pass with honours

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pickup

Senior Member
" España, español"
Hi

If I do an exam and I get 10/9 points out of 10 would it be correct to say the following sentence:

My objective is to pass the examination with honours.


Is the phrase pass with honours considered old English/outdated?

Thank you very much for your answers

pickup
 
  • Retired-teacher

    Senior Member
    British English
    In Britain universities usually grant degrees with honours but I don't think the word "honours" is used in any other academic context. Exams at school have different grades of pass shown by a letter from A to about G but none of these use the word "honours".
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In the United States, honors (AE spelling) may apply to a degree, but not to a single course or examination. We'd say something like "My objective is to do well on the examination." That's rather formal, though. A student would be more likely to say "I hope to do well on the exam," or even something less formal than that.
     

    pickup

    Senior Member
    " España, español"
    I appreciate both of your answers but I still can´t understand how the phrase "pass with honours" is used/what it really means. It is clear now it is not used when you take an exam.

    Thank you so much for your answers
     

    Retired-teacher

    Senior Member
    British English
    You say that you are still not clear what it means. A degree awarded with honours means a high class of degree. This is despite the fact that it is the normal degree awarded here nowadays. To show levels of attainment, you can get first, upper second, lower second, and third class honours degrees. A third class honours degree is regarded as not very good.

    Many, if not all, British universities will grant what is called "a pass degree" (i.e. without honours) to someone who is only just over the level to fail. It is therefore below a third class honours degree.
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    I still can´t understand how the phrase "pass with honours" is used/what it really means.
    In the context of British higher education, specifically English university degree study results, if someone said that they "passed with honours" it means they were awarded an honours degree.

    The vast majority of English university bachelor's degree courses lead to an honours degree.

    There are (or were) some courses that led to ordinary (non-honours) degrees.

    In addition, I think that it is possible for a student who has attended an honours degree course to pass at a level below that of honours (ie just above "fail").

    In terms of what people usually say, I think they are more likely to say "graduated with honours" rather than "passed with honours".
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    It is clear now it is not used when you take an exam.
    According to the WR dictionary, it can be used to refer to passing an exam with very good marks.
    honours: a high mark awarded for an examination; distinction

    In an educational context, it's also used to refer to certain types of degrees as people above have noted.
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    I would emphasise strongly the need to specify the context and region.

    The words used to describe educational processes and examination outcomes vary enormously from one country to another and even from one institution to another.

    Within the UK, Scottish university qualifications are specified differently from comparable degrees in England and Wales.

    Discussing educational terminology without reference to specific educational contexts (in particular, countries) is rather like discussing the weather without knowing which part of the world is relevant to that discussion.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If I do an exam and I get 10/9 points out of 10 would it be correct to say the following sentence:

    My objective is to pass the examination with honours.
    If you "do" an exam and you get "10/9" (?) points out of 10, you seem to have already passed the exam— whereas "my objective is to pass the exam with honours" suggests that you haven't yet taken the exam. Which do you mean, pickup?

    "With honours" is sometimes used as an English translation of a term used in a foreign language - "She passed her baccalauréat with honours".
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    In the case of an exam, I expect 'pass with distinction' rather than 'pass with honours'.

    As others have said, 'honours' tends to be said in relation to university degrees. (As Linkway has indicated, in systems in Scotland, Australia and New Zealand - it is possible to get a general degree without honours, and stay on for an additional year for an honours degree. I think everyone in England graduates with an honours degree.)
     

    pickup

    Senior Member
    " España, español"
    GreenWhiteBlue I just made up the sentence as I thought it could be used in an examination context. But according to the definition that Barque has given us

    "According to the WR dictionary, it can be used to refer to passing an exam with very good marks.
    honours: a high mark awarded for an examination; distinction" it can be used in an examination context.


    I´ll study all your answers thoroughly but it seems to be very confusing.


    Thank you so much for your answers

    pickup
     
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