Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

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pikalove
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Re: Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

Postby pikalove » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:35 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
GeePee wrote:I'm not sure what scares me more: that this thread was started in the first place, or that more than half of the posts so far have been in agreement with OP.

Come on... really?


+1

Going through undergrad with the sole purpose of maximizing one's GPA seems to me to be a collosal waste of the undergrad experience and completely unnecessary. For entrance to a T-14, you could just take courses that interest you, do your best, and knock out the LSAT.


.... Was I wrong in thinking that the point of undergrad was to learn? Expand horizons? Take risks for the sake of knowledge?

The people who do the best are the ones who are passionate and excited... not the ones who are calculating and bored.

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rayiner
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Re: Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

Postby rayiner » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:09 pm

pikalove wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
GeePee wrote:I'm not sure what scares me more: that this thread was started in the first place, or that more than half of the posts so far have been in agreement with OP.

Come on... really?


+1

Going through undergrad with the sole purpose of maximizing one's GPA seems to me to be a collosal waste of the undergrad experience and completely unnecessary. For entrance to a T-14, you could just take courses that interest you, do your best, and knock out the LSAT.


.... Was I wrong in thinking that the point of undergrad was to learn? Expand horizons? Take risks for the sake of knowledge?

The people who do the best are the ones who are passionate and excited... not the ones who are calculating and bored.


Take an easy major and get A's. Be passionate and excited about something else.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:49 pm

pikalove wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
GeePee wrote:I'm not sure what scares me more: that this thread was started in the first place, or that more than half of the posts so far have been in agreement with OP.

Come on... really?


+1

Going through undergrad with the sole purpose of maximizing one's GPA seems to me to be a collosal waste of the undergrad experience and completely unnecessary. For entrance to a T-14, you could just take courses that interest you, do your best, and knock out the LSAT.


.... Was I wrong in thinking that the point of undergrad was to learn? Expand horizons? Take risks for the sake of knowledge?

The people who do the best are the ones who are passionate and excited... not the ones who are calculating and bored.


I get my best grades in courses in my major because I love them. Doing the work is fun and interesting.

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ValiantVic
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Re: Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

Postby ValiantVic » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:05 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
pikalove wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
GeePee wrote:I'm not sure what scares me more: that this thread was started in the first place, or that more than half of the posts so far have been in agreement with OP.

Come on... really?


+1

Going through undergrad with the sole purpose of maximizing one's GPA seems to me to be a collosal waste of the undergrad experience and completely unnecessary. For entrance to a T-14, you could just take courses that interest you, do your best, and knock out the LSAT.


.... Was I wrong in thinking that the point of undergrad was to learn? Expand horizons? Take risks for the sake of knowledge?

The people who do the best are the ones who are passionate and excited... not the ones who are calculating and bored.


I think we usually find we have an interest and passion in what we're naturally good at. Also, my advice was not meant as "don't do what you're passionate about" but more "don't take a class just because it sounds interesting when you don't have the first clue as to what it involves."

As far as taking risks for the sake of knowledge, I don't understand this. Does taking a class guarantee that you will get knowledge? It sets up a structured environment and punishes you if you don't but ultimately it is up to you. There are less costly ways of gaining knowledge such as self-study. Also, and unfortunately, a class will not always teach you what you were expecting to learn but rather what the professor feels is interesting. Would you really be interested in pursuing your interests or those of someone else? While I understand this is not a fair question as the two are not mutually exclusive there are many instances where it would have been better to learn about a given subject on one's own. Especially when we're talking about the liberal arts, which really just teaches information as opposed to practical skills. You might as well learn what you want to rather than what they want you to. Of course things like engineering and mathematics are another matter entirely and require more structured study. But there's a million ways to approach Shakespeare as opposed to a calculus problem.

I get my best grades in courses in my major because I love them. Doing the work is fun and interesting.

cavebat2000
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Re: Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

Postby cavebat2000 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:08 pm

ValiantVic wrote:Here are a 10 things I've learned along the way. Feel free to add yours

1. Don't go to a state school or any school that treats you like a number

2. Don't major or minor in something you don't have a natural talent in to begin with.
If you major in liberal arts, play to your strengths. Either take a paper class or an exam class.

