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nul

English translation: nil

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13:53 Feb 16, 2007
French to English translations [PRO]
Education / Pedagogy
French term or phrase: nul
In a list of exam grades (Switzerland). The grades go from 1-6. Six is the maximum.
Mark scale : 6 = très bien, 5 = bien, 4 = suffisant, 3.5 insuffisant, 2.5= faible, 1.5 and 1 = * NUL*
TinaA
Local time: 11:21
English translation:nil
Explanation:
This is the term I use - I've seen it before too.

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Note added at 9 hrs (2007-02-16 23:51:09 GMT)
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I'm sure Fail is not suitable as the pass note is between 3.5 and 4.5 (depending on the exam), therefore a 2 - for example - would also be called a fail.
I'm also sure it's not a "no show", as this is marked "ABS" for absent.
It's not a fraud grade either, as they are marked "FRAUDE" (or similar).

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Note added at 19 hrs (2007-02-17 09:24:50 GMT)
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As far as I know, in Switzerland, a 1-grade corresponds in fact to a zero grade and it's merely a rhetorical question calling it 1 instead of 0. A "nul" mention is absolutely not the equivalent of "c'est nul" so I totally disagree with a translation implying that it's lousy or useless.

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Note added at 1 day39 mins (2007-02-17 14:33:00 GMT)
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Yes, this is it. A student just writing his/her name on the paper and handing it in with nothing else added gets the grade 1. A student attempting something, vaguely correct but highly insufficient, would get a 1,5. So yes, a teacher does distinguish between 1 and 1,5.
Selected response from:

nads022
Switzerland
Local time: 11:21
Grading comment
Thnaks to all. Weighing all the answers and comments really helped get a feel for this. I really would like to reward cocotier too for the very helpful link and comment.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4fail
Debbie Elliott
5 +2Unclassified, UngradedClive Jones
4 +2no grade
roneill
5nil
nads022
5very or extremely weak
Drmanu49


Discussion entries: 6





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
no grade


Explanation:
A possibility. It wouldn't be politically correct to write "useless" or something of that sort.

roneill
United States
Local time: 02:21
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Notes to answerer
Asker: The idea of "no grade" is ok except that the 6,5,3,2,1 etc are grades!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  katsy: perhaps the safest answer
11 mins
  -> As a former teacher, I think so, too. Thanks for the agree

agree  Conor McAuley: That's what we use in Ireland for marks of less than 15% or 20% I think (although "rubbish" would be quite funny and should be the subject of a pilot study ;-))) )
1 hr
  -> That's right, we do! NG. I love your idea about a pilot study on rubbish! Thanks for the agree.

agree  Ben Gaia MA: But if it were a pupil talking, it would mean "useless". or "crap".
3 hrs
  -> Thanks!

disagree  Drmanu49: No, this is an assessment.
16 hrs
  -> I think it's a cultural issue. Thanks for your comment.
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
fail


Explanation:
Also used in English - eg. GCSE exams
A, B, C, D, E, F, G are passes
U = Fail

Debbie Elliott
Local time: 10:21
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  katsy: not sure what to think - if 3.5 is 'insuffisant', one would assume that and everything after was considered as 'fail'. Don't know the Swiss system
9 mins

agree  jacqueb: The US uses a 4-point system, with A/B/C/D/E (or F) being the letter equivalents. In any case, an "E" (or "F") is a 'failing' grade.
1 hr

agree  cjohnstone: like it but unsure, maybe one can "pass" with nul!!! not a clue I admit
1 hr

agree  Anne Girardeau: I agree 100%
1 hr

agree  Thais Maria Lips
2 hrs

agree  MatthewLaSon: to fail (in slang, to get an "F" or "flunk" in US English)
7 hrs

disagree  Drmanu49: No, 3.5 is already a fail.
16 hrs
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22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Unclassified, Ungraded


Explanation:
Under PC rules, when I was teaching, we were not allowed to use the term "fail". The accepted classification for the current GCSE results is:
Grades A, B, C = Pass equivalent to the old GCE O level pass. These are the grades used by universities etc as a "Pass" grade.
Grades D, E indicated that the pupil had turned up and taken the exam but were below standard.
The grade U means "Unclassified" or "Ungraded". It means that either the pupil is abysmal or that he/she did not turn up for the exam. (Mais il ne faut pas le dire aux enfants!)

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Note added at 31 mins (2007-02-16 14:24:57 GMT)
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I note that the system has changed again (see www.dfes.gov.uk/performancetables/schools_1/sec3.shtml but I don't think this complicated formula will help you!

Example sentence(s):
  • The minimum grades accepted for university purposes are GCSE A B or C.
Clive Jones
Local time: 10:21
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  translator_15: I agree with unclassified, In England, just above the U grade is N (probably equivalent to the 1.5 here) which is Near Miss. The grade you get when you manage to write your name on the exam paper but don't get much further than that!
25 mins
  -> Tut tut Emma! What an idea to intimate to children that sometimes in life you fail! I obtained a U grade on my driving test. I didn't fail - it might have scarred me for life

agree  Melzie: on a lighter note there is always the Harry Potter grading system: D = dreadful, T = Troll ;-)
1 hr
  -> How about a little anarchy? A = Abysmal; B = Brilliant; C = Cannot do it; D = Damned good; E= Excellent; F = Fantastic......

disagree  jacqueb: In the example given, "nul" = 1 to 1.5 points, so the student must have done SOMETHING to "earn" them. In the US, a no-show would typically be qualified as a "W" (withdrawl).
2 hrs

agree  Sheila Wilson: The Cambridge International Examinations site www.cie.org.uk lists U (ungraded) as not reaching the required standard
3 hrs

agree  roneill
4 hrs

disagree  Drmanu49: No, this is an assessment.
16 hrs
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16 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
very or extremely weak


Explanation:
Only solution in line with the other comments and it it definitely is an assessment, not the absence of one.

Drmanu49
France
Local time: 11:21
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 292
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
nil


Explanation:
This is the term I use - I've seen it before too.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs (2007-02-16 23:51:09 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I'm sure Fail is not suitable as the pass note is between 3.5 and 4.5 (depending on the exam), therefore a 2 - for example - would also be called a fail.
I'm also sure it's not a "no show", as this is marked "ABS" for absent.
It's not a fraud grade either, as they are marked "FRAUDE" (or similar).

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 19 hrs (2007-02-17 09:24:50 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

As far as I know, in Switzerland, a 1-grade corresponds in fact to a zero grade and it's merely a rhetorical question calling it 1 instead of 0. A "nul" mention is absolutely not the equivalent of "c'est nul" so I totally disagree with a translation implying that it's lousy or useless.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day39 mins (2007-02-17 14:33:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Yes, this is it. A student just writing his/her name on the paper and handing it in with nothing else added gets the grade 1. A student attempting something, vaguely correct but highly insufficient, would get a 1,5. So yes, a teacher does distinguish between 1 and 1,5.

nads022
Switzerland
Local time: 11:21
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thnaks to all. Weighing all the answers and comments really helped get a feel for this. I really would like to reward cocotier too for the very helpful link and comment.
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks for your last comment. "Zero" had crossed my mind. But I hesitate because the "nul" describes both the "1" grade and the "1,5". Do you happen to know how a teacher would differentiate between 1 and 1,5? Would a student get 1 just for writing their name on the paper? 1,5 maybe for attempting to answer say a couple of questions?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Drmanu49: No, this usually corresponds to zero.
7 hrs
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