The Student Room Group

How bad is it to get 65?

I'm a law student at Oxford and so far this term I've had scores from 64-68, with my average being about 65. I'm a bit disappointed with this because I've been working really hard this term, making sure I put in at least 8 hours every week day and a few on weekend days but I don't think my grades are really reflecting this. It seems like in every assignment, when I get the feedback my tutor is pointing out that there's something I just completely missed from the reading. On my two assignments last week I got 67 and 68 so I thought my grades mind be finally trending upwards but then this week I got 65 again.

How bad would it be if I got around 65 (a mid level 2:1) on my whole degree? I'm only in second year and obviously I'm aiming for a first but would my life be completely over if I ended up with a mid level 2:1? Would anyone hire me? I ideally want to do a master's so the 2:1 wouldn't be an issue for that as uni's I can afford only require a 2:1. Would having a 2:1 in a bachelor's and then a first in a master's be as good as just having a first in a bachelor's or would I always be the less appealing candidate if I end up getting a 2:1?
*might not mind
Reply 2
Your life is definitely NOT going to be over with a 2.1 in law from Oxford...! I'm honestly surprised you're asking, a 2.1 is still very good and is what most employers usually look for! Obviously, depends exactly what you're aiming for, but my impression is that unless you immediately want to go into academia then there isn't a massive difference between a 2.1 and a 1st for your career prospects, especially in the long term. I know plenty of people who have these grades and seem to be doing fine at securing internships, grad schemes etc.
Original post by Username123ab
I'm a law student at Oxford and so far this term I've had scores from 64-68, with my average being about 65. I'm a bit disappointed with this because I've been working really hard this term, making sure I put in at least 8 hours every week day and a few on weekend days but I don't think my grades are really reflecting this. It seems like in every assignment, when I get the feedback my tutor is pointing out that there's something I just completely missed from the reading. On my two assignments last week I got 67 and 68 so I thought my grades mind be finally trending upwards but then this week I got 65 again.

How bad would it be if I got around 65 (a mid level 2:1) on my whole degree? I'm only in second year and obviously I'm aiming for a first but would my life be completely over if I ended up with a mid level 2:1? Would anyone hire me? I ideally want to do a master's so the 2:1 wouldn't be an issue for that as uni's I can afford only require a 2:1. Would having a 2:1 in a bachelor's and then a first in a master's be as good as just having a first in a bachelor's or would I always be the less appealing candidate if I end up getting a 2:1?


Hi there

Achieving a 2:1 in Oxford would be an amazing grade. It would not stop companies from hiring you at all. With any relevant experience and transferrable skill, it would be quite a good profile to employers.

I know that whilst you may not be happy with your grade so far, there is still a lot of time to improve (especially if you are not in your final year). It does take time to get into the flow of studying, and as time passes, you may develop better techniques for studying. So please do not be too harsh on yourself. Keep trying and your chances of securing a good job are very high. :biggrin:

Good luck!
Chloe
University of Kent student rep
Original post by Username123ab
I'm a law student at Oxford and so far this term I've had scores from 64-68, with my average being about 65. I'm a bit disappointed with this because I've been working really hard this term, making sure I put in at least 8 hours every week day and a few on weekend days but I don't think my grades are really reflecting this. It seems like in every assignment, when I get the feedback my tutor is pointing out that there's something I just completely missed from the reading. On my two assignments last week I got 67 and 68 so I thought my grades mind be finally trending upwards but then this week I got 65 again.

How bad would it be if I got around 65 (a mid level 2:1) on my whole degree? I'm only in second year and obviously I'm aiming for a first but would my life be completely over if I ended up with a mid level 2:1? Would anyone hire me? I ideally want to do a master's so the 2:1 wouldn't be an issue for that as uni's I can afford only require a 2:1. Would having a 2:1 in a bachelor's and then a first in a master's be as good as just having a first in a bachelor's or would I always be the less appealing candidate if I end up getting a 2:1?

Sorry, I thought this thread about 65 was referring to ageing…

As Oxford mum, I am used to giving advice on how to get into Oxford. Who do you think makes up the majority of the messages? People who are desperate to get in for law. To them, you have the golden ticket, the pinnacle of achievement, just for getting in.

