Surely Oxbridge degrees should be LESS valued than others... ? Watch

laurenlodge
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#81
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#81
(Original post by Inzamam99)
Oh right , but on the other hand I swear everyone who's even hinted what I have has been ravaged :nooo:
Haha well yeh.....for those guys I'm stuck
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laurenlodge
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#82
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(Original post by Slumpy)
It depends, my degree classification is pretty much on a normal curve, and you're given a percentage arbitrarily(chosen so that the firsts go 70%+, 2:1s 60-70% etc). Some might just be percentages.
Oh right, ok!
I didn't know some places did that (obviously hah) - shows how much I know :p:

Cheers, that explains it Think I'd rather your system than mine, seems....fairer somehow!?
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Student-1
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(Original post by Good bloke)
There is a lot of ignorance about, certainly.
A 1.1 is not an official grade, but you refer to your grade in this way if you get a 1st in prelims as well as in finals (or at least this is the case at oxford - I think Cambridge has a similar system based around the tripos) you're right in the sense that its not official though - you wouldn't put it on your cv but it does mean something
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wanderlust.xx
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#84
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(Original post by lozz2601)
Oh right, ok!
I didn't know some places did that (obviously hah) - shows how much I know :p:

Cheers, that explains it Think I'd rather your system than mine, seems....fairer somehow!?
Depends on the courses though, really. I mean obviously Maths courses are graded by percentage whereas Law may just be given an appropriate classification and then a number from 0-9 to see how "good" that classification was in order to get a percentage.

I'd say it probably is fairer for humanitarian courses that require more essays and writing skills; less fair on those exams that test mostly on knowledge and less on actual writing ability (eg science degrees).
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Philosopher-of-sorts
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#85
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(Original post by puddlejumper)
Not if it can be covered in 16 weeks!

Seriously though, I find it difficult to accept that simply because the course at Oxbridge makes you do loads of essays, that automatically makes it a better course than one which doesn't.

Swotting up a load of guff from the internet or from books and then spouting it out in the form of an essay doesn't mean that the student has actually learnt anything. I know that I've done essays and by the time they were handed back to me after marking I'd forgotten virtually everything in them.

And if they all had the names removed from the covers then I suspect that I would have a job identifying my own work. So if students are simply doing essay after essay how do they know that that is an effective way of learning and retaining that knowledge?
I'm not sure whether this is the case for all subjects, since I haven't really researched them or spoken to any of the tutors/current students, but what I can say, is that for a degree such as PPE, Law or History, after you write an essay at Oxford, you then need to defend practically every statement you made in your essay against your tutor's counterargument, in person, on the spot.

Learning an area, formulating an argument, and then defending that argument on the spot against one of the top academics in the field you are arguing is a very, very different kettle of fish to just writing an essay, sending it in for marking and forgetting about it. My A Level Economics teacher used a similar method, and I tell you, I haven't forgotten more than 10% of the evidence I used in those essays. That is why the 1 to 1 or 2 to 1 tutorial method is so beneficial for the learning process.

Also, though at Cambridge I believe it's different now, Oxford bases your entire degree classification on your finals--so there is less (very little) scope for 'learning in bits' and then forgetting parts.

Overall I wouldn't say that makes these degrees inherently more valuable, but I would suggest it fosters a critical thinking faculty which many employers will value. And since degrees often serve more for their 'sorting function' than anything to do with what is learnt in them, the additional intensity of an Oxbridge degree will also serve to enhance its prestige.
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Slumpy
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#86
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(Original post by lozz2601)
Oh right, ok!
I didn't know some places did that (obviously hah) - shows how much I know :p:

Cheers, that explains it Think I'd rather your system than mine, seems....fairer somehow!?
If I explained the extent of it, you might be less keen :p:

(Original post by wanderlust.xx)
Depends on the courses though, really. I mean obviously Maths courses are graded by percentage whereas Law may just be given an appropriate classification and then a number from 0-9 to see how "good" that classification was in order to get a percentage.

