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Taking classes to improve GPA [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2007, 11:03
Well, here's the story. I wrote th GMAT on July 28th. I ended up with a 720 (Q43, V46). I realize that my quant score is nothing to write home about, but there is no way I'm taking the test again.

My problem is I have a low GPA. I attended one of the top (and most selective) universities in the Philippines. I was on a full-scholarship from the biggest bank in the country. But I was more concerned with having fun that I was with studying. Hence, the low GPA. We're talking around 2.75.

I live in the Detroit area now and I'm thinking about taking some quant-related classes at a local university or a community college. Should I be taking grad classes or can I take undergrad statistics, accounting and calculus classes? Also, would it hurt to take the classes at a community college rather than at a university?

Thanks!
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2007, 11:35
this has been discussed a lot. try this:

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic ... ty+college
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2007, 12:09
720 is a fine score. Many schools have pre-req's, so take those quant courses and ace them.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 08:59
aaudetat wrote:
this has been discussed a lot. try this:

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic ... ty+college


Thanks for the link. So in your opinion, I would be better off taking UC Berkley/UCLA Extension classes than taking classes from a comm. college? I've looked at some of the classes offered by UCLA extension, and registration for fall classes actually started today.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 09:11
I took courses through UCLA extension; it worked out fine for me. I attended UCLA as an undergrad, so I don't know if there will be any difference for you.

I wanted to correct the statement in your title though; you cannot improve your GPA by taking additional courses. As far as I know, no school will add additional courses to your transcript once you've been issued a degree. You can take additional courses to give schools an alternative to consider. Your GPA will always be 2.75, but you can show them that as of right now, you are motivated to do well and get good grades.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 10:02
Peli's right - your GPA is your GPA. The classes will show your commitment and can also be handy for giving you some quant/biz background if you're currently lacking.

Don't get me wrong - there is nothing wrong with a community college class per se. You just need to do some research to be sure that you find a class that is up to par. I looked at the stats syllabus for my local community college and compared it to the stats syllabus for the Berkeley online course. They really didn't compare. Their accounting course was what my CFO called "baby accounting," mostly just bookkeeping.

I only made these comparisons after speaking with someone from the Cornell admissions office. She was the one who recommended those particular courses and the one who told me about Berkeley's Online Extension program.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 10:20
Thanks a bunch guys! I've already compared the courses my local cc offers with the courses UCLA extension offers. At this point, I'm definitely leaning towards UCLA extension. I'm looking at the 400-level courses. I'm thinking of taking X402 (Introduction to Statistics and Quantitative Methods) this fall. Then I will take X402.1 (Advanced Statistics and Quantitative Methods) in the winter. Also thinking about X110 (Mathematics for Management) and X410.21 (Math for Finance).

Pelihu, what UCLA Extension courses did you take?
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 10:25
On the same lines - a quick query

I have gen seen people take courses to compensate their Q skills. How good an idea is it for non mgmt folks (or ppl frm the engineering bckgrnd) to take mgmt related courses ?
Have any of you done that ? Is that helpful?
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 10:28
grad_mba wrote:
On the same lines - a quick query

I have gen seen people take courses to compensate their Q skills. How good an idea is it for non mgmt folks (or ppl frm the engineering bckgrnd) to take mgmt related courses ?
Have any of you done that ? Is that helpful?


hmmm...i was not in that situation, but i really haven't heard of anyone doing it and don't remember any schools suggesting it. Unless, of course, you count econ courses (both micro and macro are recommended) or something like managerial finance, which is again, fairly quantitative.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 10:31
paul_ragos wrote:
Thanks a bunch guys! I've already compared the courses my local cc offers with the courses UCLA extension offers. At this point, I'm definitely leaning towards UCLA extension. I'm looking at the 400-level courses. I'm thinking of taking X402 (Introduction to Statistics and Quantitative Methods) this fall. Then I will take X402.1 (Advanced Statistics and Quantitative Methods) in the winter. Also thinking about X110 (Mathematics for Management) and X410.21 (Math for Finance).

Pelihu, what UCLA Extension courses did you take?


Speaking purely from a Duke perspective, I don't know how necessary Stats II would be. I just completed the math review, which included only a few basics from the first half of the Berkeley stats class I took. And then we are required to take an actual stats class, which I think will be essential like the stats I course you're signing up for. Stats II might be more than you need.

