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The Rank list, if one desires to designate it as such, is a pure “fun feature" of the system. For every action with which you actively appear in Stud.IP you receive points. These points accumulate in the course of time. When you access the Rank list, you see the names of all those participants who have decided to publish their score. Depending on the total points, the system then assigns the participant a rank, such as Beginner, Newcomer, Adept, …, etc.
The first time you access this section (via your profile or that of another) you also see your name ranked in the list. But only you really see it until you decide to Publish your score. Only then do the others also see you in the list. You can click on the names in the list to move to that person's homepage.
Points are assigned for activities such as uploading one’s own picture (You should do that anyway!), writing postings or uploading files, but also for many other things. How many points are assigned for a certain action is 'top secret.
No points are credited for simply being in the system, reading postings or sending SMSs.