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How to get a first class degree


One woman's route to a first
Beverley Adams, 27, gained a first class degree from University College London, she
says, she learnt the tricks of the academic trade. Without becoming savvy in the ways of
academics – the way they read, the words they us, the way they phrase their replies – she
would not have got a first, she thinks. Her schooling at Croydon High a private single-
sex school in Surrey, set her up for University life. It taught her how to succeed. Her
geography teacher instilled in her a love of the subject and a love of learning. "I am now
reaping the rewards of that," she says. "those experiences can determine your outlook on
life."
        After a first in geography, Beverley took a Masters degree and is now poised to
complete a PhD. " Being successful academically is about being 'smart'," she says. "It's
not about being brilliant. You need to use the words that academics use and use the
academic style. It's about cottoning on, reading things in the right way and starting to
think in an academic way. That's the difference between getting a 2.1 and a first class
degree. Writing simple English like a journalist won’t get you anywhere. Unless you know
how to play the game you won't get a first."
        It helped that Beverley was interested in the subject. She worked hard but she
also enjoyed herself through swimming, working as a lifeguard and playing netball for her
county. "I made sure I put aside time for work," she says. "I was incredibly driven. The
bottom line is, I hate failing. It is so much better to be praised than to be told off. If you
are seen to be keen, doors are opened for you."

Hodges, L., 'One woman's route to a first', The Independent, 25.01.01, p. 3




2/25/2010 5:00:00 AM:D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\6966467a-23c9-4ace-afb4-bda9a57b07a2.doc

				
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