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Should I transfer to an easier University to get a first/ 2.1 or stay and get a third

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    (Original post by a.partridge)
    can you tell us who these people are?

    wouldn't make much sense considering the statistically probable distribution of intelligence and level of uncertainty in the ucas process - there would have to be an awful lot of evidence to support a claim like that, not just a one off case.


    Also, cambridge would definitely have a funded PhD spot for somebody with a starred first from manchester but not for somebody with a 2.2 from cambridge so they clearly don't agree with you
    I looked at my friends courses, I looked at my course. ( Also my older brother studied engineering and literally the content was easier than A levels... particular point in case

    Aston chemical engineering 1st year... vs Cambridge Engineering ( the difference was immense)
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    (Original post by ebam_uk)
    I looked at my friends courses, I looked at my course. ( Also my older brother studied engineering and literally the content was easier than A levels... particular point in case

    Aston chemical engineering 1st year... vs Cambridge Engineering ( the difference was immense)
    There's quite a big difference between coming 1st in the year at somewhere like Aston and somewhere like Manchester.

    I use the cambridge past papers to revise for my exams (not engineering but physics) and they arn't that different ( I don't go to Aston) but my course is packed with people for whom it was their second choice after narrowly missing oxbridge in interview. Loads of them are only on 2.1's and they would be getting considerably more than 3rds at oxbridge. In my subject the average ucas point tariff at oxford is only 8% higher so taking spread into account a considerable proportion are more qualified here at the start of the course - I can't see somebody getting a 3rd there beating these people.
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    (Original post by a.partridge)
    There's quite a big difference between coming 1st in the year at somewhere like Aston and somewhere like Manchester.

    I use the cambridge past papers to revise for my exams (not engineering but physics) and they arn't that different ( I don't go to Aston) but my course is packed with people for whom it was their second choice after narrowly missing oxbridge in interview. Loads of them are only on 2.1's and they would be getting considerably more than 3rds at oxbridge. In my subject the average ucas point tariff at oxford is only 8% higher so taking spread into account a considerable proportion are more qualified here at the start of the course - I can't see somebody getting a 3rd there beating these people.

    Please moffo, The level of teaching at Oxbridge is high and the pace is a lot faster....

    Evidence suggests that even places at Manchester are a lot more chilled out...Don't get it twisted ppl getting 2.1's at Manchester probably wouldn't be at Oxbridge loool
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    (Original post by ebam_uk)
    Please moffo, The level of teaching at Oxbridge is high and the pace is a lot faster....

    Evidence suggests that even places at Manchester are a lot more chilled out...Don't get it twisted ppl getting 2.1's at Manchester probably wouldn't be at Oxbridge loool
    well the pace is only higher because you are on holiday most of the year.
    yes they would - tbh people who do Physics at manchester would be getting 1sts in oxbridge in a piss easy vocational subject like engineering

    also you forgot to respond to the postgraduate entry requirements - couldnt think of a come back for that one?
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    (Original post by a.partridge)
    well the pace is only higher because you are on holiday most of the year.
    yes they would - tbh people who do Physics at manchester would be getting 1sts in oxbridge in a piss easy vocational subject like engineering

    also you forgot to respond to the postgraduate entry requirements - couldnt think of a come back for that one?
    I wouldn't call engineering piss easy ( strictly academic

    Postgrad is actually easier than undergrad in many cases..., hence for ppl who are in oxbridge we get a gentleman's agreement to study postgrad here lol.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    Staying on at your 'top' uni is only going to give you an advantage in the job market if you can end up turning it round and getting a 2:1. If you end up with a 3rd then forget it, it says to employers that your uni made the wrong call in letting you in. I also think the reason you've had hostile responses on here is your implication that you might be able to get a 1st at a redbrick uni when you are way out of your depth where you are. Sure you might be able to get back in the game fighting for a 2:1 but if you assume you're going to be a top performer there you might have a shock, there will be people at the redbricks that were straight A calibre at A level and would have been able to thrive at top unis but didn't apply/didn't get offered places, and these will be the ones that get 1sts.

    And Rascacielos is right about A levels not necessarily correlating, I got As for Maths and Further Maths (in the days before A*s were available) but I know I could not handle a Maths degree at uni, I found some of the maths in Economics hard. You can boss the calculus, matrices type stuff that you do at A level without being a particularly naturally talented mathematician, if you just put the work in and get practice and recognise that at that level the questions follow a similar pattern so if you have done enough examples you just learn how to repeat the working out method. At university you will constantly have stuff thrown at you which is new and requires you to think of new methods to solve/prove stuff and that sorts out who has a naturally mathematical brain or not. I think unfortunately some people that are 'competent' at maths rather than natural mathematicians, end up lured into doing a maths degree because they get high A level scores, but degree level very quickly sorts out those with natural mathematical ability and the rest struggle.
    You are a fountain of wisdom. XD Honestly, I think this describes the situation perfectly. I hate how maths has changed from the 'using methods learnt in methodical way' to having to think of new methods etc. I guess I don't have a mathematical brain.

