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    Okay, I'm taking a 15 credit politics module, the usual professor who takes it is on sabbatical, so is being taken over by someone else for one year.

    She's from the LSE, has never taught Undergrads before (as THE course convenor I mean), and has only very recently received her Ph.D.

    So far, so good. Thing is, we all recently got essays back. I understand that essays all have to be second marked; yes?

    We're all third years, there's around 20 people in my class, and the grades varied from lots of 40s and 50s to 95 and 98.

    I'm not complaining, I got 65 lol, that's okay for me (although it was my lowest grade this year ). But surely giving an essay 98 is ridiculous; no? 95 and 98.. I saw the 95 essay and it was good , but 95? How can Arts essays receive 95 and 98?

    Likewise, how could so many third years receive such **** grades... one guy got like 45 and one person failed. For all my other classes, in general people get between 58 - 72, not between 40 and 98.

    My overall point; are all essays second marked? She's not from our college, she's from LSE and so may be used to different criteria..? I just don't understand how her marking can be so crazy (and it makes me worried about how she's going to mark our exams..)

    98 is unheard of in the Arts, frankly, and marking someone with a 45 seems harsh.. granted the guy who got that wasn't a genius, but still.. It just seems utterly bizarre.

    Anyone agree? And I'm not *****ing about her, before anyone says anything, I got 65.. totally standard.
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    All our essays are double marked AFAIK, and that is quite a strange range. I'm doing psychology so it's a science but i wouldn't count 45 as unlikely, but 98 is relatively impossible because there's always something you're gonna drop the ball on in an essay. If there's a new member of staff i'm sure they'll be checked up on though? Could just be a polarisation between people *shrugs*
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    Wow, at UCL, it's a rule in the marking regulations for Arts that you rarely give anyone over 80% regardless of how good they are. To get anywhere near 90% is impossible. However, the second-marking is standard across universities, so I wouldn't worry to much on that. If you're worried, ask her, otherwise, just leave it be. It's true that for the first few years, new lecturers are a lot harsher, in general, than more experienced lecturers and professors, but that will pass. I'd check with your marking regulations and see if there is anything about an upper limit for Arts, otherwise, there's not much you can do.
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    Wow, at UCL, it's a rule in the marking regulations for Arts that you rarely give anyone over 80% regardless of how good they are. To get anywhere near 90% is impossible. However, the second-marking is standard across universities, so I wouldn't worry to much on that. If you're worried, ask her, otherwise, just leave it be. It's true that for the first few years, new lecturers are a lot harsher, in general, than more experienced lecturers and professors, but that will pass. I'd check with your marking regulations and see if there is anything about an upper limit for Arts, otherwise, there's not much you can do.
    Yeah, well standardly we don't get anywhere near the 80 mark! Someone I know got an 85 for an essay recently, but generally this year 80 is the max. And in the previous years we've never had marks like these.

    I'm not worried really, just a bit perplexed. People shouldn't be failing at this level and I can't imagine what they wrote was that wrong! And 98 just seems... silly!
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    (Original post by Bubbles*de*Milo)
    Yeah, well standardly we don't get anywhere near the 80 mark! Someone I know got an 85 for an essay recently, but generally this year 80 is the max. And in the previous years we've never had marks like these.

    I'm not worried really, just a bit perplexed. People shouldn't be failing at this level and I can't imagine what they wrote was that wrong! And 98 just seems... silly!
    Heh, it seems ridiculous, but perhaps she's used to a different marking scheme. Here in Iceland, for example, I got 90% in an exam and 85% in an essay, and believe me, the essay at least wasn't worth that and I doubt my exam was, but I'm not going to complain. If I were the guy that failed, I'd appeal or complain or something, double check that it had been second marked, etc. all the usual stuff. As you've done pretty well, congratulations by the way, it can be just a nice wee incident to fondly remember in the future, I guess.