I'd say it probably is fairer for humanitarian courses that require more essays and writing skills; less fair on those exams that test mostly on knowledge and less on actual writing ability (eg science degrees).
I do maths. Our percentage is far more arbitrary than the lawyers.
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Good bloke
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#87
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(Original post by Student-1)
A 1.1 is not an official grade, but you refer to your grade in this way if you get a 1st in prelims as well as in finals (or at least this is the case at oxford - I think Cambridge has a similar system based around the tripos) you're right in the sense that its not official though - you wouldn't put it on your cv but it does mean something
Used like that it isn't the same as a first, though, so it doesn't mean what many TSR posters think. Any way, double first isn't usually notated like that.
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wanderlust.xx
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(Original post by Slumpy)
I do maths. Our percentage is far more arbitrary than the lawyers.
What do you mean? Aren't we graded by a 'fixed' marking scheme as it were? Whereas Law for example, is graded by an expert and is totally subjective to their logic? The logic in Maths is universal, so there's hardly much room for opinion.
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Slumpy
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(Original post by wanderlust.xx)
What do you mean? Aren't we graded by a 'fixed' marking scheme as it were? Whereas Law for example, is graded by an expert and is totally subjective to their logic? The logic in Maths is universal, so there's hardly much room for opinion.
To some extent this is true, but the marking system here is far more complex than a blanket percentage based on how much you've done.
Spoiler:
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We have two types of questions, long(marked out of 20), and short(marked out of 10). Everybody sits the same 4 exam papers, which have every subject in each(at least one question). 8+ on a short question gets you a beta, 10-14 on a long question also a beta, and 15+ on a long question an alpha. You are given a merit mark worked out by xa+5b+m where m is the total number of marks you got, b is the number of betas, and a is the number of alphas(I wrote x as it's something like 15 for the first 8, 30 for any after that). This gives you a merit mark, from which it's decided what classes as each class, and then percentages are scaled from merit marks, to fit in classes.
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boromir9111
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#90
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Well I can say for maths first year the difference is A LOT compared to other universities, they touch on stuff that most students don't go over in second or third year i.e. relativity for one and many more......so it's silly to say they are equivalent or whatever in this context!
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Hedger
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#91
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Well, - and i say this with absolutely no convinction - aren't most grades at universities extrapolated after examinations, creating some sort of average so there are grades accross the whole classification spectrum? Thus, when considering the grades (and/or connections) you need to get into these universities, you could conclude that the talent there is extremely high. Therefore to beat someone in a top university is surely a greater achievement then beating someone in a lower university?
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wanderlust.xx
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#92
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(Original post by boromir9111)
Well I can say for maths first year the difference is A LOT compared to other universities, they touch on stuff that most students don't go over in second or third year i.e. relativity for one and many more......so it's silly to say they are equivalent or whatever in this context!
From what I see, the only difference between the Oxford course and mine is that it's probably more intensive, rigorous, and obviously harder.

Content, however, remains largely the same. My first year's content is virtually identical to Oxford, and so is second year (aside from Quantum Theory, which we do in third). Most of the third year content is the same. Individual course content may differ slightly, although I'm pretty sure we'd be covering the same material... I read somewhere that it's inferred that all final year maths exams should be similar in difficulty across the UK (I can't possibly reference where I heard that, though).

Of course, I cannot stress this point enough - Oxford's course is clearly more difficult.
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Fusilero
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#93
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(Original post by lozz2601)
Just to check - everybody that's saying degree classifications are awarded on a normal distribution - that's not true, is it?

Unless I've got confused (which is possible) - you just get a percentage, it isn't related to anybody else in such concrete terms as UMS in Alevels.

(Unless external moderation has something to do with it? But even then, % of firsts vary from year, uni and subject, so...)

So if someone in the know could just let me know I'm right on that.....
Not at Oxbridge.
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SoapyDish
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#94
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(Original post by didgeridoo12uk)
also we only have lectures for the first two terms and exams in the third term (not sure what it's like at other universities). this means we have get taught everything for the year during just 16 weeks. pretty ridiculous time frame if you ask me.
I thought you do NatSci, which means lectures during Easter term? Plus Saturday lectures, which over the 20 weeks of lectures adds up to another four 5-day weeks...So essentially we do 24 "normal" weeks of lectures. I know at least a couple of other unis that just have exams in third term.

(Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
Oxbridge works differently. Eevery other uni ranks their degrees the same. I.e if you get 80%+ you have a 1:1 class. 70%-80% 2:1 etc.

Oxbridge rank their degrees internally. So only the top 10% get a 1:1 then next 20% get a 2:1 and so forth.
Not completely true...For some courses in some years it works like this, for other courses in other years it's marked purely on the quality of the work, not how good it is relevant to everyone else in the year. My exams last year were normalised (which came out in my favour for one subject!), but I know next year they're not. So if the rest of my year are absolute geniuses compared to the year above, my results for first year would be higher than if I'd been in the year above, but my results for final year won't be any different. I'm not sure how it works at other unis.
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michael clayton
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#95
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I think the real question is....why is pretty much every degree offered by Oxbridge seemingly valued more than degrees from similar institutions?
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Student-1
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Used like that it isn't the same as a first, though, so it doesn't mean what many TSR posters think. Any way, double first isn't usually notated like that.
Yeah that's true how is a double first noted? I don't think I've ever come across one!
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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(Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
Oxbridge works differently. Eevery other uni ranks their degrees the same. I.e if you get 80%+ you have a 1:1 class. 70%-80% 2:1 etc.

Oxbridge rank their degrees internally. So only the top 10% get a 1:1 then next 20% get a 2:1 and so forth.
I appreciate what you're saying in that it's harder to get a 1:1 if you're actively competing against the other students on your course, but it's not true that this system is unique to Oxbridge. Just so you know :-) It can't just be for that reason that their courses are more valued, because other unis (not many, but still some) work that way.
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tw15st3d
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(Original post by im so academic)
Yes, because London Met Maths > Cambridge Maths. :rolleyes:
i swear ive heard you say this before...de..ja.vu
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Zottula
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(Original post by Concept186)
Try comparing past papers in a subject you're familiar with as a good litmus test. As an example, I just compared my first year physics papers with Keeles - Keeles papers are a joke by comparison - I can see ten mark questions we'd be expected to do to earn the first mark of like a four mark question.
You make me glad that I dropped out of Keele to go to Imperial.
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hslt
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(Original post by kbountra)
I think the real question is....why is pretty much every degree offered by Oxbridge seemingly valued more than degrees from similar institutions?
I think the answer is, they aren't...
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