Degree classification. Missed out on a 1st class degree by 0.05%

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Star97
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#1
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#1
Hi,

This is my first post so forgive me if it’s in the wrong place!

I’m after some advice really. Received my final degree classification and devastated to find out that I have missed out on a first class degree by 0.05%. Received an overall percentage of 69.95%. I have spoken to the head of Head of my School who also coincidentally sits on the exam board, who I asked for a remark on one of my papers which he marks as he is module leader for this module however he said that he will not do this since all marking is ‘fair and appropriate’. He then told me that I also cannot appeal this classification since ‘a disagreement with academic judgement or degree classification’ does not constitute valid grounds for appeal.

I spoke to my student services academic advisors who advised me that I could potentially appeal, based on mitigating circumstances which I was experiencing during exam season however they told me that if my appeal was successful that the university would simply not raise my classification to a 1st and that I would have to resit the relevant paper. However, because this resit would be considered a first attempt if I subsequently did worse in it than my original sitting and thus my overall degree percentage is lowered then this would stand.

I am quite confident I can do better on this resit if my appeal was accepted, however I am worried that my tutor who is the module lead and sits on the exam board and will be marking this paper will be prejudiced after what he has told me about appealing and marking my original paper which I am pretty sure I did better on!

What would you advise? Would you be happy with the high 2.1 or risk resitting and if you did worse accept a lower overall degree percentage?

Thankyou! All advice appreciated
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Reality Check
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Star97)
Hi,

This is my first post so forgive me if it’s in the wrong place!

I’m after some advice really. Received my final degree classification and devastated to find out that I have missed out on a first class degree by 0.05%. Received an overall percentage of 69.95%. I have spoken to the head of Head of my School who also coincidentally sits on the exam board, who I asked for a remark on one of my papers which he marks as he is module leader for this module however he said that he will not do this since all marking is ‘fair and appropriate’. He then told me that I also cannot appeal this classification since ‘a disagreement with academic judgement or degree classification’ does not constitute valid grounds for appeal.

I spoke to my student services academic advisors who advised me that I could potentially appeal, based on mitigating circumstances which I was experiencing during exam season however they told me that if my appeal was successful that the university would simply not raise my classification to a 1st and that I would have to resit the relevant paper. However, because this resit would be considered a first attempt if I subsequently did worse in it than my original sitting and thus my overall degree percentage is lowered then this would stand.

I am quite confident I can do better on this resit if my appeal was accepted, however I am worried that my tutor who is the module lead and sits on the exam board and will be marking this paper will be prejudiced after what he has told me about appealing and marking my original paper which I am pretty sure I did better on!

What would you advise? Would you be happy with the high 2.1 or risk resitting and if you did worse accept a lower overall degree percentage?

Thankyou! All advice appreciated
It's highly unusual for a mark this close to the boundary not to be bumped up to a first. Usually 69.51 or greater is awarded a I, and in some places, anything higher than 69 is.

You seem to be suggesting that you actually can resit this. Again, this is unusual. If you've taken an assessment and been graded in it without any serious adverse circumstances or other things to nullify the mark, you usually cannot ask to be a candidate again in parts you've already been assessed in - that would be having two bites at the cherry. To retrospectively apply serious adverse circumstances to an exam/assessment already sat (as you are suggesting in your post) is highly unusual, and only relates to circumstances where you didn't realise that your performance was being affected by the adverse circumstance(s)

Are you quite sure that you would even be able to resit?
Last edited by Reality Check; 2 years ago
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Star97
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Reality Check)
It's highly unusual for a mark this close to the boundary not to be bumped up to a first. Usually 69.51 or greater is awarded a I, and in some places, anything higher than 69 is.

