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Grade for first uni assignment - is this good.
StickyStickyStickStickSong · 03/04/2022 23:24
Hi all, Just received the grades for my first uni assignment. I received a 72. It says this is a marginal first. Is this good?? Because I told my skills coach I would be happy with a 56 so I'm over the moon and celebrated with a glass of champers this evening but I don't actually know anyone with degrees to reach out to to ask if this is actually good?? Either way I am happy. I am a first time mum and I work full time as an area manager so I found just even finding time for uni work a super challenge but just want honest opinion if this is a good grade
Yes , well done you
Yes it’s a good grade! Over 70 is usually a first. Congrats x
For a first uni assignment it's a really good grade :) a lot of people sometimes do poorly on their first few assessments as they get into the swing of writing what the uni lecturers are looking for. Clearly you're on the right path so keep at it!
It certainly is! Very well done and definitely celebrate
Oh wow thank you so much there have been times already that I've wanted to throw the towel in but this has made me want to really carry on and keep at it 💪🏻 I know if was on top form with more time on my hands I think I'd have done better, I was doubting myself so much! I'll keep going! 😊
It’s brilliant, well done!
That's fantastic, well done you! If you haven't already, look up your university/department grading structure - it will explain what all the different grade boundaries mean. Uni work is marked in a far more subjective way than school work, so it is good to know what you need to do to consistently get firsts.
@OP It's an AWFUL grade...retakes perhaps?? Of course it's a good grade, it's excellent. Send some champers my way please!
It is a fabulous grade. Well done and keep it up!
My first essay scored 48. It taught me so much though. It was descriptive rather than critical. I improved immensely from there on in.
Really good. My first essay was 68 and I was thrilled with that! What course are you on?
It's really good. Congratulations! However, you really should look up the grading/marking arrangements for your course. Familiarize yourself with the weighting for each coursework/exam for each module and what each module is worth as a percentage of your end of year grading. Many degrees you only have to pass the first year (40%) and the work doesn't actually count towards your final degree classification.
The OP is asking if a marginal first is good? She did know the answer to this I think.,
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Getting a mark over 50% means that you are beginning to understand the difficult work of your degree. Getting over 60% is excellent because it means you have demonstrated a deep knowledge of your subject to the marker.
You may be used to getting marks of 90–100%, but this is very unlikely to happen at university. Remember that marks in the 50–70% range are perfectly normal. Your grades will improve as you get used to working at university level, and in the style required by your degree subject.
UK degree classifications are as follows:
- First-Class Honours (First or 1st) (70% and above)
- Upper Second-Class Honours (2:1, 2.i) (60-70%)
- Lower Second-Class Honours (2:2, 2.ii) (50-60%)
- Third-Class Honours (Third or 3rd) (40-50%)
Visit the Regulations for further information on degree classifications.
In your first year at university, achieving a grade of 50% or more is a good thing. You can build on your work and improve as you work towards your final grade. Scores above 70% are classed as “First”, so you should be very excited to get a grade in that range.
It is rare for students to achieve grades higher than 90%, though this can happen. Remember as well that you will be surrounded by other highly motivated and capable students, so you may not automatically be top of the class anymore! Don’t worry – lots of your fellow students will be feeling the same, and there is always someone you can talk to about this. Having realistic expectations about your grades will help to reduce the possibility of feeling disappointed with yourself.
How to get a high mark
Before starting a piece of work, make sure you understand the assessment criteria . This may vary depending on your course and the specific piece of work; so ask your tutor if you are unsure.
In general, high marks will be given when you display that you have clearly understood the subject and included relevant detail. The best marks will go to students who show that they have read around the subject and brought their own analysis and criticism to the assignment.
Low marks will be given to a piece of work that suggests you don’t understand the subject or includes too much irrelevant detail. This applies to coursework and exams, so planning your work before you start is always a sensible option. Speak to your tutor if you are unsure about the requirements of a specific piece of work.
Don’t be afraid to ask
You may encounter different classifications, or courses that don’t use exactly the same boundaries. If you need help understanding the exact requirements of your course, contact your tutor for clarification.
When you’ve had your work returned to you, remember to look at the feedback to see where you could improve – this will give you the best chance of achieving a better grade in the future.
