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What GPA should I start "discussing weakness in academic performance"

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What GPA should I start "discussing weakness in academic performance" [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2017, 21:55
So starting on my essays and almost all schools have the obligatory explain weakness in academic profile / work profile.

At what GPA cutoff would you recommend ? Lets say you have a 3.2-3.5 and that's outside the 80% curve, is it worth dedicating your essay to that? Or will a school scoff at the idea that you think a 3.X needs to be explained / bad idea to remind the school of your semi-low GPA.

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Re: What GPA should I start "discussing weakness in academic performance" [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2017, 05:34
startup2017 wrote:
So starting on my essays and almost all schools have the obligatory explain weakness in academic profile / work profile.

At what GPA cutoff would you recommend ? Lets say you have a 3.2-3.5 and that's outside the 80% curve, is it worth dedicating your essay to that? Or will a school scoff at the idea that you think a 3.X needs to be explained / bad idea to remind the school of your semi-low GPA.


Probably a little higher than mine (*he said while holding back the tears*).

But seriously it depends if you can explain it. If you're at about a 3.3 and you don't really have a reason and it was pretty even then there isn't really anything to say is there? I have a 3.1 but used the optional essay to explain pretty much I was a dumb idiot focussed on physical therapy (4 surgeries in 3 years) and didn't really care, and that my 3.6 the final 2 years and GMAT are a better indicator of the student I would be.

Really it is about story, if you had a 3.5 but the last two years were a 4.0 explain it. If you have a 3.1 and it was a solid 3.1 all 4 years probably nothing to say. Like all essays it's about your personal story and how that fits into the overall picture of you.
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Re: What GPA should I start "discussing weakness in academic performance" [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2017, 11:57
startup2017 wrote:
So starting on my essays and almost all schools have the obligatory explain weakness in academic profile / work profile.

At what GPA cutoff would you recommend ? Lets say you have a 3.2-3.5 and that's outside the 80% curve, is it worth dedicating your essay to that? Or will a school scoff at the idea that you think a 3.X needs to be explained / bad idea to remind the school of your semi-low GPA.

That's a great question. And while there is no one size fits all answer here, I know in my experience on the adcom side, once I started seeing some D's or F's I kind of wanted to know what was going on- even if the overall gpa was 3.4 or higher. If it is all consistently just some B's or C's knocking down the gpa, I'm not sure calling that out helps unless you have some context to share such as that you worked full time while also attending school or worked 20+ hrs a week or were an athlete or whatever. Don't make excuses, but it can help to share the context of what was going on. Also,
all things being equal, adcom wants to better understand why you tanked on the quant courses and they are not going be as concerned about the "D" in art history... if you have a pattern of weak quant course grades, you might want to explain that and offer some other examples of your strong quant ability... ideally the killer GMAT quant score. So don't make mountains out of molehills, but at the same time, the optional essay, which does not need to be a novel, is a great way to give some context to anything that might raise the eyebrows of adcom. A few sentences can go a long way-
don't make excuses and don't go on for days wallowing in whatever it is... just own it, give a reason why it won't happen again (aka- what you learned from it) and then move on!

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Re: What GPA should I start "discussing weakness in academic performance"   [#permalink] 11 Sep 2017, 11:57
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What GPA should I start "discussing weakness in academic performance"

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