You seem to be suggesting that you actually can resit this. Again, this is unusual. If you've taken an assessment and been graded in it without any serious adverse circumstances or other things to nullify the mark, you usually cannot ask to be a candidate again in parts you've already been assessed in - that would be having two bites at the cherry. To retrospectively apply serious adverse circumstances to an exam/assessment already sat (as you are suggesting in your post) is highly unusual, and only relates to circumstances where you didn't realise that your performance was being affected by the adverse circumstance(s)

Are you quite sure that you would even be able to resit?
That depends on if I appeal the mark and the appeal is accepted because as mentioned I did experience mitigating circumstances during my exams. However, I am worried that if I appeal Is accepted and I was permitted to resit, and in the worst case scenario did worse in the resit then my overall degree percentage would be lowered. So the question I guess I’m trying to ask is does overall degree percentage matter or is a 2.1 still a 2.1 no matter how high it is?
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Reality Check
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#4
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#4
For the vast majority of circumstances, a 2i is a 2i, and a further breakdown of the result would not be required - this would be for things like grad schemes and other employment. For those places who were interested in the breakdown, such as if you were applying for further study, maybe law etc, the recruiter could ask to see the transcript, whereupon he or she would see your mark was as close to a I as it is possible to get.

Would I risk appealing, having the appeal accepted (after an inevitably lengthy process), resitting, remarking and waiting...? No. What practically will you gain from this? You know your result is practically a I class result; the transcript evidence this. That would be enough for me.
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username4521132
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#5
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#5
I finished on 60.05% and got the same certificate as all the other 2:1 students. To tell you the truth I wasn't in the same ball park as the 68/69%er so it was abit unfair on them. I don't think what % you get makes a difference a 2:1 is a 2:1. I threw my transcript away and don't expect to ever show anyone it. That said if you got a first in a particular topic you could mention it in a job interview question.
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Star97
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Reality Check)
For the vast majority of circumstances, a 2i is a 2i, and a further breakdown of the result would not be required - this would be for things like grad schemes and other employment. For those places who were interested in the breakdown, such as if you were applying for further study, maybe law etc, the recruiter could ask to see the transcript, whereupon he or she would see your mark was as close to a I as it is possible to get.

Would I risk appealing, having the appeal accepted (after an inevitably lengthy process), resitting, remarking and waiting...? No. What practically will you gain from this? You know your result is practically a I class result; the transcript evidence this. That would be enough for me.
I understand where you are coming from and appreciate your advice. I know I should probably be grateful for the mark I have received however the amount of blood sweat and tears I invested into this degree makes it so much harder to accept. To be a 1st class student throughout your degree and then to fall al the last hurdle is devastating. Also, doesn’t help that I am trying to break into the legal industry where I know for a fact that a 1st class degree would help me massively! Just feel absolutely devastated tbh
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Reality Check
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Star97)
I understand where you are coming from and appreciate your advice. I know I should probably be grateful for the mark I have received however the amount of blood sweat and tears I invested into this degree makes it so much harder to accept. To be a 1st class student throughout your degree and then to fall al the last hurdle is devastating. Also, doesn’t help that I am trying to break into the legal industry where I know for a fact that a 1st class degree would help me massively! Just feel absolutely devastated tbh
Yes, and I fully understand that. And please note that I'm not suggesting you should be 'grateful' for the mark: it's more a question of what is most expedient and practical in your circumstances.

If it's very important to you (and I can fully see why it would be) then you need to weigh up the risks of retaking and getting a worse mark with the possibility of retaking and having it get you over the boundary. Only you can make that judgement call.
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Star97
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Yes, and I fully understand that. And please note that I'm not suggesting you should be 'grateful' for the mark: it's more a question of what is most expedient and practical in your circumstances.

If it's very important to you (and I can fully see why it would be) then you need to weigh up the risks of retaking and getting a worse mark with the possibility of retaking and having it get you over the boundary. Only you can make that judgement call.
Guess I have a lot of thinking to do! Not going to be an easy decision to make especially as I have the tendency to overthink ALOT! Thanks for your advice, appreciate it.
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Pathway
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#9
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#9
I did resit one exam as a first sit (aka uncapped) as I had extenuating circumstances in my final year at university. I did end up coming out with a first (up from a high 2.i) at the end of it and the grade in that exam went from a low-mid 50 to a mid-70, so it was "worth it" I suppose, for me (even if I can't currently do anything with my degree due to illness/disability). I was allowed to graduate with reassessment as there was an option for me to do so (equally I had the option to graduate without reassessment) so I have two degree certificates and two sets of transcripts as a result.

