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What is considered a 'high' first class degree? Watch

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    I would say 75+ as I would imagine most who get firsts would be in the low 70s. 80+ for a piece of coursework is very rare at my uni so to get that as your cumulative mark would be quite an acheivement (and maybe never even done before), though I would imagine you would have had to sacrifice other important areas of you life to get it, so even though it is a very very high mark I still struggle to respect it tbh.
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    I dunno, I guess above 76/77 (for a geology degree at least).
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    I would say 85+ for a quant degree, 75+ for qualitative
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    (Original post by Svenjamin)
    I've heard one lecturer say:

    100% is for the gods
    90% is for the angels
    80% is for a professor who's spent their entire life studying the field
    70% is a very good undergrad


    ...on the other hand, the highest achieving student in my year got an average of 85%, including a few 100%s (?!?!), so now I don't know what to think.
    he is allah. simple.
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    Depends on the marking scheme, in some places above about 75-76 is virtually unheard of, so if most firsts there fall in the 73 and below, you could call a 74 a high first. OU uses a different system, where I went it was graded on a scale of 1-22, with 18 and above being a first. If you scored between 17.1 and 17.9, the department could choose to give you a first, and almost all firsts scored 18.9 or less. I scored 19.2, which in percentage terms is about 88ish, but thats probably (infact almost certainly) not comparable to an 88 at some of the universities which give out very few above 75. In short, its hard to generalise.
    Yes 19.2/22 is 88ish in % terms.

    But 18/22 (what you say is a first at your uni) is 81% (not 70%), therefore in no way can you say you got the equivalent of 88% at any uni that uses the standard marking system.

    Please learn some basic logic - it's actually quite easy to generalise if you just use some - your grade is actually more like 74.
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    (Original post by Easywellyes)
    Yes 19.2/22 is 88ish in % terms.

    But 18/22 (what you say is a first at your uni) is 81% (not 70%), therefore in no way can you say you got the equivalent of 88% at any uni that uses the standard marking system.

    Please learn some basic logic - it's actually quite easy to generalise if you just use some - your grade is actually more like 74.
    Actually, anything above 17.1 can be awarded a first. And, since you are so adept at missing points, if you'd bothered to read further down, you'd see it was more about saying that the score itself is irrelevant and its more about where you are in relation to your peers. My grade could have been 70 or 90, if you're top (or by extension the lowest attaining student to gain a first) amongst your class grouping, then its a useful indicator. Since they're not broadly comparable with all marking schemes at other universities, a score out of 100 is a pretty pointless yardstick in which to judge students on. This, I would have thought, is the logical way of approaching the subject, but thanks for your advice, I'll ignore it like I normally do.
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    Actually, anything above 17.1 can be awarded a first. And, since you are so adept at missing points, if you'd bothered to read further down, you'd see it was more about saying that the score itself is irrelevant and its more about where you are in relation to your peers. My grade could have been 70 or 90, if you're top (or by extension the lowest attaining student to gain a first) amongst your class grouping, then its a useful indicator. Since they're not broadly comparable with all marking schemes at other universities, a score out of 100 is a pretty pointless yardstick in which to judge students on. This, I would have thought, is the logical way of approaching the subject, but thanks for your advice, I'll ignore it like I normally do.
    No, you're inept at any sort of logic.

    1. Your university being able to award anything over 17.1 a 1st is clearly a way to try and get more 1sts awarded. It is a silly way in which your university has lowered standards.

    2. Comparing yourself to the people in your university is stupid. You went to Glasgow - therefore you could easily be the best in your year there and the worst at a better university. Employers aren't faced with potential employees all from the same university so they want to be able to compare everyones grades as a standard.
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    (Original post by Easywellyes)
    No, you're adept at any sort of logic.

    1. Your university being able to award anything over 17.1 a 1st is clearly a way to try and get more 1sts awarded. It is a silly way in which your university has lowered standards.

    2. Comparing yourself to the people in your university is stupid. You went to Glasgow - therefore you could easily the best in your year there and the worst at a better university. Employers aren't faced with potential employees all from the same university so they want to be able to compare everyones grades as a standard.
    Glasgow has a low proportion of firsts, traditionally- the system is there to stop someone who may have scored 14/22 in one piece of work worth 60 credits but 19/22 in the other nine worth 20 being pulled down without at least being re-evaluated. There may be someone at an ex-poly who is better than someone at [insert university here], thats how these things go. I won't bother going into the complexities of the Scottish education system (where by not sitting advanced highers, the vast majority of the best students in the country don't actually leave the country), since your ego will get in the way, again. It didn't stop you talking utter tripe about economics, I doubt it'll stop you now. Funnily enough, my work has also came out near the top at my current university, who also awarded me a scholarship when compared against their own internal students. My point was, and note this bit down, was that a score that denotes a high first at one university may well not correspond to a 'high' first at another, using two different marking schemes as an example.

