The Official 'How To Get A First Class Degree' thread Watch

ElChapo
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#21
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
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Hmm I like this post, its something I've been considering, a decent CV + a 2:1 vs a dull CV + a 1st
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angelooo
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(Original post by ElChapo)
Hmm I like this post, its something I've been considering, a decent CV + a 2:1 vs a dull CV + a 1st
Why not a decent CV + a 1st? Then you'll really stand out as a desirable applicant.
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Aemiliana
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(Original post by T1gga92)
No I've never come across JSTOR - what is this?
No databases as far as I know - thanks for the help, I'll check these when I go back on the 12th xx


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Oh my gosh I can't believe your uni hasn't told you about JSTOR! No wonder you can't find journals. Go get acquainted with it and it will literally change your (academic) life :P


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fallen_acorns
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(Original post by angelooo)
Why not a decent CV + a 1st? Then you'll really stand out as a desirable applicant.
its not always possible.

Take the year I currently have ahead of me,

Im doing a 5 month internship, 3 days a week - alongside my final year of my degree, and a volentary job 1 day a week, and running 2 volentary groups..

thats 4 days of the week full time working, and 3 days to do my degree..

Getting a first in my final year, with only 3 days per week of time? maybe its possible, but it will be very very hard, and maybe only possible without sleep..

So ive settled that I will probably get a 2.1

But this is fine, because the area i want to go into is the charity sector

And honestly, when they are looking at CVs, they will much rather the candidate who has practical on the job experiance + a 2.1, over someone with a first, who has done little outside their degree.

Maybe its possible for others to get a 1st aswell as all the experiance/work im doing, but for me, knowing my capabilities, I think it probably wont be..
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ElChapo
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(Original post by angelooo)
Why not a decent CV + a 1st? Then you'll really stand out as a desirable applicant.
In an ideal world yes, but it sounds like getting a 1st takes a lot of time and dedication towards work, so you won't really have time to be getting involved in societies and teams, and other extra curricular activities to have an interesting CV.
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angelooo
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
its not always possible.

Take the year I currently have ahead of me,

Im doing a 5 month internship, 3 days a week - alongside my final year of my degree, and a volentary job 1 day a week, and running 2 volentary groups..

thats 4 days of the week full time working, and 3 days to do my degree..

Getting a first in my final year, with only 3 days per week of time? maybe its possible, but it will be very very hard, and maybe only possible without sleep..

So ive settled that I will probably get a 2.1

But this is fine, because the area i want to go into is the charity sector

And honestly, when they are looking at CVs, they will much rather the candidate who has practical on the job experiance + a 2.1, over someone with a first, who has done little outside their degree.

Maybe its possible for others to get a 1st aswell as all the experiance/work im doing, but for me, knowing my capabilities, I think it probably wont be..
Wow you're a busy bee! I didn't mean to sound like there was anything wrong not getting a 1st, a 2.1 is nothing to scoff at at all. Like you say, you're probably better off getting a 2.1 and having all the experience you do that using that time solely for your degree and coming away with a 1st. I guess it depends on what degree you're doing and what you intend to do with it afterwards too, every sector is completely different .
(Original post by ElChapo)
In an ideal world yes, but it sounds like getting a 1st takes a lot of time and dedication towards work, so you won't really have time to be getting involved in societies and teams, and other extra curricular activities to have an interesting CV.
I know plenty people that graduated with 1sts and still had a lot of experience behind them and good extra curricular activities. It's all about time management. The better you are at managing your time and using it well, the easier it'll be (not that getting a 1st is easy by any means). Although, like fallen_Acorns said above, s/he's doing a hell of a lot of work experience that is going to be crucial for her future, so will probably not be able to fit in time for the extras needed to push for a 1st which is also totally fine. Each person wants different things from their degree.
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fallen_acorns
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(Original post by angelooo)
Wow you're a busy bee! I didn't mean to sound like there was anything wrong not getting a 1st, a 2.1 is nothing to scoff at at all. Like you say, you're probably better off getting a 2.1 and having all the experience you do that using that time solely for your degree and coming away with a 1st. I guess it depends on what degree you're doing and what you intend to do with it afterwards too, every sector is completely different .