But it’s not as easy as that, is it?

Like most people, you will have gone from being probably the brightest person in the school to being on the same level as others, or even having some bright spark coming up with 70 or more for their essays. Add to this the competitiveness of your course ( I knew someone who had to go to a tutorial on a Saturday) and it may all turn into a feeling of hopelessness.

Yes, the tutor may be pointing out several flaws in your work, but these are experts and it’s wise to listen to them. They are trying to make you even better. In my job I have a lot of quality control, and listening to constructive criticism ( and even changing the way I do things) has really helped me achieve.

As for putting in 8 hour days and weekends, and not feeling you are getting stellar marks, I am sure that many Oxford law students feel the same way ( but won’t tell you). Looking at this in an objective way, if I were your parent I would be deeply and utterly proud of you. What I don’t want you to do is give up and feel your career is at an end. You are doing more than fine. Keep up the good work, attend the many networking events, get yourself out there. Also learn to relax a little with college friends, or join a club that doesn’t involve too much involvement but a lot of relaxing and laughs.

I do know someone who graduated Oxford law with a 2:1, did a masters and is now working at a law firm. I have seen him at work, sitting in front of rows of posh books, smiling. Boy, does he look happy!

Yes, getting a first for Oxford law may open some doors but only a few rarified doors. Once you get that job, your grade will make not one jot of difference. The crucial thing is how you perform in court and how good you are at getting justice for your client, or giving trusted advice to corporate clients.

I do know some people who earn massive law salaries and who have never got within sniffing distance of Oxford.

Not sure if this helps but all the best to you.
Reply 5
My mate has a 2i from LJMU and has to date worked for 3 magic circle firms. After a few years nobody will care about the degree grade and will focus heavily on your skills and experience.
Original post by gjd800
My mate has a 2i from LJMU and has to date worked for 3 magic circle firms. After a few years nobody will care about the degree grade and will focus heavily on your skills and experience.

Exactly. Who cares about your degree grade if you can’t cut the mustard in court?
Original post by Username123ab
I'm a law student at Oxford and so far this term I've had scores from 64-68, with my average being about 65. I'm a bit disappointed with this because I've been working really hard this term, making sure I put in at least 8 hours every week day and a few on weekend days but I don't think my grades are really reflecting this. It seems like in every assignment, when I get the feedback my tutor is pointing out that there's something I just completely missed from the reading. On my two assignments last week I got 67 and 68 so I thought my grades mind be finally trending upwards but then this week I got 65 again.

How bad would it be if I got around 65 (a mid level 2:1) on my whole degree? I'm only in second year and obviously I'm aiming for a first but would my life be completely over if I ended up with a mid level 2:1? Would anyone hire me? I ideally want to do a master's so the 2:1 wouldn't be an issue for that as uni's I can afford only require a 2:1. Would having a 2:1 in a bachelor's and then a first in a master's be as good as just having a first in a bachelor's or would I always be the less appealing candidate if I end up getting a 2:1?

Fellow Ox law student here. I agree with others that a 2.1 from Oxford is fantastic. However, it should be said that your marks at this stage are not indicative of what class degree you will get. Remember that Oxford teaches 'the wrong way round' - you submit your work and then the tutor(s) tell you what needs improving. If you were banging out 70s every week what would be the point of going to tutorial? To be getting 67/68s is great and you are very close to the 70+ with some fine tuning. It's natural that within a module you are going to find some topics easier/more interesting that others. Please don't be so hard on yourself - you are doing great!

Over the vacation look at the feedback and I am sure in your collection you can get a solid 2.I, maybe even a first - but if you don't, remember that the collection itself is just another practice.

During first year my average was probably around the 66 mark for most of the modules but in mods I attained a distinction. I read my feedback, did practice essays and made sure to take breaks. Do also remember that tutors do mark a bit harsher than examiners in order to push you (I've heard that in some colleges that don't even like giving out 70s so students are capped at a 69! I don't know how true this is though).

For finals you only need to get 4 out of your 9 papers over 70 and the remaining 5 should be at a 2.1 standard. It's natural that you will find modules you prefer and others you'll devote less time to because you know all you need is a 60 minimum.

