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    Hi guys, so basically i am literally really worked up and stressed out right now.

    I had a really good first year at university. I passed with good grades, i was feeling great, really on track to get my 2:1/1st. My grades were good!

    Now Semester A grades came in, for my 2nd Year and my grades have been AWFUL! I have passed all 4 modules yet 2 of them modules were 41.1% and 48%. I am so shocked at these two marks like i don't even know how they got so low.

    I really need to get back on track with my marks i don't want to jeopardize my 2:1. I don't even know why Semester A went so bad.

    I am meeting my year tutor to discuss my grades and what i need to be aiming for this semester to get my 2:1. I've been for feedback from my teachers but they weren't very helpful, they said because i had passed overall i didn't need to resit any of the individual elements.

    25% of my final marks come from this year and 75% final year. I'm doing 6 months abroad and 6 months work placement. between my 2nd and final year.

    I just hope i havent messed up. I have a few exams in Semester B and some group coursework, i've been handing in many drafts and i am really trying, i don't even know if 60's or 70's% will even make any difference to my mark for this year.

    Has Semester A been to bad for me to correct with Sem B? any advice guys? if i aim to get 60's or 70's in Sem B. Will it bring up my marks again?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by xxlvx)
    Hi guys, so basically i am literally really worked up and stressed out right now.

    I had a really good first year at university. I passed with good grades, i was feeling great, really on track to get my 2:1/1st. My grades were good!

    Now Semester A grades came in, for my 2nd Year and my grades have been AWFUL! I have passed all 4 modules yet 2 of them modules were 41.1% and 48%. I am so shocked at these two marks like i don't even know how they got so low.

    I really need to get back on track with my marks i don't want to jeopardize my 2:1. I don't even know why Semester A went so bad.

    I am meeting my year tutor to discuss my grades and what i need to be aiming for this semester to get my 2:1. I've been for feedback from my teachers but they weren't very helpful, they said because i had passed overall i didn't need to resit any of the individual elements.

    25% of my final marks come from this year and 75% final year. I'm doing 6 months abroad and 6 months work placement. between my 2nd and final year.

    I just hope i havent messed up. I have a few exams in Semester B and some group coursework, i've been handing in many drafts and i am really trying, i don't even know if 60's or 70's% will even make any difference to my mark for this year.

    Has Semester A been to bad for me to correct with Sem B? any advice guys? if i aim to get 60's or 70's in Sem B. Will it bring up my marks again?

    Thanks

    Hiya,

    I've moved this to uni life forum for you

    Well done you for being proactive and asking for advice and feedback. It's really disappointing to hear that your lecturers haven't given you more information about why you achieved those grades. Hopefully your tutor will be a little more helpful.
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    25% for 2nd year will hardly affect your degree performance, even if you get 40% this year, 67% next year would satisfy a 2:1
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    (Original post by She-Ra)
    Hiya,

    I've moved this to uni life forum for you

    Well done you for being proactive and asking for advice and feedback. It's really disappointing to hear that your lecturers haven't given you more information about why you achieved those grades. Hopefully your tutor will be a little more helpful.


    Thankyou, I'm still new to this posting process
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    (Original post by gr8wizard10)
    25% for 2nd year will hardly affect your degree performance, even if you get 40% this year, 67% next year would satisfy a 2:1

    I saw my tutor today and he told me i needed an extra 8 marks to push my average up to a 59.5 and that would get me my 2:1 for this year. As i am currently on 51. That means getting 60's overall. We have realized exams are my big downfall and luckily with 75% coming from my last year i can really focus on choosing my modules, doing a dissertation or even an internship he says which will help me play to my strengths. I am going to aim for 60's now as a solid goal, as i will admit coming into my 2nd year i had no idea of the 25% going towards my degree and in Sem A i just handed in work now i regret not trying harder, But I guess at least its only two 40's i can't get any more 40's as i know it wont help.

    thanks i am relieved 75% is coming from my last year, but also nervous because i know the work will be HARDER still meaning getting them 60's will be harder.
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    (Original post by xxlvx)
    Hi guys, so basically i am literally really worked up and stressed out right now.

    I had a really good first year at university. I passed with good grades, i was feeling great, really on track to get my 2:1/1st. My grades were good!

    Now Semester A grades came in, for my 2nd Year and my grades have been AWFUL! I have passed all 4 modules yet 2 of them modules were 41.1% and 48%. I am so shocked at these two marks like i don't even know how they got so low.

    I really need to get back on track with my marks i don't want to jeopardize my 2:1. I don't even know why Semester A went so bad.