3. Don't care if what you're studying is intellectually interesting as long as you get a good grade in it

4. NEVER TAKE A CLASS WITH A NEW PROFESSOR IF YOU CAN HELP IT (this is like walking into a minefield of questinos re: teaching style, grading curve, etc.)

5. Never enroll in a class where the comments are along the lines of "tough grader, but worth it," "gives you the grade you deserve, not the one you want," or "challenges you to do your best."

6. Look at old exams as soon as you can to determine what material the professor asks about on the exam (textbook, class lecture notes, outlines, etc.). The professor will usually tell you about this up front.

7. Another potential minefield: TAs. Be very careful about these people. They have little to no accountability and don't give a crap what grade they give you. They also tend to have something to prove. There's a saying that our peers are much harder on us than our elders, this could not be more true for the people just a few years older than you telling you how it is. If you have a sense that a TA will be hard grader (try and get on this early by seeing how they approach the class, attendance, or how they grade assignments) GET OUT OF THAT CLASS PRONTO!!!

8. Biases. Everyone is biased. If you think your professor is biased and you feel you can't write what he/she wants, GET OUT OF THAT CLASS. No matter what is said by that professor we all carry our biases that will influence us whether we are concious of it or not.

9. Group projects. If you can help it, never, ever, ever and I mean EVER enroll in a class where a group project makes up a significatn part of your grade. Chances are out of a group of randomly selected people, someone will either a) not care, b) not be very talented in that subject matter or c) be a control freak who ruins the group.

10. As a last piece of advice, generally the longer a class has been around the more reliable its reputation. Ask the people a few years ahead of you how they liked it. Get a few opinions, some will hate it, some will love it. What is important is not so much their opinions, but whether you resonate with the strengths of the class (which they may dislike for one reason or another) or will be susceptible to its weaknesses. Don't force yourself to take a class to prove you can, you may very well end up doing well in that class but the amount of effort you will have expended to do so will suck up time for other classes and life in general.



I did nearly all of these things and got a 3.9 GPA in undergrad and a 4.0 in grad school. The OP is mistaken and you should not listen to him/her. He/she is obviously disgruntled and is simply venting.

Best of luck to you all.

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bighead715
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Re: Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

Postby bighead715 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:27 pm

cavebat2000 wrote:
ValiantVic wrote:Here are a 10 things I've learned along the way. Feel free to add yours

1. Don't go to a state school or any school that treats you like a number

2. Don't major or minor in something you don't have a natural talent in to begin with.
If you major in liberal arts, play to your strengths. Either take a paper class or an exam class.

3. Don't care if what you're studying is intellectually interesting as long as you get a good grade in it

4. NEVER TAKE A CLASS WITH A NEW PROFESSOR IF YOU CAN HELP IT (this is like walking into a minefield of questinos re: teaching style, grading curve, etc.)

5. Never enroll in a class where the comments are along the lines of "tough grader, but worth it," "gives you the grade you deserve, not the one you want," or "challenges you to do your best."

6. Look at old exams as soon as you can to determine what material the professor asks about on the exam (textbook, class lecture notes, outlines, etc.). The professor will usually tell you about this up front.

7. Another potential minefield: TAs. Be very careful about these people. They have little to no accountability and don't give a crap what grade they give you. They also tend to have something to prove. There's a saying that our peers are much harder on us than our elders, this could not be more true for the people just a few years older than you telling you how it is. If you have a sense that a TA will be hard grader (try and get on this early by seeing how they approach the class, attendance, or how they grade assignments) GET OUT OF THAT CLASS PRONTO!!!

8. Biases. Everyone is biased. If you think your professor is biased and you feel you can't write what he/she wants, GET OUT OF THAT CLASS. No matter what is said by that professor we all carry our biases that will influence us whether we are concious of it or not.

