Jump to content
JohnP

Undergraduate Programs: mine is harder than yours: The Great Debate

Recommended Posts

On 5/30/2018 at 12:47 AM, theycancallyouhoju said:

@lioness I don't follow. Are you arguing that I'm right and music is another one of those programs that's harder than history? Because if so, I agree. It's a very different kind of challenge than math, even as there are overlaps. But yes, my friends in the music program worked very hard, showed great talent, were very committed and were reviewed harshly. None of those happened to me in philosophy at all. 

I was just riffing! But I suppose I'm saying that there are other degrees that don't fall neatly into the humanities/sciences divide, and that are harder than a simple arts or sciences degree. To address your point, I think that music is definitely harder than history or philosophy are (it involves history and philosophy as well as a lot of other things.) I don't know if it's harder than math or physics, but I think it's possible. 

Edited by lioness
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lioness said:

I was just riffing! But I suppose I'm saying that there are other degrees that don't fall neatly into the humanities/sciences divide, and that are harder than a simple arts or sciences degree. To address your point, I think that music is definitely harder than history or philosophy are (it involves history and philosophy as well as a lot of other things.) I don't know if it's harder than math or physics, but I think it's possible. 

Comparing a music degree to other subjects, in terms of objective difficulty, is well... difficult.  I really couldn't say myself, and I was a music major, who also took pre-med sciences. You are right to note that it does not fall neatly onto one side of any divide.  Advanced music theory and harmony can be pretty math-heavy, and I found many parallels to physics in terms of the abstract nature. It's also one of the only (few?) subjects that uses both right and left brain fairly equally.  

Edited by rebeccius
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Per @Ryn request/direction (is a polite request by a mod akin to a directive? :uriel:) not tainting another thread with this topic so necroing this one. But I came across a 5-year-old U of T Varsity student news article (that also refers to a 2006 study) that appears to have some actual stats that marks at U of T are lower than Ryerson or Carleton:

"...

Even within Canada, U of T’s grades are particularly low. A 2006 study found that students at UTSC got lower grades on average than counterparts at Carleton University or Ryerson University due to marking, not ability. While four per cent of UTSC students reported getting mostly As, 10 per cent of Carleton and Ryerson students reported the same. At UTSC, two-thirds of students reported mostly B-s or less, compared to 55 per cent of Ryerson and Carleton students.

The problem was bad enough that then-President David Naylor instituted an aggressive overhaul of the grading system responding to the concern that U of T students were struggling to get into graduate school at U of T as a factor.

Naylor’s overhaul may well have led to some progress, but it’s happened behind closed doors. U of T doesn’t release average annual grades, or the most common grade, or even the grade distribution...." [emphasis added]

https://thevarsity.ca/2014/11/24/its-time-to-stop-grade-deflation/

EDIT: think @TheAEGIS may be interested also.

Edited by epeeist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, epeeist said:

Per @Ryn request/direction (is a polite request by a mod akin to a directive? :uriel:) not tainting another thread with this topic so necroing this one. But I came across a 5-year-old U of T Varsity student news article (that also refers to a 2006 study) that appears to have some actual stats that marks at U of T are lower than Ryerson or Carleton:

"...

Even within Canada, U of T’s grades are particularly low. A 2006 study found that students at UTSC got lower grades on average than counterparts at Carleton University or Ryerson University due to marking, not ability. While four per cent of UTSC students reported getting mostly As, 10 per cent of Carleton and Ryerson students reported the same. At UTSC, two-thirds of students reported mostly B-s or less, compared to 55 per cent of Ryerson and Carleton students.

The problem was bad enough that then-President David Naylor instituted an aggressive overhaul of the grading system responding to the concern that U of T students were struggling to get into graduate school at U of T as a factor.

Naylor’s overhaul may well have led to some progress, but it’s happened behind closed doors. U of T doesn’t release average annual grades, or the most common grade, or even the grade distribution...." [emphasis added]

https://thevarsity.ca/2014/11/24/its-time-to-stop-grade-deflation/

EDIT: think @TheAEGIS may be interested also.

Convenient for students that they don't release annual grades, common grade, or distribution. Students can now claim they're in a tougher grading school without having to prove it, because they can't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Convenient for students that they don't release annual grades, common grade, or distribution. Students can now claim they're in a tougher grading school without having to prove it, because they can't.