    I am meeting my year tutor to discuss my grades and what i need to be aiming for this semester to get my 2:1. I've been for feedback from my teachers but they weren't very helpful, they said because i had passed overall i didn't need to resit any of the individual elements.

    25% of my final marks come from this year and 75% final year. I'm doing 6 months abroad and 6 months work placement. between my 2nd and final year.

    I just hope i havent messed up. I have a few exams in Semester B and some group coursework, i've been handing in many drafts and i am really trying, i don't even know if 60's or 70's% will even make any difference to my mark for this year.

    Has Semester A been to bad for me to correct with Sem B? any advice guys? if i aim to get 60's or 70's in Sem B. Will it bring up my marks again?

    Thanks
    Well firstly to say, you are not failing. You have passed everything, you just need to work on improving your marks, and you've already made a good start by asking for feedback.

    Firstly, what course are you doing? If you don't want to say specifically, then is it a humanities-type course, science, business? The kind of strategies you will need will depend somewhat on the type of subject it is. The advice below will be largely aimed at essay-type exams and coursework.

    The courses that you took in Semester A, were they exam-based, or did you have to submit essays? It can be harder to get definite feedback on exams, since in many universities examiners won't necessarily know who the student is behind the script, since everyone uses exam numbers. For exams, the most common problems tend to be these:

    * not answering the question asked. This is particularly the case in essay-based exams, often in the humanities. Students often give in to the temptation to just write everything they know about a particular topic once they see 'their' topic in the question, rather than really engage with the question and what it's asking, and harness their knowledge to answer it. In essay-based exams, spending five minutes really thinking about the question, figuring out what's being asked, and drawing up an essay plan before starting writing will really benefit you.

    * inadequate knowledge/depth of knowledge. Examiners can often tell quite quickly if you haven't done lots of extra reading, and will penalise you for it. This includes things such as only using examples/case studies that were given in the lectures, or in the textbook/required reading. Being able to demonstrate that you've read beyond the minimum and/or the lecture notes will be hugely important for bringing up marks. Many people over-rely on lecture notes and think that if they simply learn them off (and the associated examples), then they'll be fine. You probably will be, but it won't get you good or excellent marks.

    * misunderstanding the material. Even if you feel like you've grasped the material, you can make errors in explanation/factual mistakes when writing exams. Small slips won't kill you (say getting a date off by a few years in a history exam) but if you've really struggled in conveying your understanding of what's being examined, it will damage your grades. Unfortunately there's no absolutely foolproof way to control for this (since you often feel like you do understand it!), but often doing wider reading will assist with this as well, since if you encounter different examples or applications then it's a good test of whether you understand the overall theory/idea/whatever.

    * not managing your time well. If an exam is, for example, 3 hours with 3 essays to be answered, each one bearing equal marks, then you have to be ruthless in your time management. The same applies with any exam. Make sure you know the layout of the paper, how marks are allocated, and thus how much time to spend on each part. You will lose marks if your final essay is significantly shorter than the preceding ones, with no real depth etc. since you ran out of time. You'd be amazed how often this happens!

    Those are some tips I can think of now. I would also say, try not to panic! I think many people have a wobble in their second year, but the key thing is to learn from your mistakes and use them to get better. Get as much feedback as is possible, and continue to do your best: read widely, try to think critically about both the reading, and any assignments you have to do. Plan revision for exams, and use resources such as past exam papers to help you in thinking about topics, approaches etc.
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    (Original post by gutenberg)
    Well firstly to say, you are not failing. You have passed everything, you just need to work on improving your marks, and you've already made a good start by asking for feedback.

    Firstly, what course are you doing? If you don't want to say specifically, then is it a humanities-type course, science, business? The kind of strategies you will need will depend somewhat on the type of subject it is. The advice below will be largely aimed at essay-type exams and coursework.

    The courses that you took in Semester A, were they exam-based, or did you have to submit essays? It can be harder to get definite feedback on exams, since in many universities examiners won't necessarily know who the student is behind the script, since everyone uses exam numbers. For exams, the most common problems tend to be these:

    * not answering the question asked. This is particularly the case in essay-based exams, often in the humanities. Students often give in to the temptation to just write everything they know about a particular topic once they see 'their' topic in the question, rather than really engage with the question and what it's asking, and harness their knowledge to answer it. In essay-based exams, spending five minutes really thinking about the question, figuring out what's being asked, and drawing up an essay plan before starting writing will really benefit you.