    I've got a lot to think about, and this post has helped me consider my strengths and what might be best. I suppose I'm not truly fit for maths. I was spoonfed at school and eventually managed to understand the concepts and then consequently apply them. I will have to gather the courage to talk to my tutor about my future after taking my exams (but before results since I go on holiday before then), and see what he has to say.

    I read a post on a forum about an engineering student who was going into his 3rd year feeling like ****, struggling to pass, with masses of debt that would go nowhere if he quit. I don't want to waste money and time on something that will result in a poor degree class that no-one will care about.

    I'll get through these exams in the time being. Thanks for the advice.
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    (Original post by ebam_uk)
    I wouldn't call engineering piss easy ( strictly academic

    Postgrad is actually easier than undergrad in many cases..., hence for ppl who are in oxbridge we get a gentleman's agreement to study postgrad here lol.
    Well the problems that you deal with are not that difficult to understand compared to maths and physics - strictly academic... please... you get credits for talking about business management and other crap

    you wouldn't be taken on for a hard science or other competitive phd at oxbridge with a 2.2 undergrad from oxbridge (look at the entry requirements) - furthermore 4th year science is not easier than 1st 2nd and 3rd year.. Msc is not easier than Bsc... and PhD certainly isn't.

    It's so obvious it goes without saying.
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    I don't understand how you can say your friend's course is easier, he might just have settled in much better than you to the independent work rather than spoon-fed A-levels, thus achieving better marks?

    It really annoys me when people name universities that are deemed "easier" when they haven't even been there. Your friend could just be a bit better at the modules he's studying compared to you, no degree is going to be identical from uni to uni, they will have different means of assessment, topics etc.

    If I were in your position I would resit the year, I wouldn't reapply to another uni on the off-chance that you will do better there, it's highly unlikely. Uni is about your work ethic and ability to understand information presented to you and your own research, these skills aren't really developed at GCSE and A-level which is why it's common for people to struggle when they get to uni, which is a shock for those who got top grades previously.
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    (Original post by SpicyStrawberry)
    I don't understand how you can say your friend's course is easier, he might just have settled in much better than you to the independent work rather than spoon-fed A-levels, thus achieving better marks?

    It really annoys me when people name universities that are deemed "easier" when they haven't even been there. Your friend could just be a bit better at the modules he's studying compared to you, no degree is going to be identical from uni to uni, they will have different means of assessment, topics etc.

    If I were in your position I would resit the year, I wouldn't reapply to another uni on the off-chance that you will do better there, it's highly unlikely. Uni is about your work ethic and ability to understand information presented to you and your own research, these skills aren't really developed at GCSE and A-level which is why it's common for people to struggle when they get to uni, which is a shock for those who got top grades previously.
    Also, bare in mind like this is a consistent theme across the spectrum lol! @ the end of the day, it's just from my observation...
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    Op I think you asked a genuine question, I don't understand how you accumulated so many neg reps :s
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    (Original post by a.partridge)
    can you tell us who these people are?

    wouldn't make much sense considering the statistically probable distribution of intelligence and level of uncertainty in the ucas process - there would have to be an awful lot of evidence to support a claim like that, not just a one off case.


    Also, cambridge would definitely have a funded PhD spot for somebody with a starred first from manchester but not for somebody with a 2.2 from cambridge so they clearly don't agree with you
    I am one. I went from getting mid 2.2s in my exams at Cambridge to getting 85+% in my exams at another top 5 uni. In Physics.

    Yeah, you may use Cambridge exam papers for your revision, but that doesn't exactly reflect how difficult the Cambridge Physics course is. You say you find your course at Bristol difficult. Now imagine it's only a quarter of your overall course. Now imagine your lectures at triple the speed of your current ones. Now imagine all your first year physics course exams which are probably 90-120mins long being condensed into one 3 hour exam. Now imagine the amount of marks you can get is capped because no matter how well you do in your exams, your grade is fitted to a fixed distribution of marks where you are ranked against your peers, many of whom are the best the UK has to offer in their subject. Welcome to first year Cambridge NatSci.
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    (Original post by Nichrome)
    I am one. I went from getting mid 2.2s in my exams at Cambridge to getting 85+% in my exams at another top 5 uni. In Physics.

