Is it easier to get a 2.1 in essays/exams/overall at Non-RG or 1994 Universities? Watch

problemsolver
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#21
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(Original post by SophiaKeuning)
Don't be so stupid.

If you do well in your A Levels and go to a good uni but struggle to get a 2.1 then obviously you're not as bright as you thought you were, rarther you tried super hard at A Levels. If you have an okay amount of intelligence, but a very good academic attitude you can do well at sixth form. So if you feel you need to go to a lower uni to get the 2.1, then obviously you are worthy of that uni. It should be that those at top unis find it just as hard to get a 2.1 than those at 'lower' ones.

On another note, some don't try very hard at A Levels and get the relatively good grades needed to get into a higher mid-range uni, they change their work ethic and do really well. Why should they be less valued to the employer? Employers don't purely want someone who is extremely intellectual and academic, if you bring unique ideals, experience, values as well as a fairly decent ok degree then you're clearly wanted.

People on here lay too much admiration on grades, you really do. My sister is going into ethical business working for this big company on sustainability, all her modules at uni were shaped towards this, she's a bit hippieish, confident and creative. Who would the employer want; someone from York with a business degree whose only values are his degree, or my sister, from Reading?
I don't agree that "you're not as bright as you thought" if you don't do well at uni but did well at A level.

Firstly, who says that you thought you were bright just because you got good A levels? Successful people aren't necessarily arrogant about it.

Secondly, there are loads of non-academic reasons why people struggle at uni, just like there can be at school. It's a new environment and people get homesick. You can get depressed there.

You might have been happier in high school. You get 4 years to settle into your high school before sitting your first exams, and if you've lived in your high school town your whole life, about 16 years to settle into that town, and high schools are often smaller places which pay you more attention (at least they take attendance registers and phone home if you don't turn up to class). At uni, if you have winter exams, you can have exams counting towards your degree within about 3 months of getting there. They don't notice if you don't attend a single lecture all term. Therefore, it's possible that you could go into a uni exam not having seen any of the material you're going to be assessed on, whereas at school, this is very unlikely to happen.

Have you ever actually been to uni? I'm sure that if you had, you wouldn't hold your unusual beliefs about the value of uni grades as a measure of intelligence over school ones. Most uni exams that I've seen can be studied for, like a robot, using past papers and course notes, without showing any creativity or extreme intelligence. There are plenty of exams where it's the exact same questions, with different numbers, at the same question numbers every year.

Also, on the topic of your "hippieish, confident and creative" sister vs "boring grad with good degree". I'd say it depends what skills the employer needs his employees to have. If the "boring grad with good degree" demonstrated better computer skills, say, and the skills and knowledge in his degree were of importance to the job, then maybe they'd be hired over your sister. Especially if it was for some very professional role where things needed to be done "just right" and not left down to the whims of someone who is "hippieish and creative". Also, who's to say that your "hippieish and creative" sister might not suddenly change her mind about the job and leave? You might think that being "hippieish, confident and creative" makes her a more interesting or better person, but that doesn't equate to them being a more valuable employee.
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SilGathien
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#22
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#22
(Original post by Owly)
Yes, I think that coursework can be a better indicator than exams. With the English modules I did, the coursework marks were always slightly better than exam marks, although it depends on the students - some people perform better in exams.

The university my friend was at was in the bottom 20, althought having said that, it could be that the work she was set from one tutor may not reflect the entire university, at least I hope not.

Joinedup made a good point about the style of questions set, and this varies between tutors, as well as universities. Some of the essay questions I received the most marks for were ones that were really vague, but gave you huge scope to write about your theme/novel.
I think it's interesting how marks turn out when you consider the questions you write on. 2 of my best essays (which I regard the best actually) were two very wordy questions - I could take issue with them big time because they had such large concepts in. Though I've had equal success of writing my own essay questions/titles and received the same marks. Essay titles always take bloody ages to come out in Cardiff because they go under external assessment which is the same everywhere else, though some people get titles exceptionally early. There is a level of moderation across universities, but it gets affected by other factors I think like course structure, assessment method etc. Questions this year seem a bit like 'write an essay on women, power, history etc' which is just not for me. The other wordier questions had potential, but really weren't for me so I'm doing my own thing. One of the questions for a module I'm not doing is to script a discussion between two feminist thinkers. Amazing potential with that question I think, but such an intimidating option when it comes to assessment.
Last edited by SilGathien; 6 years ago
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wanderlust.xx
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(Original post by little_wizard123)
Yeah, let's all do the opposite of the advice to work hard and do well in A-Levels in order to get into a weaker university...