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This article about how the UK university grading system was updated by the Great British Mag content team on 5 September, 2019
The UK grading system is not terribly different to the grading systems in China , India, USA or the EU. The top grades go to the people who excel and get very high percentages and the pass grades are given to anyone who manages to achieve the minimum grade percentage required. But that is where the similarities end.
Whereas other systems use the alphabet to demonstrate the achievements of the student, the UK system uses a class grade order. This system dates all the way back to the invention of the university itself and reflects the archetype of the British class system .
The UK grading system:
First (1 st ): The best grade you can get. The student has got higher than 70% on their course or assignment. An almost perfect piece of work. You should be very happy with it. The markers definitely were…
2:1 (upper second class): Student achieved between 60%-69%. The work was at a very good level, but there was still room for improvement. Kick back, smile and relax. You’ve done a good job! You will need to get a 2:1 or higher if you’re planning on staying on for a masters or post-graduate degree.
2:2 (lower second class): If you got 50%-59% on a course or assignment, then you have this grade. Even though it is not a perfect score it is still very good. You should still be happy about getting this mark.
Third: If you get between 45%-49%, you need to start thinking about where you went wrong. It’s not the worst mark, but perhaps some tutoring might help next time.
Ordinary degree: The absolute minimum you need to pass the course. Getting between 40%-44% is not where you want to be. You should definitely seek out some extra help if you want to do more than scrape by. Or maybe cut down on the time spent in the pub…
Fail: Anything below 40% constitutes failure. Sorry, but you will need to take the course again to pass.
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How to Prepare for your First University Assignment | The Study Guide
17 Dec 2021
Moving to university is a massive step in your life. It will shape your first few years as an adult, propel you into the unknown and help you grow up, learn vital skills that will stand you in good stead for your future, and help you build a career.
There are certain ways in which your GCSEs and A-Levels are formatted, and you’ll have become accustomed to how best to write essays in your school years to get the best results.
All of this now goes out of the window when you enter university and you’ll be taking on coursework and exams that are the next level up from anything you’ve encountered before.
That’s not to say you should be worried though. As your first university assignment approaches there are some clear and effective ways that you can approach it.
We’ve put together some helpful hints as to how you can best prepare for your first university assignments. If you are clever with your approach, hardworking and determined to succeed, you’ll do well at university life.
1. Attend All Your Lectures And Seminars
You are attending university to learn, and your lectures and seminars are there for you to take on board all the information and expertise that your tutors will pass on to you.
You might find that it is a struggle to get out of bed on a daily basis and go to university after you’ve been partying hard during freshers’ week and getting to know new friends.
It is vital though that you get into the habit and that you attend everything. There are times you might not be able to attend, but always let your tutors know and try to get access to notes from those you will miss.
The more information you take on board, the better your knowledge and assignments will be.
2. Plan Carefully And Be Prepared
The first thing to consider with any university assignment is that the best way to do well is to be as fully prepared as possible.
Take the time to plan carefully and methodically. It is perfectly ok to take as much time as you need to look over the details of the assignment and to plan accordingly.
Look at the criteria of the assignment, write down a list of all your ideas relating to the specifics of the assignment and think about what questions you need to ask and what the purpose and end result of the assignment is.
Writing a plan at this point will help you when it comes time to write and complete the assignment.
3. Research Thoroughly
This is the phase of a university assignment that takes the longest, but it can be truly fulfilling and will help you learn key research skills that will help throughout the cycle of your university course and beyond into your post-graduate life.
If you are unsure about the types of sources that you need, take the time to speak to your tutors and ask the university library for help in finding them.
At this point, you should take as many detailed notes as possible, before working through and bringing the puzzle together.
4. Using Academic Journals
One of the best ways to improve your referencing and research is to understand how to effectively use academic journals, rather than relying on Wikipedia and other easy to find Internet sources.
Using peer-reviewed journals and books is the best way to enhance your university assignments and make sure your thoughts and opinions are based on a solid foundation of academic research.
Journals are found in university libraries in both physical and digital form.
5. Write A Draft
Your first draft of any university assignment is important, as it is the first chance you get to try and bring together your research, notes and knowledge to try and get to that end point you’d written about in your plan.
Put together a draft that is in some semblance of working order, but at this point you don’t have to worry about your spelling and grammar being perfect, just make sure you have a general draft written that follows the specific guidelines of your course.