    Yeah, you may use Cambridge exam papers for your revision, but that doesn't exactly reflect how difficult the Cambridge Physics course is. You say you find your course at Bristol difficult. Now imagine it's only a quarter of your overall course. Now imagine your lectures at triple the speed of your current ones. Now imagine all your first year physics course exams which are probably 90-120mins long being condensed into one 3 hour exam. Now imagine the amount of marks you can get is capped because no matter how well you do in your exams, your grade is fitted to a fixed distribution of marks where you are ranked against your peers, many of whom are the best the UK has to offer in their subject. Welcome to first year Cambridge NatSci.
    did you graduate with a 2.2 or move before?
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    (Original post by a.partridge)
    did you graduate with a 2.2 or move before?
    I graduated with a 2.1 (my project work basically saved me, high grades in that against my middling 2.2 exam marks meant I got a mid 2.1 in the end) before getting a high distinction in MSc Physics at a different uni (not just that, I had a longer project + one extra module + a research review as extra work for the MSc over the MSci fourth year that the undergrads were doing). I now have a fully funded PhD place back at Cambridge.
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    (Original post by Nichrome)
    I graduated with a 2.1 (my project work basically saved me, high grades in that against my middling 2.2 exam marks meant I got a mid 2.1 in the end) before getting a high distinction in MSc Physics at a different uni (not just that, I had a longer project + one extra module + a research review as extra work for the MSc over the MSci fourth year that the undergrads were doing). I now have a fully funded PhD place back at Cambridge.
    well sounds like things are going well in postgrad, however my comment was about undergraduate drop outs as there's now an unknown of how a masters compares to undergraduate - I mean I would expect harder, but then if the grades are normalized and you are great at projects your naturally going to do well - or even if they are not and you are just very good at projects... it still applies. Also in a masters at a top 5 a lot of the candidates may still be from worse universities so the comparison the UG's who stayed on from this 'top 5' would be diluted. Also by entering with an MSci and preparation it stands to reason you are going to do well on a course that contains bsc graduates of varying caliber?
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    (Original post by Nichrome)
    I am one. I went from getting mid 2.2s in my exams at Cambridge to getting 85+% in my exams at another top 5 uni. In Physics.

    Yeah, you may use Cambridge exam papers for your revision, but that doesn't exactly reflect how difficult the Cambridge Physics course is. You say you find your course at Bristol difficult. Now imagine it's only a quarter of your overall course. Now imagine your lectures at triple the speed of your current ones. Now imagine all your first year physics course exams which are probably 90-120mins long being condensed into one 3 hour exam. Now imagine the amount of marks you can get is capped because no matter how well you do in your exams, your grade is fitted to a fixed distribution of marks where you are ranked against your peers, many of whom are the best the UK has to offer in their subject. Welcome to first year Cambridge NatSci.
    I love despite the evidence that those of us studying at the top uni's are saying... I get negged for saying the oxbridge is harder...

    Don't dispute the normal distribution stuff either... Say if cambridge happen to set a slightly easier exam... It can have devastating effects if too many people beat you in the exam as you just get normalised out of the exam....
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    (Original post by Nichrome)
    I am one. I went from getting mid 2.2s in my exams at Cambridge to getting 85+% in my exams at another top 5 uni. In Physics.

    Yeah, you may use Cambridge exam papers for your revision, but that doesn't exactly reflect how difficult the Cambridge Physics course is. You say you find your course at Bristol difficult. Now imagine it's only a quarter of your overall course. Now imagine your lectures at triple the speed of your current ones. Now imagine all your first year physics course exams which are probably 90-120mins long being condensed into one 3 hour exam. Now imagine the amount of marks you can get is capped because no matter how well you do in your exams, your grade is fitted to a fixed distribution of marks where you are ranked against your peers, many of whom are the best the UK has to offer in their subject. Welcome to first year Cambridge NatSci.
    Well this is certainly a case for switching to an 'easier going' university. Thanks bro
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    (Original post by a.partridge)
    well sounds like things are going well in postgrad, however my comment was about undergraduate drop outs as there's now an unknown of how a masters compares to undergraduate - I mean I would expect harder, but then if the grades are normalized and you are great at projects your naturally going to do well - or even if they are not and you are just very good at projects... it still applies. Also in a masters at a top 5 a lot of the candidates may still be from worse universities so the comparison the UG's who stayed on from this 'top 5' would be diluted. Also by entering with an MSci and preparation it stands to reason you are going to do well on a course that contains bsc graduates of varying caliber?
    What on earth are you on about? I entered with a BA, I graduated after 3 years of the Cambridge course, therefore putting me on an equal footing with the UGs going into the fourth year of their MSci. I had exactly the same year as them except I sat an extra module, on top of a longer project and lit review. You can argue that being good at projects stood me in good stead for an MSc, except that my original point was entirely about exams (my marks in project work actually went down a bit). I went from a 55% average in exams to an 85% average from my third to fourth year after switching unis, and comparing this to not just the MSc students but also the MSci students who sat the same exams, put me near the top of the pile.