After graduating however, you do notice that all graduate schemes want a 2.1, and don't care where it's from. I imagine it's frustrating if you just missed out on a 2.1 from Oxford in Maths for example, and therefore couldn't even get through the grad scheme filters.
To be quite frank, if you did get a 2:2 in Maths from Oxford then I would be extremely surprised if you didn't have a job within 6 months.

A more accurate, less exaggerated example would probably do a little better. Say, getting a 2:2 from Maths at Birmingham compared with someone who gets a 2:1 in Accountancy from Sheffield.

Both equally respectable institutions but out of both candidates, the bloke who did Maths is going to be rejected from a heck of a lot of schemes.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by TimmonaPortella)
Yes, it's easier to get a 2.1. on a less intensive course. Pretty much by definition.

There is a pretty close correlation between intensity and prestige.
Depends - I don't think difficulty is a simple, one dimensional scale.

e.g. people at oxbridge are ridden hard to produce tons of work which they recieve feedback on - it's very intensive... however after taking people with the best possible exam results and giving them all that practice & feedback, they should be fantastic at the end of the year.

It's hard to give a monkeys about something you only need to spend a few hours a week on - it's why universities often bore people stupid imo... you've got people who are able cope with the concepts and are just demotivated and near depressed due to insufficient stimulation and feedback.

On a more extensive subjesct much of the difficulty comes not from coping with the sheer amout of work but from maintaining the motivation to do really well in the 1 or 2 essays you do get per module.
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by sophiekatina)
Me and my friend were debating this. She is thinking about transferring Universities as she is struggling to get 2.1's at this Uni. She thinks by transferring to a Uni 'not so high up' the league tables she is more likely to get better grades.

If that was true surely a lot of us would be doing this/applying to these Universities? ...Including myself haha!

What do you think?
Universities have external moderators to keep assessment standards as even as possible. Transferring to a less reputable university may well mean lower teaching standards and/or contact time, and could conceivably make it more difficult to get better grades.
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little_wizard123
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#26
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(Original post by wanderlust.xx)
To be quite frank, if you did get a 2:2 in Maths from Oxford then I would be extremely surprised if you didn't have a job within 6 months.

A more accurate, less exaggerated example would probably do a little better. Say, getting a 2:2 from Maths at Birmingham compared with someone who gets a 2:1 in Accountancy from Sheffield.

Both equally respectable institutions but out of both candidates, the bloke who did Maths is going to be rejected from a heck of a lot of schemes.
My point was that there are filters on a lot graduate jobs requiring a 2.1. I'm sure the Maths graduate at Oxford will be fine getting a job, it's just that many companies just want the 2.1. My friend got a 2.2 in Maths at Bath yet complains that he can't get a job because companies don't want someone with a 2.2, regardless of where you got it from and what in.
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Lamps08
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#27
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(Original post by sophiekatina)
It's such a plagued system. We are told what University you go to doesn't matter by our teachers, yet we all (if not the majority) strive to get into the best, yet it seems the requirement for many grad schemes is a 2.1. However I can imagine that going to a 'better' University would put you to the top of the University pile?

Or am I wrong? :headhurts:
I've been told that your A-Levels scores matter alot, from an employers perspective.
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TimmonaPortella
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Depends - I don't think difficulty is a simple, one dimensional scale.

e.g. people at oxbridge are ridden hard to produce tons of work which they recieve feedback on - it's very intensive... however after taking people with the best possible exam results and giving them all that practice & feedback, they should be fantastic at the end of the year.

It's hard to give a monkeys about something you only need to spend a few hours a week on - it's why universities often bore people stupid imo... you've got people who are able cope with the concepts and are just demotivated and near depressed due to insufficient stimulation and feedback.

On a more extensive subjesct much of the difficulty comes not from coping with the sheer amout of work but from maintaining the motivation to do really well in the 1 or 2 essays you do get per module.
Hmm, I don't know. Believe me, huge quantities of work can be equally demotivating as overly small ones.

Also, motivation is a personal thing-- I'm not sure it speaks to the difficulty of the degree. After all, following that argument, we could start saying any menial thing is "difficult" just because it's so trivial that nobody can make themselves bothered to do it (I can't think of any examples).

edit: I don't mean to sound patronising with the "believe me". There's a good chance you're already fully aware.
Last edited by TimmonaPortella; 6 years ago
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Noci
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If it was easier to get a higher mark at a 'lower level' uni, why aren't more people getting them. I think this is rubbish people just looking fo excuses for their lower marks or looking for an easy route. Just work hard, it doesnt matter what uni you go to you will get what grade you deserve. My friend is at a 'lower level' uni and she has only exams- the quality of her work is alot better and she works harder than many of my friends at 'better' universities....
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Intriguing Alias
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(Original post by sophiekatina)
Me and my friend were debating this. She is thinking about transferring Universities as she is struggling to get 2.1's at this Uni. She thinks by transferring to a Uni 'not so high up' the league tables she is more likely to get better grades.

