My university has massively rounded up people's final grades... Watch

spectral_theory
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#21
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Some 'fudging' does go on, and one lecturer admitted this to me, too. It was especially suspicious the year I graduated with my Masters, when a lot of people seemed to be getting multiple modules scoring exactly 50%, which is precisely the pass mark (for masters-level courses). I didn't see a single person who failed a module by just 1 mark.

A lot of people got firsts at my university, too (some would argue too many), but I didn't care -- I had my own goals (one of which was winning at least one academic prize, and the other was getting at least 80% overall).
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whydoidothis?
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(Original post by lucabrasi98)
Ok OP is a bit weird counting up soneones marks. But idk why people can't see where they're coming from

By inflating the amount of people on 1sts, you're lowering the value of them. So suddenly working hard means less and less.

Why stop there with that logic. Lets make 66% a first. Its just 2% less, no big deal
I personally think anything above 60% is meaningless but w/e
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lucabrasi98
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(Original post by whydoidothis?)
I personally think anything above 60% is meaningless but w/e
What does that even mean.
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by Notoriety)
Or the committee that awards the degrees might have used their discretion -- which is pretty much absolute in a lot of cases -- to give the classification they thought the candidate "deserved".
Wow. Does this really happen? It would not be allowed in my university at all.
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mnot
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
Wow. Does this really happen? It would not be allowed in my university at all.
Yes, this has basically become standard across all UK unis unfortunately...
Obviously different Unis use their discretion to different standards, but this policy is everywhere.
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by mnot)
Yes, this has basically become standard across all UK unis unfortunately...
Obviously different Unis use their discretion to different standards, but this policy is everywhere.
Do you have links to example policies on this? My university has very clear guidelines on calculating degree classification: it's just a mathematical exercise. I assumed it was the same across the sector.
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mnot
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
Do you have links to example policies on this? My university has very clear guidelines on calculating degree classification: it's just a mathematical exercise. I assumed it was the same across the sector.
Its not normally outlined in the mathematical grade calculation as this normally states 70+ is 1st 60-69 is 2.1...
but it will either have a policy as marginal cases, borderline, or apply a weighting variant or something similar where the academic panels can have a fiddle with the final grade.

https://www.ed.ac.uk/ppls/linguistic...classification
https://www.york.ac.uk/media/student...-and-award.pdf
https://ucasu.com/2016/03/ccf_changes/
https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/academi...g-2016pgt.aspx

I also know of Students at Coventry, Southampton & Birmingham who had have all had marks rounded up... but there is a few examples above as well (might have to dig through the pages a bit, although it is clear as day on Notts website)

Its something all Unis do nowadays they just don't want to advertise. I think the telegraph did an article about it a couple years ago.
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shameful_burrito
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Personally, I don't agree with most people on this thread. I don't think this is a case of "it's not enough if I succeed, other must fail". First of all, if the universities are very generous with the rounding for a first class degree, that detracts from the value of the so called "distinction". And moreover, it leads to mediocre students being merged in the same bracket as exceptional ones, which detracts not only from the prestige of the classification but also from the excellence of particular students.
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MidgetFever
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(Original post by shameful_burrito)
Personally, I don't agree with most people on this thread. I don't think this is a case of "it's not enough if I succeed, other must fail". First of all, if the universities are very generous with the rounding for a first class degree, that detracts from the value of the so called "distinction". And moreover, it leads to mediocre students being merged in the same bracket as exceptional ones, which detracts not only from the prestige of the classification but also from the excellence of particular students.
Couldn't agree with this more, it really takes away from those that worked really hard for their 1:1/2:1.
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Anonymous #1
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1 If someone is on a borderline first they are not exactly a mediocre student are they ? If they are on the border of a 2:2 and are rounded up to a 2:1 they are not being bracketed with exceptional ones . You are talking about a couple of percentage point between them. Even with no rounding up, people with 70% are given a 1st as are people who get 80%+ which is a much larger margin- are you complaining about that as well?

2. You will have a transcript for your degree which can be shown to future employers/universities so if you did well getting a good 1st people will be able to se that ?

