Daily Digest London: The low-hanging fruit of UK first class grades

Jeff Hargarten

LONDON – Students from overseas enrolled in classes at United Kingdom schools have experienced slight differences in academic grading levels and policies than what is often found in the United States.

Those shooting for A grades need only to hit the 70-100 percent, or first class in UK schools. Scores in the B range, or second class, fall between 60-69 percent. Students can still pass with a 38-41 percent grade by UK standards.

Those enrolled through Arcadia University and other University of Minnesota approved programs may find themselves having an easier time scoring high grades while studying abroad in London.

The percentages are not always calculated the same way, however. UK instructors and professors often start grading assignments at zero points and add as they go along, as opposed to the reverse usually found in the states. Traditionally, assignment and class grading in the UK is also thought to be more rigorous.

But the UK is also battling its own problems with grade inflation on exams. A study released early this year showed almost two-thirds of undergraduates were awarded first or second class grades (A or B) after five years of increases. There was about a 14 percent rise in first class grades from the previous year.

This phenomenon has prompted officials to propose sweeping overhauls to the system.