    There, not all that to grasp, was it?
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    Glasgow has a low proportion of firsts, traditionally- the system is there to stop someone who may have scored 14/22 in one piece of work worth 60 credits but 19/22 in the other nine worth 20 being pulled down without at least being re-evaluated. There may be someone at an ex-poly who is better than someone at [insert university here], thats how these things go. I won't bother going into the complexities of the Scottish education system (where by not sitting advanced highers, the vast majority of the best students in the country don't actually leave the country), since your ego will get in the way, again. It didn't stop you talking utter tripe about economics, I doubt it'll stop you now. Funnily enough, my work has also came out near the top at my current university, who also awarded me a scholarship when compared against their own internal students. My point was, and note this bit down, was that a score that denotes a high first at one university may well not correspond to a 'high' first at another, using two different marking schemes as an example.

    There, not all that to grasp, was it?
    1. I have never talked tripe about economics.

    2. My only disagreement was when you said:
    (Original post by 0404343m)
    I scored 19.2, which in percentage terms is about 88ish, but thats probably (infact almost certainly) not comparable to an 88 at some of the universities which give out very few above 75.
    Which is just nonsense as you didn't get anywhere near 88 if you were going by other universities marking schemes. If you went by their marking schemes your score would translate (through maths) to around 74.
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    (Original post by Easywellyes)
    Which is just nonsense as you didn't get anywhere near 88 if you were going by some other universities marking schemes.
    There, fixed.

    Now, to conclude. A score at one university which denotes a high first doesn't necessarily denote a high first at another. And, at Cambridge two years ago (the last figures I have) 74 would have been enough for the top 5% of the year (in my subject). Which is what I've been saying all along.

    Déjà vu anyone?
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    There, fixed.

    Now, to conclude. A score at one university which denotes a high first doesn't necessarily denote a high first at another. And, at Cambridge two years ago (the last figures I have) 74 would have been enough for the top 5% of the year (in my subject). Which is what I've been saying all along.

    Déjà vu anyone?
    No, I didn't disagree with your point.

    I disagreed with you trying to compare 88% instead of using some simple logic to translate it to 74%.
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    (Original post by Easywellyes)
    No, I didn't disagree with your point.

    I disagreed with you trying to compare 88% instead of using some simple logic to translate it to 74%.
    Glad we have at least some common ground then.

    But: I scored 19.2, which in percentage terms is about 88ish, but thats probably (infact almost certainly) not comparable to an 88 at some of the universities which give out very few above 75.

    There might well be universities which use a similar system (of a high first being above 85) that don't give out many over 75s- in which case it's not unrealistic for the marking schemes to roughly tally up in that instance, rare as it may be. I didn't (or at least intend) to compare my 88 favourably with a 76 etc at another university, or say I'm better because I had a higher percentage (some scoring of this type can be non-linear anyway)- the autonomy of institutions makes that far too problematic.
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    Like 0404343m says, the measurement of a 'high First' can only really based upon performance in relation to other students at your university and on your course. Ultimately, then, this thread is pretty pointless. But on my course, for example, we were marked on a scale of 20-90, and not in percentages. The boundary for a First was 68.5. Marks of 80 were unheard of. I'm pretty sure that the best average would be around 74 or below. I know that I was in the top 5% (probably higher) with a 70.2 average, so I suppose I could class that as a high First -- even though in the context of this thread, that may appear to be borderline.
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    It's not really as bad as you think. Durham's history department gave out firsts to something like 35% of their students one year, almost twice the level of any other university with 400+ UCAS points for its students, leading to cries within the profession of 'moving the goalposts'. Despite that, no one that year scored above 84 overall. It seemed to not affect however the rate in which their students won scholarships both internally and externally- despite having lots of firsts to pick from. Oxford and Cambridge graduates (within further study) are still amongst the best at gaining funding for various things, despite a lot of them having 'lower' scores than their counterparts at other institutions. My score at university was good, but I didn't just walk in ahead of other students because it was blindly assumed 88 here was better than 84 somewhere else. When applying to Oxford, they phoned me after seeing my results and asked for a marking scheme and if my referees could indicate where my results would place me amongst my peers. If anything like that is used at other institutions, they'll soon realise that it doesn't matter if you get 71, 77 or 89- if you're second in a year of 150 students, you're pretty damn good.
    Thanks, that's a relief.
 
 
 
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