3rd year student grade fluctuations can you advise me pls

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BubbleBabby
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I’m really confused on how I can consistently get good marks and I don’t understand why my grades fluctuate so much so I really need some outside opinions . You can be as critical as you want I don’t care I just need to evaluate myself.
I’m in my final year and my grades so far are 65%-scientific poster 62%-Covid-19 essay 64%-personal reflective piece 81%-molecular cell biology open book exam ?-microbiology exam(I’m 110% sure I flopped this one) . For the first exam I sent my lecturers my practice essays to critique got 91% for 1 essay and 72% for the other essay. I’m just confused on how I can transfer this to my other work like dissertation as I can’t send drafts to my advisor. I don’t really understand how to ask for help I’m assignments from my lecturers because usually when I ask they say that they can’t tell me the answer? So what happens is I think it’s good but it is not that good and I had no clue on my mistakes . I’m also dyslexic so seeing errors in flow is a little difficult. I always start early but my main drop in marks seems to be in the understanding and critical evaluation section. Should I talk to my lecturers again?
Kind regards
Bb
Last edited by BubbleBabby; 3 months ago
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Uni of Southampton Students
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(Original post by BubbleBabby)
I’m really confused on how I can consistently get good marks and I don’t understand why my grades fluctuate so much so I really need some outside opinions . You can be as critical as you want I don’t care I just need to evaluate myself.
I’m in my final year and my grades so far are 65%-scientific poster 62%-Covid-19 essay 64%-personal reflective piece 81%-molecular cell biology open book exam ?-microbiology exam(I’m 110% sure I flopped this one) . For the first exam I sent my lecturers my practice essays to critique got 91% for 1 essay and 72% for the other essay. I’m just confused on how I can transfer this to my other work like dissertation as I can’t send drafts to my advisor. I don’t really understand how to ask for help I’m assignments from my lecturers because usually when I ask they say that they can’t tell me the answer? So what happens is I think it’s good but it is not that good and I had no clue on my mistakes . I’m also dyslexic so seeing errors in flow is a little difficult. I always start early but my main drop in marks seems to be in the understanding and critical evaluation section. Should I talk to my lecturers again?
Kind regards
Bb
Hi BubbleBabby,

This is going to differ from uni to uni and lecturer to lecturer. If your lecturers say they can't give you the answer, maybe try asking what areas are being marked. For example, a recent paper I had to write had a ticklist for markers to look at that gave clear guidance on what should be included and the types of things that would make it better, like "has it included a clear and concise introduction". I was able to see this ticklist when writing so new what I had to include. Although your lecturers obviously can't give you the answers, it is their job to guide you and offer advice if you are struggling so I would reach out again and maybe just ask in general what makes a good critical evaluation and if they know of any example papers online that might provide inspiration for you.

Did you get feedback beyond just a grade for you practice essays? If so, make a note of what you did well and areas of improvement. You know the areas you drop marks in, so spend some extra time working on those areas and look online to see if anyone else has any tips on how to do these areas well. Your lecturers aren't the only people who will have this knowledge, and hopefully somewhere online someone else will have shared their expertise.

And remember that there is bound to be fluctuations in your grades for many reasons: different markers, different topics that you understand to different degrees, variations in your mood and productivity. Try not to stress if marks go up and down because to me it looks like you're doing pretty well overall and you should be proud of what you achieve rather than upset for what you could have done better. And I say this as a perfectionist who struggles with accepting my lower grades too.

