Effort For Good Grades : The B-School Application
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Director
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23 Apr 2007, 07:53
From what I can remember from my undergraduate days, it seemed like it took very little effort to get by, i.e. to maintain about a 3.0. Let's call this "X" amount of effort.

To get a 3.3 probably took about 1.5 X amount of effort. To get a 3.6 probably took about 2.5 X amount of effort. To get above a 3.8 probably took about 5 X amount of effort.

Going into b-school I imagine this sort of effort-return relationship isn't radically different. With networking and all the other important non-academic stuff going on, I'm wondering how hard everyone is planning on studying. For those going into banking and consulting grades will be important (whether or not your school has grade disclosure, from what I've heard they will look for distinctions or honors or whatever from NGD schools), but still nobody wants to spend all their time studying to get a 4.0 do they?
SVP
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23 Apr 2007, 08:11
I honestly don't think all that effort at getting good grades is worth it. I think it's better to network and work on softer skills. Here's an excerpt from Alex Chu's book which I thought was interesting:

Current Student
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23 Apr 2007, 08:12
johnnyx9 wrote:
From what I can remember from my undergraduate days, it seemed like it took very little effort to get by, i.e. to maintain about a 3.0. Let's call this "X" amount of effort.

To get a 3.3 probably took about 1.5 X amount of effort. To get a 3.6 probably took about 2.5 X amount of effort. To get above a 3.8 probably took about 5 X amount of effort.

Going into b-school I imagine this sort of effort-return relationship isn't radically different. With networking and all the other important non-academic stuff going on, I'm wondering how hard everyone is planning on studying. For those going into banking and consulting grades will be important (whether or not your school has grade disclosure, from what I've heard they will look for distinctions or honors or whatever from NGD schools), but still nobody wants to spend all their time studying to get a 4.0 do they?

I met with one of my future classmates and their spouse is graduating from Sloan this year. From their experience, the effort put into social/networking events is a lot greater than time spent academically. Coming from an experience based on Sloan, I imagine you can count on having the academic work be far from over bearing.
VP
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23 Apr 2007, 08:17
A guy was talking to me about going to Stern. His take was "you get five courses first semester... each course gives about 25 hours a week work... then you have all the other stuff. Basically, you have to decide immediately which one course you aren't going to do so well in".

His take amused me, but I can see where he's coming from.
Director
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23 Apr 2007, 08:22
That's probably good advice, just sort of evaluating how tough classes are going to be and going for the low-hanging fruit.

Maybe I'll decide to do poorly in all my classes, that will help free up time for extra partying, I mean networking!
Manager
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23 Apr 2007, 09:18
you're talking about a scale of diminishing returns. I believe you are right, you might need to double your effort to go from 3.9 to 4.0. I think the key thing is to simply put in a good amount of effort but not kill yourself. But also realize, that if you enjoy the material, you will probably wont mind studying for it as much. [/code]
Director
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23 Apr 2007, 09:31
Dimishing returns, that's the phrase I was looking for earlier. I agree, I think the material will be very interesting. Hopefully the group-work aspect will make it that much more engaging.
Senior Manager
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23 Apr 2007, 11:46
From talking to current students, it seems like the networking aspect of b-school should take precedence over getting excellent marks in your classes. I presume we are all going back to school to obtain a better or more fulfilling job, and getting that job takes a lot of networking. A 4.0 is great, but at the end of the day it's not going to get you a job if you don't get out and talk to people.

That said, crap grades will certainly hurt you, so you don't want to fall below the "passable" range (i'm guessing around 3.25-3.5?) and into the "poor" range.
Director
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23 Apr 2007, 14:20
I agree with most of the comments here and personally intent to follow a 80/20 approach when studying in b-school, but it is a fact that certain employers do place significant value in high GPAs or academic distinction during b-school.
Manager
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23 Apr 2007, 15:02
3.25 is on the cusp of a poor GPA?
Director
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23 Apr 2007, 16:19
Well I think he means "poor" in the sense that once you get below that, your GPA will be much lower than the GPA of the people you're competing against for jobs. From what I've heard grade inflation and grading curves result in lots of good GPA's at most business schools, so if you have a 3.2, odds are most of your classmates have a better GPA, and you'll all be interviewing for the same jobs.
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23 Apr 2007, 16:26
johnnyx9 wrote:
Well I think he means "poor" in the sense that once you get below that, your GPA will be much lower than the GPA of the people you're competing against for jobs. From what I've heard grade inflation and grading curves result in lots of good GPA's at most business schools, so if you have a 3.2, odds are most of your classmates have a better GPA, and you'll all be interviewing for the same jobs.

Correct. The grading scale at b-schools, and grad schools in general, is not very similar to undergrads. People are a lot more serious in grad school, so you rarely see a D or F.
23 Apr 2007, 16:26
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