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Is it harder to get the grades at Oxbridge? watch

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    (Original post by Jools)
    At present they have independent auditors to check exams are marked to the same level etc, but are overly lenient and don't really do much. Standardisation by just fixing core criteria for mark schemes for dissertations/coursework, exams etc.
    But a History degree at Oxford and a history degree at Manchester Met have a different structure. Fixing marking schemes is all very well, but the different methods of assessment mean that some students would be able to gain a 2.1 from completing large amounts of coursework and so on. At UCL (biomedical sciences) for example, account is made of the fact that more 2.1s are likely to be achieved in their 0.5 extended essay unit and so the marks available are such that gaining a 2.2 may in fact be equivalent to a 2.1- how could standardised marking criteria deal with this?
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    (Original post by Jools)
    You're referring a lot to adults who've been to uni. Back in the day it was a lot different. You didn't have a Prime Minister pressing targets to get more people into higher education than those qualified to do so, for a start.
    My mum's in the middle of a degree now. And adults does not necessarily mean ancient.
    My cousin (Edinburgh, Chemistry I think) always seemed to be working when I saw him. He'd come over to our house to go to the football, bring his laptop and work on his thesis over lunch. Still got a third though. But as I said he was always beavering away at something related to his degree. To be honest it scared me that I would be too lazy for HE

    Oh and these 50% targets are a joke.
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    (Original post by aliel)
    But a History degree at Oxford and a history degree at Manchester Met have a different structure. Fixing marking schemes is all very well, but the different methods of assessment mean that some students would be able to gain a 2.1 from completing large amounts of coursework and so on. At UCL (biomedical sciences) for example, account is made of the fact that more 2.1s are likely to be achieved in their 0.5 extended essay unit and so the marks available are such that gaining a 2.2 may in fact be equivalent to a 2.1- how could standardised marking criteria deal with this?
    Then at least have similar course structures - essay/coursework/project/module based, at the same level. And just as you have at A-Level, (try to) ensure that the "coursework option" is at the same level with the "essay option".
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    Coursework...hmph! Sitting some Highers would knock that kinda notion out of you.
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    (Original post by Acaila)
    My mum's in the middle of a degree now. And adults does not necessarily mean ancient.
    My cousin (Edinburgh, Chemistry I think) always seemed to be working when I saw him. He'd come over to our house to go to the football, bring his laptop and work on his thesis over lunch. Still got a third though. But as I said he was always beavering away at something related to his degree. To be honest it scared me that I would be too lazy for HE

    Oh and these 50% targets are a joke.
    Well he was in his last year then? Well that is when it all sinks in, perhaps the end of the second year. If you were to ask him how much work he did in his first year (even perhaps his second year), then you may get a different response. I know of students at good universities who leave their assignments to the last minute, and yes, then they have a lot of work to do and have to work very hard...but the amount of work *set* to consistently complete is below that which i think it is.
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    (Original post by Acaila)
    Coursework...hmph! Sitting some Highers would knock that kinda notion out of you.
    I have done alot of coursework in my time, but when I manage my time properly, coursework is a more desirable option. If it weren't then the weighting of degrees at top universities would not be the way that they are.
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    He was either in second or third year of a four year degree. And he's not the sort to be lazy to be honest although I understand what you're saying.