3. You have no idea how hard other people worked- just because you see that they have been out socialising doesn't mean they didn't work hard. Maybe they organised their time better, or maybe they just needed less time to do the work. Life doesn't work like that. Some people have natural ability some people have to work very hard to excel (Although I expect the vast majority of people who got 1st, rounded up or not, worked pretty hard to get them)

4.Some people can get good grades doing less work than others because they have particular skills/understanding/ways of revising- that is just how it is

5. Surely it is better to do well on your own merits than worry about what other people got. No one will know how hard you worked to get your first and probably no-one will care. How is someone else getting a first detracting from the prestige. When you leave university and apply for a job/other course the person looking at your application will not be looking at your fellow student just you
(Original post by shameful_burrito)
Personally, I don't agree with most people on this thread. I don't think this is a case of "it's not enough if I succeed, other must fail". First of all, if the universities are very generous with the rounding for a first class degree, that detracts from the value of the so called "distinction". And moreover, it leads to mediocre students being merged in the same bracket as exceptional ones, which detracts not only from the prestige of the classification but also from the excellence of particular students.
(Original post by MidgetFever)
Couldn't agree with this more, it really takes away from those that worked really hard for their 1:1/2:1.
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lemxn
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My uni rounds up if you get at least 67 overall but get a First in at least 4 third year modules
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shameful_burrito
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(Original post by Anonymous)
1 If someone is on a borderline first they are not exactly a mediocre student are they ? If they are on the border of a 2:2 and are rounded up to a 2:1 they are not being bracketed with exceptional ones . You are talking about a couple of percentage point between them. Even with no rounding up, people with 70% are given a 1st as are people who get 80%+ which is a much larger margin- are you complaining about that as well?

2. You will have a transcript for your degree which can be shown to future employers/universities so if you did well getting a good 1st people will be able to se that ?

3. You have no idea how hard other people worked- just because you see that they have been out socialising doesn't mean they didn't work hard. Maybe they organised their time better, or maybe they just needed less time to do the work. Life doesn't work like that. Some people have natural ability some people have to work very hard to excel (Although I expect the vast majority of people who got 1st, rounded up or not, worked pretty hard to get them)

4.Some people can get good grades doing less work than others because they have particular skills/understanding/ways of revising- that is just how it is

5. Surely it is better to do well on your own merits than worry about what other people got. No one will know how hard you worked to get your first and probably no-one will care. How is someone else getting a first detracting from the prestige. When you leave university and apply for a job/other course the person looking at your application will not be looking at your fellow student just you
If someone's on the border of a first class degree, they still fell short to meet the criteria for a 1:1. Standards are set in place for that very reason, to differentiate between students. A 69% is still a 2:1 if 70% was required for a 1:1. Being "close" is not enough I'm afraid, this is how the world works. You don't give Tyson Gay a gold medal too because he was a few deciseconds behind Usain Bolt in the 100m world record setter in 2009, he still gets the silver.

I understand we live in a generation where everyone wants to be a winner, but if we allow that to happen and ignore the actual winners, the standards become redundant. I know it might be frustrating for some, because not everyone is cut for success and hard work might just not cut it on its own, talent and a few other factors play a big role too, but it is what it is. You don't have to stop trying, and aim to become the best version of yourself, but accept reality.
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Anonymous #1
#33
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This is nothing to do with this generation wanting everyone wanting to be a winner. This is in fact not about winners and losers. When you take you take your degree you are not competing with everyone else on the course, so comparing it to a 100m race is not relevant.

The border for a first is in the end where the university says it is. The rules and regulations about how each university decides on classification are clearly set out so if the university awards a first that is because they feel that is what the student deserves. If you really don't like it make sure you go to a university where the don't do this .
In the past some universities , use to do vivas for people on the border- my mum had to do one for her undergraduate degree back in the 1980s- Looking at a students overall academic record rather than just looking at numbers can be a good one to determine if someone is worth the next grade up.


(Original post by shameful_burrito)
If someone's on the border of a first class degree, they still fell short to meet the criteria for a 1:1. Standards are set in place for that very reason, to differentiate between students. A 69% is still a 2:1 if 70% was required for a 1:1. Being "close" is not enough I'm afraid, this is how the world works. You don't give Tyson Gay a gold medal too because he was a few deciseconds behind Usain Bolt in the 100m world record setter in 2009, he still gets the silver.

I understand we live in a generation where everyone wants to be a winner, but if we allow that to happen and ignore the actual winners, the standards become redundant. I know it might be frustrating for some, because not everyone is cut for success and hard work might just not cut it on its own, talent and a few other factors play a big role too, but it is what it is. You don't have to stop trying, and aim to become the best version of yourself, but accept reality.
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NotNotBatman
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#34
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Maybe you calculated it wrong?