This is the point where you need to schedule in a big chunk of time to look through your first draft and figure out what works, what doesn’t, tweak and amend things, delete, and add sections where necessary and then finally, proofread.
At this point you are tightening everything up into a clear university assignment that is ready to hand in.
7. Understand How To Reference
This is one of the biggest changes you’ll encounter between school learning and university learning.
Your first university assignment is where you’ll learn how to reference for the first time. It is an essential part of almost every single course at university, and you’ll find that your tutors will bring it into lectures and seminars early on in your time at university to ensure you get to grips with it as quickly as possible.
There are different referencing guides and systems depending on which university and course you are studying, so always make sure you understand what is expected of you and always ask questions of your tutor and other students to make sure you are doing things the right way.
There is no shame in asking for help.
8. Lay A Marker Down
Think of your first university assignment as your first marker for the year ahead. In your first year of university, you generally only need to get a passing grade to go through to the second year.
After that, your grades will go towards your final degree classification. This takes the pressure off the first year in some ways, but it also gives you a chance to hone your skills and your first university assignment is a chance to see where you are right now and to work out where you need to improve with future assignments.
You can use this first assignment as a template and a marker to look back on in future and to see how far you have come.
As you can see, there are some clear steps that you can take to ensure that you are fully prepared for your first university assignment . Be fully involved with your lectures and seminars, utilise the university library to find journals and other academic sources, ask about referencing and what you need to do, and always have a plan of action and thorough research to back up your first draft. You’ll get there, we have faith in you to work hard and get results with your university assignments, whatever course you are studying.
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How does the uk university grading system work.
Whether you’re already studying or are about to, it is important to understand how the UK university grading system works.
When it comes to studying an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the UK, grading systems vary. Whether you’re about to start your degree, or you are close to the third year of your course, it’s important to understand how your final grade will be calculated. Luckily, it’s easy to understand.
University grading: degree classifications explained
Universities in the UK follow a standard grading system for degree classifications based on the overall percentage achieved. The four university grade boundaries are:
- First-Class Honours (1st) (70% and above): Exceptional academic performance
- Upper Second-Class Honours (2:1) (60-70%): Strong performance, most common degree class
- Lower Second-Class Honours (2:2) (50-60%): Satisfactory performance, widely accepted by employers
- Third-Class Honours (3rd) (40-50%): Minimum passing grade for an honours degree
What is the postgraduate grading system in the UK?
The British postgraduate grading system differs quite a bit from the undergraduate one. Depending on whether you are undergoing an Integrated Masters Degree or a Standalone Masters Degree the grading system will differ. Like undergraduate, Masters Degrees are graded by creating a weighted average, combining all your module results from the year(s).
An integrated masters is one which follows directly from an undergraduate course. Common in Science degrees, where you apply for a four year course. In your second year you will be able to choose to either complete a Bsc (Bachelor of Science) or follow the path to achieve an MChem (Masters in Chemistry) etc. Integrated Masters degrees are graded the same as undergraduate degrees.
Standalone Masters include Masters Degrees by Research and Taught Masters Degrees. Masters degrees by research commonly referred to as MRes or MPhil are focused more on individual research skills with less taught modules. These degrees are usually graded as a pass or a fail.
Taught Masters degrees require a total of 180 credits. These credits are split between assignments, assessments and a dissertation or final project. Each module will have a certain amount of credits attached. For example, you may have single modules weighted at 15 credits, double modules (that span over two semesters) at 30 credits and a dissertation weighted at 60 credits. As taught, Masters Degrees are typically only a year long, every module counts to your final grade.
Instead of a First, Upper Second, Lower Second and Third, there are only three grade classifications for a Masters Degree. These are Distinction, Merit and Pass. The boundaries for these may vary depending on your university, however the common boundaries are shown below.
- Distinction: much like a First at undergraduate level, a Distinction is awarded when you achieve a percentage grade of 70% and above.
- Merit: you’ll be awarded a Merit if you achieve a grade average between 60-69%.
- Pass: a pass is awarded when you receive a grade average between 50-59%.
- Fail: If you do not receive at the minimum an average of 50%, the Masters qualification is not awarded. If you do think you are heading towards failing, try not to stress. You can speak with your module leaders about retaking any assignments or examinations to bump up your grade.
What can I do if I think I am going to fail my degree?
