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SMU honours system - how are they remunerated at the public sector?

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Old 11-02-2010, 10:30 PM   #31
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Hi just to clarify things. NUS and NTU's system GPA is upon 5.0. SMU's GPA is upon 4.0. You simply cannot just translate by saying Summa means 1st class, Magna means 2nd upper and cum laude means 2nd lower. A very simplistic way of calculation would be to recalculate the GPA by percentage.

Therefore, 3.4/4.0 would translate into 4.25/5.0 GPA in an NUS/NTU system. Can any NUS/NTU ppl translate that into a honours classification?

I am not sure about the % of smu students that graduate with cum laudes and above, and I am also not sure of the % of nus/ntu students that graduate with 2nd upper honours.

Could the experts in this thread CSI something out, instead of relying on biased opinions?
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:53 PM   #32
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Hi just to clarify things. NUS and NTU's system GPA is upon 5.0. SMU's GPA is upon 4.0. You simply cannot just translate by saying Summa means 1st class, Magna means 2nd upper and cum laude means 2nd lower. A very simplistic way of calculation would be to recalculate the GPA by percentage.

Therefore, 3.4/4.0 would translate into 4.25/5.0 GPA in an NUS/NTU system. Can any NUS/NTU ppl translate that into a honours classification?

I am not sure about the % of smu students that graduate with cum laudes and above, and I am also not sure of the % of nus/ntu students that graduate with 2nd upper honours.

Could the experts in this thread CSI something out, instead of relying on biased opinions?
A 4.0 gets you a 2nd upper in NUS/NTU.

It'd be interesting to look at the % of ppl who graduate with the respective honours classes. It varies across courses though, with some having only 1 or 2 First Class grads every year.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:51 AM   #33
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Hi just to clarify things. NUS and NTU's system GPA is upon 5.0. SMU's GPA is upon 4.0. You simply cannot just translate by saying Summa means 1st class, Magna means 2nd upper and cum laude means 2nd lower. A very simplistic way of calculation would be to recalculate the GPA by percentage.

Therefore, 3.4/4.0 would translate into 4.25/5.0 GPA in an NUS/NTU system. Can any NUS/NTU ppl translate that into a honours classification?

I am not sure about the % of smu students that graduate with cum laudes and above, and I am also not sure of the % of nus/ntu students that graduate with 2nd upper honours.

Could the experts in this thread CSI something out, instead of relying on biased opinions?
4.5 and above 1st

4.0 to 4.49 2nd upper
3.5 to 3.99 2nd lower
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:22 AM   #34
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but SMU have A+ which gives u 4.3.

So... the scoring gets more screwed up.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:27 PM   #35
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Apologies for digging up this old thread but I do feel that as an SMU alumni, I should probably attempt to give an objective stance on the equivalent recognition of SMU's honors system vis-a-vis NTU/NUS honours on a best effort basis. Feel free to give comments or suggestions regarding any points that you may find questionable in my presentation below.

Just a little bit about myself. I've worked at IB middle office for 2 years and very recently, made the switch to the civil service (for various reasons). The question of my remuneration corresponding to my honors thus arose. After bumping my head around a little bit, these are the results of my findings:



B+ grade in NTU/NUS implies a minimum CAP of 4.0/5.0 while a B+ grade in SMU implies a minimum GPA of 3.30/40.
In NTU/NUS, if you get B+ for all your modules, you would get an average CAP of 4.0 and you would qualify for a 2nd Upper Honours.
However in SMU, if you get a B+ for all your modules, you would get an average CAP of 3.30, which is inadequate for a Cum Laude (which requires a 3.40 at least).

The above suggests that:
1) It is inaccurate to compare academic standing of students from SMU to those from NTU/NUS by comparing GPA to CAP numbers since the equivalent GPA/CAP to grading bucket (e.g. A,A-,A+) relationship already differs from the outset.

2) If a comparison must be made, grade buckets would probably provide a more unbiased assessment of a student's academic standing in his cohort since students are bucketed into their grades on a bell curve.

3) If 2) is true, the B+ student in NTU/NUS (who is a 2nd Upper Class Honours graduate) is the equivalent of a B+ student in SMU.

4) An SMU Cum Laude graduate, with the minimum GPA of 3.40, actually has an average grade that is slightly higher than B+. I.e. It follows that the cum laude graduate should also be technically qualified for 2nd Upper Class honours.

5) The above conclusion is based on an assumption that all of the universities grade their students using a bell curve methodology that is consistent across the board. I can't verify if their methodologies are the same, but I'd think it's safe to assume that they won't differ by too much since they are all prominent government funded educational institutions in Singapore and they do have to answer to the government in some way or another.

Some of my civil service peers have had their pay revised upwards after they reflected the above to HR upon receiving their letter of offer. Also, I hope I was clear and unbiased in the above discourse. I just wish to contribute and clear any confusion that may have clouded this topic.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:54 PM   #36
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B+ grade in NTU/NUS implies a minimum CAP of 4.0/5.0 while a B+ grade in SMU implies a minimum GPA of 3.30/40.
In NTU/NUS, if you get B+ for all your modules, you would get an average CAP of 4.0 and you would qualify for a 2nd Upper Honours.
However in SMU, if you get a B+ for all your modules, you would get an average CAP of 3.30, which is inadequate for a Cum Laude (which requires a 3.40 at least).

