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 Post subject: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:18 pm
Archived Posts: 9
So like for many of us here, let's say the goal is getting a T14 acceptance. Getting what grades makes you cringe and feel like it's over, whether voluntarily or not? Is it ridiculous to equate anything below an A to a failure, as I've seen some people do?

What would you say is a bad semester? Anything below 3.5? 3.0, 2.5? Of course it's important to mind one's major and all...


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:23 pm
Archived Posts: 221
A "bad grade" is anything below an A-, even an A- depending on how many you have. That's how you should think while in undergrad. A what I would call "red flag grade" is a C or lower, maybe even a B-." You want to have as few of those as possible and as many As as possible.

A "bad semester" in my opinion is one that brings your GPA down significantly, like without one bad semester you would have had a 3.9 but instead you have a 3.7. If you really have a 3.7 it won't be a "deadly quarter" cuz a 3.7 is still ok. But if you have a 3.5 and would have had a 3.8 but for a F and D one quarter, that really sucks. The lesson is that you need to understand that many people have one bad quarter/semester that screws them big time, and when you ahve a bad breakup/family death, you need to be tell yourself to keep going and keep the big picture in mind. A GPA in my opinion reflects who someone truly is, your average performance over 3-4 years. It shows how well someone can focus on the big picture and stay focused. Unreliable people can't do this and have a low GPA whereas someone with a 3.8-4.0 is really impressive to me.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:08 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:23 pm
Archived Posts: 221
For T-14 you need to extremely cutthroat. Anything below A is a awful (although a few A-s won't kill you).


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm
Archived Posts: 2995
senegalese_filmmaker wrote:
For T-14 you need to extremely cutthroat. Anything below A is a awful (although a few A-s won't kill you).


You are INCORRECT sir.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:15 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:29 pm
Archived Posts: 233
GPA of 3.5 or 4.0 makes little difference in the face of a few extra points on the LSAT.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am
Archived Posts: 5009
Stay above 3.5 and do well on the LSAT and you're golden everywhere except HYS.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:18 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:51 pm
Archived Posts: 283
senegalese_filmmaker wrote:
For T-14 you need to extremely cutthroat. Anything below A is a awful (although a few A-s won't kill you).


This is a little extreme. Lots of people get into T-14s with lower than an A- average.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm
Archived Posts: 2995
UandIaresplittsville wrote:
GPA of 3.5 or 4.0 makes little difference in the face of a few extra points on the LSAT.


Kind of depends on the school. For example for Harvard you are FAR better off with a 172 3.9 than a 175 3.6


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:22 pm 

Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 10:38 pm
Archived Posts: 321
I would say an A- is average is going to be about on target for a lot of the t14. Probably anything below a 3.6 and your chances really start to drop off.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:23 pm
Archived Posts: 221
kflyer wrote:
senegalese_filmmaker wrote:
For T-14 you need to extremely cutthroat. Anything below A is a awful (although a few A-s won't kill you).


This is a little extreme. Lots of people get into T-14s with lower than an A- average.


Right, right, I agree. Didn't mean to sound so extreme or that A- or B+ is really awful, just that you should try to get as many As as possible. Don't get down if you get a B or two, not at all.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:31 am
Archived Posts: 516
senegalese_filmmaker wrote:
kflyer wrote:
senegalese_filmmaker wrote:
For T-14 you need to extremely cutthroat. Anything below A is a awful (although a few A-s won't kill you).


This is a little extreme. Lots of people get into T-14s with lower than an A- average.


Right, right, I agree. Didn't mean to sound so extreme or that A- or B+ is really awful, just that you should try to get as many As as possible. Don't get down if you get a B or two, not at all.


I got very few A's (maybe 2 in all of UG?) and many fewer A-'s than B+'s. I even had *oh, the horror* 2 B-'s and several B's. I'm going to a T14 next fall....plenty of people manage it. I'm not saying that I would have gotten in to Stanford, but I'd put money that I was pretty solid for CCN on down and my observation is that a few LSAT points definitely make up for GPAs for everything but HYS. There's a lot of 4.0's out there and, by definition, a very very small portion of the application population with 172+ LSATs.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:54 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:57 am
Archived Posts: 924
"bad grade" depends on what you got on your LSAT and where you want to go to school.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:24 am
Archived Posts: 487
What are these A-'s and A+'s you speak of? Go to state school where it's just A's and keep a 4.0


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:09 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:04 pm
Archived Posts: 1600
Quote:
A "bad semester" in my opinion is one that brings your GPA down significantly, like without one bad semester you would have had a 3.9 but instead you have a 3.7. If you really have a 3.7 it won't be a "deadly quarter" cuz a 3.7 is still ok. But if you have a 3.5 and would have had a 3.8 but for a F and D one quarter, that really sucks. The lesson is that you need to understand that many people have one bad quarter/semester that screws them big time, and when you ahve a bad breakup/family death, you need to be tell yourself to keep going and keep the big picture in mind. A GPA in my opinion reflects who someone truly is, your average performance over 3-4 years. It shows how well someone can focus on the big picture and stay focused. Unreliable people can't do this and have a low GPA whereas someone with a 3.8-4.0 is really impressive to me.


WTH? Maybe they just didn't major in Poli Sci/History/English/etc. Really a 3.8 isn't all that impressive in that type of major. Whereas even a 3.4 in a premed major is pretty difficult to pull off. In all likelihood the latter science major student actually worked much harder. In response to the bolded , a lot of what a GPA "reflects" is how rigorous a major someone has. In many ways just looking at GPA as a absolute number and trying to gauge a person just off of it is a pretty poor indicator of their skills relative to someone else. Thank God for the LSAT or a lot of people who worked really hard and are very intelligent, often moreso than those who crusied by in Poli Sci, still have a fighting chance.