Megan
4th year physics student
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mike23mike
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(Original post by BubbleBabby)
I’m really confused on how I can consistently get good marks and I don’t understand why my grades fluctuate so much so I really need some outside opinions . You can be as critical as you want I don’t care I just need to evaluate myself.
I’m in my final year and my grades so far are 65%-scientific poster 62%-Covid-19 essay 64%-personal reflective piece 81%-molecular cell biology open book exam ?-microbiology exam(I’m 110% sure I flopped this one) . For the first exam I sent my lecturers my practice essays to critique got 91% for 1 essay and 72% for the other essay. I’m just confused on how I can transfer this to my other work like dissertation as I can’t send drafts to my advisor. I don’t really understand how to ask for help I’m assignments from my lecturers because usually when I ask they say that they can’t tell me the answer? So what happens is I think it’s good but it is not that good and I had no clue on my mistakes . I’m also dyslexic so seeing errors in flow is a little difficult. I always start early but my main drop in marks seems to be in the understanding and critical evaluation section. Should I talk to my lecturers again?
Kind regards
Bb
You are getting solid 2.1s and some in the 1st category so well done you. You mention that you get pulled up for critical evaluation. There are self-help books from your uni on study skills and specifically on critical analysis so have a look at them. There are lots of youtube videos on critical thinking so have a look at them. Here is one from Liverpool Uni.
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BubbleBabby
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(Original post by mike23mike)
You are getting solid 2.1s and some in the 1st category so well done you. You mention that you get pulled up for critical evaluation. There are self-help books from your uni on study skills and specifically on critical analysis so have a look at them. There are lots of youtube videos on critical thinking so have a look at them. Here is one from Liverpool Uni.
Thank you very much !
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BubbleBabby
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(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi BubbleBabby,

This is going to differ from uni to uni and lecturer to lecturer. If your lecturers say they can't give you the answer, maybe try asking what areas are being marked. For example, a recent paper I had to write had a ticklist for markers to look at that gave clear guidance on what should be included and the types of things that would make it better, like "has it included a clear and concise introduction". I was able to see this ticklist when writing so new what I had to include. Although your lecturers obviously can't give you the answers, it is their job to guide you and offer advice if you are struggling so I would reach out again and maybe just ask in general what makes a good critical evaluation and if they know of any example papers online that might provide inspiration for you.

Did you get feedback beyond just a grade for you practice essays? If so, make a note of what you did well and areas of improvement. You know the areas you drop marks in, so spend some extra time working on those areas and look online to see if anyone else has any tips on how to do these areas well. Your lecturers aren't the only people who will have this knowledge, and hopefully somewhere online someone else will have shared their expertise.

And remember that there is bound to be fluctuations in your grades for many reasons: different markers, different topics that you understand to different degrees, variations in your mood and productivity. Try not to stress if marks go up and down because to me it looks like you're doing pretty well overall and you should be proud of what you achieve rather than upset for what you could have done better. And I say this as a perfectionist who struggles with accepting my lower grades too.

Megan
4th year physics student
Thank you very much
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Fablad
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Hi, I find myself in a very similar position. Just received mark back on my final project intro and achieved 64%. I was disappointed as my tutor gave no indication that it needed much improvement. I really struggled to get a meeting with her and now she tells me she is probably being made redundant in the next few months! I have no idea if I will get a replacement and I am really worried that I have not fully understood what is expected for this project. Would it be a good idea to find an external tutor for extra help. I’m running out of time. Any advice gratefully received. Did you manage to get more help?
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BubbleBabby
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(Original post by Fablad)
Hi, I find myself in a very similar position. Just received mark back on my final project intro and achieved 64%. I was disappointed as my tutor gave no indication that it needed much improvement. I really struggled to get a meeting with her and now she tells me she is probably being made redundant in the next few months! I have no idea if I will get a replacement and I am really worried that I have not fully understood what is expected for this project. Would it be a good idea to find an external tutor for extra help. I’m running out of time. Any advice gratefully received. Did you manage to get more help?
I’m sorry i also don’t know and I’m struggling as well. I also feel constantly put in the dark too. I’m also at a loss at what yo do after my degree so it’s not going well for me either . Try to improve on what you have done so far and go from there . I’m sorry I was of little help.
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Fablad
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No, thank you for that. I’m meeting with my tutor today, so hopefully I’ll just be totally honest and say I am struggling. Stay positive. Who knows what we’ll end up doing after our degree. It’s such a strange year!
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