I know plenty people that graduated with 1sts and still had a lot of experience behind them and good extra curricular activities. It's all about time management. The better you are at managing your time and using it well, the easier it'll be (not that getting a 1st is easy by any means). Although, like fallen_Acorns said above, s/he's doing a hell of a lot of work experience that is going to be crucial for her future, so will probably not be able to fit in time for the extras needed to push for a 1st which is also totally fine. Each person wants different things from their degree.
Completly agree with all of that - especially the line in bold, which is why I thought id mention it in the thread,

Ive had to many friends graduate from uni, only thinking about life/work after uni, once they are very near completion (christmas final year etc.) - but really it takes so much more planning/thought then that, and from second year onwards(or before) people really do need to start thinking 'how will all of this get me a job, or money afterwards'
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angelooo
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
Completly agree with all of that - especially the line in bold, which is why I thought id mention it in the thread,

Ive had to many friends graduate from uni, only thinking about life/work after uni, once they are very near completion (christmas final year etc.) - but really it takes so much more planning/thought then that, and from second year onwards(or before) people really do need to start thinking 'how will all of this get me a job, or money afterwards'
Completely agree! The earlier you start thinking about all of that, the better! Not much point in completing a degree if you have no idea what you intend to do with it afterwards or how to go about getting to that point haha. A lot of people go to uni thinking it's going to be a 4 year long party though (or 3 years for some other degrees/unis), getting a massive shock when reality kicks in. I'm not saying not to enjoy it or to stay home all of the time and study, but I wish more people took their education seriously from the get go instead of just in the final year.
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weeebl
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So can someone please tell me, roughly how many hours of spare study time would you need to acquire a 1st? Many thanks.
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angelooo
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(Original post by weeebl)
So can someone please tell me, roughly how many hours of spare study time would you need to acquire a 1st? Many thanks.
More hours =/= 1st.

Use your time wisely. Treat uni like a full time job. Instead of saying you're going to do however many hours of studying, make study goals specific to tasks/notes/things to learn/whatever as opposed to saying you'll do a certain amount of hours of study that might not be used wisely.

My friend often says he's been studying for 8 hours a day, when in reality he's had his textbooks beside him that entire time, but hasn't really done much at all. If you make a list of specific things you want done (and possibly rewards for doing them) then you'll be more productive.

For things like essays etc, make sure you aren't losing out on stupid marks for referencing and formatting. It's unbelievable how many people lose marks (little marks add up!) because they don't care that they haven't formatted it right or used the right referencing style. Even if your coursework is only worth 25% of the module, like some of mine, you still want to get the absolute best mark possible because then you have a bit leeway in the exam for anything you might fluff up. Some people say that the coursework isn't worth much so they won't bother and just work hard for the exam, but that's not the attitude to take.

If you're in first year, get into good habits right away. Your first year might not count for your degree, but the habits you form in first year will be priceless when you progress further because you won't have to learn new, good habits when the coursework starts counting. You're able to make mistakes and learn from them when it doesn't count as much instead of when it actually counts for a percentage of your degree.
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T1gga92
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#31
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Thanks so much guys really appreciate the help :-) xx


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ElChapo
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#32
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What kind of subjects is everyone studying, not sure if all the advice is applicable to engineering lol
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weeebl
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#33
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(Original post by angelooo)
More hours =/= 1st.

Use your time wisely. Treat uni like a full time job. Instead of saying you're going to do however many hours of studying, make study goals specific to tasks/notes/things to learn/whatever as opposed to saying you'll do a certain amount of hours of study that might not be used wisely.

My friend often says he's been studying for 8 hours a day, when in reality he's had his textbooks beside him that entire time, but hasn't really done much at all. If you make a list of specific things you want done (and possibly rewards for doing them) then you'll be more productive.

For things like essays etc, make sure you aren't losing out on stupid marks for referencing and formatting. It's unbelievable how many people lose marks (little marks add up!) because they don't care that they haven't formatted it right or used the right referencing style. Even if your coursework is only worth 25% of the module, like some of mine, you still want to get the absolute best mark possible because then you have a bit leeway in the exam for anything you might fluff up. Some people say that the coursework isn't worth much so they won't bother and just work hard for the exam, but that's not the attitude to take.