    (Original post by ebam_uk)
    I love despite the evidence that those of us studying at the top uni's are saying... I get negged for saying the oxbridge is harder...

    Don't dispute the normal distribution stuff either... Say if cambridge happen to set a slightly easier exam... It can have devastating effects if too many people beat you in the exam as you just get normalised out of the exam....
    Absolutely, in my second year Cambridge set some pretty easy exams...but despite getting 70% in raw marks, my grade was drastically reduced to a 2.2 due to scaling.

    When people complained that after despite having revised hard and done well at the exams, the department sent around an email that contained this:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    This year, students in both Physics A and Physics B performed very well on the
    examination papers, as would have been expected from the Part IA results of this
    cohort. To achieve the proportions described above, all students' marks were
    multiplied by a variable scaling factor. The scaling factors are different for the
    two subjects, but in both cases have the effect of substantially reducing the marks
    in the range 50-70%, while leaving very high and very low marks relatively
    untouched. In the worst case, marks were scaled down by approximately twenty percentage points.


    Leaving just under half the year with a 2.2 despite their calibre is pretty unjust and would not happen anywhere else.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    And Rascacielos is right about A levels not necessarily correlating, I got As for Maths and Further Maths (in the days before A*s were available) but I know I could not handle a Maths degree at uni, I found some of the maths in Economics hard. You can boss the calculus, matrices type stuff that you do at A level without being a particularly naturally talented mathematician, if you just put the work in and get practice and recognise that at that level the questions follow a similar pattern so if you have done enough examples you just learn how to repeat the working out method. At university you will constantly have stuff thrown at you which is new and requires you to think of new methods to solve/prove stuff and that sorts out who has a naturally mathematical brain or not. I think unfortunately some people that are 'competent' at maths rather than natural mathematicians, end up lured into doing a maths degree because they get high A level scores, but degree level very quickly sorts out those with natural mathematical ability and the rest struggle.
    You shouldn't believe this: it's a self-perpetuating myth. Should you come to accept it then you're doomed fo' sho'. Don't capitulate and go 'woe is me' thinking you haven't been gifted the gene for understanding δ-ε proofs. They're weird to everyone at first, and if they're not weird to someone it's because they've acquired some familiarity with them, and you need to do that too. However, the people doing well on your course will likely do plenty of maths, and approach their work with an ebullience that will be difficult to match if your primary interest in maths is to get the $$$$$. This issue may persist should you transfer elsewhere: so why not consider a change of course?
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    (Original post by everything)
    Well this is certainly a case for switching to an 'easier going' university. Thanks bro
    I would say wait till you see your exam results before making any decisions, but ignore most of the people jumping on your back here. Go through some other unis exams/question sheets and see what you make of them. Despite what other people might be saying, maths at Warwick is going to be miles harder than most other places.
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    (Original post by everything)
    I'm really confused as to how the grading works, since obviously grades aren't equivilent from University to University (a first at UCL is much stronger than a first at Manchester Met, for example).

    So my dillema is such: I am struggling at a top 5 University on one of the University's highest ranked courses (Maths based course). My friend, who is at Birmingham, is seemingly breezing through his Maths degree with maximum marks. However, I performed better than he did at Maths at A-Level.

    So what do I do? Do I swap to an 'easier' University and achieve a first or a 2:1, or struggle here and potentially get a third? I read all these things about employers not even considering candidates with lower than a 2.1, so considering that even a 2.2 would be a success for me here, what would be the best thing to do?
    I feel for you because im doing game art at dmu and you have to put ALOT of hours in, I have no fear of hard work but there are people doing easier courses and doing next to nothing to get a 1st.

    I suppose you have the "rep" of the uni behind you but what is it worth?

    I also think that if the course is harder your learning more, but your degree may not show this.

    All I can suggest is that you look inside yourself and decide where your heart lies. Dont be afraid to go if that is what you want to do.

    There are a few people on my course who hate it and have stated that they dont enjoy it and end up on anti depressents but they stay anyway because of the good name of the course.

    If you want to go and have the bottle to do so. You are a braver person that alot of folks I know. good luck.

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