Well, one could as easily say that those who claim it's not a tougher grading school can't prove it either. So the U of T can now claim they're not a tougher grading school without having to prove it, because they choose not to (even though they could, having access to their own data).

Now, if you want proof by a civil standard, as of 2019, commission a survey of students now, and collect data that way, to compare with what it was in 2006.

EDIT: "The evidence we show here suggests that a student who finds easier classes and therefore gets a higher raw GPA has greater chance of being
admitted to law school" 
here's a 2012 preliminary analysis using U of T data (provided by U of T) re admission to law school, advocating using an adjusted GPA for admission to law school, which confirms that for some programs there is a difference in difficulty and GPA (if one agrees with the methodology). See e.g. discussion pages 28-on which in fairness involves some extrapolation from data:

"...If the goal is to create incentives for students to take challenging courses,
however, our findings suggest that the raw GPA has potential flaws. The
adjusted GPA measure accord with intuition (higher, on average, than raw
GPAs for students in the sciences) and does a much better job in predicting
performance on an objective test, the LSAT. The adjusted GPA measures do
not, however, better predict admission into law school.
This happens even
though the admissions officers have every incentive to admit the academically
strongest students. While they may possibly use ad hoc adjustments to raw
GPAs to account for course difficulty (such bumping up GPAs of students in
hard majors), it seems the process nonetheless does not sufficiently reward
students whose adjusted GPAs are higher than their raw GPAs. The adjusted
GPA, on the other hand, systematically accounts for course difficulty and
does so based on applicants’ performance in contrast to ad hoc methods
which are imprecise
and based on experience with previous applicants with
28
similar characteristics.
Using an adjusted GPA improves incentives in two ways. The first is
subjective. Students who consider difficult classes may feel that they get no
“credit” for the greater difficulty of the course. If an adjustment process were
in place, it is plausible that students would feel like their greater effort and
risk is acknowledged and therefore validated.
The second is objective. If law school admissions used adjusted GPAs
in their admissions decision, students would literally get credit for taking
difficult courses. In contrast under the status quo in which raw GPAs are
used, the evidence we show here suggests that a student who finds easier
classes and therefore gets a higher raw GPA has greater chance of being
admitted to law school
...." [emphasis added]

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/bc27/b8be4ca151e789929d85be2f0142d00c14c3.pdf

Edited by epeeist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@epeeist Thanks for linking me into this thread.

One one hand, unless a person has taken courses in two different undergraduate universities, it's hard to say exactly what the academic penalty is for going to a "harder" school. We're left with some anecdotal and some statistical evidence to try to piece together what the penalty is, if there is one.

I'll tell this story, because it was my watershed moment:

I'd always heard from people that UofT was harder than other schools. I didn't pay much attention to it, even as I struggled through my own program. Towards the end of my tenure at UofT,  I'd gotten (through blood, sweat and tears) pretty good at figuring out when an essay would net me a B+/A- and when it wouldn't.

A buddy of mine from Ryerson in a tight spot asked me to help him re-work a poli-sci paper he had two days to complete. He was worried about failing the assignment. I did what I could over a weekend. I also knew that based on the level of research, the citations used, the sophistication of the arguments, and the way the thoughts were laid out, his final paper would be a best a B-, and most likely a C+. 

He got a B+. 

No one's been able to convince me since then that UofT isn't harder that at least *some* schools.

And that's without even considering all the students I know personally who literally fled UofT to finish their degrees in other schools and openly admit that it was because of UofT's exacting marking scheme. 

I think anyone who isn't willing to consider that students at universities not named UofT are getting an easier ride are doing so because they fear the implications of such an admission, not because it's not objectively plausible or even likely based on the evidence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

The Dean of U of T instituted reforms post-2006 study specifically designed to address the problems brought up in the study. 

Sure, but since they don't report on averages etc., we have only their word.

Also the 2012 paper, newer post-2006 data, the authors included a U of T statistician and got data from U of T, supports the view that - whether or not U of T as an institution is harder or not - that some programs, including sciences, are "harder" and should have an adjusted GPA for purposes of admission to law school (this is from skimming, I have not read the paper in detail).

