Sep 27

HD! (not cameras this time!)

Posted in An Hour In A Minute Observations->Philosophical Thoughts      Tagged , , , , , Comments Off on HD! (not cameras this time!)

Wow! Yay! I got my first HD today! You could see my jumping for joy and grinning from ear to ear. Now, you’re asking yourself, “What is an HD, and why are you making a fool of yourself with that happy dance in the hallway?”

Unlike the “high definition” standard in photography, HD stands for “high distinction” and is the mark I received on an essay I wrote for my Linguistics class. The entire grading system in Australia is really different from the one in the US. (Tangentially, in Australian English you use the preposition “to” after different, not “from” or “than.” For example, the grading system is different to the one in the US.- You say weird? I say FASCINATING! (Also, it seems that when you travel overseas you call America “the U.S.”))

Anyway, back to the topic (look—a spliced infinitive!) of Australian grades: All you need to pass is a 50, not a 65. Sounds great, right? Think again. The whole scale is skewed down, meaning that getting over an 80 earns you an HD. But, it’s incredibly difficult to get over the 80 mark, and most well-done assignments will earn you between a 70 or 75 and that is pretty good, giving you a D for ‘distinction.’ This can be really frustrating for the over-achieving honors student who receives a mark in the 70’s or 80’s here for an equivalent in the 90’s back home.

Many people talk about adjusting to the metric system or a new currency when traveling or studying abroad, but clearly a big part of a student’s adjustment revolves around school. Understanding expectations and standards is half the battle. (And that’s why I’m writing this post after my first HD and not two months ago with my first P for pass!)

Most of you, my lovely readers, are just starting a new semester, but I’m up to crunch time in mine. Three weeks till exams!

Maybe I could maintain an HD streak and then vlog about it with my HD camera.

(*Hint: MOM,DAD, An HD camera!!!*)

Keep Smiling 🙂


  1. Study in Australia: Student Stories | gostudyinaustralia

My AUSome Trip