Since you are in second year first term I imagine Trusts is one of your current topics? If so, please remember that so many people find this a tricky subject so don't beat yourself up. I honestly think just securing a 60 in Trusts consistently is an achievement.
Original post by Oxford Mum
Sorry, I thought this thread about 65 was referring to ageing…

As Oxford mum, I am used to giving advice on how to get into Oxford. Who do you think makes up the majority of the messages? People who are desperate to get in for law. To them, you have the golden ticket, the pinnacle of achievement, just for getting in.

But it’s not as easy as that, is it?

Like most people, you will have gone from being probably the brightest person in the school to being on the same level as others, or even having some bright spark coming up with 70 or more for their essays. Add to this the competitiveness of your course ( I knew someone who had to go to a tutorial on a Saturday) and it may all turn into a feeling of hopelessness.

Yes, the tutor may be pointing out several flaws in your work, but these are experts and it’s wise to listen to them. They are trying to make you even better. In my job I have a lot of quality control, and listening to constructive criticism ( and even changing the way I do things) has really helped me achieve.

As for putting in 8 hour days and weekends, and not feeling you are getting stellar marks, I am sure that many Oxford law students feel the same way ( but won’t tell you). Looking at this in an objective way, if I were your parent I would be deeply and utterly proud of you. What I don’t want you to do is give up and feel your career is at an end. You are doing more than fine. Keep up the good work, attend the many networking events, get yourself out there. Also learn to relax a little with college friends, or join a club that doesn’t involve too much involvement but a lot of relaxing and laughs.

I do know someone who graduated Oxford law with a 2:1, did a masters and is now working at a law firm. I have seen him at work, sitting in front of rows of posh books, smiling. Boy, does he look happy!

Yes, getting a first for Oxford law may open some doors but only a few rarified doors. Once you get that job, your grade will make not one jot of difference. The crucial thing is how you perform in court and how good you are at getting justice for your client, or giving trusted advice to corporate clients.

I do know some people who earn massive law salaries and who have never got within sniffing distance of Oxford.

Not sure if this helps but all the best to you.

Amazing and thoughtful advice as always!

What you said about spending time doing social activities is very true. I think a big part of what helped me in first year was actually going out every week or 2 (and no OP you don't have to go on the lash if you are worried about losing the whole of the next day! I found that going out with others doing other heavy workload subjects helped me find going out friends with the same attitude). It gave me something to look forward to and I actually got all my work done with far less 'all-nighters'. My marks also improved even if I was spending slightly less time studying!

8 hours a day is amazing although that would mean you are studying 40 hours a week, so perhaps aim to give yourself the whole weekend off? Remember that tutorials and lectures are counted as 'workload' for the purposes of the '45 hour' guideline set by Oxford.
Original post by Anonymous #1
Fellow Ox law student here. I agree with others that a 2.1 from Oxford is fantastic. However, it should be said that your marks at this stage are not indicative of what class degree you will get. Remember that Oxford teaches 'the wrong way round' - you submit your work and then the tutor(s) tell you what needs improving. If you were banging out 70s every week what would be the point of going to tutorial? To be getting 67/68s is great and you are very close to the 70+ with some fine tuning. It's natural that within a module you are going to find some topics easier/more interesting that others. Please don't be so hard on yourself - you are doing great!

Over the vacation look at the feedback and I am sure in your collection you can get a solid 2.I, maybe even a first - but if you don't, remember that the collection itself is just another practice.

During first year my average was probably around the 66 mark for most of the modules but in mods I attained a distinction. I read my feedback, did practice essays and made sure to take breaks. Do also remember that tutors do mark a bit harsher than examiners in order to push you (I've heard that in some colleges that don't even like giving out 70s so students are capped at a 69! I don't know how true this is though).

For finals you only need to get 4 out of your 9 papers over 70 and the remaining 5 should be at a 2.1 standard. It's natural that you will find modules you prefer and others you'll devote less time to because you know all you need is a 60 minimum.

Since you are in second year first term I imagine Trusts is one of your current topics? If so, please remember that so many people find this a tricky subject so don't beat yourself up. I honestly think just securing a 60 in Trusts consistently is an achievement.