You'd have to work out if it's worth it for you with your personal situation and speak to your personal tutor if you have one. Perhaps even your university's student support. Well done regardless though, the grade you achieved is amazing!
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unholysaint2022
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#10
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#10
I got 69,55 on one of my modules and it stayed as a 2:1 so I feel you. I asked for remarks and they rejected it as I had no reason to complain; I was only upset regarding the result and that’s it.

With the comment regarding the module leader being biased if he marks your resit: doesn’t your uni implement anonymity in exams? My teachers do not know whose work they mark; they only see a code and not a specific name.
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Reality Check
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Star97)
Guess I have a lot of thinking to do! Not going to be an easy decision to make especially as I have the tendency to overthink ALOT! Thanks for your advice, appreciate it.
You're welcome And I'm just one voice here - you'll get plenty more with, I'm sure, different takes on it.

It's not going to be an easy decision, no. What sort of support have you had from your tutor/Director of Studies about this, as well as student services? Is the situation slightly combative or 'pre-complaint' with you in your department?
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bless not stress
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#12
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#12
Personally, if I had the opportunity to resit and felt confident that I could get a higher mark, I would go for it! I'm surprised your grade wasn't bumped up, especially if your other work was of 1st class standard. Sounds a bit fishy to me and I don't accept that work is marked anonymously. It's very easy to check a student's identity with their student i.d. number, which should be on all your papers (especially if they are programme leader). Go for it! Nothing to lose and the worse case scenario will be that you get the same or lower result and remain with a 2:1. Not trying will probably bother you for many years to come.
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Star97
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#13
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#13
(Original post by bless not stress)
Personally, if I had the opportunity to resit and felt confident that I could get a higher mark, I would go for it! I'm surprised your grade wasn't bumped up, especially if your other work was of 1st class standard. Sounds a bit fishy to me and I don't accept that work is marked anonymously. It's very easy to check a student's identity with their student i.d. number, which should be on all your papers (especially if they are programme leader). Go for it! Nothing to lose and the worse case scenario will be that you get the same or lower result and remain with a 2:1. Not trying will probably bother you for many years to come.
Hi thankyou for your reply,

I am pretty confident that if I resit then I would be able to get a better mark. However, I just have a gut feeling that given the tutors previous comments, the fact that he is the module leader and infact the director of studies and will be the one marking my paper that he will be biased and infact not give me a higher mark should I do better in the resit. I know for a fact that the papers are not anonymous as I recall another tutor telling us that they do infact know who’s paper they are marking! Also, my best friend on my course who is also a 1st class student and did infact just about get one, also got an unusually low mark of 55 for this exam which is something you would NEVER expect from her! So I just don’t know what to do! Never been so confused/lost before!
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Star97
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(Original post by Reality Check)
You're welcome And I'm just one voice here - you'll get plenty more with, I'm sure, different takes on it.

It's not going to be an easy decision, no. What sort of support have you had from your tutor/Director of Studies about this, as well as student services? Is the situation slightly combative or 'pre-complaint' with you in your department?
Unfortunately the director of studies and the head of school is this particular tutor who is also the module leader for this module! Given his previous emails which state that nothing can be done as one cannot challenge their degree classification simply because of an agreement with academic judgement I have a gut feeling that if I was to resit then he would be biased and not give me a higher grade should I do better in this resit! Even when I asked for a remark, as I know for a fact I did better in the exam he told me this is something which the university procedure does not allow!

I have spoke to student services who said I could appeal based on my circumstances however this tutor would be marking my paper since he is the module lead and like I have said I honestly don’t know if he sound be fair! So I am stuck and simply don’t know what to do.
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_gcx
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(Original post by SomMC1)
I got 69,55 on one of my modules and it stayed as a 2:1 so I feel you. I asked for remarks and they rejected it as I had no reason to complain; I was only upset regarding the result and that’s it.

