More difficult to get a First class in Arts subjects? Watch

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kellywood_5
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#21
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I think it's harder to get a First in arts subjects not just because they're more subjective, but also because the marking is stricter and even if you write a really good essay, it's unheard of to get 90 or above and extremely rare to get 80 or above. One of my tutors told me that 85 is considered publishable, which obviously not many people are going to achieve at undergraduate level. I know nothing about sciences at a higher level than GCSE (I was all to pleased to kiss them goodbye at that point :p:) so someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think with sciences, you can't really be denied a high mark if your answers are right, and they're either right or wrong. But I think this is also the reason it's easier to get a 2.1 in arts subjects- because there's room for an element of 'blagging'. I'm not saying you'll get a high mark if you do it, but because it's so subjective and opinion based, you can sometimes get away with it, whereas in sciences, you're screwed if you don't know the facts. It doesn't really matter though because everyone knows the two sets of subjects aren't directly comparable and obviously how competent you are at the subject is always going to be the major factor in whether or not you get a First.

To reply to the question about languages, elements of core language modules such as grammar, comprehension and translation are pretty much right or wrong answers, but there are also essays and the majority of a languages degree is actually things like literature and history, so it's just as subjective really.
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apotoftea
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#22
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I've been told that getting above 70, and then above 75 is actually quite hard to achieve for the arts subjects (I'm talking History personally). To get anything above 75, you have to be highly highly original and creative with what you write.

The biggest problem when it comes to History (or well any arts subject) is that there is no right or wrong answer. And I also think you have to play to your strengths and be lucky with whoever's marking it. I have 6 different writing styles which I move between depending on who I'm writing to as it is personal preference as well. We were also told that it depends on the level of the marker too. If you're writing to someone who's been awarded a professorship - they'll more likley to have a higher standard than say someone who's in their first year of a PHD and is lecturing through a studentship post

So I think it is much harder to get a first in the arts subjects. I've overheard conversations from PE students and Media students who are going on about their mark of 86!!!??? Highest mark in my year across the modules has been 76.

Saying that, think it depends on the mode of assessment - a friend had one of her exams last week: 45minutes of multiple choice questions. My exam was a 3hr unseen answer 3 questions type.
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unknown demon
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#23
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Maths, sciences, arts whatever, work hard and you will do well. With regards to the memory, this happens in maths as well believe it ot not there are exceptional people with memories who have managed 1sts in maths basically down to understandin and memory. Arts subjects can be marked particularly fiercely depending on who you have to convince, plus not everyone has the write style to push beyond 80% I think your getting into the mind of an academic if you are hittin those scores.
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Killer7
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#24
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Science isn't just memory (ok, biology doesn't count) and you have to be REALLY smart to get a 1st in Maths/Physics, but it happens most people who do are smart.
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unknown demon
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#25
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two friend i know who get considstent firsts in maths have told me soley they use memory, I find this true, I have no reason not to believe this, A good memory will serve you well whatever it is you think.
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la fille danse
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(Original post by Killer7)
Science isn't just memory (ok, biology doesn't count) and you have to be REALLY smart to get a 1st in Maths/Physics, but it happens most people who do are smart.
Would I be right to assume that biology is mostly about memorisation? It definitely was in high school, don't know about uni...

My flatmate who does Biomedical Sciences thinks that my course (English) is a "doss" subject and hers is a "real" subject because she has to spend more time revising than me. :rolleyes:
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Iscariot
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(Original post by more adventurous)
My flatmate who does Biomedical Sciences thinks that my course (English) is a "doss" subject and hers is a "real" subject because she has to spend more time revising than me. :rolleyes:
Well... I know English students and maybe as a Biomedical Science student I'm biased but...
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la fille danse
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I find your avoidance of my question very telling.
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hermaphrodite
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#29
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there was an article in the bbc news online about a week ago that sais 25%of students studying maths and physical sciences are awrded a first.

