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  #61  
Old 05-05-2012, 04:55 PM
Abnormal Abnormal is offline
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Yes - I learned a few secret patterns in my day - ALL of the answers were between (a) and (e), and usually distributed roughly evenly (at least over a large enough sample of tests) AND, generally speaking, only ONE of the answers was correct!

I can tell you, I started doing a lot better when I figured that all out.

Chuck
You missed the most important point. Only one of them was correct (at least according to the examiners).
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  #62  
Old 05-06-2012, 01:13 AM
george24 george24 is offline
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60% in a course in the UK is roughly a B in that course. A B in a UK course is equivalent to an A- in the US.
and I suppose you have taken courses at multiple universities in both locales?

Outside of a very few stodgy universities, nobody cares about UK universities, and so they attract the worst students ... and that is why a 60% earns a B. On the contrary, bright students the world over come to the US to study. I hereby proclaim that a C- in the US is equivalent to a B in the UK.
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  #63  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:20 AM
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764dak 764dak is offline
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Originally Posted by george24 View Post
and I suppose you have taken courses at multiple universities in both locales?

Outside of a very few stodgy universities, nobody cares about UK universities, and so they attract the worst students ... and that is why a 60% earns a B. On the contrary, bright students the world over come to the US to study. I hereby proclaim that a C- in the US is equivalent to a B in the UK.
It turns out a B (60-64) in the UK is a B+ in the US and a B+ (65-69) in the UK is a A- in the US. The reason why a B is only 60 is because they grade harder.

Here's proof:

http://www.wes.org/gradeconversionguide/index.asp

http://www.foreigncredits.com/Resour...de-Conversion/

A person who wants to do graduate studies at a US university their prospective university would refer you to WES so it is valid.

According to your very own US News World's Best University ranking, the US has 15 of the top 25, 20 of the top 50, and 31 of the top 100. The UK has 5 of the top 25, 9 of the top 50, and 19 of the top 100. The US only has a few better universities despite having 5 times the population.

http://www.usnews.com/education/worl...s-in-the-world
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  #64  
Old 05-06-2012, 01:24 PM
Will Durant
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It turns out a B (60-64) in the UK is a B+ in the US and a B+ (65-69) in the UK is a A- in the US.
This is idiotic. As if grading in US universities (or even within a single US university) were monolithic.

At my college, working from memory (but close enough to make my point), in English 1101 and Economics you needed over 90 to get an A. Physics I generally required low- or mid-80s for an A, but I TA'd for one professor who regularly dipped into the 50s for an A in order to keep a reasonable grade distribution. And of course a 50 in Quantum Field Theory is a rare enough occurence that As went down as low as 40.

Multiply that variability by 3000 US universities, and it's patenly obvious that the statement that "X% in the US = y% in the UK" is meaningless drivel.
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  #65  
Old 05-06-2012, 01:25 PM
Unpredictable Unpredictable is offline
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Talking UK vs US vs Rest of World - IA vs CAS vs SOA vs Other Actuarial Organizations

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Originally Posted by 764dak View Post
60% in a course in the UK is roughly a B in that course. A B in a UK course is equivalent to an A- in the US.
A B in the UK can very well be equivalent to an A in the US. A lot depends on what universities you have in mind.

The US has been greatly affected by grade inflation. The UK has been suffering from it too to a lesser degree.

Even before the grade inflation started, getting an A in the UK was more difficult than getting an A in the US. It certainly differs by university even in the same country.

Based on what I know about the current exam process and grading, the SOA represent the typical US system with getting the designation now being much easier than twenty years ago.

Unlike the SOA, the CAS is closer to the UK approach with more stringent requirements but also slipping. The IA has been affected by the SOA-type devaluation of credentials but to a lesser degree. IA in that sense is more similar to the CAS.

Canada is its own story that may decide to go its own way given that the SOA aims to dominate everything.

Other countries that have actuarial organizations are moving in the direction opposite to that of the SOA in making their requirements more stringent. However, for the most part the requirements are so easy to satisfy that this is not much of a change.

The below is from The Guardian a week ago (http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...rade-inflation). I still read The Guardian sometimes.


Exams watchdog plans A-level reforms to curb persistent grade inflation
Ofqual chief says year-on-year grade inflation 'impossible to justify' and outlines plans to make some subjects compulsory
Shiv Malik guardian.co.uk, Sunday 29 April 2012 08.47 EDT

The head of the exams watchdog has signalled wide-ranging reforms to A-levels to tackle claims that examiners have been giving students "the benefit of the doubt", leading to persistent grade inflation.

Glenys Stacey, chief executive of Ofqual, said the body would consult over the summer on proposals to scrap the modular AS structure, to make certain core subjects compulsory for all under-18s, and to introduce multiple choice questions to ensure students were being tested more widely on their knowledge.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Stacey blamed examiners for year-on-year grade inflation, which she said was "impossible to justify".

"If you look at the history, we have seen persistent grade inflation for these key qualifications for at least a decade," she said. "[It] is virtually impossible to justify and it has done more than anything, in my view, to undermine confidence in the value of those qualifications.

