in Maths at Cam, did a masters in nanotechnology at KCL with no prior knowledge of the subject and was the only one in his class awarded a distinction. On the flipside, people who come to do 4th years at Cambridge from other universities will almost always have firsts and on average perform a good deal worse than home-grown undergrads with 2.1s.

    Weirdly though, foreign students who come for 4th years in Cambridge seem to do just as well as the home-grown lot, even if they're not from the most well-known institutions in their country (e.g. non-Ivy League Americans). I don't know why that seems to be the case for other countries but not the UK.

    Now on job-finding, on one side of the coin the computerised systems most recruiters use will simply reject you outright if you put your degree class as 2.2 or less, Oxbridge or not. Nevertheless I know a fair few people who have managed to work around the system by speaking directly to HR or forming relationships with people in the bank. I even have a mate with a 3rd who's on the grad scheme at a top name house. In these cases dropping the Oxbridge name certainly helped cover the stigma attached to the class. I would think though that any other top university would help in the same way - but I can't be sure.
    Could this be because Oxbridge teaches the principles of academic study particularly well? - defending your viewpoint, debating, scientific method etc? In my university, which is Southampton (a research university!), nobody has once given us any taught guidance on anything resembling academic rigour: for the research proposal I just completed, if I hadn't done A-level psychology I would have been completely ignorant of ethical, methodological, statistical considerations. Though I am talking about a humanity it's still astounding.
    • 12 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    That's because people from Eton and XYZ sit the same examinations which are centrally assessed and graded.

    People at different universities sit different exams, and universities have complete autonomy in awarding classifications.
    Not true. Eton is an independent school which is exempt from the National Curriculum. They have their own means of assessment.
    • 5 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MrHappy_J)
    Not true. Eton is an independent school which is exempt from the National Curriculum. They have their own means of assessment.
    No, they don't.
    • 12 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Deep456)
    No, they don't.
    er...one glance at their website will tell you that they do. It's an independent school for a reason.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Tsunami2011)
    Do you see no distinction between second tier and third tier? So would you say a LSE 1st is equal to a low Oxbridge 2:1..I'm guessing LSE is second tier...
    Oh I don't know, my gut feeling places LSE rather close to Oxbridge. It's more the "golden triangle" (Oxford, Cambridge, London) than Oxbridge these days anyway. I feel there are a few universities, LSE being one and Warwick another, which occupy a sparsely populated gap between Oxbridge and places like Bristol, York, Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton, this sort of run-of-the-mill place is what I meant by second "tier" because there's lots of similar universities grouped together there. LSE would certainly be a high Oxbridge 2:1 for me

    Third tier would be places more like Plymouth or Cardiff and there is a vast difference - it's just that first, 2:1, 2:2 etc themselves cover a vast amount of ground so there is gonna be overlap.

    This is all impressionistic though, I'm basically just rambling so I don't have to do my teaching assistant module work. Then again it has value as like I say most employers are also completely clueless/basically just guessing/doing it for the sake of it.
    • 5 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MrHappy_J)
    er...one glance at their website will tell you that they do. It's an independent school for a reason.
    I went to an independent school too and have friends at Eton. They do A-levels....
    • 12 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Deep456)
    I went to an independent school too and have friends at Eton. They do A-levels....
    but they can choose what to teach up to an extent, what contents a subject should include and dont have to follow the NC rigorously like comprehensives do. Otherwise they wouldn't have iGCSE's.
Updated: May 2, 2012
New on TSR

Personal statement help

Use our clever tool to create a PS you're proud of.

Article updates
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.