    It is strange, though.
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    Heh, it seems ridiculous, but perhaps she's used to a different marking scheme. Here in Iceland, for example, I got 90% in an exam and 85% in an essay, and believe me, the essay at least wasn't worth that and I doubt my exam was, but I'm not going to complain. If I were the guy that failed, I'd appeal or complain or something, double check that it had been second marked, etc. all the usual stuff. As you've done pretty well, congratulations by the way, it can be just a nice wee incident to fondly remember in the future, I guess.

    It is strange, though.
    Yeah, it is. Lol I'm not gonna say anything, just hope she's decent with our exams. I'm not fussed, but if I had been the one that failed I'd be kicking up a fuss definitely. Hmm. It's second marked though, which is the confusing part! It's not like she's just some crazy marker. :dontknow:
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    At our uni they say that above 90 means it's good enough to be published.

    I do English Lit and one of my friends sometimes gets above 80, but he's a genius. Most 'really good' essays get between 70 and 75.

    It's incredibly unlikely that two people in your year have written essays that are good enough to be published, on the same assignment no less!! I suggest you mention this to someone official at the university (no idea who though - a course co-ordinator?)
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    Wow, at UCL, it's a rule in the marking regulations for Arts that you rarely give anyone over 80% regardless of how good they are. To get anywhere near 90% is impossible. However, the second-marking is standard across universities, so I wouldn't worry to much on that. If you're worried, ask her, otherwise, just leave it be. It's true that for the first few years, new lecturers are a lot harsher, in general, than more experienced lecturers and professors, but that will pass. I'd check with your marking regulations and see if there is anything about an upper limit for Arts, otherwise, there's not much you can do.
    Why can't you get over 80%? :s
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    At Durham, in translation exams for Old Norse we were told we would lose marks for errors rather than being given marks for overall quality; however, the score would start somewhere around 85% because if it started at 100% people would do too well as no one ever gets higher than 85%!

    98% does seem pretty ridiculous. Is there anyone else in your department you could talk to? Actually, you don't seem especially bothered, so maybe don't.
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    Obviously she's got the scale completely wrong, do your essays not get cross-examined?
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    (Original post by Bubbles*de*Milo)
    frankly, and marking someone with a 45 seems harsh.. granted the guy who got that wasn't a genius, but still.. It just seems utterly bizarre.
    Why is it "harsh" if his work was of such a poor standard (assumption based on the fact that he got 45%)?

    I don't think that's bizarre at all. It's fairly regular for people to get low marks in my degree - why wouldn't it be?
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    Wow, at UCL, it's a rule in the marking regulations for Arts that you rarely give anyone over 80% regardless of how good they are. To get anywhere near 90% is impossible. However, the second-marking is standard across universities, so I wouldn't worry to much on that. If you're worried, ask her, otherwise, just leave it be. It's true that for the first few years, new lecturers are a lot harsher, in general, than more experienced lecturers and professors, but that will pass. I'd check with your marking regulations and see if there is anything about an upper limit for Arts, otherwise, there's not much you can do.
    I really don't get why there is a limit for the arts. The way I see it, you get asked a question for your coursework, and if you answer it in enough detail, given the word limit, you should be able to get 90+%. I think it's silly to set an upper limit, what is even the point of marking out of 100% if they set a limit at 80%?
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    That's just how it works at uni outside of the objective disciplines.
    Yeh I know, but I wanted to know why? Doesn't seem to make any sense to me to put an arbitrary limit on marks.
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    (Original post by LeeC)
    Yeh I know, but I wanted to know why? Doesn't seem to make any sense to me to put an arbitrary limit on marks.
    It's not necessarily a limit. It's just that the distribution aimed for generally means marks beyond that of 75-80% become exponentially harder to acheive. You shouldn't be able to acheive 100% because in academia there is no such thing. It's possible at a-level because the syllabus puts in place a theoretical limit of what they expect you to know.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    It's not necessarily a limit. It's just that the distribution aimed for generally means marks beyond that of 75-80% become exponentially harder to acheive. You shouldn't be able to acheive 100% because in academia there is no such thing. It's possible at a-level because the syllabus puts in place a theoretical limit of what they expect you to know.
    Well I find that also at degree levels they put theoretical limits on what they expect you to know. Each of my modules has a syllabus that we follow, I do engineering, but I imagine it's the same for all subjects, they teach you a set amount of material, because it's impossible to teach you everything.

