Throughout the first year, others will tell you “come on, let’s go out, it’s not like first year matters anyway”, but is this really true? What’s the point in first year if it doesn’t count? Here’s what you need to know:

First year (in general) doesn’t count towards your degree classification, but you do have to pass (often 40%+) in order to continue to second year. However, later opportunities only consider the best students, so your weak first year performance may count against you. Always check with your course before slacking!

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What’s the point if it doesn’t count?

First year, in most cases, DOESN’T count towards your final degree accreditation, however it’s a tool used to:

  1. Get every student to the same basic knowledge level, so harder topics can then be taught easier in later years.
  2. Shock the system into the difficulty of university after your A2/AS/IB/BTEC assessments.

There is a large step up from first year to second year, and it’s best to get used to it early on.

I flew through A-Level and my course isn’t that hard, so should I take it easy?

Probably not. First year gets you into that studying frame of mind, but if you’re a high achieving student who can easily reach it, there are other reasons for caring. Later on at university you can get internships, industrial placements and opportunities to study abroad. If hundreds at your university are fighting for these places, someone with 80%+ in all years is more attractive on paper than you.

So should I stress in first year? It clearly counts for something!

First year is a step up from college or 6th form, and it’s definitely natural to stress out of deadlines and exams. However, not that many people drop out from first to second year as you only really have to pass. Lots of people decide to take it easier, not pushing for perfect scores but still perfecting their revision methods in a new learning atmosphere.

More Information:

What to do when you get to university

Times Higher Education: Why first year matters.

The Guardian: First year matters for good students


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