Overall percentage isn't the only thing that determines the grade, there may be policies such as the number of modules in the higher grade bracket that influences overall grade.
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shameful_burrito
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(Original post by Anonymous)
This is nothing to do with this generation wanting everyone wanting to be a winner. This is in fact not about winners and losers. When you take you take your degree you are not competing with everyone else on the course, so comparing it to a 100m race is not relevant.

The border for a first is in the end where the university says it is. The rules and regulations about how each university decides on classification are clearly set out so if the university awards a first that is because they feel that is what the student deserves. If you really don't like it make sure you go to a university where the don't do this .
In the past some universities , use to do vivas for people on the border- my mum had to do one for her undergraduate degree back in the 1980s- Looking at a students overall academic record rather than just looking at numbers can be a good one to determine if someone is worth the next grade up.

Don't let emotions and bias blind your judgement. I am just speaking the objective truth, it is not me who likes or dislikes it.
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mnot
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(Original post by Anonymous)
This is nothing to do with this generation wanting everyone wanting to be a winner. This is in fact not about winners and losers. When you take you take your degree you are not competing with everyone else on the course, so comparing it to a 100m race is not relevant.

The border for a first is in the end where the university says it is. The rules and regulations about how each university decides on classification are clearly set out so if the university awards a first that is because they feel that is what the student deserves. If you really don't like it make sure you go to a university where the don't do this .
In the past some universities , use to do vivas for people on the border- my mum had to do one for her undergraduate degree back in the 1980s- Looking at a students overall academic record rather than just looking at numbers can be a good one to determine if someone is worth the next grade up.
The problem is almost all UK unis do this so you don't have a choice (and 'this issue' is not normally mentioned in the normal grade classification description, but tucked away in a long list of policies no one ever reads).

Universities are not doing it because student deserve it. It's often because the data used on CUG, Guardian, Which Uni promotes % of students achieving higher grades, and many employers ask for grades as a check box exercise rather than looking at transcripts or the students record of academic quality, hence they want the stats boost.

Vivas for undergrad degrees aren't a thing of any importance any more, some might have to do one for their dissertation project but its overall influence is minimal.

I think its either QAA or Dept for Education who need to do something about University marking standards.
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Anonymous #1
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How has this got anything to do with my emotions ? what bias ? You are not speaking a truth you are stating an opinion. You are of course entitled to that opinion and I am sure there are others who agree with you but that doesn't me it an "objective truth "



(Original post by shameful_burrito)
Don't let emotions and bias blind your judgement. I am just speaking the objective truth, it is not me who likes or dislikes it.
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Anonymous #1
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How do you know why universities are doing it ? Were you in all the meetings of all the universities when they set out their regulations ? I am sure there are some universities who may be influences by things like league tables but there may also be some who want to make sure that they look at the whole picture rather than reduce student to a series of figures.

I know viva are not really a ting any more- that is my point. When people were on a border then they gave them a viva now they do it a different way. The result is however the same people on the border are looked at and some are given the higher grade.


(Original post by mnot)
The problem is almost all UK unis do this so you don't have a choice (and 'this issue' is not normally mentioned in the normal grade classification description, but tucked away in a long list of policies no one ever reads).

Universities are not doing it because student deserve it. It's often because the data used on CUG, Guardian, Which Uni promotes % of students achieving higher grades, and many employers ask for grades as a check box exercise rather than looking at transcripts or the students record of academic quality, hence they want the stats boost.

Vivas for undergrad degrees aren't a thing of any importance any more, some might have to do one for their dissertation project but its overall influence is minimal.

I think its either QAA or Dept for Education who need to do something about University marking standards.
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Royal Oak
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As much as it may seem unfair, a degree is nothing special these days. Universities are out to make money and to do that they need to look good, so stuff like this happens. They just reel in the suckers. Hope all this and the debt was worth it.
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Nichrome
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What is most concerning is rampant grade inflation across all universities except Oxbridge. The fact that so many firsts and 2.1s are awarded now really devalues Oxford and Cambridge degrees, as it is now far, far harder to get a first at Oxbridge than at other universities for an equivalent course. This fact is still unfortunately not widely known or acknowledged. I now advise Oxbridge offer holders that they should very seriously consider rejecting their Oxbridge places and taking up a place at a RG uni where a 2.1/first will be far easier to come by. This is especially so for Cambridge scientists which have a worryingly high rate of people obtaining a 2.2 or a third.
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