If that was true surely a lot of us would be doing this/applying to these Universities? ...Including myself haha!

What do you think?
Of course it's true to an extent. For example the maths course at cambridge is targetted at top a* candidates at a-level. you couldn't give the same course to c.students and expect them to do well. Hence cambridge's maths degree is harder than manchester met's so harder to get a 2:1 etc.
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tazarooni89
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Personally, I get the impression that it's easier to get a 2:1 at "lesser" universities. This isn't based on any objective, first-hand evidence - I've only ever attended one university. Although I got a First at UCL, while some of my friends at Oxbridge (who at school were certainly at least as academically successful as I was - if not more) were often struggling to get a 2:1 or even a 2:2, and missing out on graduate schemes as a result. On the other hand, some of my friends at non Russell-Group universities who certainly weren't known for academic success at school seemed to be getting Firsts with no trouble.

But this doesn't really match up with the fact that many graduate employers would rather have someone who got a 2:1 from some unknown university, and wouldn't even consider a 2:2 from Oxbridge. So I'm not really sure what to believe
Last edited by tazarooni89; 6 years ago
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Irrelevance
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(Original post by hassi94)
Of course it's true to an extent. For example the maths course at cambridge is targetted at top a* candidates at a-level. you couldn't give the same course to c.students and expect them to do well. Hence cambridge's maths degree is harder than manchester met's so harder to get a 2:1 etc.
Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Reasonable assumption but with regards to A Levels, it's all selection process. I asked an admissions tutor at a good university (Russel group, top ten and all that jazz) whether or not A Levels were a good indicator for whether or not that makes somebody good at the job at the end. He said, "No, it doesn't. But we need a way of selecting candidates and A Levels are all we have at the moment".

If all of Oxbridge's courses magically become massively undersubscribed years on end, you wouldn't see the same selection criteria you see now. Their course content wouldn't change from the drop in applicants.
Last edited by Irrelevance; 6 years ago
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Nichrome
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I must say my experiences of this matter are similar to tazarooni's. I have experience of two RG unis (Cambridge and UCL) in the same subject. At Cam, it was a constant uphill struggle, not only was the coursework, the exams and the content far more taxing, the material went in to a lot more depth as well despite covering the same topics on the surface. This combined with the fact the terms were chronically short/work time was compressed meant I found it a massive struggle to just get that 2.1. Instead of doing my 4th (MSci) year of my degree at Cam, I switched to UCL to do an MSc instead in the same subject, where I was doing the same as their MSci year plus an additional module, a lit review and a longer project (it extended into summer). Here I easily cruised to a high first/distinction (86). In fact I was taken aback in the drop in difficulty.

Despite having only experience of these two unis, this and other evidence/listening to academics has lead me to believe that yes, there are vast differences in the difficulty of some courses at different institutions, and if you carefully select your university you can get a higher grade than going to another.
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Intriguing Alias
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(Original post by Irrelevance)
Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Reasonable assumption but with regards to A Levels, it's all selection process. I asked an admissions tutor at a good university (Russel group, top ten and all that jazz) whether or not A Levels were a good indicator for whether or not that makes somebody good at the job at the end. He said, "No, it doesn't. But we need a way of selecting candidates and A Levels are all we have at the moment".

If all of Oxbridge's courses magically become massively undersubscribed years on end, you wouldn't see the same selection criteria you see now. Their course content wouldn't change from the drop in applicants.
Oh I wasn't talking about admissions necessarily and A-levels STRICTLY. Someone with an A may not be better at maths than a B but you can say with 99.9% certainty that someone with A* in maths is better than someone with a C or D (unless they had particular mitigating circumstances). Also I've heard many stories (granted only a couple in person but nonetheless) about students from Oxbridge and Imperial dropping out after struggling to do the work and then going on to get 1sts at other top 10-15 unis. In fact the poster above me (Nichrome) is sort of an example of this.
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sophiekatina
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(Original post by tazarooni89)
Personally, I get the impression that it's easier to get a 2:1 at "lesser" universities. This isn't based on any objective, first-hand evidence - I've only ever attended one university. Although I got a First at UCL, while some of my friends at Oxbridge (who at school were certainly at least as academically successful as I was - if not more) were often struggling to get a 2:1 or even a 2:2, and missing out on graduate schemes as a result. On the other hand, some of my friends at non Russell-Group universities who certainly weren't known for academic success at school seemed to be getting Firsts with no trouble.