I didn't get a distinction in mods and my exam marks are generally lower than my tutorial essays, I only got 61 in my contract collection at the start of this term. I think my trusts tutor marks a little generously so when I get 68 I take it to be about 63
Original post by Username123ab
I didn't get a distinction in mods and my exam marks are generally lower than my tutorial essays, I only got 61 in my contract collection at the start of this term. I think my trusts tutor marks a little generously so when I get 68 I take it to be about 63

Op I think you are very lucky to get this detailed response. It is this glass half full attitude that is helpful to all of us.

Yes, you can do it!
Reply 11
Original post by Username123ab
I didn't get a distinction in mods and my exam marks are generally lower than my tutorial essays, I only got 61 in my contract collection at the start of this term. I think my trusts tutor marks a little generously so when I get 68 I take it to be about 63

Tbh you are doing fine marks wise but I agree a little less time at the books and a bit more R and R would greatly improve both your work and your state of mind.You are nudging a first already and your biggest risk is burnout if you keep stressing about a 2,1 which is the most common degree from Oxford .Listen to your fellow law student and chill out a little.
Reply 12
Original post by Oxford Mum
Sorry, I thought this thread about 65 was referring to ageing…

As Oxford mum, I am used to giving advice on how to get into Oxford. Who do you think makes up the majority of the messages? People who are desperate to get in for law. To them, you have the golden ticket, the pinnacle of achievement, just for getting in.

But it’s not as easy as that, is it?

Like most people, you will have gone from being probably the brightest person in the school to being on the same level as others, or even having some bright spark coming up with 70 or more for their essays. Add to this the competitiveness of your course ( I knew someone who had to go to a tutorial on a Saturday) and it may all turn into a feeling of hopelessness.

Yes, the tutor may be pointing out several flaws in your work, but these are experts and it’s wise to listen to them. They are trying to make you even better. In my job I have a lot of quality control, and listening to constructive criticism ( and even changing the way I do things) has really helped me achieve.

As for putting in 8 hour days and weekends, and not feeling you are getting stellar marks, I am sure that many Oxford law students feel the same way ( but won’t tell you). Looking at this in an objective way, if I were your parent I would be deeply and utterly proud of you. What I don’t want you to do is give up and feel your career is at an end. You are doing more than fine. Keep up the good work, attend the many networking events, get yourself out there. Also learn to relax a little with college friends, or join a club that doesn’t involve too much involvement but a lot of relaxing and laughs.

I do know someone who graduated Oxford law with a 2:1, did a masters and is now working at a law firm. I have seen him at work, sitting in front of rows of posh books, smiling. Boy, does he look happy!

Yes, getting a first for Oxford law may open some doors but only a few rarified doors. Once you get that job, your grade will make not one jot of difference. The crucial thing is how you perform in court and how good you are at getting justice for your client, or giving trusted advice to corporate clients.

I do know some people who earn massive law salaries and who have never got within sniffing distance of Oxford.

Not sure if this helps but all the best to you.

OM I also thought this was about getting to age 65!😂
Original post by Username123ab
I didn't get a distinction in mods and my exam marks are generally lower than my tutorial essays, I only got 61 in my contract collection at the start of this term. I think my trusts tutor marks a little generously so when I get 68 I take it to be about 63

Mods are a weird set of exams and don't determine how finals will go. I used the example as more of a means to show how much improvement is possible rather than suggest the distinction itself is important. If you find yourself getting lower in exams it may be that you need to work on exam technique? You have agesss to finals so I think there is more than enough time and during 3rd year I think you will have exam technique classes.

Regarding collections - I wouldn't worry too much about your 61, I think that's decent for any collection by especially after a huge study break and not being the the 'Oxford mindset'. Identify the feedback and go from there! I think there was a gap of 7 marks between my collection and mods paper for one of the modules and I know people who jumped 10+ marks with focused revision and exam technique improvement. The most important part of collections are the revision materials you prepare for them, the experience of working against the clock and the feedback. The grade means very little.

Please let yourself relax and well done for getting a 68 in Trusts!!! That is insane, I prayed for a 60 every time I submitted am essau. I very much doubt your tutor is marking leniently as that doesn't benefit you or her at all.

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