Uzique The Lesser wrote:'pass mark as 40%' shows a woeful lack of understanding about the way universities are marked in the UK. it's not "40% correct", that 40 represents a marker of quality. it's hard to explain how it's calculated, because it's all separate to each institution/department, but basically a 60 is considered a 'good mark' (good enough to get you onto most prestigious graduate job courses). so therefore you could phrase it that "a 60% is a joke", but it really isn't. seldom will a university student - especially in history - ever get above a 72-75. so you judging the university pass-mark as "40%" and concluding that "it's as easy as GCSE's" is really piss-poor tbh. the assumption in humanities courses is that even an 80% is 'unattainable' (75%+ implies publishable quality, like, proper academic work quality, as opposed to a student 'attempt'). it's not exactly a straight '40% (out of 100%) to pass'.
and what would you have if you had gone to do a history degree instead of work in construction? does that really have to be answered? you'd have a history degree, nourishment in a subject you enjoy... and, provided you went to a good enough uni, a history degree opens plenty of doors in the UK. you seem very misguided and not very aware of the subject - perhaps because of your background, as you said. i have many friends who took history degrees who are now all making £25-30k a year doing pretty cushty graduate jobs. the "what is it worth?" or "what use will that degree be to me?" question normally comes from people who don't understand how degrees transfer into work. in the UK you can pretty much get an academic degree in whatever subject you want, so long as it is 'respected' and the university is 'prestigious'. that will get you onto loads of graduate schemes in-itself. after that, your actual degree subject matters less and less, because THEN, and properly THEN, after your university studies, do you start learning 'job skills' and the desired's of your career.
i feel sorry that you missed out on 3-4 years to study something you were interested in. perhaps if you had listened to your advisers you could now be having your cake and eating it.
Why is university marked completely different to A levels? I had several of my exams returned at 100% for A level as I was deemed to be working above the standard required by the paper. Yet in degree course this is never going to be true. As you say 60% is a good mark.....it frustrates me when I have papers returned at 60% because I feel like I have left 40% of the marks on the table. If you get everything right you should get 100%, it doesnt need to be the perfect response as written by jesus, you just need to meet (and maybe exceed) the brief.
Sure I would have liked to do history but to be honest I had enough of being moaned at in class for asking questions about things that wont come up in the exam, i.e. why are you wasting are time asking about that. My education was very much exam preparation rather than imparting knowledge through exploration of a subject.
Im not judging the course by its passmark to make it as easy as GCSE, im referring to the content. When I started my current course it felt like university for people who were to thick to get onto a proper course. In my second year we had a 3 hour lecture on beam calculations. Sounds tough huh. The long and short was you had to times three numbers together. The lecturer even wrote on the board what buttons we needed to press on our calculators so that we could do it. By the end of the 3 hours there were still people that couldn't work it out. I have an A level in physics and now for my degree we are slowly being introduced to the idea of multiplication. This is why I state that the qualification should not be a degree.
I already earn £25-30k a year and I didn't have to spend a years salary on getting a degree. Plus I am still apprentice/assistant so should be going up a whole bunch over the next couple of years as I complete my professional qualifications. I now have 5 years experience doing the job and have a large chunk of responsibility because I have demonstrated my worth.
Yeah in an ideal world I would have taken up the history degree, but in this one I would have been frustrated with the content, pissed off with the weird marking and then finished back at square one to join the hordes of other graduates with a degree that does not translate to the workplace.