21st July 2024

“A* no longer enough” as University moves to innovative ‘Etruscan system’


Following the news that 44.8% of all A-level grades awarded this year were A* or A, the University of Cambridge has unanimously elected to move to its own grading system in order to ‘provide an academic insight’ where they feel ‘an intensive application, entrance exam and interview process that could reduce a Green Beret to tears is not enough anymore’. 

‘It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between our students,’ said Professor Charleton-Smyth Harrowsby, the Gove Professor for Educational Reform. ‘It’s clear that in the coming years, an A** and A-triple-star-with-a-cherry-on-top grade will no longer be sufficient to uphold our lofty academic standards, therefore the University has taken the decision to grade its own exams with the Etruscan alphabet. Whilst we understand that the language has been lost for nigh on two millenia, and is not understood by even our brightest academics despite years of study, it’s this sort of data that will really let us discern the cream of the crop from the very similar layer of cream just below the surface.’

In the new system, the top grade will be represented by a ‘sort of oval with a cross through it’ that currently has no agreed pronunciation. The grades that follow this ‘look a bit like an upside down L’ with a varying number of lines through them which are ‘in no discernible order’. When asked what benefit this would bring, Professor Harrowsby informed The Porter’s Log that ‘the Latin alphabet system was dangerously close to losing all meaning, and therefore a return to an alphanumeric system almost entirely lost to time would provide some much needed clarity – and inject some modernity into the Cambridge admissions process’.

Since the announcement, various departments have clarified their updated admissions requirements. Although we at The Porter’s Log attempted to compile them, no pattern whatsoever could be found, aside from the Mathematics Department’s grades now tending to an abstract concept impossible to comprehend without a twelve-term lecture course, and those from the Department of Art History appearing pleasingly symmetrical.

A native speaker of Etruscan was approached for comment regarding the changes to grading, although failed to provide any opinion save for a large stone slab inscribed with gibberish.