Do you have to pass all units of your mods, or just get 40% overall? Watch

shinyhappy
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Question in title!
I asked my tutor this, and he didn't know!!! Despite the fact that he's marking them
I guess it might vary from subject to subject, but does anyone know what the general rule is?
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Popa Dom
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In maths you need to average 30% across all your papers, and get over 30% in two of them. I think in most subjects though you need 40% in each paper, otherwise you retake the individual papers you fail (whereas in maths you have to retake the lot)
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shinyhappy
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Jolly good, thank you. Just a bit of a last minute panic, really. Probably a bit later considering the exams start tomorrow!
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sjuthani
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Mods= You need to average a pass
Prelims= You need to pass each individual paper.

And in a subject like PPE, you have to pass each part of each paper- there was a PPEist at Teddy Hall last year who did very well on 3 general philosophy questions, but failed his 1 logic question. Even though the paper as a whole averaged out to a comfortable pass, the examiners ruled he hadn't shown sufficient knowledge in at least two sections of the paper, and so was given an overall fail and had to resit.
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Cirsium
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Yup Sam's got it right - I didn't realise this until the week before my Mods when Martin Speight asked me why on earth I was in Zoology and when I explained I needed to revise unless i wanted to fail Cells and Genes he said but you can fail cells and genes all you want provided you do well in populations, so go out in the sunshine and have some fun instead
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arod
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I'm completely puzzled by this UK system. In North America 40% is considered a failure... You'd need a min. of 50% just to pass.
And, if you pass i.e. only achieve 50% your not guaranteed that you'll have your place next yr. e.g. places like Harvard in the business school cull the bottom 5% of the class which I've told is done to "keep up the standards of the school".

In the previous posts there was mention of failing different sections, but still passing overall, and if you fail you can actually resit the exam! Resits in North American uni's are only possible if say you had an appendicitis attack and were hospitalized during the exam or similar fate, and have the medical certificate to back you up. Otherwise the mark you received is the mark that you received - end of story.

Does Oxford just mark super hard, and if they consider a low 40% a pass, what on earth is a failure? Do people get asked to leave if they don't meet the 40%?
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Derek_the_Sheep
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(Original post by arod)
Does Oxford just mark super hard, and if they consider a low 40% a pass, what on earth is a failure? Do people get asked to leave if they don't meet the 40%?
In Prelims or Mods, less than 40% is a failure. Mostly you have to get that in each paper, though if you drop just a bit below in one paper and get well above in the others, you can be "compensated" into a pass.

You get one resit - if your college allows it - and if you fail that you're out.

These 1st year exams appear basically to be a hurdle to catch those who are both idle and incompetent (you can usually get away with being only one of these). But after that, it's heigh ho for finals, where 60% or more is required for a respectable "upper second".

Does Oxford mark super hard? That I leave to others to debate.

DtS
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raven100
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Also in arts subjects, its difficult to get much over 70% (first class). I remember reading one of the MHE examiners reports and they said that they had been able to award one distinction at the exceptionally high level of 75%.

So for all intents and purposes, 75-80% is like a glass ceiling.
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thomasjtl
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well, i guess that reflects how you could never have a perfect answer in an arts subject type question, whereas in the sciences, your solution is either right or wrong. Still, there's quite a few more fails and thirds awarded in the sciences, too.
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sonar
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I'm completely puzzled by this UK system. In North America 40% is considered a failure... You'd need a min. of 50% just to pass.
And, if you pass i.e. only achieve 50% your not guaranteed that you'll have your place next yr. e.g. places like Harvard in the business school cull the bottom 5% of the class which I've told is done to "keep up the standards of the school".
not true.

In America, [elite] universities tend to grade on a curve. It's not unusual for bio exams at MIT and math exams at Harvard to average in the 50s and 60s.
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Cirsium
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(Original post by arod)
I'm completely puzzled by this UK system. In North America 40% is considered a failure... You'd need a min. of 50% just to pass.
And, if you pass i.e. only achieve 50% your not guaranteed that you'll have your place next yr. e.g. places like Harvard in the business school cull the bottom 5% of the class which I've told is done to "keep up the standards of the school".

In the previous posts there was mention of failing different sections, but still passing overall, and if you fail you can actually resit the exam! Resits in North American uni's are only possible if say you had an appendicitis attack and were hospitalized during the exam or similar fate, and have the medical certificate to back you up. Otherwise the mark you received is the mark that you received - end of story.

Does Oxford just mark super hard, and if they consider a low 40% a pass, what on earth is a failure? Do people get asked to leave if they don't meet the 40%?
Essentially for a science subject*, if you can remember and regurgitate everything that you learn in lectures with no original thought or extra reading then the maximum you will get is 69% (i.e. the top of a 2i bracket). So if you remember 60% of what's taught then you'll pass. Technically yes if you screw up you may be allowed to retake in September, but it's by no means guaranteed. Anyone failing to get 40% in their retakes will get thrown out, yes. Some colleges will still kick you out for failing papers anyway, regardless of the department policy.


