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    Hello.

    After 4 years of study in Norway, I have read up a bit on how grading (marking?) in the UK is done, and trying to convert it to the Norwegian standards. 1st = A, 2:1 = B, 2:2 = C etc, if I understood everything correctly.

    In Norway, grading is normally distributed around C, meaning that if an exam is quite easy, you would have to put a lot of extra effort into your answers if you want to receive a good mark, because everyone else will probably also have a lot of correct answers. Basically, it is not enough to meet some given standards for an A or B, you have to have the "best" exam relative to everyone else.

    Is this how it's done in the UK too? Or do you just have to meet some pregiven requirements for a good mark?
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    (Original post by Primal)
    Hello.

    After 4 years of study in Norway, I have read up a bit on how grading (marking?) in the UK is done, and trying to convert it to the Norwegian standards. 1st = A, 2:1 = B, 2:2 = C etc, if I understood everything correctly.

    In Norway, grading is normally distributed around C, meaning that if an exam is quite easy, you would have to put a lot of extra effort into your answers if you want to receive a good mark, because everyone else will probably also have a lot of correct answers. Basically, it is not enough to meet some given standards for an A or B, you have to have the "best" exam relative to everyone else.

    Is this how it's done in the UK too? Or do you just have to meet some pregiven requirements for a good mark?

    There is no national or externally set standard for degree classifications in the UK. There are a limited number of 'grades' you can get for an undergraduate degree, 1st, 2.1, 2.1, 3rd, pass and fail. Third Pass and Fail rarely happen, and for the majority the options are only 1st, 2,1 or 2.2. There is no controlling factor to ensure a 1st from one place is the same as a 1st from anywhere else. It is hotly contested on TSR, but out in the real world, everyone knows that a 1st from some universities is not the same as a 1st from others.

    Some courses will grade against a notional benchmark, so that it might be possible for all students to get a 1st (unlikely, but not moderated such that is is impossible), whereas others might grade around bands ie the top 10% regardless of quality will get a 1st. There are pros and cons in either system, and there is no uniformity, even within universities.

    So the answer is that there is no way to make a direct and accurate translation from any other academic grading system. If you need to know how to translate your grade, you might look at one of the Universities that takes a lot of overseas students and publishes its entry grade equivalents, such as Oxford, Cambridge or UCL. But then all you will get is an idea of how they perceive overseas grade matching UK requirements.
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    (Original post by Primal)
    Hello.

    After 4 years of study in Norway, I have read up a bit on how grading (marking?) in the UK is done, and trying to convert it to the Norwegian standards. 1st = A, 2:1 = B, 2:2 = C etc, if I understood everything correctly.

    In Norway, grading is normally distributed around C, meaning that if an exam is quite easy, you would have to put a lot of extra effort into your answers if you want to receive a good mark, because everyone else will probably also have a lot of correct answers. Basically, it is not enough to meet some given standards for an A or B, you have to have the "best" exam relative to everyone else.

    Is this how it's done in the UK too? Or do you just have to meet some pregiven requirements for a good mark?
    In the uk we are given marks out of 100 for each unit it breaks down like this
    3rd =40%
    2:2=50%
    2:1=60%
    1st =70%
    We get our degree classfied on how much we get over all for instance an avrage of 50% even if you got a first in 1 unit would give you a 2:2
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    What, so if you answer an exam and get 70% or more correct, you get a 1st, which in many cases (as far as I have read up on) are translated into an A?

    And same logic overall - if you on average get results that are 70% or better, you graduate with a 1st?
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    I just find it surprising, as an A here in Norway requires you to answer 95 - 100% correctly.
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    (Original post by Primal)
    I just find it surprising, as an A here in Norway requires you to answer 95 - 100% correctly.
    Different exams, marking philosophy, etc. I would infer that it'll be any easier in the UK on percentage boundaries alone. Plus the 70% figure is a rule of thumb, not an absolute boundary.
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    Grade boundaries that I had for my undergrad Honours degree were:

    1-39% - Fail
    40-49% - 3rd
    50-59% - 2:2
    60-69% - 2:1
    70%+ - First

    Pass degrees (without Honours) were given to people who had failed their dissertation and were not going to be given the option to resubmit. Sometimes people with a borderline fail were given the option of either retaking the third year to try and get an Honours degree, or accepting a pass degree.