9. Group projects. If you can help it, never, ever, ever and I mean EVER enroll in a class where a group project makes up a significatn part of your grade. Chances are out of a group of randomly selected people, someone will either a) not care, b) not be very talented in that subject matter or c) be a control freak who ruins the group.

10. As a last piece of advice, generally the longer a class has been around the more reliable its reputation. Ask the people a few years ahead of you how they liked it. Get a few opinions, some will hate it, some will love it. What is important is not so much their opinions, but whether you resonate with the strengths of the class (which they may dislike for one reason or another) or will be susceptible to its weaknesses. Don't force yourself to take a class to prove you can, you may very well end up doing well in that class but the amount of effort you will have expended to do so will suck up time for other classes and life in general.



I did nearly all of these things and got a 3.9 GPA in undergrad and a 4.0 in grad school. The OP is mistaken and you should not listen to him/her. He/she is obviously disgruntled and is simply venting.

Best of luck to you all.


ya this is retarded - i made every one of those "mistakes," drank a lot, and got a 3.98

edit: i did not go to yale :D

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gatorlion
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Re: Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

Postby gatorlion » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:30 pm

bighead715 wrote:
cavebat2000 wrote:
ValiantVic wrote:Here are a 10 things I've learned along the way. Feel free to add yours

1. Don't go to a state school or any school that treats you like a number

2. Don't major or minor in something you don't have a natural talent in to begin with.
If you major in liberal arts, play to your strengths. Either take a paper class or an exam class.

3. Don't care if what you're studying is intellectually interesting as long as you get a good grade in it

4. NEVER TAKE A CLASS WITH A NEW PROFESSOR IF YOU CAN HELP IT (this is like walking into a minefield of questinos re: teaching style, grading curve, etc.)

5. Never enroll in a class where the comments are along the lines of "tough grader, but worth it," "gives you the grade you deserve, not the one you want," or "challenges you to do your best."

6. Look at old exams as soon as you can to determine what material the professor asks about on the exam (textbook, class lecture notes, outlines, etc.). The professor will usually tell you about this up front.

7. Another potential minefield: TAs. Be very careful about these people. They have little to no accountability and don't give a crap what grade they give you. They also tend to have something to prove. There's a saying that our peers are much harder on us than our elders, this could not be more true for the people just a few years older than you telling you how it is. If you have a sense that a TA will be hard grader (try and get on this early by seeing how they approach the class, attendance, or how they grade assignments) GET OUT OF THAT CLASS PRONTO!!!

8. Biases. Everyone is biased. If you think your professor is biased and you feel you can't write what he/she wants, GET OUT OF THAT CLASS. No matter what is said by that professor we all carry our biases that will influence us whether we are concious of it or not.

9. Group projects. If you can help it, never, ever, ever and I mean EVER enroll in a class where a group project makes up a significatn part of your grade. Chances are out of a group of randomly selected people, someone will either a) not care, b) not be very talented in that subject matter or c) be a control freak who ruins the group.

10. As a last piece of advice, generally the longer a class has been around the more reliable its reputation. Ask the people a few years ahead of you how they liked it. Get a few opinions, some will hate it, some will love it. What is important is not so much their opinions, but whether you resonate with the strengths of the class (which they may dislike for one reason or another) or will be susceptible to its weaknesses. Don't force yourself to take a class to prove you can, you may very well end up doing well in that class but the amount of effort you will have expended to do so will suck up time for other classes and life in general.



I did nearly all of these things and got a 3.9 GPA in undergrad and a 4.0 in grad school. The OP is mistaken and you should not listen to him/her. He/she is obviously disgruntled and is simply venting.

Best of luck to you all.


ya this is retarded - i made every one of those "mistakes," drank a lot, and got a 3.98


Rampant Florida State trolling...

09042014
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Re: Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

Postby 09042014 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:45 pm

Not all big state schools are created equal. I majored in Electrical Engineering at University of Illinois, and last year I took a programming course at Northeastern Illinois for my job, and wow the difficulty was night and day. It was a graduate class that I didn't have the prereqs for and I was still the only one who knew what was going on.

