On a scale of one to what?

So, the other day I was discussing exam results with a friend, and we were remarking upon a common but confusing occurrence, whereby the jury says:

We feel you’ve made a lot of progress this year. We hear many different things happening in your music making now, and we feel that you have really developed yourself as a musician and performer. With this in mind, we have decided to award you exactly the same mark we gave you last year.

It can be somewhat disheartening to us poor, downtrodden music students to be given the same result year after year, especially when that is somehow supposed to reflect the improvement and development that we have (hopefully) achieved.

This is when my friend and I came to a very simple, but life-changing realisation.

From year to year, you are marked according to a different scale.

Now, that seems pretty darn obvious when you put it like that. You can’t hold a first year student to the same standards that you do a second year Master student. But then this begs the question: what are the standards we are held to year by year?

Luckily, I have an answer. And here it is:

B’s Helpful Guide to KonCon examination standards.

1. Entrance exams

To be judged to a scale of one to Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin

At your Bachelor entrance exam, it is understood and expected that you know absolutely nothing. That is, it’s understood and accepted by everyone except yourself. You think you’re a genius doing the conservatorium a favour by deigning to audition.

2. First Year

To be judged on a scale of one to Jon Snow.

Jon Snow

At the end of first year, it is still understood and expected that you know absolutely nothing. The only difference is now you’re aware of it too, having had an entire season academic year of people telling you how ignorant you are.

3. Second Year

To be judged on a scale of one to Bernard Black.

Bernard Black

Second year students at the KonCon don’t have official main subject exams, and so are duly required to drink and live dangerously on behalf of the rest of the student cohort that do have exams.

4. Third Year

To be judged on a scale of one to Thomas Edison.

Thomas Edison

By your third year of studying, you are expected to have some degree of skill and knowledge. Your third year recital really should be a worthy and valuable contribution to the broader musical community. However, you’re still hungover from second year, so you simply steal someone else’s ideas and take all the credit.

5. Fourth Year

To be judged on a scale of one to Albert Einstein.

Albert Einstein

By the end of your Bachelor degree, you are expected to be able to make radical, independent contributions to your chosen field. It is accepted that your skills and knowledge can be focused on a specific area, as long as you can demonstrate mastery of this chosen field. It’s is also okay to have a hairstyle that may have been created by electrocution.

6. First Year Master

To be judged on a scale of one to Stewie Griffin.

Stewie Griffin

In the first year of your Masters Degree, you are required to show the skills, determination and ambition necessary for world domination. However, it is also acknowledged that in terms of being in the first year of a new degree, you are still just a baby.

7. Second Year Master

To be judged on a scale of one to Morgan Freeman.

Morgan Freeman

At the end of your Masters Degree, you are basically held up against God to judge your worth and ability as a musician. Recently, the Trailblazer graduated with a 10+ Distinction in her singing exam. That’s right, her singing is literally better than God.

S maybe this last one needs updating: from now on, all final Masters students shall be judged on a scale of one to the Trailblazer. And we thought Morgan Freeman was daunting enough!

But in all seriousness, congratulations to everyone who performed and sat examinations in the last month. See you at the pub!


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