    Far from being easier, we were told at the start of the year that it would be near impossble to get 80% or over, so we should consider anything over 70% to be a real achievement. A handful of lecturers were open about the fact that they started marking from 75% and deducted marks from that, rather than starting from 100%.

    If we're talking about a Humanities field as mine was, it actually sounds like marking in Norway is more lax than the scheme I experienced.
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    Yeah, but in Humanities there is often not one definite answer? I guess Science exams, like maths, physics (and maybe even Economics as a long shot) will be easier to mark.
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    And, it sounds ridiculous that it is "impossible" to achieve 100%.

    Thanks for the replies by the way
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    (Original post by Primal)
    And, it sounds ridiculous that it is "impossible" to achieve 100%.

    Thanks for the replies by the way
    In Humanities subjects it is yes, but then 100% implies perfection and there is no such thing as a perfect essay.

    It's possible in the Sciences though and Maths- I know people who've got 100% for lab reports and maths problem sheets where you can be sure the answer is 'right'.
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    (Original post by Primal)
    What, so if you answer an exam and get 70% or more correct, you get a 1st, which in many cases (as far as I have read up on) are translated into an A?

    And same logic overall - if you on average get results that are 70% or better, you graduate with a 1st?
    Well it depends how much the exam counts for if for example it counts for 50 % and you got lets say 100% in the course work you would only
    need 40% in the exam to get a first the units grades are worked out like that so 70% over all would be a first
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    Then it better be really hard to achieve get those 70 or more percent. I felt this sort of made sense for me then:

    A handful of lecturers were open about the fact that they started marking from 75% and deducted marks from that, rather than starting from 100%.
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    Another thing I wondered; I have read several people on here saying they'll use University of *something* as their backup, and Uni *something* as their main. First of all, what does that mean, in practice?

    If I get an interview at Imperial, but already have a confirmed place at MBS (which I have to accept before going to the interview), can I tell MBS that I want to use their offer as a backup offer, since I am primarily hoping for a spot at Imperial?

    I am doing an MSc, does it still apply?
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    (Original post by Primal)
    Another thing I wondered; I have read several people on here saying they'll use University of *something* as their backup, and Uni *something* as their main. First of all, what does that mean, in practice?

    If I get an interview at Imperial, but already have a confirmed place at MBS (which I have to accept before going to the interview), can I tell MBS that I want to use their offer as a backup offer, since I am primarily hoping for a spot at Imperial?

    I am doing an MSc, does it still apply?
    This might be better asked on the postgrad forum as it's a totally different admission procedure to undergraduate.
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    70 is a first but to put it into perspective 90+ is publishable material and therefore rarely attained.
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    (Original post by Primal)
    Another thing I wondered; I have read several people on here saying they'll use University of *something* as their backup, and Uni *something* as their main. First of all, what does that mean, in practice?

    If I get an interview at Imperial, but already have a confirmed place at MBS (which I have to accept before going to the interview), can I tell MBS that I want to use their offer as a backup offer, since I am primarily hoping for a spot at Imperial?

    I am doing an MSc, does it still apply?
    It's a UCAS thing if you apply to lets say Southampton you have to have a backup of somewhere lets say for instance Bournmouth so if you don't get the grades for Southampton you could still go to Bournmouth of go through the stress of clearing which I didn't do.
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    (Original post by Primal)
    Then it better be really hard to achieve get those 70 or more percent. I felt this sort of made sense for me then:
    In my university, lecturers in the humanities did basically mark out of 75, so if you got say a 72 it would be like getting around 90 if the full range of marks was used. It's just a convention that Firsts require 70+, unlike at school say or universities abroad that have 90% as their equivalent of an A grade, or a First. People are aware that it is rare to get above 80 in the humanities, so if another professor or even an employer saw you had a 72% average, for instance, they'd know that's a very good grade. In my university, to be awarded a Gold Medal (a prize for 'outstanding results' in your final degree exams), you needed to get 75%, which seems very low but is in fact incredibly hard to get, since marking effectively is out of 75/80; in my year, four were awarded one, out of a group of 100+.

    If a person attains marks over 80% at my undergrad university in a humanities subject, that is considered really exceptional; anything in the 85+ range is usually publishable.
 
 
 
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