随身英语

Getting a 'first' 如何拿到英国大学的“一等学士学位”

获得一等学士学位是对英国大学毕业生最高的学术肯定。想得到 a first-class degree “一等学士学位”难吗?《随身英语》讨论如何在毕业时获得英国大学颁发的最高等级的学位。

课文内容

Vocabulary: education 词汇: 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!

词汇表

first-class degree 一等成绩
easier said than done 说比做容易
assignment 作业,任务
top-notch 一流的
qualification 资格证书,资历
attainable 可实现的,可获得的
soar 猛增
2:2 (英国本科毕业)二级乙等学士学位
Russell Group 罗素大学集团
creative arts 创意艺术
Royal Academy of Music 英国皇家音乐学院
hard graft 繁重的学业
application 入学申请
prospectus (学校的)简介
deny 拒绝承认
graduate 毕业生,大学毕业生
sacrifice 牺牲
sociology 社会学
valid 让人信服的
software engineering 软件工程
the university of life 生活经历

测验与练习

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

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. 请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

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. 阅读课文并回答问题。

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. 请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处 

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.