    * inadequate knowledge/depth of knowledge. Examiners can often tell quite quickly if you haven't done lots of extra reading, and will penalise you for it. This includes things such as only using examples/case studies that were given in the lectures, or in the textbook/required reading. Being able to demonstrate that you've read beyond the minimum and/or the lecture notes will be hugely important for bringing up marks. Many people over-rely on lecture notes and think that if they simply learn them off (and the associated examples), then they'll be fine. You probably will be, but it won't get you good or excellent marks.

    * misunderstanding the material. Even if you feel like you've grasped the material, you can make errors in explanation/factual mistakes when writing exams. Small slips won't kill you (say getting a date off by a few years in a history exam) but if you've really struggled in conveying your understanding of what's being examined, it will damage your grades. Unfortunately there's no absolutely foolproof way to control for this (since you often feel like you do understand it!), but often doing wider reading will assist with this as well, since if you encounter different examples or applications then it's a good test of whether you understand the overall theory/idea/whatever.

    * not managing your time well. If an exam is, for example, 3 hours with 3 essays to be answered, each one bearing equal marks, then you have to be ruthless in your time management. The same applies with any exam. Make sure you know the layout of the paper, how marks are allocated, and thus how much time to spend on each part. You will lose marks if your final essay is significantly shorter than the preceding ones, with no real depth etc. since you ran out of time. You'd be amazed how often this happens!

    Those are some tips I can think of now. I would also say, try not to panic! I think many people have a wobble in their second year, but the key thing is to learn from your mistakes and use them to get better. Get as much feedback as is possible, and continue to do your best: read widely, try to think critically about both the reading, and any assignments you have to do. Plan revision for exams, and use resources such as past exam papers to help you in thinking about topics, approaches etc.


    Yes that is what i thought, i mean in reality i have passed everything, anything above 40% is a pass so technically i should be happy and you know content with my work but i think it's because there is so much pressure to get that 2:1. That i think "it's not a 2:1 therefore it is a fail" kind of mindset. I study marketing and advertising. Essays and Exams are my big downfall. I am great at individual coursework as most people are. I did know that with one essay i wrote for 33% i was pretty sure i grasped the topic and blasted away without handing in a draft and of course come results i was absolutely shocked. I didn't know what on earth had happened as i had been so confident. From feedback (by the way, i stupidly blasted this assignment the night before), my references were terrible from newspapers like the sun, (clearly i wasn't thinking) and no signs of ACADEMIC journals. Looking back i was so stupid and clearly my mind wasn't in the right place. I also realized that some of the work was so easy, i could have done better to get higher marks. One module i had to submit CV's and cover letters i only got 55% overall despite the fact that this semester i have been applying for jobs and getting careers advice which is stuff i could have got before when doing the module and achieved a much higher mark. I was so so stupid.

    Based on the points you have given me i can definitely see some of the issues i may have had. Again, i know this is stupid but the reading, i only get my textbooks out to reference in essays or assignments. I have never fully read the whole text book, which considering the price they cost is extremely stupid. Reading will give me the better understanding and knowledge to apply to my work. I know my lecturers try to give a chapter a week type of style but for me the thought of reading the whole book is so off putting. But i know the quote "the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time".

    I am definitely going to start working with my lecturers asking them for past exam material and getting them to mark it because i was told the STYLE of answering and the STRUCTURE to the exam questions is also good for marks.

    Thanks for all this advice i'm glad to finally have some good help from people as i felt so alone panicking, because i could hardly ring my mum up and say "oh i'm struggling" without them getting angry and thinking it was because of lack of effort on my part. I calculated i need 67 overall per module to get this up into a 2:1. Fingers crossed i am successful.

    Thanks once again,


    P.S i forgot to say. yeah there were a mixture of exam and coursework, for 1 coursework module i got 64% for the other i got 55% for the two exam modules which were worth 50% exam i scored 41.1% and 48%. In regards to the first exam i must have scored about 23 out of whatever and probably failed the other. I wouldnt say i was awful at exams, but university exams are different. Material is across 6 months so it's not like school or college where you have the full year of being taught and repetition, I did well in first year exams because i was very engaged with the teachers enjoyed the topics and was interested. Remebering theories is hard like it is for everyone, but when i don't really understand the theory it makes it even harder (thats where extra reading would help me i guess) I knew there is a lot of emphasis on reading especially as i progress into 3rd year but i just didnt think it would be this heavy. I feel some what out of my depth as well, reading books, academic journals, it feels all very you know high and educated. It doesnt help being the only person in my family to go to university. I am handing in as many drafts as possible to get my structure right and i know group coursework might be difficult because of conflicting ideas etc but i am going to try. 67% overall isn't that bad I've achieved high 60's before, but i did put effort in. So i guess i need to take out all the stops and really show what i can do now i know and have learnt of my mistakes.