    If you know this material extremely well, can write about it coherently in an examination of piece of coursework, bringing up all relevant points from the taught material and a few more points from some background reading, why shouldn't you be able to achieve 95-100%?

    I admit it would be strange for something like a dissertation to be awarded 100%, but at undergrad level, on a limited range of topics, I see no reason why very gifted students shouldn't get marks higher than 80%..
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    (Original post by Bubbles*de*Milo)
    98 is unheard of in the Arts, frankly
    Why do you think this? I averaged in the 90s in an 'arts' subject at university.
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    At Keele all firsts, fails, and borderline (eg.borderline between a 2.2 and 2.1) assignments get second marked. So yeah a 98% would definitely be looked at by someone else. That's crazy.
    I don't know how it is at your Uni, but as she's not the real professor I imagine someone else will check... and I'd expect those super high ones to come down.
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    (Original post by Est.)
    Why do you think this? I averaged in the 90s in an 'arts' subject at university.
    I call bull**** then. Either that or it wasn't a true Arts subject.


    (Original post by LeeC)
    I really don't get why there is a limit for the arts. The way I see it, you get asked a question for your coursework, and if you answer it in enough detail, given the word limit, you should be able to get 90+%. I think it's silly to set an upper limit, what is even the point of marking out of 100% if they set a limit at 80%?
    The idea is that one can always do better in an Arts subject. It's not like a Science where there is a right or wrong answer. Arts is always subjective and more often than not comes down to how well you've argued your point, which means you can always do it better, refine it more, etc.


    (Original post by mexicanbasterd)
    Why can't you get over 80%? :s
    See above.


    (Original post by nosnibor)
    At our uni they say that above 90 means it's good enough to be published.
    Our "publish" borderline is 80% at UCL, but I personally disagree with that. That would suggest that academics should be getting over 80% in everything they write, which they never would. Utter bull****. Most stuff out there is of 2:1 quality or higher.
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    (Original post by Hylean)

    The idea is that one can always do better in an Arts subject. It's not like a Science where there is a right or wrong answer. Arts is always subjective and more often than not comes down to how well you've argued your point, which means you can always do it better, refine it more, etc.

    For maths fine, there is a right and wrong answer. But in engineering and science you usually can do better. The equations we use for many things (e.g the drag on a wing) are just good approximations because to get the exact answer would take hours, be horrendously complex, or in some cases is impossible. But for undergrads it is silly to think that they can 'do better', it's too difficult. So the grading is suited to the level of the student. This doesn't seem to be the case for the arts, which I feel is unfair.

    If everything is so subjective then what's the point of grading it anyway? Does it not go on how well you argue your view, rather than what your subjective view is? If a lecturer took your exams and did your coursework, what kind of grade would they expect to get?
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    (Original post by LeeC)
    For maths fine, there is a right and wrong answer. But in engineering and science you usually can do better. The equations we use for many things (e.g the drag on a wing) are just good approximations because to get the exact answer would take hours, be horrendously complex, or in some cases is impossible. But for undergrads it is silly to think that they can 'do better', it's too difficult. So the grading is suited to the level of the student. This doesn't seem to be the case for the arts, which I feel is unfair.
    How is it unfair? Anyone who does an Arts degree knows the grading is done like that. Anyone can do better, that's the way it is. Arguments can always be refined; arguments are always changing as they are dependent on social context, culture, etc.

    As for the "engineering and science" part, that might actually be true, but still, you're given formulae and you work them out; you deal with bits of the body; theories, etc. There is generally a right or wrong answer in Science which Arts lacks.


    (Original post by LeeC)
    If everything is so subjective then what's the point of grading it anyway? Does it not go on how well you argue your view, rather than what your subjective view is? If a lecturer took your exams and did your coursework, what kind of grade would they expect to get?
    I believe I answered that elsewhere in my post, part of it is even in the bit you quoted.
 
 
 
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