Are there different classifications of Firsts? Watch

Tortle
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Are there different classifications of firsts? I've heard people say things like : "good first", "high first", or "1:1". Do these classifications exist?
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dancingqueen
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I've heard people say 1:1 too, only on this board though. I think although I'm not sure, that you just get a first. On the class lists that get published here, it is divided into first, 2:1, 2:2 etc., there's no splitting of the first classification. Maybe someone will correct me if I'm wrong?
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LennonMcCartney
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People often say "high" or "low" followed by the actual class of the degree because it shows how close you were to the other boundaries. These would be based on knowing the precise mark you got and where the boundary is for your subject that year. But such labelling is merely for interest as the degree would be classed officially as "1st" or whatever, and not "high 1st".
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soilman
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I believe oxbridge give out starred firsts, is this still the case?
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Brown Patrick Bateman
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(Original post by sm0273)
I believe oxbridge give out starred firsts, is this still the case?
No. Some refer to getting a "Double 1st" for a 1st in Prelims/Mods and finals, though this isn't officially awarded by the university.
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samlangfield
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(Original post by sm0273)
I believe oxbridge give out starred firsts, is this still the case?
Cambridge do.
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Isaiah Berlin
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(Original post by Tortle)
Are there different classifications of firsts? I've heard people say things like : "good first", "high first", or "1:1". Do these classifications exist?
No, but Oxford being Oxford, there are a variety of ways or ranking themselves even within the First Class category. Firstly, you get ranked within your category. Secondly, there are prizes for exceptional performances. Thirdly, you get percentage as well as Class grades, so you can use your average to differentiate. This is why people talk about high firsts.

It's not just vanity. Firstly, some people do so well that they do deserve to be differentiated from those who just scrape past 70. Secondly, however, I think it's useful when applying for graduate courses and particularly for scholarships, because it does highlight the really exceptional academics within the student body.

I wouldn't worry about it too much though. I think barely 20% of people get Firsts in finals (though it's easier to do in prelims, certainly in the arts), and most of these will not be by much. If you're one of those geniuses who really is in the top 5% of Oxford, you'll probably have realised by now...as someone in my college did, who never revised his set texts for Classics because he could just read all the Classics unseen.
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EskimoHunter
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There are "special" firsts which one can acquire. These are called "starred firsts" and are very rare. You can have a starred first, double starred first or triple starred first. The latter has only been awarded three times. Of course, you can achieve a "normal" first as well.
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Isaiah Berlin
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I think you're making it up.
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oxymoron
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(Original post by Isaiah Berlin)
I think you're making it up.
I've heard of starred firsts but I'm not sure if they are awarded anymore. (I've heard there is one music tutor who was the only person ever to be awarded one for music and he's very odd and wanders round the music fac all the time!)

Not sure if it's actually true though, this may be an urban myth.
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MatthewH
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The front of A People's Tragedy (IIRC) says that Orlando Figes got a double-starred first from Cambridge, and I believe Schama got a starred first.
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London Prophet
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(Original post by oxymoron)
I've heard of starred firsts but I'm not sure if they are awarded anymore. (I've heard there is one music tutor who was the only person ever to be awarded one for music and he's very odd and wanders round the music fac all the time!)

Not sure if it's actually true though, this may be an urban myth.
Was he the same guy that got into the University by leaving setting the desk on fire and saying "now you'll remember me"
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EskimoHunter
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(Original post by Isaiah Berlin)

I think you're making it up.
Copied directly from Wikipedia.

(Original post by Wikipedia)

In most universities, First-Class Honours is the highest honours which can be achieved, with about 10% of candidates achieving a First nationally.

A minority of universities award First-Class Honours with Distinction, informally known as a starred first.

A Double First can refer to first class honours in two separate subjects, e.g. Classics and Mathematics, or alternatively to first class honours in the same subject in subsequent examinations, e.g. subsequent Parts of the tripos at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge University Jargon). At Cambridge, it is even possible to obtain a Double-Starred First (noted recipients being Quentin Skinner and Orlando Figes), or, in rare cases such as Maurice Zinkin[1] and Neal Ascherson, a Triple-Starred First.
See the Wikipedia article here
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Elles
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Wikipedia doesn't have any Oxford examples for an Oxford subforum question..?
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EskimoHunter
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(Original post by Elles)
Wikipedia doesn't have any Oxford examples for an Oxford subforum question..?
How is that a question? Absolutely dreadful.
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Cirsium
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It means that you've just given us a Cambridge example and since this is the Oxford subforum Elles is inquiring whether or not you have an example that is actually relevant
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RxB
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also, while i'm a massive fan of wikipedia, it's not particularly definitive in this sort of thing...
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Elles
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(Original post by Bekaboo)
It means that you've just given us a Cambridge example and since this is the Oxford subforum Elles is inquiring whether or not you have an example that is actually relevant
Indeed - she was perhaps trying to be vaguely more tactful than just labelling "irrelevant", so enquiring in the first instance.
But unfortunately is rather prone to such absolutely dreadful message board styles over-usage of elipsis and question marks for her ponderings...
Although despite the lack of qualifications announced in her sig apparently might not be entirely fluffy & incapable of writing correctly in the broader scheme of life.

If you wanted the question more clearly you only need ask - but Bekaboo's noble attempt at deciphering is good!
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EskimoHunter
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(Original post by Elles)
Indeed - she was perhaps trying to be vaguely more tactful than just labelling "irrelevant", so enquiring in the first instance.
But unfortunately is rather prone to such absolutely dreadful message board styles over-usage of elipsis and question marks for her ponderings...
Although despite the lack of qualifications announced in her sig apparently might not be entirely fluffy & incapable of writing correctly in the broader scheme of life.

If you wanted the question more clearly you only need ask - but Bekaboo's noble attempt at deciphering is good!
I need not ask for anything. Do as I wish or be gone.
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anycon
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Fgs Oxford only do straight firsts (except maybe in law?) but Cambridge do differentiate. For example my mate's sister just got a starred first in English and Alain de Botton got a double-starred first (read this in Cam magazine).
But, as I recall, Oscar Wilde got a double first -- though that was over a century ago and he was Oscar Wilde.
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