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A ‘non-honoursBA; from the eighteenth-century the degree awarded to those whose performance in the Senate House examination did not merit a place among the Optimes or Wranglers, but from the mid-nineteenth century, when other triposes began to appear, still often the only degree aspired to by about two out of three undergraduates. In some cases at least a man might be an enthusiastic and able student of, say, engineering, but as there was then no engineering tripos, he could only study for a Special Examination in his subject. Confusingly, the examinations for the Ordinary BA introduced in 1861, viz. the General and Special Examinations, were classed, so that many might have a first class ordinary degree.