Tips for going from a 2:1 in second year to an overall First? Watch

neyscar
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I just finished my second year at UCL studying English and got a 2:1 which is the level I've been consistently getting since I started my course.
All my marks would average out at about a mid-level 2:1 but I'm interested to know if anyone has experience going from that to a First for their overall degree? Of course I'd be happy with a 2:1 but I'm so so hard on myself and I know part of me would be disappointed that I couldn't achieve a First in the end. Any tips or experiences/stories would be much appreciated! Thank you
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claireestelle
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(Original post by neyscar)
I just finished my second year at UCL studying English and got a 2:1 which is the level I've been consistently getting since I started my course.
All my marks would average out at about a mid-level 2:1 but I'm interested to know if anyone has experience going from that to a First for their overall degree? Of course I'd be happy with a 2:1 but I'm so so hard on myself and I know part of me would be disappointed that I couldn't achieve a First in the end. Any tips or experiences/stories would be much appreciated! Thank you
Look at your feedback for every assignment and then look at before doing the next one so you re always learning from your mistakes.
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desou
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(Original post by neyscar)
I just finished my second year at UCL studying English and got a 2:1 which is the level I've been consistently getting since I started my course.
All my marks would average out at about a mid-level 2:1 but I'm interested to know if anyone has experience going from that to a First for their overall degree? Of course I'd be happy with a 2:1 but I'm so so hard on myself and I know part of me would be disappointed that I couldn't achieve a First in the end. Any tips or experiences/stories would be much appreciated! Thank you
I don't know much about English degrees, but in principle, you need to identify:

a) what exactly it is that you aren't doing now that the students who are getting high 1sts are. maybe ask some tutors for some advice
b) identify what kind of additional work/revision/research might you need to do on top of your existing workplan
c) figure out how to find time in your weekly schedule to fit in this additional work in a sustainable way that you will actually stick to


So, for example, one of my exams for my last degree was essay-based (I think it was theories of social and economic organisation). I identified early on that my usual method of getting a good understanding of basic concepts and practicing template essays wasn't going to get me the 80% I was targeting. So I spent additional time really getting into the cutting edge academic literature on a few topics that really interested me, engaged with some of the academics on twitter and really got a good understanding of the current arguments within the field.

Come the exam, a couple of questions came up where not only could I write the usual stuff that anyone who had read the assigned reading could answer, but I could go way beyond that, discuss the nuances of cutting edge theories and controversies and accurately reference and quote leading authors. The only challenge was getting it all down on paper without my hand seizing up.

I also found additional time at the weekends to work, I tried not to get so hungover so often, so that I could get up on a Sunday morning and get 3-4 hours of reading and writing notes in before my housemates were up.
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hallamstudents
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(Original post by neyscar)
I just finished my second year at UCL studying English and got a 2:1 which is the level I've been consistently getting since I started my course.
All my marks would average out at about a mid-level 2:1 but I'm interested to know if anyone has experience going from that to a First for their overall degree? Of course I'd be happy with a 2:1 but I'm so so hard on myself and I know part of me would be disappointed that I couldn't achieve a First in the end. Any tips or experiences/stories would be much appreciated! Thank you
Hey! I averaged at a 2:1 in my second year and managed to graduate with a mid first. In third year id say you need to treat it like a 9-5 job. Be strict with yourself and start things early so you have enough time. Communicate with your teachers and ask lots of questions. Attend as much as you can and look at the marking criteria for each assessment - make sure you are hitting each one. Hope this helps & Good luck!
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