Not sure if I can get a high 2:1

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    So as we all know most postgrad (masters/phd) courses ask for a high 2:1 (which I assume is 68+) or ideally a first in order to make a competitive application. For my first year I averaged 61% which I thought was alright considering I'm the first in my family to go to uni and it's a fairly demanding course (neuro). This year I'm aiming for a high 2:1 but man I don't think I can do it. I've been trying harder this year but I've already cocked up a couple of small assessments (got about 50% on each but one's worth 2% and the other is less) and the content is even more difficult than last year.

    I guess my question is what are my options? I really wanna do a phd and go into research but I'm surrounded by intelligent, high achieving, privately educated students and I'm very average in comparison. Are there any postgrad courses that are more lenient in their applications and if I managed around a mid 2:1, could I still have a chance at some of these places? If not, what else can I do with my life? lol

    edit: no one's got any advice?
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    First off, people don't live on this website! If you haven't had a response in 24h then it may be worth bumping the thread but otherwise you kinda just have to wait for people to even see this!

    For a PhD or masters course you need a 2.1, not necessarily a high 2.1 though that will help. Having the attitude that you can't do something because you're not privately educated or were the first in your family to go to uni will only hold you back. You have no idea what other people have faced in their lives or how they've been educated so get that chip off your shoulder. I went to school in India and never saw the inside of a lab till I came to uni. I got a 'low' 2.1 and a fully funded PhD (which was complicated by the fact that I am a non-EU international student) and am now a postdoc looking for my next project. If you don't want to be a victim of your circumstances then don't be.

    In terms of practical things you can do, get work experience over the summer or do a year in industry if your uni offers it. Re: your grades, ask for feedback and use it to do better. We're constantly surprised by how many students say we don't give them enough feedback but equally say that they don't look at feedback given or try and apply it to their next piece of work.
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    I've seen very few masters ask for a high 2:1 or first (although obviously your field could be different from mine). I did absolute **** in my first and second years at uni, pulled it back in the third and got a good 2:1 and got my first choice of masters. I'm definitely average so id I can do that, anyone can.

    Completely agree with alleycat's post
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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    First off, people don't live on this website! If you haven't had a response in 24h then it may be worth bumping the thread but otherwise you kinda just have to wait for people to even see this!

    For a PhD or masters course you need a 2.1, not necessarily a high 2.1 though that will help. Having the attitude that you can't do something because you're not privately educated or were the first in your family to go to uni will only hold you back. You have no idea what other people have faced in their lives or how they've been educated so get that chip off your shoulder. I went to school in India and never saw the inside of a lab till I came to uni. I got a 'low' 2.1 and a fully funded PhD (which was complicated by the fact that I am a non-EU international student) and am now a postdoc looking for my next project. If you don't want to be a victim of your circumstances then don't be.

    In terms of practical things you can do, get work experience over the summer or do a year in industry if your uni offers it. Re: your grades, ask for feedback and use it to do better. We're constantly surprised by how many students say we don't give them enough feedback but equally say that they don't look at feedback given or try and apply it to their next piece of work.
    Yikes, that empathy. I appreciate the advice but no need for such a harsh tone. I had a s*** day when I wrote that so it was a bit dramatic definitely, but when you're surrounded by people (these are my close friends so yes, I have a very good idea) whose parents are scientists and doctors and CEOs and who have done a billion things as part of their school then yes some discouragement and inferiority will be felt, more so when they're looking at applying for the same things as you are. It's not a chip on my shoulder and while it sounds like I'm using it as an excuse, it's the reality of the situation I'm in. People are allowed to feel things you know lol, doesn't mean I'll stop working hard.

    I applied for some summer internships last year but didn't get in but I'll be applying again as a second year so fingers crossed. It's a bit hard to ask for feedback because in terms of coursework I averaged around 70-80% but my exams weren't the strongest, so I guess it boils down to revision. Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it and the honesty. I'm not usually this whiny and defeatist lol.

    If I may ask, what sort of research are you involved in?
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    (Original post by novyi)
    I've seen very few masters ask for a high 2:1 or first (although obviously your field could be different from mine). I did absolute **** in my first and second years at uni, pulled it back in the third and got a good 2:1 and got my first choice of masters. I'm definitely average so id I can do that, anyone can.

    Completely agree with alleycat's post
    Thanks for the reply. It must be just the ones I've been looking at then, seems like neuro is fairly competitive since they do indeed ask for a high 2:1 or first as part of their requirements on the website and there's not anything lower. But thanks that's encouraging to hear
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    (Original post by Kryos2)
    Yikes, that empathy. I appreciate the advice but no need for such a harsh tone. I had a s*** day when I wrote that so it was a bit dramatic definitely, but when you're surrounded by people (these are my close friends so yes, I have a very good idea) whose parents are scientists and doctors and CEOs and who have done a billion things as part of their school then yes some discouragement and inferiority will be felt, more so when they're looking at applying for the same things as you are. It's not a chip on my shoulder and while it sounds like I'm using it as an excuse, it's the reality of the situation I'm in. People are allowed to feel things you know lol, doesn't mean I'll stop working hard.

    I applied for some summer internships last year but didn't get in but I'll be applying again as a second year so fingers crossed. It's a bit hard to ask for feedback because in terms of coursework I averaged around 70-80% but my exams weren't the strongest, so I guess it boils down to revision. Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it and the honesty. I'm not usually this whiny and defeatist lol.

    If I may ask, what sort of research are you involved in?
    I was empathising with you by giving you some personal experience. And I wasn't being harsh I was telling the truth. Academia is tough unfortunately and you have to be able to cope with it. I do respiratory and infectious disease research at a Russell group institution.
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    (Original post by Kryos2)
    I applied for some summer internships last year but didn't get in but I'll be applying again as a second year so fingers crossed. It's a bit hard to ask for feedback because in terms of coursework I averaged around 70-80% but my exams weren't the strongest, so I guess it boils down to revision.
    Half-decent teachers won't mind you asking for feedback whatever the reason—have you talked to the people teaching you about your intention to do postgraduate study yet? Besides giving you advice on your work, if they know you're interested and you ask them what else you might do to prepare for postgrad applications they might be able to give you other useful pointers. Apart from anything else, many postgrad applications require references, and it's good to have your undergraduate teachers on side for those.

    Another bit of advice I'll offer, and I know this is harder to do than it it so to say, is to try to focus more on what you can do practically each day and each week and less on the big intangible and uncontrollable question of 'Will I get a good enough degree classification?' Work out what you can do immediately, in small and regular ways, to work better, to revise better, to raise your game and cope with this year's more challenging material, and do that. You can't control your past results and you can't directly control the big future goal of postgraduate study but you can control what you do right now, and if you keep doing that right the bigger things might be less worrying.
 
 
 
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