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Optional essay?

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Should I write an optional essay to explain my low GPA?

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Optional essay? [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 17:21
I have a GPA of 6.8/10 from IIT. It is not a terrible terrible GPA but it is a little on the lower side. I do have a few D's and E's which is definitely not going to help my case any. So...should I explain my low GPA? I do have pretty strong extra curriculars and was also on the student union. I worked Part time for the last two years as well. Also have a better grad GPA and have some publications as well.

Any opinions?
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 17:29
Chaggi(for all non-IITians, its a slang for 6 pointer) ...:)..(no offense buddy)
I had a 6 in one of the 10 semesters and I did explain it in the optional essay.
I personally feel that you should address it - if you are able to provide a valid reason for the performance that is.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 17:32
:) no problem but I am from IIT Madras, so did not know of the slang ;)
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 17:32
I say definitely address your GPA. This can only do you good and will not harm you as long as you don't sound defensive or whiny. Be objective and simply state facts.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 17:43
I wrote an optional essay (same for all schools) explaining a few weaker semesters. I got a some Cs and a D I believe, it hurt that two were in math classes but then I buckled down and excelled for the rest of my time, 3.7 for last two years.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 20:05
Well, if your experiences are anywhere near what the guys from "Five point someone*" had, then you don't need to worry about the six pointer :lol:

* Five point someone is a book on what not to do at IITs -- A funny book about some kids in the five point range. And I must say that the book is very close to reality.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 20:19
I wish neo...but yeah, do have some pretty diverse experiences and actually once I have my essay written now, does not seem that bad :)
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 20:20
Also-if anyone votes for NOT writing the essay- could you please explain why? :)
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 20:25
i voted no. 6 doesnt seem that bad to me, although im not that familiar with grading in india. i feel like i see a lot of 7/10's posted from iits, so 6 seems ok. and from what you posted it doesnt sound like an extraordinary situation caused you to have a bad gpa... EC's and working part time seem pretty normal to me.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2007, 08:59
I also voted no. Like dabots, I'm not very familiar with the grading system. Could someone perhaps explain it a bit more?

Though my circumstances were no doubt different (I was applying to NYU PT), I also considered addressing my less-than-stellar GPA (3.1 from an average school) in my optional essay. I also did not have a great GMAT so I thought academics may be an issue. Eventually, as the deadline got close, I decided against addressing these perceived shortcomings in the last essay. I felt that highlighting a negative attribute in my profile as perhaps one of the last things the AdCom read could not possibly help. I had no compelling reasons for my GPA issues though I did show improvement as I got older.

I used the optional essay to stress the positives in my profile (W/E & extra-cirrics) and reinforce my interest in the program...almost like a cover letter of sorts. It worked for me; I was accepted last month.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2007, 09:06
I had a 3.4 and used the essay to explain away a few bad grades. I think the overall GPA is important to a point...but they aren't going to care if you got a C in an elective class on pottery. However if you ace those to drive your GPA but get a D in calc then that probably needs to be explained. Dont picture the GPA as a whole. Look at your transcript for trends that need to be explained or weaknesses in a quant heavy area or english for international students.
  [#permalink] 06 Dec 2007, 09:06
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