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Value of a first class

  1. Sep 16, 2010 #1
    At the moment, I'm studying Physics.
    Let's say that in my first year I have scored 89%.
    How many students on average would get that score?
    Does that result mean that I am on track for receiving offers of admission at MIT, Princeton...for graduate studies, given I keep getting such results in my later years?
    How likely is it anyway that a student keeps getting such a score in his second and third year?

    And would such a result, by itself, (w/o any extra-curricular activities) be sufficient to secure internships or work placements at big companies?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2010 #2

    No.. but maybe yes.


    See answer for the second question.

    Seriously though, what kind of questions are these? We can't tell you the future. I'm pretty your school would have statistics on the grades for students in your program. The career center should have stats on the job placement as well, maybe even specific companies if you read a newsletter of Alumni. For the grad school question, I always recommend http://www.physicsgre.com/viewforum.php?f=3

    That site should give you an idea of what is needed to get into those schools. It's actual evidence of people who made it into those top schools. Good luck.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2011
  4. Sep 16, 2010 #3
    nicely done.
  5. Sep 17, 2010 #4
    The stats in my old department had around 20-30% of students receiving a first class degree. A first class degree is obviously good, it's the best you can get - but a lot of other people will have them as well. And, the undergraduate university holds a little less weight than you probably expect - though Imperial is top class, you'll still be competing with students from 'lower' ranked universities.

    Well, it means you aren't off track.. Also, grad school doesn't work like undergrad does - MIT/Princeton/Cambridge etc etc are good at some things and non-existent in others. The university you choose will depend on what you're interested in, not on the name.

    How likely is it anyway that a student keeps getting such a score in his second and third year?

    Maybe. It also depends on how good you are with interviews and selling yourself. You shouldn't think of it like this at undergraduate. Don't make too much of a plan - your goal should be to get the best you can of your undergraduate education. If you want to go for extracurricular activities, go for it. If you want to take summer research projects because you're interested in learning more, then go for it. Both will look good on a CV but, more importantly, will actually be a good experience for you to learn an develop from.

    Undergrads these days worry too much about how things look to employers rather than actually considering what they, themselves, are getting from these experiences. They are two sides to the same coin - consider the value to yourself as an individual and you'll see why employers like it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2011
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