* Actually I should probably ammend that. For biology the above is true, as well as any science where you're writing essays / solving problems. The situation may be somewhat different for mathmos / physicists although my sister was told the same thing as a mathmo.
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thomasjtl
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damn you boo.
This was supposed to be my pre exam, nice, reassuring, don't worry- you can fail and still be here next year, reading.
But no, says boo, they may not even let me resit.
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RichE
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(Original post by thomasjtl)
damn you boo.
This was supposed to be my pre exam, nice, reassuring, don't worry- you can fail and still be here next year, reading.
But no, says boo, they may not even let me resit.
The chance to resit in prelims is a guaranteed right, for maths anyway, no matter how much fuss tutors make or how ill-advised they say it is.
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Morbo
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(Original post by arod)
I'm completely puzzled by this UK system. In North America 40% is considered a failure... You'd need a min. of 50% just to pass.
And, if you pass i.e. only achieve 50% your not guaranteed that you'll have your place next yr. e.g. places like Harvard in the business school cull the bottom 5% of the class which I've told is done to "keep up the standards of the school".
The actual mark you receive on a university examination is not comparable to a mark at any other university since they are all scaled and normalised. The concept of a 'pass' is entirely abstract, as is the mark required to achieve one. At the end of the day, most universities award scaled marks which give you your position relative to the rest of the year.
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oxymoron
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(Original post by Worzo)
The actual mark you receive on a university examination is not comparable to a mark at any other university since they are all scaled and normalised. The concept of a 'pass' is entirely abstract, as is the mark required to achieve one. At the end of the day, most universities award scaled marks which give you your position relative to the rest of the year.
... in some subjects. For biochemistry, we are given our raw marks after 3rd year, as all the scaling (almost always) happens after the 4th year exams so that the examiners can wait and see how they go first! So we will be given our raw marks for each question and for the paper overall and then given some indication of where the class boundaries "may" lie. (Last year I believe they guessed the 2.1 / 2.2 borderline was about 53%
(I know we're talking about prelims here which can be scaled, yes. However even in prelims, most of our papers are raw marks and indeed in some papers, nobody fails - so I think there is a standard required to pass rather than just comparing you to the rest of the year)
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Cirsium
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Don't worry they will, i'm fairly sure they did with mine...
And really populations nasty? Actually i think i interpreted it as average at the time and only saw it as good in retrospect
Don't panic though it's done now!!
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Agrippina
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(Original post by Jenski)
Bloomin' Fricker! How nasty was populations sob. Also realised that I've been writing in the wrong bit of the answer booklet, over the bit where it says "For Examiners' Use". I do hope they mark it!
I bloody hate those stupid answer booklets. These are the things which are wrong with them:
[rant]

1. Why are they only bloody 7 pages? Most of us were getting onto our fourth booklet, why can't they make them longer?
2. You have to write all the info about the exam, paper name etc on all the booklets. It would save so much time if they just gave us one big one
3. Why do the lines have to be dotted?! They made me feel really dizzy
4. They have that stupid box on the front which is for examiners' use only, the equivalent space on the A level answer booklets you can write in, so they can hardly be surprised when people start writing in them!
5. They gave me two answer booklets to start with and I stupidly started writing with one resting on the other. I'd written the whole of my second page when I realised I'd turned them both over and written the whole of page 2 on the second booklet. Gah! So I had to write a note on the bottom of page 1 telling the examiner where to find page 2. What a moron I am.

[/rant]
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Cirsium
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Yep i've done the whole turning both at once thing... i just ripped the page out and treasury tagged it into the right place hehe! Thankfully it was a case of the book i'd been accidentally writing in was the one i'd done all my rough work in so it didn't matter if it then fell apart

And I think the reason is that for many subjects you have to start a new answer in every book because they send different questions to different markers, and want each question marked blind to the rest of your answers (i.e. no discrimination if you screwed up the examiners favourite question when he's marking something else) So if they made htem 20 pages long they'd waste a lot of paper - i'll be using that 20 pages but i need it in 4 separate sections please Totally agree about the writing names bit though. Maybe they should make us stickers that we could just peel off and stick on....
Yeh my exam starts in under 5 hours i should NOT be on TSR :blush:
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hobnob
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(Original post by Agrippina)
1. Why are they only bloody 7 pages? Most of us were getting onto our fourth booklet, why can't they make them longer?
Seriously? How on earth did you do that? I never even managed to get on to the third one.
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Spunky
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(Original post by hobnob)
Seriously? How on earth did you do that? I never even managed to get on to the third one.
Think I used six booklets in my three hour exam yesterday , I write a lot and also as it was an essay exam was advised to write on every other line.

For my engineering exams though I often get into four booklets quite easily, even though we only answer five questions , but then I write a lot (and I mean a horrendous amount) to ensure I get every single little mark that I can.
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