I considered getting a masters in CS there just because it was so easy.

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ValiantVic
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Re: Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

Postby ValiantVic » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:43 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Not all big state schools are created equal. I majored in Electrical Engineering at University of Illinois, and last year I took a programming course at Northeastern Illinois for my job, and wow the difficulty was night and day. It was a graduate class that I didn't have the prereqs for and I was still the only one who knew what was going on.

I considered getting a masters in CS there just because it was so easy.


+1

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rayiner
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Re: Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

Postby rayiner » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:46 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Not all big state schools are created equal. I majored in Electrical Engineering at University of Illinois, and last year I took a programming course at Northeastern Illinois for my job, and wow the difficulty was night and day. It was a graduate class that I didn't have the prereqs for and I was still the only one who knew what was going on.

I considered getting a masters in CS there just because it was so easy.


I looked at some George Mason U CS coursework once. I probably could've passed their OS and Comp-Arch finals just taking them right there.

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ValiantVic
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Re: Advice for people who want high GPAs in college

Postby ValiantVic » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:48 pm

bighead715 wrote:
cavebat2000 wrote:
ValiantVic wrote:Here are a 10 things I've learned along the way. Feel free to add yours

1. Don't go to a state school or any school that treats you like a number

2. Don't major or minor in something you don't have a natural talent in to begin with.
If you major in liberal arts, play to your strengths. Either take a paper class or an exam class.

3. Don't care if what you're studying is intellectually interesting as long as you get a good grade in it

4. NEVER TAKE A CLASS WITH A NEW PROFESSOR IF YOU CAN HELP IT (this is like walking into a minefield of questinos re: teaching style, grading curve, etc.)

5. Never enroll in a class where the comments are along the lines of "tough grader, but worth it," "gives you the grade you deserve, not the one you want," or "challenges you to do your best."

6. Look at old exams as soon as you can to determine what material the professor asks about on the exam (textbook, class lecture notes, outlines, etc.). The professor will usually tell you about this up front.

7. Another potential minefield: TAs. Be very careful about these people. They have little to no accountability and don't give a crap what grade they give you. They also tend to have something to prove. There's a saying that our peers are much harder on us than our elders, this could not be more true for the people just a few years older than you telling you how it is. If you have a sense that a TA will be hard grader (try and get on this early by seeing how they approach the class, attendance, or how they grade assignments) GET OUT OF THAT CLASS PRONTO!!!

8. Biases. Everyone is biased. If you think your professor is biased and you feel you can't write what he/she wants, GET OUT OF THAT CLASS. No matter what is said by that professor we all carry our biases that will influence us whether we are concious of it or not.

9. Group projects. If you can help it, never, ever, ever and I mean EVER enroll in a class where a group project makes up a significatn part of your grade. Chances are out of a group of randomly selected people, someone will either a) not care, b) not be very talented in that subject matter or c) be a control freak who ruins the group.

10. As a last piece of advice, generally the longer a class has been around the more reliable its reputation. Ask the people a few years ahead of you how they liked it. Get a few opinions, some will hate it, some will love it. What is important is not so much their opinions, but whether you resonate with the strengths of the class (which they may dislike for one reason or another) or will be susceptible to its weaknesses. Don't force yourself to take a class to prove you can, you may very well end up doing well in that class but the amount of effort you will have expended to do so will suck up time for other classes and life in general.



I did nearly all of these things and got a 3.9 GPA in undergrad and a 4.0 in grad school. The OP is mistaken and you should not listen to him/her. He/she is obviously disgruntled and is simply venting.

Best of luck to you all.


ya this is retarded - i made every one of those "mistakes," drank a lot, and got a 3.98

edit: i did not go to yale :D


Honestly, IMO, you got lucky then. If you didn't get screwed in a group project or by a new professor's grading policy (where the entire grade is the final and the criteria for grading changes on you) then you were lucky. I'm not bitter. I had a fine GPA, I'm just saying these things because these were lessons I learned through the years. They're not gospel, just hard-learned lessons in some instances.




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