Last edited by kurama20 on Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:10 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:19 pm
Archived Posts: 460
I got quite a few Bs and 3 B-'s and I still got into 5 T14 schools.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:50 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am
Archived Posts: 5009
senegalese_filmmaker wrote:
A GPA in my opinion reflects who someone truly is, your average performance over 3-4 years. It shows how well someone can focus on the big picture and stay focused. Unreliable people can't do this and have a low GPA whereas someone with a 3.8-4.0 is really impressive to me.


I think your GPA can reflect a lot of things. Obviously, if somebody is down at 2.5 like I was, it says something about one's interest/ability in his major. And if someone pulling a 3.95, he is probably pretty rock solid regardless of his major. Between that, I think it's a lot fuzzier.

When I think about the best engineers I know, there is not a whole lot of correlation with GPAs. I know two 3.6's in computer science (summa cum laude at my UG). One is incredibly brilliant, and now works for the State Department. We talk with each other about new papers in the field, he has hobby projects on the side, etc. At work, he's a superstar. The other is just competent, but works really hard. I helped him through sophomore year CS classes, and it was a bit bothersome to explain some more complicated concepts to him. He got asked to resign from his first job because he couldn't pick things up fast enough, and is now comfortable in his second job because he's at a big company where there is a lot of training/support. If I was interviewing the two for a job where I work (small, startup-style company with NO handholding), I'd hire the first one in a heartbeat, and not hire the second, even though their GPAs would suggest similar levels of ability.

On the other hand, I know a guy with a 3.8 in aerospace, who switched from an ME major and still managed to graduate in 4 years. He's going to grad school now and I'm convinced he's gonna end up with a satellite or missile design with his name on it. His GPA reflects the fact that he's a fricking genius, and he's got the research chops to back it up.

I think what I'm trying to get at is that I see GPA as being a kind of tri-state thing. If you're at the top of your class, you've obviously got something going for you. If you're at the bottom, you've obviously got some issues. If you're somewhere in the middle, well, then I need more information. I'd rather have the somewhat below-median CS student who has two open-source projects on the side than the somewhat above-median CS student who just does schoolwork. I'd take the lit major at median whose published his work professionally over the top-1/3-ish guy whose just written undergraduate papers.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:09 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:38 pm
Archived Posts: 680
Location: Captain of the Red Guard
There are MANY circumstances that can get you in with "Bad Grades". My best friends older brother got into Stanford with 3 F's in undergrad. He just had solid apps, great LOR's, and of course a ridiculous LSAT. He just had to step it up A LOT after that semester. Shit happens, and that shit can make it significantly harder, but not always impossible to get in to HYS, nonetheless another t14.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:10 am 
Drunken Sheriff

Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:43 pm
Archived Posts: 2045
I got into a tier 1, with scholly, despite a sub 3 gpa.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:13 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:38 pm
Archived Posts: 680
Location: Captain of the Red Guard
betasteve wrote:
I got into a tier 1, with scholly, despite a sub 3 gpa.

Any post bacc? If you don't mind me asking :D your making me feel better lol.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:14 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:42 pm
Archived Posts: 292
senegalese_filmmaker wrote:
For T-14 you need to extremely cutthroat. Anything below A is a awful (although a few A-s won't kill you).


False. I have a GPA below (well, slightly below) A-. I have many, many grades below A- (and quite a few below B+). Except for H & Y, this cycle has been good to me. LSN link in profile. Straight out of UG.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:14 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:47 am
Archived Posts: 47
just look at the median gpas

you can quite easily get into georgetown with almost all B+s and Bs if you get a 3.2, 174.
getting into a t14 is much more dependent on LSAT than gpa. however, if you're below 3.0 it will be difficult.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:07 pm
Archived Posts: 1315
Anything below 3.0 is a bad semester.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:20 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:46 pm
Archived Posts: 103
Stupid question, I know: Would it be unreasonable to include an addendum for a C, when every other grade is at least an A/b+? Yes, I received a C, all because some asshole pulled the fire alarm during the final exam and everyone had to wait outside in the freezing cold for an hour (at 10pm!)...lets just say my concentration was destroyed haha


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:32 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm
Archived Posts: 2995
utexas2010 wrote:
Stupid question, I know: Would it be unreasonable to include an addendum for a C, when every other grade is at least an A/b+? Yes, I received a C, all because some asshole pulled the fire alarm during the final exam and everyone had to wait outside in the freezing cold for an hour (at 10pm!)...lets just say my concentration was destroyed haha


You can do it, but I doubt it will have much influence. The GPA difference of a single C probably isn't great enough to make you a significantly better or worse applicant. That really does suck though.


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 Post subject: Re: What's a "bad semester"? What's a "bad grade"?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:43 pm
Archived Posts: 23
utexas2010 wrote:
Stupid question, I know: Would it be unreasonable to include an addendum for a C, when every other grade is at least an A/b+? Yes, I received a C, all because some asshole pulled the fire alarm during the final exam and everyone had to wait outside in the freezing cold for an hour (at 10pm!)...lets just say my concentration was destroyed haha


I doubt it will make very much difference, but I plan to do the same thing. I have one C from my first semester, and all As for the next four semesters. At least it won't hurt.


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