EDIT: Also, does that mean that everyone who went before 2006 (including me) should get a retroactive grade increase? :rolleyes: And if I recall correctly you did sciences, so you should get a retroactive grade increase also? Not as much as me though... :twisted:

Edited by epeeist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, castlepie said:

Implying a Fine Arts degree is implicitly worse and/or easier than all STEM degrees...

well they arent wrong.

A stem degree is way harder than a fine arts degree. There is a reason why arts majors get shit on so hard lmaoo.

I have a few arts courses as electives, and they are easy asf compared to my science courses

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, legallybrunette3 said:

I didn’t say it’s worse. 
 

I said (as one possible example of an inability to predict admissions)  it’s possible it might be seen as more reflective of a students ability to handle academically tougher material. I stand by that. I also say that as somebody that has two degrees, one in each. 

Congrats, and I find skating easier than swimming! You won't see me saying skating is inherently easier though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, exocytosis646 said:

I did a practice diagnostic with no prep whatsoever and got a 169..... as a 17 yr old, so I am really confident in my abilities

And most of the schools im interested in view 3rd yrs and 4th yrs equally- so applying as a 4th yr would not make things easier.

If my grades are fine in 3rd yr- ima apply. Im actually writing the lsat the summer before 2nd yr- just cause im applying to UofA as a 2nd yr.... i know two people who got in as 2nd yrs, and im confident ill have similar if not better stats.

 

I do appreciate the honestly, thanks!

 

 

 

1 hour ago, exocytosis646 said:

well they arent wrong.

A stem degree is way harder than a fine arts degree. There is a reason why arts majors get shit on so hard lmaoo.

I have a few arts courses as electives, and they are easy asf compared to my science courses

Honestly, you're such an incredible genius you would be better off going to the states for law school, given that they are more academically rigorous and better in absolutely every way possible and everyone shits on Canadian schools anyways. In fact, let me point you to https://www.top-law-schools.com/, they are much more worthy of your time. Hopefully one day you remember us plebs...

  • Like 3
  • Haha 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, exocytosis646 said:

well they arent wrong.

A stem degree is way harder than a fine arts degree. There is a reason why arts majors get shit on so hard lmaoo.

I have a few arts courses as electives, and they are easy asf compared to my science courses

Please forgive us mighty STEM overlord. We were fooled by your inability to construct proper sentences. If only we'd known that you'd taken *arts electives* and found them "easy asf". Having been properly chastened we will return to the arts pits where our ilk reside. 

Edited by SadNWO
  • Like 1
  • Haha 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, MountainMon said:

Congrats, and I find skating easier than swimming! You won't see me saying skating is inherently easier though.

Again, never said it’s easier. You might say that the skills you acquire from skating might demonstrate your ability to apply to a particular sports team.
 

I also never said for sure that admissions even would take that into account, just that some factors might influence a 3rd year acceptance . I know arts degrees are difficult , I know there are aspects that a stem person could never. That wasn’t my point. 
 

I could also add (e.g if your stem degree is from trump university vs your fine arts from Juilliard)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, MountainMon said:

 

 

Honestly, you're such an incredible genius you would be better off going to the states for law school, given that they are more academically rigorous and better in absolutely every way possible and everyone shits on Canadian schools anyways. In fact, let me point you to https://www.top-law-schools.com/, they are much more worthy of your time. Hopefully one day you remember us plebs...

lmaoo im not saying im a genius

Just said that its pretty common amongst uni students that fine arts is much easier than STEM

this aint even a debate lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, exocytosis646 said:

lmaoo im not saying im a genius

Just said that its pretty common amongst uni students insecure and immature first years who haven't completed a semester of coursework* that fine arts is much easier than STEM

this aint even a debate lol

FTFY.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, SadNWO said:

Please forgive us mighty STEM overlord. We were fooled by your inability to construct proper sentences. If only we'd known that you'd taken *arts electives* and found them "easy asf". Having been properly chastened we will return to the arts pits where our ilk reside. 

ahahaha- i dont think id consider myself an overlord due to STEM

Id just say im in a harder degree

Well nice talking to you folks haha

I still havent learned much about aplying to uofC as a 3rd yr.... however i am still planning on applying to other schools as a 3rd yr.... and i guess uofC too- i dont have much to lose by trying ahaha

thanks guys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, MountainMon said:

FTFY.

i mean not saying arts is super easy- but compared to engg or biochem, its a walk in the park (atleast for me)

And most upper yrs ive talked to in sciences said that they wish they could do a arts degree to get an easy 4.0

Then again, you are right.... i havent experienced all arts courses and all that.... but this is just what most upper yrs have told me about the reputation of arts and all 

Sorry if ive offended you lmao... i guess it depends on person experiences too, but for someone like me... arts is much easier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, SadNWO said:

Please forgive us mighty STEM overlord. We were fooled by your inability to construct proper sentences. If only we'd known that you'd taken *arts electives* and found them "easy asf". Having been properly chastened we will return to the arts pits where our ilk reside. 

ahaha no need to that... i dont consider myself an overlord either just cause im in a harder degree- everyone has their own skills and such....what i find easy- you may find hard, and vice versa

My biochem courses are ten times harder than all the arts courses imo- so not saying your degree is worse- just that in my personal opinion (and according to the stereotype of arts students) arts is rly easy to get good grades is.

All my friends in upper yr sciences are struggling to get 3.5 gpas in sciences, but have had all 4.0s/A+ in the Artsdegrees they've taken as electives

Edited by exocytosis646

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Recent Posts

    • Howdy. I am a UBC student and did get out-of-province clerkship interviews, but at the trial rather than appellate level (I never actually applied to an appellate-level court, although I don't think I would have been competitive). I also participated in formal recruits for government and boutique jobs, out-of-province. My grades have consistently been closer to average than the top of the class. Not to boast, but I received an interview for almost every single job I applied to throughout my time in law school (exceptions were one clerkship, one government job, and two research assistant positions that were likely spoken for before the postings were even published). I only have my experience at UBC to go off of but I frankly doubt I would have fared as well with comparable grades at most other schools in the country. Based on my experience I think the following: People tend to either overstate or understate the relative strengths of different schools. On the one hand, we obviously don't have anywhere near as much of a tiered system as in the US. And basically all schools do have strong local placements. But there are still tangible differences. There is a difference in national (and international) reputation/brand among schools, and that does affect mobility. How much that matters to an applicant will obviously be a personal matter. More universally importantly, as you allude to, you can be competitive for the same positions with a lower class rank depending on your school. People are going to get to pick and choose opportunities when they are at the top of their class regardless of school, and will likely have to hustle when they are at the bottom of their class regardless of school, but it's just easier to land okay as a fairly average student at UofT, McGill or UBC than Windsor, Lakehead or TRU. There's empirical backing for this in terms of published hiring numbers in the regular reports related to the recruits so I am not sure why this is somehow controversial to say on this site.   The "study where you want to practice" mantra of this site is somewhat overstated. At least when we're talking about a "stronger" out-of-province school vs a less well-regarded local school. There's truth in that in the sense that studying where you want to practice is very important for networking and establishing ties to the local bar and all that. But I found it quite effortless to secure articles in a different province than where I went to school, and I don't feel I would have been better served by attending the law school local to where I'll be articling. In fact, between law school, articling and jobs during school, I now have ties established in the legal community in three different major cities in Canada, which gives me a lot of options and I'm sure will serve me throughout my career.
    • Accepted on Tuesday! CGPA: 3.91 LSAT: 169 (only score, wrote in Jan) 
    • I applied super early. Complete by Nov. 1st! And its alright, I got into grad school so I'm seriously considering that if things don't turn out the way I'm hoping
    • Could not be more excited to say that I was accepted this afternoon! Will be accepting as Calgary was my #1 choice  cGPA : 3.8  L2: 3.8  LSAT 161 Lots of work experience, but none really related to law. Looking forward to meeting everyone in September! 
    • hi all, i was wondering if anyone could speak to my situation as i have been a part time student working full time for my entire undergraduate career. I am going on year 8 of my undergrad degree and will be finished this may. I can't provide a best two because literally all of my semesters are part time and sporadic (some semesters are 2-3 courses, others are 6 courses and others no courses at all). I worked full time because i needed to support myself and work opportunities were more my priorities.  do i have a shot in ontario?

×
×
  • Create New...