It's easier to perform better at American universities than British universities.

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Akamega
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Grades are based on easy quizzes that test memorisation rather than understanding. We get taught concepts much earlier than they do (the stuff they do in their first year of university is the same as the topics we get taught in A levels). Superficial education compared to the specificity of ours; jack of all trades (them) vs. master of one (us). More of a focus on extracurriculars compared to here.


Seems like they have it easier over there.
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k.russell
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they get there in the end don't they.. lots of top class institutions in the US producing top class academics, year on year.
Remember they do a 4 year bachelors in the states and at least 4 years of phD.
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PTMalewski
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Polish universities are not very good in world rankings, but rumor says that our doctors who have problems with passing a process of "habilitation" (You must do innovative work and defend it before a commitee. If you do it, it gives you nothing more but a chance to become a professor. If you don't in limited time, you are fired), often run to USA to continue their academic career out there, where no such problems are faced.

My cousin had an offer of doing PhD, in Wisconsin. She answered "but I'm not even a master yet!". Their response was: "No problem, you're good enough."
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by k.russell)
they get there in the end don't they.. lots of top class institutions in the US producing top class academics, year on year.
Remember they do a 4 year bachelors in the states and at least 4 years of phD.
Those are both false representations though, they do a 4 year bachelor's because they start disadvantaged as A levels are highly specialised compared to their education system and even their APs aren't as high level. Their bachelor's degrees also require them to do liberal arts components which are unrelated to their degree so in all the two systems are at a fairly similar level.

Also our PhDs normally last 3.5 years so 4 years is not much longer. And equally UK institutions create top class academics, even somewhere like the OU is renowned for producing people who go on into academia.
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k.russell
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
Those are both false representations though, they do a 4 year bachelor's because they start disadvantaged as A levels are highly specialised compared to their education system and even their APs aren't as high level. Their bachelor's degrees also require them to do liberal arts components which are unrelated to their degree so in all the two systems are at a fairly similar level.

Also our PhDs normally last 3.5 years so 4 years is not much longer. And equally UK institutions create top class academics, even somewhere like the OU is renowned for producing people who go on into academia.
I never challenged the UK system and am hoping to one day become an academic product of it! I am just saying, it is disrespectful to hate on the American system - there are some great, great universities in 'murica and they do undeniably produce top class academics, so their system can't be that ez.
btw I think that liberal arts thing is stupid af for the record, I do agree it must be annoying having to wait so long to really specialise
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DCDude
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My cousin had an offer of doing PhD, in Wisconsin. She answered "but I'm not even a master yet!". Their response was: "No problem, you're good enough."
Which just shows that you aren't familiar with the difference between the US & the European approach to PhDs. In the US the norm for most (not all) subjects is that the Masters is done inside the PhD program; in Europe it is more typical to continue on and get your Masters at your undergraduate uni then apply to a PhD separately. Your cousin was not being told that her undergrad was as good as having a Masters, she was being told that her undergrad work was good enough to qualify her for a combined Masters / PhD program.

Examples: 2 (real, current) physics students, one in the UK and one in the US.

The UK student had a 4 year undergrad (in Scotland), and is currently doing a 5th year Masters in the same uni, and is applying to other universities for her PhD program (which will probably take 3-4 years).

The US student also had a 4 year undergrad but then applied directly to PhD programs at other universities. She is currently finishing the Masters level course work and will then move into her PhD research. It will take her 5 years to do her Masters + PhD. Total time to PhD for both students = ~ 8-9 years from the start of undergrad. All that is different is when they change universities.

Also, @ PTMalewski, rumors such as
often run to USA to continue their academic career out there, where no such problems are faced.
are just that: rumours. For a start, academic careers are brutally hard to come by in the US anymore. And, *all* PhDs have to do some form of "habilitation"- in Poland, the UK, the US- everywhere. Some acadmic systems have old ways of testing that means strong candidates don't get through, and it is in fact a good thing that they can go to other places who will value what they have to offer, but you imply that somehow rejects from poor-quality Polish universities are snapped up by American unis who don't know enough to know that they are rejects.

@akamega,
Grades are based on easy quizzes that test memorisation rather than understanding
is a pretty gross generalization, and would have everyone I know at uni in the US rolling on floor.

Also, @k.russell, while I appreciate your pointing out that the whole system can't be *that* lame, I will say (in a nice way) that while for you
that liberal arts thing is stupid af
for other people it is wonderful. That physics student I mentioned above loved the liberal arts thing b/c in addition to tons of math & physics she got to take History and French Literature for fun.

Finally, just to say that the AP system may not be as brutal as IB or A levels, but it still leaves the Yanks I know more than prepared for the work at Oxford...
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Pinkberry_y
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Americans just love to party and be sorority girls
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by DCDude)
but you imply that somehow rejects from poor-quality Polish universities are snapped up by American unis who don't know enough to know that they are rejects.
I didn't say that Polish universities are poor quality, I said that they are not very good in world rankings. A question might be asked, do these rankings have good methods of evaluation. I don't know are they good or bad, because I don't have any data on that.
You're probably discussing some decent American universities, but there also can be found unis that teach creacionism and theory of intelligent design as properly prepared and correct teories, as well as some that insist on teaching their students that ancient Egyptians were of African race.
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Okorange
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(Original post by Akamega)
Grades are based on easy quizzes that test memorisation rather than understanding. We get taught concepts much earlier than they do (the stuff they do in their first year of university is the same as the topics we get taught in A levels). Superficial education compared to the specificity of ours; jack of all trades (them) vs. master of one (us). More of a focus on extracurriculars compared to here.


Seems like they have it easier over there.
I don't think you have the american system down pat.

The other thing you have to remember is GPA is a much better at differentiating than honours class. Getting a first is not that difficult, however getting a 4.0 GPA is.
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