    Will continue this later, but my dinner's ready.
    A bientot!
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    (Original post by aliel)
    I have done alot of coursework in my time, but when I manage my time properly, coursework is a more desirable option. If it weren't then the weighting of degrees at top universities would not be the way that they are.
    Coursework was great at GCSE as I had nothing else to do, now it's a hassle. 44% of my degree's coursework but I've got no time to do it. Dissertation (22%) is this summer but got internship for 12 weeks, but these are kinda essential for a blue chip career upon graduation these days.
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    (Original post by Jools)
    Then at least have similar course structures - essay/coursework/project/module based, at the same level. And just as you have at A-Level, (try to) ensure that the "coursework option" is at the same level with the "essay option".
    Not going to happen. Now just because most would agree that a traditional approach to examinations/degrees requires more intellectual effort, it does not mean that the purpose of degrees is simply that- many universities argue (quite rightly) that studying for a degree in modular/ coursework options develops other (considered important by employers) skills- organisation, time management, research skills and so on. Not all graduates are going to be employed by a big city firm which desires a traditional approach, instead rather many graduates will find that skills gained by completing continual assessment may be more valuable for their career.
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    (Original post by Jools)
    Coursework was great at GCSE as I had nothing else to do, now it's a hassle. 44% of my degree's coursework but I've got no time to do it. Dissertation (22%) is this summer but got internship for 12 weeks, but these are kinda essential for a blue chip career upon graduation these days.
    Most of my degree is going to be assessed by 3hr examination- swop!
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    (Original post by aliel)
    Not going to happen. Now just because most would agree that a traditional approach to examinations/degrees requires more intellectual effort, it does not mean that the purpose of degrees is simply that- many universities argue (quite rightly) that studying for a degree in modular/ coursework options develops other (considered important by employers) skills- organisation, time management, research skills and so on. Not all graduates are going to be employed by a big city firm which desires a traditional approach, instead rather many graduates will find that skills gained by completing continual assessment may be more valuable for their career.
    I know they're like chalk and cheese, I just meant some way of making their value the same even though they're testing very different skills. Ah I give up, time for the pub.
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    (Original post by Jools)
    I know they're like chalk and cheese, I just meant some way of making their value the same even though they're testing very different skills. Ah I give up, time for the pub.
    It's a nice idea, but the fact is, you will have "Oxon" after your name and whatever your degree class employers will attach added value to it. This is the same with students at other top universities. If the situation was different, in that employers were clueless of the difference...then standardisation would have more of a case.
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    (Original post by aliel)
    It's a nice idea, but the fact is, you will have "Oxon" after your name and whatever your degree class employers will attach added value to it. This is the same with students at other top universities. If the situation was different, in that employers were clueless of the difference...then standardisation would have more of a case.
    I don't know why I care about this since it's not going to affect me!

    But a lot of employers are clueless. Outside the graduate recruitment firms come a lot that think "a degree is a degree". Thus they may not know the difference between Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent, (Oxford and Oxford Brookes in America!), and think that they're all as good as each other outside Oxbridge. And a bit lower down the rankings they may have no idea that one course was a lot more demanding than another.
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    (Original post by Jools)
    But a lot of employers are clueless.
    Or not bothered.
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    (Original post by Jools)
    I don't know why I care about this since it's not going to affect me!

    But a lot of employers are clueless. Outside the graduate recruitment firms come a lot that think "a degree is a degree". Thus they may not know the difference between Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent, (Oxford and Oxford Brookes in America!), and think that they're all as good as each other outside Oxbridge. And a bit lower down the rankings they may have no idea that one course was a lot more demanding than another.
    Not to mention that most job advertisments these days simply state a 2.1 requirement...I understand completely, am just playing devils advocate- if you were arguing against standardisation, i would argue for such a measure...sorry Jools
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    (Original post by shiny)
    Or not bothered.
    Or not intellectual snobs.
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    (Original post by Acaila)
    Or not intellectual snobs.
    Or (as Jools mentioned) can't tell the difference
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    (Original post by Acaila)
    Or not intellectual snobs.
    Well I'm arguing for change that would make intellectual snobbery non-existent.
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    (Original post by aliel)
    Or (as Jools mentioned) can't tell the difference
    The "2.1 required" advertisements you mentioned is a good example of what I'm talking about. How's someone with a high 2.2 from a good uni going to feel knowing that someone not as good as them have accessibility to a job that they don't?
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    Like they should have worked harder perhaps?

    Oh btw, I spoke to my mum over dinner. She said she had to do 4 or 5 papers per week plus reading for tutorials.
    That is for each of three subjects.
    :eek:
 
 
 
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