    Thanks
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    (Original post by xxlvx)
    Yes that is what i thought, i mean in reality i have passed everything, anything above 40% is a pass so technically i should be happy and you know content with my work but i think it's because there is so much pressure to get that 2:1. That i think "it's not a 2:1 therefore it is a fail" kind of mindset.
    I think everyone feels this pressure to some extent (or at least anyone who cares about their degree). It's absolutely fine to have high standards for yourself. I was just trying to reassure you, and I know that I also would have been disappointed with a 41%, so I totally get your panicking. Keep aiming high!

    I study marketing and advertising. Essays and Exams are my big downfall. I am great at individual coursework as most people are. I did know that with one essay i wrote for 33% i was pretty sure i grasped the topic and blasted away without handing in a draft and of course come results i was absolutely shocked. I didn't know what on earth had happened as i had been so confident. From feedback (by the way, i stupidly blasted this assignment the night before), my references were terrible from newspapers like the sun, (clearly i wasn't thinking) and no signs of ACADEMIC journals. Looking back i was so stupid and clearly my mind wasn't in the right place. I also realized that some of the work was so easy, i could have done better to get higher marks. One module i had to submit CV's and cover letters i only got 55% overall despite the fact that this semester i have been applying for jobs and getting careers advice which is stuff i could have got before when doing the module and achieved a much higher mark. I was so so stupid.
    This sounds to me like a classic combination of a few things: poor organisation, not enough research, and the 'step up' between first and second year. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that writing an assignment the night before is hardly ideal, so being more on top of planning and doing assignments with plenty of time will undoubtedly help you.
    With the essay you mentioned, that sounds like a classic example of simply not doing enough work for the assignment - not reading any academic journals, etc. I can see how newspaper sources could have a role in your subject, but they need to be more than backed up by solid academic literature. I suspect some of that came about from not being very organised, panicking a bit towards the submission deadline, and using the internet to search for sources, which will of course lead you to newspaper websites. I'm afraid that while you may have done that in first year, it *really* isn't good enough beyond that. I'm sorry if I'm sounding super-harsh, but I would expect a second year to be using proper academic literature, and maybe with contemporary examples thrown in here and there if they are relevant, for which you could use outlets like newspapers etc.
    I suspect you've also had a bit of a shock in going from first to second year. The standard expected will be higher, as you've already got a year under your belt. I think you need to be a bit more organised, and work a bit 'smarter' - using things like what you learned from the careers sessions to help in assignments, allowing the time to research in academic journals, etc.

    Based on the points you have given me i can definitely see some of the issues i may have had. Again, i know this is stupid but the reading, i only get my textbooks out to reference in essays or assignments. I have never fully read the whole text book, which considering the price they cost is extremely stupid. Reading will give me the better understanding and knowledge to apply to my work. I know my lecturers try to give a chapter a week type of style but for me the thought of reading the whole book is so off putting. But i know the quote "the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time".
    If you're referencing textbooks in your essays as a second year, then I'm not massively surprised that your grades aren't fantastic. I always tried to avoid referencing a textbook in an essay, aside from something really essential like a key definition. Anything beyond that (examples, case studies etc.) I tried to find myself, and it worked. As I said, you need to start doing some proper research for your coursework and exams - the textbook reading really is the bare minimum. A chapter a week for a course really isn't that much, and you also need to read 'smart' - look at what the textbook is citing, then go off and read those, etc.

    I am definitely going to start working with my lecturers asking them for past exam material and getting them to mark it because i was told the STYLE of answering and the STRUCTURE to the exam questions is also good for marks.

    Thanks for all this advice i'm glad to finally have some good help from people as i felt so alone panicking, because i could hardly ring my mum up and say "oh i'm struggling" without them getting angry and thinking it was because of lack of effort on my part. I calculated i need 67 overall per module to get this up into a 2:1. Fingers crossed i am successful.

    Thanks once again,
    Good luck! I hope this didn't come across as too harsh. Take this experience as a bit of a kick up the bum to do better The fact that you can identify areas where you know you're not doing the best you can, or can try harder, is really important as that's the first step towards changing some bad habits. Keep asking for feedback etc., it will be vital, and ask about any feedback that you receive but can't understand.
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    (Original post by gutenberg)
    I think everyone feels this pressure to some extent (or at least anyone who cares about their degree). It's absolutely fine to have high standards for yourself. I was just trying to reassure you, and I know that I also would have been disappointed with a 41%, so I totally get your panicking. Keep aiming high!