But this doesn't really match up with the fact that many graduate employers would rather have someone who got a 2:1 from some unknown university, and wouldn't even consider a 2:2 from Oxbridge. So I'm not really sure what to believe
This was exactly our methodology for this argument. It's so inconclusive!
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lcsurfer
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at the end of the day most employers look at you're experience over your academics... alot of people i know dont have good academics but have a fantastic job earning alot
Unless you want to enter academia as a career it doesn't really matter where you go as long as you enjoy the course.

I go to a new university (an Ex polytechnic) and a lot of my friends go to one of these so called russel group unis. At my uni we receive help in employability skills and we are encouraged to take a placement and get internships with partners the uni have. My friend at a russel group uni gets none of this...
At the end of the day a 2:1 is a 2:1 doesn't really matter unless you want the snob factor where you got it from...
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Casshern1456
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I think at the end of the day if a university accepts you with your A levels then it means you have the POTENTIAL to gain a 1st or 2:1 and do very well, at least they you wouldn't see a AAA university give offers to someone getting BBB for example. It all matches up in the end.
So someone who got BBB would go to a lesser university and be able to do well because its just a bit more work than A-level but for 3 years.
Someone who did get A*A*AA/AAA whatever combination would go to a Top university and be academically and intellectually challenged in the way they approach the course and to think, not to regurgitate stuff in "lower ranked" universities, Thus it is harder to obtain a better mark on a harder course at a prestigious institution.
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maturestudy
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It seems that the majority of TSR contributors make the mistake of assuming there is such thing as a degree, when there is in fact really only ever a degree from an institution. There was a time when degrees from different institutions, or even different of subjects from the same institution, could be considered comparable but this was perhaps down more to the uniformity of the students than the universities themselves. As Brown said, in his comprehensive report on degree standards:
It makes
little sense to seek comparability of outcomes, and indeed it would actually be
wrong to do so. Given the extraordinarily high previous educational attainment
of students attending, say, Oxford or Cambridge, the substantially greater
resources devoted to them, the greater intensity of study that they undergo, and
other factors, it would in fact be a surprise if the outcomes of students from
those universities were no higher than those of students from other universities
who have far lower prior attainment, resources devoted to them, and so on. But,
self-evident as this might seem, there are actually no instruments available to
demonstrate it.
There are too many problems to solve the incomparability of degrees from different universities because it would require a level of uniformity over a vast range of course that they could never achieve even when the student population was just a fraction of what it is today. It is even accepted that it is impossible, in practice, to compare two degrees from the same university. And yet we, and employers, still try to do this. Is it time to scrap to the classification system altogether?
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Joinedup
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(Original post by TimmonaPortella)
Hmm, I don't know. Believe me, huge quantities of work can be equally demotivating as overly small ones.

Also, motivation is a personal thing-- I'm not sure it speaks to the difficulty of the degree. After all, following that argument, we could start saying any menial thing is "difficult" just because it's so trivial that nobody can make themselves bothered to do it (I can't think of any examples).

edit: I don't mean to sound patronising with the "believe me". There's a good chance you're already fully aware.
I wasn't trying to say There's problems at one end of the scale therefore there's no problems at the other.
in the psych literature there's discussion about performance vs arousal, generally it's conceived of as an inverted U shape with low performance resulting from too much and too little arousal and peak performance occuring somewhere between. There's discussion about the precise shape of the plot, some have a performance cliff edge at the high arousal end, a sort of panic point.
Quite possibly something analogous is happening to people on degree courses imo. Oxbridgians spending a great deal of their time trying not to go over the cliff edge and everyone else leaving their assignments till the last minute in order to get their stress up to a productive level.

Personally I've more trouble motivating myself to do meaningless work than menial work tbh and uni work is pretty near meaningless, I find it a bit easier to stay on task for group assessments cos I don't want to feel I'm letting other people down.
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Shelly_x
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(Original post by Casshern1456)
I think at the end of the day if a university accepts you with your A levels then it means you have the POTENTIAL to gain a 1st or 2:1 and do very well, at least they you wouldn't see a AAA university give offers to someone getting BBB for example. It all matches up in the end.
So someone who got BBB would go to a lesser university and be able to do well because its just a bit more work than A-level but for 3 years.
Someone who did get A*A*AA/AAA whatever combination would go to a Top university and be academically and intellectually challenged in the way they approach the course and to think, not to regurgitate stuff in "lower ranked" universities, Thus it is harder to obtain a better mark on a harder course at a prestigious institution.
Obviously I can't speak for every 'lower ranked' uni but we definately aren't taught to regurgitate things. We're taught to research and think of our own ideas, we aren't spoonfed like many people seem to think on here. Most lower unis assess on coursework more than exams so therefore we can't really just put what we are told to or everyone would hand in the same thing.
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