The Art/Science of Degree Classifications

May 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

I just figured out my current average mark for my degree and whilst it is looking good, I am so ridiculously close to the borderline mark that I feel I just majorly upped the ante on my next two exams. It is such a nerve-wracking experience going into a 100% exam and knowing, not only could those three hours decide the module mark, but that those 3 hours could also decide your entire degree classification and potenitally even the rest of your life.

Ok, so maybe that last bit is a bit melodramatic….

Ultimately, I imagine there isn’t a great deal of difference (except for my own pride, satisfaction and £250 from my Uncle) between a 1st and a 2.1 degree in the job world. Grad schemes generally ask for a minimum of a 2.1 and at the end of the day, these three years of my life will just be expressed academically in one line of my CV. It’s the experiences I’ve gained during my studies that will be truly valuable in the end.

Degree classifications just seem a little bit hit and miss for me. In my course, it is unheard of for anyone to score above 80 (even though it technically goes up to 90) which means to get a 1st you really need to average between 68.6 and 80. For a 2.1 it’s 58.6 and 68.5. It just seems to  me like there’s a lot of room there for different people, and entirely different amounts of work and effort. To really stand out anymore you need to be getting a 1st, and yet these remain elusive for a lot of people. But there seems to be a lot of difference in how much effort someone puts in to their degree for a mark which is 68.5 and a mark which is 58.6 and yet these marks will achieve exactly the same result on their degree certificate, job applications and CV. Doesn’t really seem fair…

What is unbelievable is that there used to be no classification between a 2.1 and a 2.2, meaning that you could get a 2nd class degree if you got a mark between 68.5 and 48.6. That’s just ridiculous, and obviously why they changed the system.

But in a world where more and more people are becoming degree-level educated and more and more people attend university perhaps it is time to narrow down those boundaries even more.

Anyway, enough of my ranting (which is only here to disguise my absolute FEAR of these up-coming exams) and back to some actual revision. But *fingers crossed* for everyone about to do their final-year exams in the next few weeks.

And in a show of ridiculous positivity and optimism: Uncle, get out your cheque book.

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