Degrees are now way too easy, discuss.

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bluebell100
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#61
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#61
I can't really speak for other degrees, but for the degree that I graduated with (a BA (hons) Education), I got a 1.1 with an average of 76% in my final year. Most of the assessments were essays, some presentations and one written exam. I think I did well because I think I'm good at writing essays.

Before that, I did do one year of a science degree and I completely flopped at that. I think getting a good grade can depend on choosing a degree subject which is suitable for you. I don't know whether my degree was 'easy', but I found it easier than A-levels (probably because most of my A-levels were maths/science subjects which I'm not good at).
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Astropanda
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#62
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(Original post by Mediocrity)
You should have read the message at the top of the Wikipedia page. There are few sources and citations on that article, and those that are present are actually quite dubious.
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/academic...on-boards.aspx
http://www.tlso.manchester.ac.uk/map...inationboards/
http://www2.bathspa.ac.uk/services/a...ion-boards.asp
http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/e....html#external

Links could go on...
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Mediocrity
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#63
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Fair enough. You should listen to Chief Wiggum though - he is an expert on these matters. Use your head though; do you really think the examinations at Manchester which have grade requirements of ABB for some of their courses is really of a similar difficulty to the examinations at Cambridge who have grade requirements of A*AA+?
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Mediocrity
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(Original post by Chief Wiggum)
External examiners can only make recommendations. Universities don't have any obligation to act on the comments they make.

Some pretty convincing evidence from the Sutton Trust that not all degrees are equally difficult:

"As shown in Table 3.3, students attending highly selective universities - those with a high
percentage of students with A level grades ABB or AAC or above (a high UNIdiff value) -
were less likely to achieve as high a class of degree as students from less selective
universities with similar attainment."

"It suggests that due to the large number of very able students competing for first
class honours, it is more difficult to obtain this classification in highly selective universities
than in less selective institutions."


http://www.suttontrust.com/public/do...port-final.pdf

(Also, massive LOL at "ABB or AAC" being "highly selective". The average Cambridge student has 2.6 A*.)
Good post! I especially agree with the last comment. ABB is not highly selective by any stretch of the imagination especially with grade inflation nowadays.
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Chief Wiggum
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(Original post by Mediocrity)
Good post! I especially agree with the last comment. ABB is not highly selective by any stretch of the imagination especially with grade inflation nowadays.
Hmm, I think my last comment about ABB perhaps sounded slightly insulting.

My point, expressed more politely, is that if a suggested difference in difficulty is observed at an "ABB = highly selective university" level, it is easy to imagine that a much greater difference would be observed if you consider a higher benchmark to be "highly selective". Eg, look at universities where most people have at least A*AA.
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Mediocrity
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(Original post by Chief Wiggum)
Hmm, I think my last comment about ABB perhaps sounded slightly insulting.

My point, expressed more politely, is that if a suggested difference in difficulty is observed at an "ABB = highly selective university" level, it is easy to imagine that a much greater difference would be observed if you consider a higher benchmark to be "highly selective". Eg, look at universities where most people have at least A*AA.
Which means exactly the same thing but with a more diplomatic twist.
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ForgetMe
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#67
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#67
I've graduated with a degree in Translation and wouldn't say it was very easy..
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AccountingBabe
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#68
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Sounds to me like someone is ashamed to mention the name of their university as this will, undoubtedly, show us how you got a first!

The fact you proceeded into an economics degree without an A-level in Mathematics makes me realise that your degree was definitely watered down. I'm sure this is not the case at a well respected "elite" university and it's common knowledge that a first from "OxBridge" is undoubtedly seen as an actual achievement compared to some mid tier university.

Don't worry though, employers are clued up on this! (hence why you probably aren't landing the top jobs)

(Original post by EmptyBracket)
I wasn't having a jibe at people with a 2:1, in fact if you read my comments carefully you will note I commend people with a high 2:1 but feel its unjust awarding people with 57% the same classification as someone with say 65%.

I'm not your average case, I was a mature student (I'm 25) so I didn't do A-levels. And at School, I didn't go to School for two years and just turned up for the GCSE's. Yes, I worked reasonably hard on my degree, obviously. But it should not be this easy to obtain a First, and 20% of people should not be awarded a first either. A first used to be an elite achievement, something you could be immensely proud of that hardly anyone else could achieve. Now its nothing like that. Degrees have been watered down.

It's nothing to do with the standards of my University either, outside the elite Oxbridge & LSE and perhaps UCL my University is as academically demanding as any other top 20 University, which is worrying!
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shenaniganss
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#69
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Even so, some schools mark their papers (and hence award honours) based on absolute raw marks obtained on exams, while some grade with a bell curve, e.g. giving the top 25% of the class firsts. What seems to happen is those schools that don't bell curve their honours end up awarding many, many firsts. So I don't think you can say that degrees from all universities are of similar standard, because in some, you are competing against your peers in that course, while in some you are competing against how easy or difficult the exam is that year.
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Chief Wiggum
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(Original post by shenaniganss)
Even so, some schools mark their papers (and hence award honours) based on absolute raw marks obtained on exams, while some grade with a bell curve, e.g. giving the top 25% of the class firsts. What seems to happen is those schools that don't bell curve their honours end up awarding many, many firsts. So I don't think you can say that degrees from all universities are of similar standard, because in some, you are competing against your peers in that course, while in some you are competing against how easy or difficult the exam is that year.
Those links he posted merely prove that external examiners exist: everyone knows they exist.

What is in dispute is not their existence, but rather if their existence actually leads to all universities' degrees being equally difficult.