If you feel as if you are heading towards failing your undergraduate or postgraduate degree try not to panic. Easier said than done but you do have plenty of options.
As an undergraduate, you have three or four years to make up the credits you need to pass your course. Therefore, you are able to retake any modules you have failed in other years. For example, if you fail a Film module in first year, you can retake this module in your second year. If you fail numerous modules you are able to retake the entire year.
Another option is to retake any failed assignments or examinations throughout the year. This is easily done through referral or deferral assessments. Referral assessments are like resits, whilst deferrals allow students to postpone any assessments or extend any coursework deadlines. To qualify for a deferral you will need to prove that your performance has been affected by a personal circumstance (e.g. medical condition). To be granted a deferral you will need to fill out an application. Referrals and deferrals can be implemented at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Finally, if you feel as if your grade is an unfair reflection on your work you can submit an appeal. If you do this, your mark will be re-marked or looked back over by an examination board or your lecturers. Simply speak with your lecturers if this is something you would like to do.
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Doing Your First University Assignment: 5 Things to Remember
Between moving away from home, meeting your new best friends and getting far too drunk at Freshers’, it can be easy to forget that you’re at university for three years of hard studying. Your first university assignment can be daunting, so take a look at our 5 tips to get you started:
1. Learn how to reference
Referencing will be completely new to almost all students, but it is an essential part of most courses. The majority of tutors will introduce referencing early, as the longer you leave it the harder your second and third years will be. There are different referencing systems, so make sure you know which is preferred by your tutor/university. You can buy referencing guides, loan them from the library, or use online guides. Referencing can be tricky at first, so make sure you ask your tutor or fellow students and get all the help you can.
2. Learn how to use academic journals
Forget Sparknotes and Wikipedia, attaining good grades at university will depend on you using peer-reviewed journals, as well as tonnes of books. Journals are available in libraries, usually as both hard and digital copies, and in digital libraries such as Jstor. Make sure you get to grips with how to use digital catalogues, and receive advice from your tutors on the journals most relevant to your subject.
3. Try to attend everything!
This is perhaps the hardest task, particularly after two weeks of Freshers’. Despite most students living just minutes away from their classes, hangovers/laziness/Netflix are serious threats to your attendance. However, you won’t get the grades you want if you don’t put the effort in. So set an alarm, brew some coffee and get to class. Tutors are generally very supportive, so if you know in advance that you’re going to miss a lecture or seminar drop them an email and they will help you catch up. Also, check if any of your lectures are recorded, as this can be a great resource to use when writing your assignment.
4. Use it as a marker
For the majority of courses and universities, students only have to pass the first year as it does not count towards the degree. However, this is not a free pass! Many students who put minimal effort into their first year realise that they actually have no idea what level they are at once it gets to crunch time. To avoid this, try you best with your first assignments, and if you can, use it to challenge yourself. That way, you can go into your second and third years knowing your strengths and weaknesses and how much you need to improve.
5. Get involved in seminars
People can avoid contributing to discussions in seminars and lectures for different reasons, from shyness to not having completed the reading. University classes are much more relaxed than at school, so it’s important you make sure you get involved. Discussing your ideas with your classmates and tutors is a great way to develop your knowledge and add insights to the assignment you’re writing. It’s also a nice break away from books and will help you get to know people on your course, so get stuck in!
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Undergraduate Grading System in the UK: How does it work?
Published by Silvia Bravo — 2 years ago
I went on Erasmus to Cardiff last year. It was my first time studying abroad and I wasn’t sure about how things would work or how UK universities ran.
Countless questions were bugging me and among them, one was always at the back of my mind: would grades be that different from my home university?
Before looking into the matter, I have to say that I’d always taken for granted that grades at university would be somewhat similar to the ones in high school, that is (a*, a, b, c & so on). I couldn’t be more wrong .
Imagine the look on my face when I got a 72 on my first assignment and I thought I got a b. Since the grading system is from 0 to 100 , I was sure that I got a b (in Spain that would be a notable). I checked the answers and almost all of them were correct, so why a 72 then?
Because * drumroll* in the UK a 70 or above is considered a first , which means that you did pretty well.