The above suggests that:
1) It is inaccurate to compare academic standing of students from SMU to those from NTU/NUS by comparing GPA to CAP numbers since the equivalent GPA/CAP to grading bucket (e.g. A,A-,A+) relationship already differs from the outset.

2) If a comparison must be made, grade buckets would probably provide a more unbiased assessment of a student's academic standing in his cohort since students are bucketed into their grades on a bell curve.

3) If 2) is true, the B+ student in NTU/NUS (who is a 2nd Upper Class Honours graduate) is the equivalent of a B+ student in SMU.

4) An SMU Cum Laude graduate, with the minimum GPA of 3.40, actually has an average grade that is slightly higher than B+. I.e. It follows that the cum laude graduate should also be technically qualified for 2nd Upper Class honours.
Ya, but you are forgetting that an A+ in SMU gives you 4.3, while NTU and NUS make no distinction between A and A+. Thus in SMU, someone with and A+ and an A- will get a perfect GPA of 4.00/4.00, while an identical result in NTU/NUS will give you 4.75/5.00. It makes no sense to me to be able to score above the maximum grade and use it to pull up weaker modules.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:01 PM   #37
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Ya, but you are forgetting that an A+ in SMU gives you 4.3, while NTU and NUS make no distinction between A and A+. Thus in SMU, someone with and A+ and an A- will get a perfect GPA of 4.00/4.00, while an identical result in NTU/NUS will give you 4.75/5.00. It makes no sense to me to be able to score above the maximum grade and use it to pull up weaker modules.
so, if someone scores A+ all the time, he will have 4.3 out of 4.0?
then what does he have? Magum Cum ladue?
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:13 PM   #38
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when it 1st came out to say it follows American system, I have yet to come across a US Uni with A+ = 4.3
http://www.college.upenn.edu/grades/gpa.php

LCA - Williams does it, however getting latin honors is not with strict GPA scale
http://web.williams.edu/registrar/records/gpa.html
35% of the graduating class -- Bachelor of Arts cum laude or higher
15% of the graduating class -- Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude or higher
2% of the graduating class -- Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude

Last edited by patryn33; 09-11-2011 at 08:16 PM..
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:07 PM   #39
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so, if someone scores A+ all the time, he will have 4.3 out of 4.0?
then what does he have? Magum Cum ladue?
A Summa Cum Laude would be more likely .

Maybe this person would be the first in SMU history to be bestow the Egregia Cum Laude which is not in SMU's list of praises .
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Old 28-11-2011, 01:43 PM   #40
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SMU students command higher pay than NTU and NUS?
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Old 28-11-2011, 02:50 PM   #41
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SMU students command higher pay than NTU and NUS?
Not really la. It depends from person to person.
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Old 26-12-2011, 06:31 PM   #42
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i think smu students get a highe pay. Though it is very tough to get into NUS it is equally tough to get CAP > 4.0 whereas it is easy to get into SMU and get all the SUMMA and magna grades and walk off with fast pays !!!!
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Old 22-05-2012, 03:41 AM   #43
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but SMU have A+ which gives u 4.3.

So... the scoring gets more screwed up.
It appears that there are may be some serious misconceptions about our local universities' academic credibility.

From what I know, NUS and NTU students have an option known as S/U, where the student can declare a module to be taken on an ungraded basis, i.e. the module's grade does not count into their GPA or CAP. NUS may be using a retrospective system, meaning you declare S/U after the grade is released, and NTU may be using a prospective system where you declare in advance.

There is of course a limit to the number of modules you can choose to declare using the S/U option. But whatever it is, it means NUS and NTU students can effectively neglect the poor grades they score in those modules.

Whereas in SMU, there is not such thing as S/U. If you happen to score very badly for a module, your only way out is to work harder for your other modules. In this case, an A+ seems to be the logical reprieve. but is it? As far as I know, an A+ is given to a handful of very outstanding students in the cohort, and some profs can choose not to give A+ if they do not think any student is deserving of it.

So to claim that "SMU's A+ screws the system up" may be a grossly unfair statement.

It is as good as comparing apples to oranges, when you compare the 2 types of classification systems. The fact is, no matter which education system you come from. If you are a first class or a summa cum laude, you must have really deserved it, for you can never get lucky throughout your university life. Everyone who has gone through university knows that.
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Old 23-08-2012, 09:04 PM   #44
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anyone has joined public service and would likle to share their experience? I got a cum laude and converted to second lower emailed HR they never reply
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Old 23-08-2012, 11:59 PM   #45
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too bad then, walk into talk to them!
SMU itself also considered cum laude as 2nd lower at 1 point.
perhaps a good majority of students are getting cum laude at SMU so that is the case, but to make such claim with other
Uni such as Williams when only 35% of the students get cum laude and better; that is unfair to say they are 2nd lower. some Uni only top 25% gets cum laude or better.

Last edited by patryn33; 24-08-2012 at 12:02 AM..
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