First degree: weighting of second and third years

(26 Posts)
senua Sat 27-Jun-15 19:00:22

DS is finishing his second year at University. He is awaiting results but expects marks to be the same as usual i.e. mid-to-high 60s, perhaps low 70s. He says that he would like to get a First. He told me that they give students an option: either have second and third year equally weighted (50/50) or give more weighting to third year (70/30 iirc).

Is there any risk in going for the 70/30 option? He is doing a Humanity so I can't see that there will be any danger of a sudden leap in difficulty or failure to grasp concepts. Any comments?

OP’s posts: |
GinUpGirl Sun 28-Jun-15 10:29:53

I've never heard of the weighting options before - how interesting!

In my experience the third year weighting is a good thing. I'd honed my craft my then, and was much better placed to score highly. The fact that I'd not been well in second year didn't matter so much.

Molio Sun 28-Jun-15 10:53:09

Third year I'd say.

titchy Sun 28-Jun-15 13:21:44

Am surprised they can choose tbh. Equally if the regs allow either am not sure why they ask students to decide in advance - could be grounds for appeal if they opt for say 50:50 and get a 2:2, but 70:30 would have given them a 2:1.

However, academic consensus is that there is a factor known as exit velocity which means students tend to do better on third year modules, so 70:30 would be a better choice, not guaranteed obviously.

moab Sun 28-Jun-15 13:22:11

Go for the 70.30. My degree was 75.25 and I only got mid 60s in second year but ended up with a high first because of the weighting in third year

titchy Sun 28-Jun-15 13:26:07

Actually thinking about that's ridiculous. Two students with identical modules, identical marks in those modules, one gets a 1st the other a 2:1. What university if you don't mind me asking - I can't believe they let this regulation through.

annandale Sun 28-Jun-15 13:29:46

Blimey sounds like the Price is Right rather than a university... but if he's looking at a low second this year, he needs to go for the heavier weighting in the third year, surely?

Does he know what he needs to do to get a first? Is there any way he can do less paid work, get some advice on his weaker modules, dissertation choice, anything like that? I went wildly over-ambitious on my dissertation in termso f gathering data and so on, partly because I wanted practice in those techniques. I missed out on a first by a couple of marks in the dissertation where if I'd used data that had already been collected, I could have spent more time on the analysis etc. No regrets on what I did but if a first at all costs is his aim, he should get as tactical as possible.


Golfhotelromeofoxtrot Sun 28-Jun-15 13:57:11

I got low 70s and high 60s in my second year and then had a terrible third year where I had huge personal problems that massively impacted upon my work. I was lucky to still get a 2:1. 70/30 is a gamble, I would go for 50/50.

Molio Sun 28-Jun-15 15:13:28

Annandale I think OP's DC is hoping for anywhere between a mid to high second or even a first this year.

Is this common, choosing the weighting? My eldest three DC took all their final exams in their third year. There seem to be so many different approaches now but I have to say 'exit velocity' can be damped down by the sheer workload and feat of memory and stamina required to do nine three hour exams in about the same number of days. On the other hand the DC in question do say there's an advantage in maturity and being able to link subject knowledge if all exams are taken in the third year, which presumably is a benefit even if only some exams are taken in the third year - the additional knowledge is still there. I'd say it was a good gamble going for the higher weighting later on.

Kez100 Sun 28-Jun-15 20:21:02

Does he really have to choose or is it the best outcome of the two when he finishes third year?

jorahmormont Sun 28-Jun-15 23:03:34

I was relieved mine was 70/30. I got a solid 2:1 for second year and a low-ish first for third year. Thanks to the 70/30 I'm graduating with a first smile

senua Mon 29-Jun-15 10:39:32

Thanks all. After your comments it did occur to me that DS might have got hold of the wrong end of the stick so I have been trying to google the regulations. Finally found them!
It says that the classification is decided by the "better of" the two options so (a) DS doesn't have to decide and (b) it's a no-lose situation. Gold star to titchy.grin

OP’s posts: |
titchy Mon 29-Jun-15 10:49:34


senua Mon 29-Jun-15 10:50:13

Sorry, gold star to kez too.

OP’s posts: |
Kez100 Mon 29-Jun-15 20:09:58

smile thanks! It just didn't seem equitable any other way.

catlovingdoctor Mon 29-Jun-15 20:12:55

At my uni you have two calculations made: 30:70 (for 2nd and 3rd year respectively) and 20:80. Whichever gives the highest mark is used to determine degree classification. Which is handy because this year has been shit for me but next year looks lots better grin

UptheChimney Tue 30-Jun-15 16:06:29

After your comments it did occur to me that DS might have got hold of the wrong end of the stick so I have been trying to google the regulations. Finally found them!
It says that the classification is decided by the "better of" the two options so (a) DS doesn't have to decide and (b) it's a no-lose situation.

Glad you posted this. I was wondering where was the university which was bonkers enough to give students this choice ...

Oh the potential for appeals from the snowflake-like undergrads. "I didn't know..." "I couldn't read the regs ..." "Nobody told me" nightmares of whining students

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Tue 30-Jun-15 16:41:12

Yes, I could hear the hypothetical cries of 'But it's not FAIIIIIRRRRRRRRR!' very vividly!

UptheChimney Tue 30-Jun-15 16:58:09

Glad it's not just me ... grin

merlehaggard Thu 02-Jul-15 16:56:00

My DD uni course was weighted 30% 2nd year and 70% first year for law. They were told that that they will get their best marks in third year as they will get better at exams/essays/problem questions/studying as the years go on. Her marks did go up significantly between year 1 and 2 and went up a bit between 2 and 3. I would go 30/70.

merlehaggard Thu 02-Jul-15 16:56:44

Glad she doesn't have to choose!

TriJo Thu 02-Jul-15 17:01:07

For us it was either 20/80 3rd/4th year (I went to uni in Ireland) or else 100% 4th year, and you got whichever one gave you a better result. Worked well for me because I barely passed 3rd year - 25 contact hours plus working 30 hours plus a 90 minute commute each way made it a real struggle. Took a year out to work after that and saved enough money not to have to work part-time in final year...

eatyourveg Thu 02-Jul-15 17:50:24

Do many universities operate a better of two options system?
ds's degree is 10/30/60 have just got his second year results through so trying to work out what he needs to get next year for an overall first.

Bunnyjo Sun 05-Jul-15 21:50:04

Wow, I am surprised that Universities allow students to almost have a second chance...

At my University for 3 year degrees the second and third are the 'Honours' years and are weighted as 1/3 and 2/3 of the degree classification respectively.

I am finishing second year with a good first and I only hope I can continue that in the final year!

MayPolist Tue 07-Jul-15 13:09:29

Yes.My DS has justb told me this is the case with his degree, which is a good job because he hasn't worked so hard this year and his grades have dropped below 'first' level .

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