circa 10% who study philosophy are awarded a first

and people doing vet science and medicine/dentistry; only circa 2%
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bewithoutyou
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(Original post by hermaphrodite)
people doing vet science and medicine/dentistry; only circa 2%
Pretty impressive since vets/medics aren't awarded 1st/2.1 type classifications... :cool:
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jackdanniel
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#31
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probably yes. arts subjects mainly assessed by essays and reports rather than exam. i think it is slightly easy to get marks in the exam.
my lecturer in marketing ever told me that he rarely gave student 70 for a paper, not because he was tough or mean when marking, just because the marking scheme. 70-80 as known was distinction, he added, while 80+ was academically publishable!! so do u expect urself to write every paper at the standard of neally approaching to a publishable work?
i graduated from a business school within which,even people who got 65+ were handful. but i ever saw the degree list of some science subjets. there were about 4 or 5 people getting 70 within a group, although several people got the likes of 20 or 30!!
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hermaphrodite
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#32
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(Original post by hermaphrodite)
there was an article in the bbc news online about a week ago that sais 25%of students studying maths and physical sciences are awrded a first.

circa 10% who study philosophy are awarded a first

and people doing vet science and medicine/dentistry; only circa 2%

link;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6599643.stm
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ChemistBoy
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#33
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(Original post by hermaphrodite)
link;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6599643.stm
The vet/med/dent thing probably reflects the uptake of intercalated degrees (where a class is award) - this is not a requirement for qualification so the statistic in this case is meaningless. Of course the journalists wouldn't know that because they would have bothered actually investigating their story properly because that wouldn't be journalism. To further cement that view:

Let us remember that the number of students taking different subjects is wildly different. There are many fewer students studying mathematics and the physical sciences and we have no guarantee that intellectual make-up of the student populations in various subjects is going to be the same. In fact I would argue that due to the deep unpopularity of mathematics and the physical sciences it is far more likely that your average student in these areas is going to have more ability and interest in the subject, although that is just an opinion. Give the factors above such statistics are, in reality, meaningless.
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Cexy
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(Original post by hermaphrodite)
link;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6599643.stm
Which is exactly why employers understand that:

1. A degree from a top-ranking university is more impressive than a degree from a mid-table university,

2. A first in Mathematics or the sciences is impressive, but less impressive than a first in, say, Law, and

3. A 2.1 in an arts subject is less impressive than a 2.1 in a science subject.
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Scuttle
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(Original post by Cexy)
Which is exactly why employers understand that:

1. A degree from a top-ranking university is more impressive than a degree from a mid-table university,

2. A first in Mathematics or the sciences is impressive, but less impressive than a first in, say, Law, and

3. A 2.1 in an arts subject is less impressive than a 2.1 in a science subject.
So what about some really hard science subject (mech eng for example) from mid table, against philisophy from a top one?
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ChemistBoy
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(Original post by Scuttle)
So what about some really hard science subject (mech eng for example) from mid table, against philisophy from a top one?
Mech Eng is not a science!
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the_alba
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#37
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(Original post by Cexy)
Which is exactly why employers understand that:

1. A degree from a top-ranking university is more impressive than a degree from a mid-table university,

2. A first in Mathematics or the sciences is impressive, but less impressive than a first in, say, Law, and

3. A 2.1 in an arts subject is less impressive than a 2.1 in a science subject.
Well I'll be damned. It's a wonder how any of us stupid, lazy, unimpressive arts students ever manage to beat you scientists into graduate jobs!! Does that strange breed you call 'employers' grind all applications through your magic three-step process and come out with the best and cleverest?

In that case, it's scandalous how many arts students must be slipping through the net into good jobs. How can this be stopped? Maybe by tattoing 'I am not worthy' on the foreheads of English students with 2:1s (unless they went to Oxbridge)?
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la fille danse
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#38
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3. A 2.1 in an arts subject is less impressive than a 2.1 in a science subject.
Surely, that is completely dependent on the type of job one is going for.
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unknown demon
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#39
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And also what type of 2:1 it is i.e. 60 is not as god as 65+ right? Sciences are obv harder yet arts students surely work hard as well, but those subjects are more accessible.
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shady lane
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#40
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(Original post by Cexy)
Which is exactly why employers understand that:

1. A degree from a top-ranking university is more impressive than a degree from a mid-table university,

2. A first in Mathematics or the sciences is impressive, but less impressive than a first in, say, Law, and

3. A 2.1 in an arts subject is less impressive than a 2.1 in a science subject.
Surely the fact that far more science students get 1sts means that a 2:1 in a science is less impressive than a 2:1 in arts, since it's nigh impossible to get a 1st in the latter.
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