My post above on this page, containing quotes from a Sutton Trust report, does very strongly suggest differences in difficulty between universities.
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shenaniganss
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(Original post by Chief Wiggum)
Those links he posted merely prove that external examiners exist: everyone knows they exist.

What is in dispute is not their existence, but rather if their existence actually leads to all universities' degrees being equally difficult.

My post above on this page, containing quotes from a Sutton Trust report, does very strongly suggest differences in difficulty between universities.
Ah, OK I see your point. But I was just saying that if you consider how different universities give out honours, it would be very difficult to maintain a similar standard across different universities, regardless of external examiners, just by whether they mark based on raw grade or by bell-curve.

I wasn't disputing the existence of external examiners, and I think I'm actually agreeing with you! But you had better resources to back up your claim
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Chief Wiggum
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(Original post by shenaniganss)
Ah, OK I see your point. But I was just saying that if you consider how different universities give out honours, it would be very difficult to maintain a similar standard across different universities, regardless of external examiners, just by whether they mark based on raw grade or by bell-curve.

I wasn't disputing the existence of external examiners, and I think I'm actually agreeing with you! But you had better resources to back up your claim
I was agreeing with your post. I was just clarifying that the person you quoted hadn't actually offered evidence against what you were saying.
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by EmptyBracket)
As mentioned, I attended a University that is ranked in the top 15 in all league tables. It offered A-level maths in the first year. It has a very good reputation: 5 people from my class are Analysts at Goldman Sachs. I would say it isn't quite as good as Warwick, Durham, and the elitist Oxbridge and LSE, but it is just outside of those and the University itself isn't the problem here.
If you're at a uni that is sending people to Goldman Sachs as analysts then your degree isn't the problem. What sort of jobs are you going for? I know you said 'everything from basic admin to investment banking' but what field are you really trying to get in to. If you're just carpetbombing employers randomly then your search might not be focused enough.

Have you tried the Bank of England or Government Economic Service graduate schemes? In those your degree won't have signalling power but they have assessment centres that allow you to distinguish yourself if you are good.
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nExow
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(Original post by EmptyBracket)
Grade inflation has eroded the value of a degree; a 2:1 is far too easy to achieve. Every man and his dog had a 2:1 these days, they are practically handed out with packets of cornflakes. This is intensifying competition in the graduate job market; high achievers with overall grades of 80% plus are unable to distinguish themselves from the competition. I have graduated from a top 15 University with a high 1st, yet in the job market I am competing against people who might have a grade as low as 57% (disgustingly, my University awards a 2:1 for achieving 57% or a 1st for 67%!).The education system is broken; degrees have been watered down; the classification system is a joke (10% difference for grade boundaries is MASSIVE). Discuss.
It's refreshing to hear a sound economic argument backed up by quantitative data on this forum, you have my respect +1. Unfortunately the political climate in the run of to the coming election would make such a policy unfathomable for the conservatives or the libertarian section of the liberal democrats.
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fat_hobbit
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(Original post by EmptyBracket)
I have a high 1st in BSc Economics, a degree some would consider tough. I thought it would be tough when I started, yet I found it laughably easy.

A few decades ago barely anyone got a 1st. Degrees were MUCH tougher than they are now, there has been a substantial amount of dumbing down, to make degrees more accessible to the masses. Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional, or the holder of a low 2:1 themselves (you'd have got a 2:2 or 3rd several decades ago )
lol

TBH I know TONNES of people who got 2.2s or lower.

Your experience is not a representative of the majority.
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nExow
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(Original post by fat_hobbit)
lol TBH I know TONNES of people who got 2.2s or lower.Your experience is not a representative of the majority.
Which is why I'll assume , he provided data in his initial post.
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Izzyeviel
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#77
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What else did you do whilst getting this First? If all you did was study well then no wonder you're struggling to get into IB.

Did you do any Internships? Did you play roles in the student union/societies?
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fat_hobbit
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(Original post by nExow)
Which is why I'll assume , he provided data in his initial post.
I honestly do believe some subjects are easier than others.

In the arts:

A law degree is harder than a sociology degree.

Knew a lawyer who used to complain how the work load for those studying sociology was much lighter. He studied at Newcastle.

I am biased towards Sciences, as I have a Science background. BUT god, when I compared the work I did on my dissertation to my flat mates, it was much more intense. He just had to write a dissertation. In comparison, I had to develop a piece of software, do a presentation and write a dissertation.

The OP can spurt out all the statistics he wants, but grade inflation is only probably happening because 2.1s are being obtained in easier subjects.
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fat_hobbit
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(Original post by Izzyeviel)
What else did you do whilst getting this First? If all you did was study well then no wonder you're struggling to get into IB.

Did you do any Internships? Did you play roles in the student union/societies?
Internships are key to be honest.

But it wasn't always like that.

30 years ago, you could break into a IB with a 2.2 without doing any internships.

If anything, things are a lot tougher now due to over population.
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nExow
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(Original post by fat_hobbit)
I honestly do believe some subjects are easier than others. In the arts:A law degree is harder than a sociology degree.Knew a lawyer who used to complain how the work load for those studying sociology was much lighter. He studied at Newcastle.I am biased towards Sciences, as I have a Science background. BUT god, when I compared the work I did on my dissertation to my flat mates, it was much more intense. He just had to write a dissertation. In comparison, I had to develop a piece of software, do a presentation and write a dissertation.The OP can spurt out all the statistics he wants, but grade inflation is only probably happening because 2.1s are being obtained in easier subjects.
I'm inclined to agree with you, but I won't declare so until I've some reliable numbers.
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