With the comment regarding the module leader being biased if he marks your resit: doesn’t your uni implement anonymity in exams? My teachers do not know whose work they mark; they only see a code and not a specific name.
Think bumping up is usually for the year, not for each module. (I don't think modules are even classed on my uni's transcripts)
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Star97
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#16
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(Original post by Star97)
Unfortunately the director of studies and the head of school is this particular tutor who is also the module leader for this module! Given his previous emails which state that nothing can be done as one cannot challenge their degree classification simply because of an agreement with academic judgement I have a gut feeling that if I was to resit then he would be biased and not give me a higher grade should I do better in this resit! Even when I asked for a remark, as I know for a fact I did better in the exam he told me this is something which the university procedure does not allow!

I have spoke to student services who said I could appeal based on my circumstances however this tutor would be marking my paper since he is the module lead and like I have said I honestly don’t know if he sound be fair! So I am stuck and simply don’t know what to do.
If he would be fair**
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bless not stress
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#17
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(Original post by _gcx)
Think bumping up is usually for the year, not for each module. (I don't think modules are even classed on my uni's transcripts)
Yeah I meant bumped up for the final classification. I mean, why not?! That's just plain mean.
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#18
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(Original post by bless not stress)
Yeah I meant bumped up for the final classification. I mean, why not?! That's just plain mean.
It does seem unusual, I could only guess your uni/dept has a very hard stance on not rounding up classifications.
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gutenberg
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#19
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Every uni is different when it comes to rounding up. At some for instance they'll only round up if the majority of modules are 70+ when the average is 69, so if you have five modules and three of them scored a 2.1 and two a First, with the overall average 69, then it wouldn't be rounded up since the majority of modules weren't in the First class category. It seems harsh especially when people are very close, but each place has their own rules.

As to whether you should resit OP, on balance I think it's not worth the stress of appealing, waiting to see if the appeal is accepted, resitting, waiting again. It's tough and frustrating to fall short right at the end, but it happens unfortunately. But that's just my view.
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mnot
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#20
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(Original post by Star97)
Hi,

This is my first post so forgive me if it’s in the wrong place!

I’m after some advice really. Received my final degree classification and devastated to find out that I have missed out on a first class degree by 0.05%. Received an overall percentage of 69.95%. I have spoken to the head of Head of my School who also coincidentally sits on the exam board, who I asked for a remark on one of my papers which he marks as he is module leader for this module however he said that he will not do this since all marking is ‘fair and appropriate’. He then told me that I also cannot appeal this classification since ‘a disagreement with academic judgement or degree classification’ does not constitute valid grounds for appeal.

I spoke to my student services academic advisors who advised me that I could potentially appeal, based on mitigating circumstances which I was experiencing during exam season however they told me that if my appeal was successful that the university would simply not raise my classification to a 1st and that I would have to resit the relevant paper. However, because this resit would be considered a first attempt if I subsequently did worse in it than my original sitting and thus my overall degree percentage is lowered then this would stand.

I am quite confident I can do better on this resit if my appeal was accepted, however I am worried that my tutor who is the module lead and sits on the exam board and will be marking this paper will be prejudiced after what he has told me about appealing and marking my original paper which I am pretty sure I did better on!

What would you advise? Would you be happy with the high 2.1 or risk resitting and if you did worse accept a lower overall degree percentage?

Thankyou! All advice appreciated
Wow, im surprised. Its very common for averages over 69.5 to be bumped up, some uni even have an algorithm where if you are borderline they look at how many credits are 1st class etc.

I can see the frustration being so close, I would dig around the undergraduate guidelines see if their is anything in their (although I doubt it, as they probably would have already offered this to you if possible).

--
Whilst this doesn't do anything help you, given how close you came, Im very impressed by the unis firm stance and their diligent take on extenuating circumstances and resits. I wish all unis were held to this standard, this is how i feel it should be personally, I think it is overall in everyones interest to have a firm clear rule and stick to it as your uni has. (What uni is this?).
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