Just a quick warning, this is a very detailed rant, couldn't think where to offload it.
I just received my undergraduate results and I’ve got a 2:1 (in English Literature and Creative Writing) but I’m a little bit disappointed with it. Some of you may know I did a year abroad in America at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After delving into my transcript, I found that my American grades translated back rather fishily. Over two semesters I got 1 A, 6 A-s and 1 B. I was led to believe (out there and also told at my home university) that this was very good. But the transcript reveals that not even my straight A (the maximum achievable grade, there are no A+ given) translated back as a 1st (i.e. 70% of a module). This also meant that my A-s translated quite a bit lower than I was led to believe, I was expecting them to be reasonably close to 1sts. It seems to be that this ‘translation call’ probably has made the difference between me getting a 1st in my degree overall, and the 2:1 I have received. This year I did very well. I’ve worked out that I was basically a few marks from the boundary between 2:1 and 1.
The most irritating thing is, there is only two weeks for me to do anything about it. I never had access to my translated grades until now, I had nothing to base myself on this year. All in all, I feel kind of hard done by. It’s really soured what should be a great day for me. I would be really happy with a 2:1 if that was what I earned. But I can’t help feeling I’ve been undercut; now instead of relaxing I have to spend the next few weeks emailing people, writing up my case for a formal appeal, battling it out against admins. I was told when I did my year abroad that it would not have a negative effect on my marks, I can’t imagine my life without that experience but considering how this has turned out, I think I’d have to discourage other people doing the same. Hell, I may well have to go my graduation and pick up a diploma that I’m still contesting. I’ve spoken to several people from my university and they all seem to think I have a good case (they can’t explain why an A hasn’t come back as a 1st and have admitted that seriously compromises things considering all the A-s I got in America), but apparently degrees are rarely altered in this situation. It’s heart in mouth time. Just when I thought it was all bloody over. Fuck paying for this shit. Maybe I’ll just move to the US and never pay off my student loan.
Having said that, I am thankful I have a decent degree. But I have to find out about this, otherwise I'll always be wondering.
Comment on The Strat Man's blog entry
I got a 2:1 and missed a first by like 2% and felt that I should of got a 1st in two of my honors this semester (fucking group work).I'm in a different boat. I started work before I got my degree and now my degree feels useless, I didn't even enjoy my course all that much (friends were brilliant) and it didn't feel like a 'uni' degree in the end and is almost irrelevant.
I would fight for that grade for grade if you can, but don't let it kill you. At the end of the day remember it's just a number, don't get too stressed out.
What type of job are you looking for in the end? You'll realise once you start work how little your degree matters. I would follow Ross Baron (Emap - where I work) as he has tonnes of stuff that he puts up on a daily basis in the publishing industry. Follow me also and I'll pass your details around.
In all honesty, it's the 2.1 that separates out everyone grade wise, so don't be too worried, it's difficult enough to get a job - which is what I would be focusing on now.
Thanks Echoes, yeah it's not the end of the world but I'm going to give it ago - I obviously want the best degree possible (if I earn it). I'm fairly lucky that my parents both work in academics, so they understand what grounds the appeal can be made on. Then whatever happens happens.
I had a lot of friends doing subjects with group work, it always baffled me how the marking worked. It was always hell when they were trying to get things together.