"One of the reasons why we see grade inflation, and it is a laudable reason, is that a lot of the time there are very small gains just by giving the benefit of the doubt. But the benefit of the doubt factor has an impact over time. We need to find ways to manage grade inflation."

The remarks are in stark contrast to those made when she was appointed to the job last year by the education secretary, Michael Gove. In May 2011, she told the Times Higher Education supplement: "I don't find 'grade inflation' to be a very helpful expression. 'Inflation' has a negative import, whereas in fact we may be seeing young people being taught well and working hard."

Stacey told the Sunday Telegraph universities found the modular system flawed and unsatisfactory. "We have found that there is a strong and persistent view from universities that the modular approach to A-levels is not achieving what it needs to, that the parts don't add up to the whole," she said.

Stacey added that too much teaching time was being taken up with exam preparation and helping students to resit modules. "There are only so many school hours in a year. When time is spent preparing for modular exams, doing test papers, doing exams, doing resits, where is the time for teaching?

"It is not simply a question of 'well, let's propose we get rid of the January exams', you do need to have regard to the structure of the two-part A-level. The answer may well be different subject by subject."

Earlier this month, it emerged that Gove had written to Ofqual asking for the Russell group of universities to set A-level questions and "drive the system". "I am increasingly concerned that current A-levels, though they have much to commend them, fall short of commanding the level of confidence we would want to see," he wrote.
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  #66  
Old 05-06-2012, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Will Durant View Post
At my college, working from memory (but close enough to make my point), in English 1101 and Economics you needed over 90 to get an A. Physics I generally required low- or mid-80s for an A, but I TA'd for one professor who regularly dipped into the 50s for an A in order to keep a reasonable grade distribution. And of course a 50 in Quantum Field Theory is a rare enough occurence that As went down as low as 40.
Unless there is a way of standardizing tests, the whole x% thing seems incredibly dumb to me. You can make a test on the same material trivially easy or impossibly hard. I've run into both in college.
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  #67  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:07 PM
Unpredictable Unpredictable is offline
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Default UK grade inflation

The Higher Education Statistics Agency reports statistics for the number of degree qualifications obtained each year in the UK as part of their Students in Higher Education Institutions publication. The Students and Qualifiers data tables (which are available free online) show that, for example, 7.7 % of all students who graduated in the academic year 1996/97 achieved first class honours; by 2008/09 this had risen to 14 %.
Based on Study by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in collaboration with statisticians from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Welsh Government (WG), the Scottish Government (SG) and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland (DEL(NI)).
http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php/content/view/1973/239/
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  #68  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:15 PM
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FastAsATurtle FastAsATurtle is offline
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Originally Posted by Will Durant View Post
This is idiotic. As if grading in US universities (or even within a single US university) were monolithic.

At my college, working from memory (but close enough to make my point), in English 1101 and Economics you needed over 90 to get an A. Physics I generally required low- or mid-80s for an A, but I TA'd for one professor who regularly dipped into the 50s for an A in order to keep a reasonable grade distribution. And of course a 50 in Quantum Field Theory is a rare enough occurence that As went down as low as 40.

Multiply that variability by 3000 US universities, and it's patenly obvious that the statement that "X% in the US = y% in the UK" is meaningless drivel.
Think of reading the chart more in terms of distributions of final grades. If at the hypothetical (read: highly simplified for argument's sake) "average" US college:

1) 1/3 of the kids get A's (whether their raw score is 95 or 55),
2) 1/3 get Bs, and
3) 1/3 get Cs,

we should expect to see in the UK:
1) 1/3 getting 65+ (their "B+" and "A")
2) 1/3 getting 50-65 (their "Bs" and "Cs")
etc.

Does difficulty vary widely by school and individual class? Is there a significant grade inflation problem in the US? Of course!

But from studying at decent colleges/universities in both countries and looking at the grades of my colleagues, there does indeed seem to be a slight shift needed to "convert" between the US and UK grading systems, as rough as that conversion may be.
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  #69  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:43 PM
secondlife secondlife is online now
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Let us look content.
UK A.L. grade 12 math= US univ first year math
UK 4th year math/stat = US Masters level
UK PhD in 3 years, if you have first class honours degree, US PhD in 5+years (US watered down undergrad degree requiring many graduate courses before you start research). US there are no dumb students, just bad teachers.

Only grad school require US<=>UK conversion!

A few post ago somebody said CAS exams are like Institute exams; but they get exam exemptions for univ courses and then they recognise Australian system, just like CAS.

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  #70  
Old 05-11-2012, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Durant View Post
This is idiotic. As if grading in US universities (or even within a single US university) were monolithic.

At my college, working from memory (but close enough to make my point), in English 1101 and Economics you needed over 90 to get an A. Physics I generally required low- or mid-80s for an A, but I TA'd for one professor who regularly dipped into the 50s for an A in order to keep a reasonable grade distribution. And of course a 50 in Quantum Field Theory is a rare enough occurence that As went down as low as 40.

Multiply that variability by 3000 US universities, and it's patenly obvious that the statement that "X% in the US = y% in the UK" is meaningless drivel.
I didn't actually say "X% in the US". I only used B+ and A-. I didn't use any percentage figure for the US.
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