Getting a ‘first’ 如何拿到英國大學的“一等學士學位”

Getting top marks. Is it getting easier to get a top degree or does it still require hard work?
First class!

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獲得一等學士學位是對英國大學畢業生最高的學術肯定。想得到 a first-class degree “一等學士學位”難嗎?《隨身英語》討論如何在畢業時獲得英國大學頒發的最高等級的學位。

課文內容

Vocabulary: education 詞彙: 教育

Our parents always tell us that if we work hard, we will do well. If you’re studying at university this ultimately means passing your exams and achieving a first-class degree. Easier said than done! So if you’re struggling to complete that final assignment or feel your revision is going nowhere, how will you believe that getting a top-notch qualification is a real possibility?

I can’t claim to be an expert in this as the grade I achieved in my degree was a little lower than a first! But today, in the UK at least, there are encouraging signs that getting one is a bit more attainable. That’s because the number of first-class degrees being awarded by UK universities is soaring, with firsts now more common than a 2:2. More than a quarter of students received a first in 2015 and 2016 at the UK’s top universities, known as the Russell Group. Among specialist institutions, such as in the creative arts, proportions of firsts are thought to be even higher – such as 64% of students getting firsts at the Royal Academy of Music.

Of course, not everyone thinks this is because of the hard graft that students are putting in. Critics say that universities are handing out higher grades to boost applications and having a first-class degree gives an advantage for future job opportunities – this all looks good on a university prospectus. But there have also been arguments that rising degree grades reflect the improved A-level grades of those entering university and a more focused attention to studying.

But whatever the reason, we mustn’t deny first-class graduates their hard-earned achievement and success. Many have made sacrifices along the way, such as 22 year old Khadijah Lewis, who got a first in history and sociology at Warwick University. She told the BBC’s Newsbeat programme that her course was “tough” but says “Knowing that getting a first is more common than a 2:2 does make me feel like my first isn’t as valid,” she explains, “but also I know that I worked very hard for it, so regardless of how easy or how hard people think it is, I still did it.”

Another student, Sam Gibbins, who got a first in software engineering at Cardiff Metropolitan University said he spent “a lot of nights in the library”. But even though he did well, he says going to university is not just about the grades, he says “You develop so much going to university, and meet so many people, you’re able to understand yourself much better.” Some wise words; it sounds as though he studied at the university of life!

詞彙表

first-class degree 一等成績
easier said than done 說比做容易
assignment 作業,任務
top-notch 一流的
qualification 資格証書,資歷
attainable 可實現的,可獲得的
soar 猛增
2:2 (英國本科畢業)二級乙等學士學位
Russell Group 羅素大學集團
creative arts 創意藝術
Royal Academy of Music 英國皇家音樂學院
hard graft 繁重的學業
application 入學申請
prospectus (學校的)簡介
deny 拒絕承認
graduate 畢業生,大學畢業生
sacrifice 犧牲
sociology 社會學
valid 讓人信服的
software engineering 軟體工程
the university of life 生活經歷

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. In the UK, how common are 2:2 degrees awarded compared with firsts?  

2. Name the main benefit mentioned in the article, of gaining a first-class degree.   

3. What encourages students to choose a particular university and is always mentioned in their prospectus?

4. Which word used in the article, means ‘the scientific study of society, the way that it is organised, and the way that people behave in relation to each other.’

5. True or false: According to one student, going to university is more about the life experience you get than the grade of degree you achieve.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. I think Scotland is great for a holiday: It’s got isolated bothies, white-sand beaches and ______ surf spots.

notch-top       top-notch       top-knot       notched-top

2. The University of Toronto, one of Canada’s top-ranked universities, has seen interest rising sharply, including a 57% increase in ______ from India.

prospectus       applications       creative arts       soaring

3. The manager said that it had taken a lot of ______ to turn the airport around and improve the environment for passengers.

sacrifices       applications       graduates       hard graft

4. Visitors to the UK need a visa that is ______ for the total duration of their stay.

validating       validate       valid       valued

5. The company director has set out a list of targets that he believes should be ______ by every employee.

attainable       deny       sacrificed       valid

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. In the UK, how common are 2:2 degrees awarded compared with firsts?
Less common. the number of first-class degrees being awarded by UK universities is soaring, with firsts now more common than a 2:2. 

2. Name the main benefit mentioned in the article, of gaining a first-class degree.
Having a first-class degree gives an advantage for future job opportunities.

3. What encourages students to choose a particular university and is always mentioned in their prospectus?
The number of first-class degrees the university awards each year.

4. Which word used in the article, means ‘the scientific study of society, the way that it is organised, and the way that people behave in relation to each other.’
Sociology.

5. True or false: According to one student, going to university is more about the life experience you get than the grade of degree you achieve.
False. According to student Sam Gibbins, going to university is a life experience but it’s not more important than getting your degree.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處 

1. I think Scotland is great for a holiday: It’s got isolated bothies, white-sand beaches and top-notch surf spots.

2. The University of Toronto, one of Canada’s top-ranked universities, has seen interest rising sharply, including a 57% increase in applications from India. 

3. The manager said that it had taken a lot of hard graft to turn the airport around and  improve the environment for passengers.

4. Visitors to the UK need a visa that is valid for the total duration of their stay.

5. The route to becoming obese is overeating: there’s no doubt about it.

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