If you're in first year, get into good habits right away. Your first year might not count for your degree, but the habits you form in first year will be priceless when you progress further because you won't have to learn new, good habits when the coursework starts counting. You're able to make mistakes and learn from them when it doesn't count as much instead of when it actually counts for a percentage of your degree.
Thats what i plan to do, but im afraid it will mean me losing out on playing sports, socialising, volunteering ect. which is why i wanted to know the amount of hours i would have to put in for time management. But i guess you are right, no playtime until i understand what i need to. Thanks for that!
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angelooo
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(Original post by weeebl)
Thats what i plan to do, but im afraid it will mean me losing out on playing sports, socialising, volunteering ect. which is why i wanted to know the amount of hours i would have to put in for time management. But i guess you are right, no playtime until i understand what i need to. Thanks for that!
You'll still be able to do things, you just might have to fit them in differently or cut them down slightly. I still manage to have a part time job, train for a marathon and have a social life while getting good grades. Obviously if it's a team sport you can't exactly change the times they meet to suit your needs but there will always be something you can juggle round . If you want a hand organising and prioritising your time then give me a shout, I love doing things like that hahaha.
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weeebl
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(Original post by angelooo)
You'll still be able to do things, you just might have to fit them in differently or cut them down slightly. I still manage to have a part time job, train for a marathon and have a social life while getting good grades. Obviously if it's a team sport you can't exactly change the times they meet to suit your needs but there will always be something you can juggle round . If you want a hand organising and prioritising your time then give me a shout, I love doing things like that hahaha.
Thats pretty reassuring that you did all that! Well i bought a filofax all the females on this website go crazy over in an attempt to keep on top of my university schedule and time management ( i really want to make the most of it you see) so hope that helps. Also thank you for the help, now that you offered, be sure to receive a message from me in a few weeks time
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angelooo
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(Original post by weeebl)
Thats pretty reassuring that you did all that! Well i bought a filofax all the females on this website go crazy over in an attempt to keep on top of my university schedule and time management ( i really want to make the most of it you see) so hope that helps. Also thank you for the help, now that you offered, be sure to receive a message from me in a few weeks time
Hopefully you'll find it helpful , I don't use a filofax but I do have an academic diary that I'd be lost without haha. I plan my whole life in that thing!
No problem, happy to help .
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gman10
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#37
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#37
(Original post by Sports Racer)
Two ways to get a first in my experience (essay subjects and mixed qual/quant subjects):

1. Working hard

i.e. most of the tips above

2. Working smart

a) Knowing the classification regulations inside out
b) Selecting modules wisely - those you are passionate about, assessment method split, good first rates, etc.
c) Revision technique - revising the right content and in the way that suits your learning style
d) Exam technique - ability to rapidly weaponise and deploy knowledge in a way that is expected by the examiner
e) Mastery - the elusive 'flair'; critical understanding of the given scope of the subject, 'getting' the essence of the material and what the module intended to convey, having an internally consistent Point of View, inserting relevant 'over and above' reading
Very good point! There is no point working hard if you do not work smart
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JOftw
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Ok


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gman10
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#39
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#39
(Original post by SpicyStrawberry)
Very good thread, lots of decent tips in there.

I would definitely recommend making a plan of your time over the upcoming weeks so you can see well ahead of time when your deadlines are, and you can plan your study and coursework writing time around lectures, part-time work and social events more easily. You could set an invisible deadline for yourself around a week or two before the real deadline so you can aim to have it completed well ahead so you can focus on other things that might need more time dedicated to them.

Also, Google Scholar. It's such an easy tool to find recent journal articles that will help you with your research. If you use textbooks alone you are limiting yourself; lecturers want to see up to date research in your work rather than the same studies repeated over and over again.
Ah google scholar is a fantastic thing to use! It is a wealth of information which can help differentiate an essay between a good essay and a brilliant one!
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T1gga92
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(Original post by gman10)
Ah google scholar is a fantastic thing to use! It is a wealth of information which can help differentiate an essay between a good essay and a brilliant one!
I might try that. If you use a journal from it would you reference it as an e-journal or could you get away with using it as a standard journal xx


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