    This sounds to me like a classic combination of a few things: poor organisation, not enough research, and the 'step up' between first and second year. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that writing an assignment the night before is hardly ideal, so being more on top of planning and doing assignments with plenty of time will undoubtedly help you.
    With the essay you mentioned, that sounds like a classic example of simply not doing enough work for the assignment - not reading any academic journals, etc. I can see how newspaper sources could have a role in your subject, but they need to be more than backed up by solid academic literature. I suspect some of that came about from not being very organised, panicking a bit towards the submission deadline, and using the internet to search for sources, which will of course lead you to newspaper websites. I'm afraid that while you may have done that in first year, it *really* isn't good enough beyond that. I'm sorry if I'm sounding super-harsh, but I would expect a second year to be using proper academic literature, and maybe with contemporary examples thrown in here and there if they are relevant, for which you could use outlets like newspapers etc.
    I suspect you've also had a bit of a shock in going from first to second year. The standard expected will be higher, as you've already got a year under your belt. I think you need to be a bit more organised, and work a bit 'smarter' - using things like what you learned from the careers sessions to help in assignments, allowing the time to research in academic journals, etc.



    If you're referencing textbooks in your essays as a second year, then I'm not massively surprised that your grades aren't fantastic. I always tried to avoid referencing a textbook in an essay, aside from something really essential like a key definition. Anything beyond that (examples, case studies etc.) I tried to find myself, and it worked. As I said, you need to start doing some proper research for your coursework and exams - the textbook reading really is the bare minimum. A chapter a week for a course really isn't that much, and you also need to read 'smart' - look at what the textbook is citing, then go off and read those, etc.



    Good luck! I hope this didn't come across as too harsh. Take this experience as a bit of a kick up the bum to do better The fact that you can identify areas where you know you're not doing the best you can, or can try harder, is really important as that's the first step towards changing some bad habits. Keep asking for feedback etc., it will be vital, and ask about any feedback that you receive but can't understand.

    No no no it doesn't sound too harsh at all. You have actually really helped me. I am so glad you told me that referencing a textbook isn't enough. I am currently working on my first assignment to had in for SEM B, i've had a few drafts etc but like you said, i have no ACADEMIC references other than textbooks, Lectures, and Newspapers/Websites such as The Guardian/BBC. I am going to work on swapping some of my references now for some more academic journals instead. You saved me from handing in a load of bad references again. It had never occurred to me that textbooks weren't enough as stand alone references. As it was something that I had done in first year, but thinking back to my 2 best assignments in first year i did have a lot of academic journals in my references, Better academic resources will help my grades. Thanks so much, I've just gone through with a highlighter my essay, high lighting my references and ticking the in text citation of to make sure they correspond and i've noticed a few errors there too. You've really gave me some key points especially with the journals as like i said i completely forget about them and had just been using textbooks but of course giving my own examples but then backing them up with newspapers so whilst im getting the marks for my examples im losing them for my evidence and further reading.

    I'm going to print off the points you said in both posts and keep them in my room on the wall as a point of reference. I know they are SO OBVIOUS and i feel so stupid for forgetting them at times that if i actually have a visual reminder i cannot go wrong.
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    (Original post by xxlvx)
    No no no it doesn't sound too harsh at all. You have actually really helped me. I am so glad you told me that referencing a textbook isn't enough. I am currently working on my first assignment to had in for SEM B, i've had a few drafts etc but like you said, i have no ACADEMIC references other than textbooks, Lectures, and Newspapers/Websites such as The Guardian/BBC. I am going to work on swapping some of my references now for some more academic journals instead. You saved me from handing in a load of bad references again. It had never occurred to me that textbooks weren't enough as stand alone references. As it was something that I had done in first year, but thinking back to my 2 best assignments in first year i did have a lot of academic journals in my references, Better academic resources will help my grades. Thanks so much, I've just gone through with a highlighter my essay, high lighting my references and ticking the in text citation of to make sure they correspond and i've noticed a few errors there too. You've really gave me some key points especially with the journals as like i said i completely forget about them and had just been using textbooks but of course giving my own examples but then backing them up with newspapers so whilst im getting the marks for my examples im losing them for my evidence and further reading.

    I'm going to print off the points you said in both posts and keep them in my room on the wall as a point of reference. I know they are SO OBVIOUS and i feel so stupid for forgetting them at times that if i actually have a visual reminder i cannot go wrong.
    No worries at all, glad to have helped Good luck!!
 
 
 
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