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80% plus in essays for psychology at uni ?

Has anyone received an 80% or more in their essay for psychology at uni?

please help!

I am currently at university and want to achieve high marks for my essay. I am always aiming for a higher mark however my university does not provide examples or information to gain the top marks. Is it even possible to get over 70% for psychology also how did you do it?
Plainly it must be possible to get over 70% since 70% is a first class and people do get 1sts in that subject. Getting 80% or above is extremely uncommon and difficult in essay based assignments and normally is indicative of work well beyond the level required. For more problem based work (e.g. mathematical problem solving, etc) it's more plausible to get those higher grades since there is an objectively correct model answer that would get 100% (such a thing doesn't exist in more open ended essay based work though).

Aim for getting 70% or above - that is both achievable and realistic. If you do get over 80% then you can congratulate yourself on a truly excellent piece of work!

Also bear in mind that if you average 70% or above you get a 1st - whether your average is 99% or 70%, your degree classification is still "1st class honours", so you don't need to worry about getting "maximum marks" unlike at A-level - the higher bandings in the marks are just there to recognise students doing very high level scholarly work that might be have genuine originality or be of publishable standard (with polishing) etc.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Anonymous

I am currently at university and want to achieve high marks for my essay. I am always aiming for a higher mark however my university does not provide examples or information to gain the top marks. Is it even possible to get over 70% for psychology also how did you do it?


Good for you for aiming high.

Every few years I mark an essay that gets 80%+. It's rare but not impossible.

There is good advice in this article: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/mar/07/how-to-write-an-essay

I'd be very surprised if there was no information about how to get good marks. Don't you have a marking scheme? My basic tips are:

1) Read. A lot. Probably 1 paper in 5 you might actually use directly in your essay. This means 80% of your reading is "wasted". (Of course it's not really wasted as you will learn from it more generally). Many students will read, say 10 papers, and then try to cite all of them but it is highly unlikely those 10 are the ones that will encompass the field broadly.

2) Poke holes in others' arguments. Being critical and arguing that others are wrong will help you develop your own point of view.

3) Write your essay as though it will be read by a skeptical reader who doesn't believe your argument. A good essay will use evidence argument to convince this skeptic and counteract all their objections.

4) Write well. This means short, simple sentences. Your essay should be understandable for somebody with no background in psychology e.g. a friend doing another subject. In fact, get a friend to read it and circle anything they don't understand. Edit your essay several times in response.
I'm not sure what year you are in but I did a year of psychology as part of my current degree and got over 70% in all my submissions (based on the post above saying that 70% is equal to a first). I studied psychology in my first year at uni which obviously has a much lower difficulty level than any of the following years, so my advice might not apply to you. When writing essays I'm presuming you're referencing studies? If so, one of the best ways you can show that you understand the material you've been taught is to compare and contrast studies. Look into the reliability and validity of the results and comment upon what studies did well and where they fell short. The most important thing is reflection, what do these results mean in terms of the material you're learning? Are there areas where more evidence is required? What does the current evidence suggest and can you link it to other aspects of psychology you have learnt?

In general, evidence of wider-reading is always good. Your lecturers will expect you to be reading papers in your free time, especially the further into your degree you go. If you have done extra reading and can reflect upon it, you show that you have a good understanding of the material but also the ability to interpret it. Additionally, can you not ask lecturers for feedback on your submissions after class/via email?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by chazwomaq
Good for you for aiming high.

Every few years I mark an essay that gets 80%+. It's rare but not impossible.

There is good advice in this article: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/mar/07/how-to-write-an-essay

I'd be very surprised if there was no information about how to get good marks. Don't you have a marking scheme? My basic tips are:

1) Read. A lot. Probably 1 paper in 5 you might actually use directly in your essay. This means 80% of your reading is "wasted". (Of course it's not really wasted as you will learn from it more generally). Many students will read, say 10 papers, and then try to cite all of them but it is highly unlikely those 10 are the ones that will encompass the field broadly.

2) Poke holes in others' arguments. Being critical and arguing that others are wrong will help you develop your own point of view.

3) Write your essay as though it will be read by a skeptical reader who doesn't believe your argument. A good essay will use evidence argument to convince this skeptic and counteract all their objections.

4) Write well. This means short, simple sentences. Your essay should be understandable for somebody with no background in psychology e.g. a friend doing another subject. In fact, get a friend to read it and circle anything they don't understand. Edit your essay several times in response.


Thank you very much for taking the time to giving me advice i really appreciate it
Original post by bunbunbun
I'm not sure what year you are in but I did a year of psychology as part of my current degree and got over 70% in all my submissions (based on the post above saying that 70% is equal to a first). I studied psychology in my first year at uni which obviously has a much lower difficulty level than any of the following years, so my advice might not apply to you. When writing essays I'm presuming you're referencing studies? If so, one of the best ways you can show that you understand the material you've been taught is to compare and contrast studies. Look into the reliability and validity of the results and comment upon what studies did well and where they fell short. The most important thing is reflection, what do these results mean in terms of the material you're learning? Are there areas where more evidence is required? What does the current evidence suggest and can you link it to other aspects of psychology you have learnt?

In general, evidence of wider-reading is always good. Your lecturers will expect you to be reading papers in your free time, especially the further into your degree you go. If you have done extra reading and can reflect upon it, you show that you have a good understanding of the material but also the ability to interpret it. Additionally, can you not ask lecturers for feedback on your submissions after class/via email?

I am currently in my 2nd year. Thank you very much for taking your time to help me.
Reply 6
I just got an 80% in an assignment and I'm honestly not sure how. I'd say my main tips are definitely keep your sentences short and try and fit as much information into the word count. It also really helps if you create a detailed structure of your essay before hand and write around that.
Reply 7
Original post by gjd800
We can tell you're not sure how, because this is nothing advice


lol no need to be so rude that's uncalled for. I saw lots of advice in the replies so I just added a little bit that I thought specifically helped me. You're very bitter.

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