I mean, if you want to be a number-crunching rock star, then by all means. And taking that class would certainly help you exempt out of the basic stats class, if you're school offers that option. But you might want to check out the schools before you drop $800 (or whatever) at UCLA.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 10:46
I didn't realize you went to Fuqua. Now I'm really gonna have to pick your brain! Fuqua's at the top of my list.

Yeah, I wasn't sure about Stats II either. It did seem like overkill to take that course.

Btw, I noticed that UC Berkeley gives you 6 months to finish the course, while UCLA has a 12 week program. How long did it take you to finish the stats course thru Berkeley? Did you find the class to be helpful? Thanks!

aaudetat wrote:
paul_ragos wrote:
Thanks a bunch guys! I've already compared the courses my local cc offers with the courses UCLA extension offers. At this point, I'm definitely leaning towards UCLA extension. I'm looking at the 400-level courses. I'm thinking of taking X402 (Introduction to Statistics and Quantitative Methods) this fall. Then I will take X402.1 (Advanced Statistics and Quantitative Methods) in the winter. Also thinking about X110 (Mathematics for Management) and X410.21 (Math for Finance).

Pelihu, what UCLA Extension courses did you take?


Speaking purely from a Duke perspective, I don't know how necessary Stats II would be. I just completed the math review, which included only a few basics from the first half of the Berkeley stats class I took. And then we are required to take an actual stats class, which I think will be essential like the stats I course you're signing up for. Stats II might be more than you need.

I mean, if you want to be a number-crunching rock star, then by all means. And taking that class would certainly help you exempt out of the basic stats class, if you're school offers that option. But you might want to check out the schools before you drop $800 (or whatever) at UCLA.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 10:54
paul_ragos wrote:
I didn't realize you went to Fuqua. Now I'm really gonna have to pick your brain! Fuqua's at the top of my list.

Yeah, I wasn't sure about Stats II either. It did seem like overkill to take that course.

Btw, I noticed that UC Berkeley gives you 6 months to finish the course, while UCLA has a 12 week program. How long did it take you to finish the stats course thru Berkeley? Did you find the class to be helpful? Thanks!


Ah, my dirty secret comes out. Basically, I registered for the course so I could put that i was registered on all my apps, in case they cared. That was Jan 3. Then I continued to be horribly busy because of taxes (I used to do taxes for free for low-income people...not much of a business model) and interviews and selling my house and excuse excuse excuse. So I got about halfway through the course and then just decided it was time to move on and didn't bother to finish it. Though I have to say that half I did complete was really helpful when doing the math review and should put me in a good place when taking the stats class. I suppose that if I had finished it, I might have considered exempting out of stats, but really, it's probably ok to have a course i feel halfway comfortable with!

To get to your question, each chapter takes at least one week: you can only hand in one assignment at a time, and it takes the guy up to 5 biz days to get the homework back to you. And you have to wait until he gets it back to you before sending in the next one. So at Berkeley, look at the number of units (~15, I think) and then add two extra weeks for the midterm and final. So it's going to take you a while.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 10:56
I took Corporate Finance, Accounting & Marketing. Basically, I had a low undergrad GPA and I wanted to show them that I'm capable and committed. I didn't actually thing that I'd really use any of the stuff I learned, but some of it might actually come in handy. I wanted to take a statistics course, but I couldn't find one that fit my schedule.

I believe that both UCLA and Berkeley online extension offer a variety of course deadlines. I took the type where the class had a week-by-week syllabus with project and exam due dates. I know there are other types where you set your own pace and have a fixed final exam date, and still others where it's pretty much open ended, like 6 months to complete or something. Regarding cost, I believe I paid $250 per course. I live in California, so I don't know if it's different for people from other states or countries.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 11:04
The classes that i'm looking at are in the $505-525 range. I called yesterdayand I guess it's the same rate for out-of-state students as well. Maybe they raised the rates. When did you take your classes? Did you take all 3 at the same time?

pelihu wrote:
I took Corporate Finance, Accounting & Marketing. Basically, I had a low undergrad GPA and I wanted to show them that I'm capable and committed. I didn't actually thing that I'd really use any of the stuff I learned, but some of it might actually come in handy. I wanted to take a statistics course, but I couldn't find one that fit my schedule.

I believe that both UCLA and Berkeley online extension offer a variety of course deadlines. I took the type where the class had a week-by-week syllabus with project and exam due dates. I know there are other types where you set your own pace and have a fixed final exam date, and still others where it's pretty much open ended, like 6 months to complete or something. Regarding cost, I believe I paid $250 per course. I live in California, so I don't know if it's different for people from other states or countries.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 11:07
Thanks for the info!