So let’s get everything straight :
Even though 70% and 80% are both considered a first*, there's a slight difference:
+80% → outstanding (a+)
70-79% → excellent (a)
+70% : it’s basically an a (sobresaliente in Spain). It’s important for me to point out as well that if you get an 80 when studying a BA, that means that your work/essay/report/dissertation or whatever is deemed publishable . Getting an 80 , or even above 70 is hard, ain’t gonna lie, but that’s one of the things i love about UK universities. If you work, if you do your research, if you back up your arguments logically, it will all pay off.
60-69% : it’s also called a 2:1 ( upper second ), which is a pretty decent mark → ( b )
50-59% : or 2:2 ( lower second ). It’s not bad, perhaps nothing to write home about. ( competent ) → ( c )
40-49% : third. You are close to failing so you need to step up your game or you will have to take a re-sit exam. This is the lowest qualification you can get in your undergraduate degree course and it's something you should not necessarily aim for at university. ( sufficient ) → ( d )
below 40% : you didn’t pass the subject . (unsatisfactory)
30-39 →( e )
0-29 → ( f )
Basically, just get a 40 and you’ll pass a subject, how cool is that? Make sure to check the conversion though , because your home university might not be that generous. Each university has its own grading policies .
If you’re going to study in the UK, don’t be bummed out if you don't score 100%, especially when it comes to a BA (Bachelor of Arts).
To recap what I’ve said before, it’s incredibly hard to get a first, let alone manage to get one in Arts and Humanities degrees. This is because these degrees are marked like academic papers and an 80 or above means that your work is publishable.
On the other hand, if you are doing science, it’s “ easier ” to score 100% in an exam. One of my friends was studying medicine and he managed to get marks above 80% (in Humanities that would be almost impossible). That does not mean that his subjects were easy-peasy, just that the examination was different .
For example, to clear this up, imagine that you take a chemistry exam at uni and you get all your answers right. You will not have a 70/80 %, but 100% because :
First off, it’s a BS (Bachelor of Science), and not a BA.
The exam is different and the grading changes accordingly.
In a BA, top-notch essays will get a 70/80 (or above) because they are marked like academic papers and that means that if u get an 80 or above, it is publishable. As far as I’m concerned, that does not happen in a BS.
Just for the record, I am explaining how the grading works with my experience at Cardiff uni as the basis and with information about this that I read up on. The grading should be the same in all UK universities, but check just to be sure .
First* → also referred to as first-class degree . It's the highest academic achievement in UK universities. In order to be awarded a first, your academic score or average grade must be at least 70%.
"A stitch in time saves nine"
Check the conversion tables too, because knowing the equivalent grades at your home university is extremely important. I’m saying home university and not a country because: Yeah, your home uni should give you the same grades that are in the conversion tables (grade-country). But to be honest, I think that you had hit the jackpot if they do that. I must be sounding like a broken record at this point but when it comes to grade conversion , each university has its own grading policies . Your converted grades might be different from the ones at your host university abroad.
This is a bit of a downer, but sometimes they mark you down and you’ll lose some points when the conversion is done. I don’t know why they don’t stick to the conversion tables. It’s over my head. However, in other countries, it's the other way around: one of my friends got a 70 and her university gave her a 29 (a/excellent), which is actually higher than a "notable" in Spain.
Word to the wise, email your home university / Erasmus coordinator and know beforehand (we don’t want any last-minute surprises) how they will mark you.
In Spain, it seems that grades do change from one university to another. I met different Spanish students and some of them told me that a 70 (according to their universities) was a notable/b (shook).
Ask your home university about the conversion because the conclusion I drew from this is that they’ll do whatever they want in the end. So check how they will grade you . I can’t stress this enough.
As I see it, whatever your grades end up being at your home university, the ones you got at your host university are the ones that truly matter . You studied there, you did the exams there, and if you got awesome marks let me tell you that all the effort and time that you put into it won’t go down the drain . Speaking from experience, I’m beyond grateful for this chance to study abroad and for everything that I’ve learned this year. Enjoy your Erasmus and don’t go beating yourself up if you don’t get the grades you wanted. Doing your best is more than enough .
If you happen to read this, I hope that you've found it useful. Drop me a message if you still have questions.
Content available in other languages
- Español: Sistema de calificaciones de grado en el Reino Unido: ¿cómo funciona?
- Français: Licence au Royaume-Uni : comment fonctionne le système de notation ?
- Italiano: Come funziona il sistema di valutazione accademico nel Regno Unito?
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