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Grade inflation in undergrad

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Grade inflation in undergrad [#permalink] New post 15 May 2007, 07:49
How much do schools know about it? For example, at a big ten school a business class has a curve. The average in a competitive class was a Cplus or bminus. However, in my alternative transcript classes, there was no curve. It was very easy to get an A. Seriously, between the 60th rank school and a 3rd tier school, my gpa would have raised from a 2.8 to a 3.8
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 [#permalink] New post 15 May 2007, 07:57
It's their job to know this stuff. Over and over I see on b-school admissions websites that you don't really need to explain your grading system or any of that. They claim to have a solid understanding of how the various schools and majors relate to each other.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 May 2007, 08:06
I think that evaluation of an undergrad transcript is far more than what your total GPA is for the admissions people. It can't be as black and white as the average GPA they list in class profiles indicate. Also it is one of the few parts of your application that you have no control over improving so dont stress over that part of it. I would think that the reviewers take a look at how your grades went, did they get steadily better or did they get worse? Did you have a horrible semester that you wrote an essay to explain why? Was your first semester a result of culture shock and being away and your only weak one?

Also one would think that over the years and with past experiences a lot of grad schools have at least a sense of what big undergrad schools provide in the way of a GPA scale. I agree that a 3.8 at one school may be a lot less at another, if both are known by a grad school then they probably have an idea that one scores harder than the other. It works the same for professors, in my fluids dynamics there were two different professors...one was an extremely tough grader, I had to work hours a day to get a B+ and my roommate had the other and never did anything, all the kids could coast with B-s just for showing up and doing all their work no matter the quality. I know kids who literally did it in the room before the prof showed up.

I think it also plays into majors too. Though not many people would admit their major was a lot easier than another...there are majors that are very demanding. Comparing different types of engineering there is a large difference between Electrical and Civil at a lot of schools. Not a slight to Civil but electrical is considered a very demanding degree to obtain. Now compare an engineer with someone who majored in sociology and its even more of a difference in the overall difficulty.

I would also think that the overall size of a persons course load would be taken into acount. I know I took over a years worth of extra credits during my undergrad, I was well beyond what was required for my degree and my minor. To carry as many courses in a semester as that required I had to have permission from the dean and department head. Had I taken the base requirements and chosen easier electives my 3.4 could have easily been a 3.7 or 3.8.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 May 2007, 09:45
riverripper wrote:
I think that evaluation of an undergrad transcript is far more than what your total GPA is for the admissions people. It can't be as black and white as the average GPA they list in class profiles indicate. Also it is one of the few parts of your application that you have no control over improving so dont stress over that part of it. I would think that the reviewers take a look at how your grades went, did they get steadily better or did they get worse? Did you have a horrible semester that you wrote an essay to explain why? Was your first semester a result of culture shock and being away and your only weak one?

Also one would think that over the years and with past experiences a lot of grad schools have at least a sense of what big undergrad schools provide in the way of a GPA scale. I agree that a 3.8 at one school may be a lot less at another, if both are known by a grad school then they probably have an idea that one scores harder than the other. It works the same for professors, in my fluids dynamics there were two different professors...one was an extremely tough grader, I had to work hours a day to get a B+ and my roommate had the other and never did anything, all the kids could coast with B-s just for showing up and doing all their work no matter the quality. I know kids who literally did it in the room before the prof showed up.

I think it also plays into majors too. Though not many people would admit their major was a lot easier than another...there are majors that are very demanding. Comparing different types of engineering there is a large difference between Electrical and Civil at a lot of schools. Not a slight to Civil but electrical is considered a very demanding degree to obtain. Now compare an engineer with someone who majored in sociology and its even more of a difference in the overall difficulty.

I would also think that the overall size of a persons course load would be taken into acount. I know I took over a years worth of extra credits during my undergrad, I was well beyond what was required for my degree and my minor. To carry as many courses in a semester as that required I had to have permission from the dean and department head. Had I taken the base requirements and chosen easier electives my 3.4 could have easily been a 3.7 or 3.8.


wow. MIT? baller here. I mean I had medical issues at Michigan State and Purdue, which is why I had a 2.8 in business class. I wrote about these in my alternative essays. However, I took accounting at a tier 3 school, and its not even close. At first, I thought its easier because I'm 24 and not 20, but that isn't it. Its a joke at this tier 3 school compared to a big ten school
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 [#permalink] New post 15 May 2007, 10:57
IHATEMELGIBSON1 wrote:
wow. MIT? baller here. I mean I had medical issues at Michigan State and Purdue, which is why I had a 2.8 in business class. I wrote about these in my alternative essays. However, I took accounting at a tier 3 school, and its not even close. At first, I thought its easier because I'm 24 and not 20, but that isn't it. Its a joke at this tier 3 school compared to a big ten school


Ha, MIT I pray I can get in there someday, its my target school.

No my post comes from experiences of mine. I did student interviews for scholarships when I was in college and sit in on interviews at my work. To me grades are much less about your intelligence but the amount of work and effort you put in. I know people who are amazingly bright but took 5 or 6 years to graduate cause they never applied themselves. Sometimes having a 4.0 can hurt unless you interview very well because some people (who probably didn't have a 4.0) can view that as too focused on grades and not enough on being well rounded. I have interviewed kids that on paper were amazing but after 15 minutes of face time realize I could never work with them since they lacked the social skills to really interact. A weaker GPA or test score are probably two of the easier portions to overcome in an application. Poor work experience and terrible essays are the most sure fire way to ruin an application. A terrible cover letter can ruin a job application before you ever get to a resume.

As long as you explained some of you weaknesses and have taken classes after school they will look at that in a positive light. Also if you are only 24 and only a couple years out of school, so you can always take a few more classes and push your application back some. Its not like you are around 30 and at a plateau in your career where if you dont apply now you aren't going to show any growth in the next few years. Had I known at 24 I was going to want an MBA I would have done a lot of things different to stregthen my chances...so you are way ahead of the curve on that.
  [#permalink] 15 May 2007, 10:57
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