Btw, I think I've seen one of your posts where you memtioned that your GMAT was something like a 710, but 60+ percentile Q and 99% V. I'm in the same boat. MY GMAT was 720, but the breakdown was 43Q(70%) and 46V(99%). Did that ever come up in any of your interviews?


aaudetat wrote:
paul_ragos wrote:
I didn't realize you went to Fuqua. Now I'm really gonna have to pick your brain! Fuqua's at the top of my list.

Yeah, I wasn't sure about Stats II either. It did seem like overkill to take that course.

Btw, I noticed that UC Berkeley gives you 6 months to finish the course, while UCLA has a 12 week program. How long did it take you to finish the stats course thru Berkeley? Did you find the class to be helpful? Thanks!


Ah, my dirty secret comes out. Basically, I registered for the course so I could put that i was registered on all my apps, in case they cared. That was Jan 3. Then I continued to be horribly busy because of taxes (I used to do taxes for free for low-income people...not much of a business model) and interviews and selling my house and excuse excuse excuse. So I got about halfway through the course and then just decided it was time to move on and didn't bother to finish it. Though I have to say that half I did complete was really helpful when doing the math review and should put me in a good place when taking the stats class. I suppose that if I had finished it, I might have considered exempting out of stats, but really, it's probably ok to have a course i feel halfway comfortable with!

To get to your question, each chapter takes at least one week: you can only hand in one assignment at a time, and it takes the guy up to 5 biz days to get the homework back to you. And you have to wait until he gets it back to you before sending in the next one. So at Berkeley, look at the number of units (~15, I think) and then add two extra weeks for the midterm and final. So it's going to take you a while.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 11:43
[quote="paul_ragos"]Thanks for the info!

Btw, I think I've seen one of your posts where you memtioned that your GMAT was something like a 710, but 60+ percentile Q and 99% V. I'm in the same boat. MY GMAT was 720, but the breakdown was 43Q(70%) and 46V(99%). Did that ever come up in any of your interviews?[quote/]

Nope.

But:

I took calc in college and got an A.

My undergrad record is pretty good: 3.94 gpa and phi beta kappa.

I'd been working at a community development credit union. I really am not a banker - involved in community programs - but I don't know that they knew that. And I do taxes, so while that's not particularly analytical, it's all numbers.

All of these may have been compensating factors.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2007, 21:55
aaudetat wrote:
paul_ragos wrote:
I didn't realize you went to Fuqua. Now I'm really gonna have to pick your brain! Fuqua's at the top of my list.

Yeah, I wasn't sure about Stats II either. It did seem like overkill to take that course.

Btw, I noticed that UC Berkeley gives you 6 months to finish the course, while UCLA has a 12 week program. How long did it take you to finish the stats course thru Berkeley? Did you find the class to be helpful? Thanks!


Ah, my dirty secret comes out. Basically, I registered for the course so I could put that i was registered on all my apps, in case they cared. That was Jan 3. Then I continued to be horribly busy because of taxes (I used to do taxes for free for low-income people...not much of a business model) and interviews and selling my house and excuse excuse excuse. So I got about halfway through the course and then just decided it was time to move on and didn't bother to finish it. Though I have to say that half I did complete was really helpful when doing the math review and should put me in a good place when taking the stats class. I suppose that if I had finished it, I might have considered exempting out of stats, but really, it's probably ok to have a course i feel halfway comfortable with!

To get to your question, each chapter takes at least one week: you can only hand in one assignment at a time, and it takes the guy up to 5 biz days to get the homework back to you. And you have to wait until he gets it back to you before sending in the next one. So at Berkeley, look at the number of units (~15, I think) and then add two extra weeks for the midterm and final. So it's going to take you a while.


I completed UCB online Calculus course. For that the number of units is 12. I don't know whether that is case for Stat.

Coming to time that is needed to complete a chapter or unit, each unit on average took me a week of 5 working days (I spent a couple of hours each day for some units) or a weekend of 1 complete day (around 10-12 hours).

As aau suggested, plan for 2 weeks extra. That means a commitment of at least 14 weeks of part-time or 14 weekend days of full-time .
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2007, 10:05
Thanks everyone! I think I'm going to go with UCLA extension. I will sign up for the Stats class tonight.
  [#permalink] 09 Aug 2007, 10:05
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