marginal benefit of additional GPA points

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fear&loathingintexas
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marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby fear&loathingintexas » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:49 pm

I've done some playing around with the LSAC GPA calculator and found that if i take an extra class this semester (18 hours instead of 15) I can raise my cumulative GPA by up to 0.02 points as opposed to without those additional hours. Is it worth the extra time/effort? And no, it will not be the difference between a 3.98 and a 4.00. Would 0.02 points make a difference in my competitiveness or am I just doing this for reasons of vanity?

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Hannibal
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby Hannibal » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:50 pm

Barely. If you similarly use LSP, you'll notice the difference of .02 means nothing compared to one point on your LSAT.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:51 pm

depends on whether you are passing a mark at your target schools (ie. 25%, 50%, or 75%). Otherwise, since they report in percentiles and not averages, it won't make a difference.

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Dany
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby Dany » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:53 pm

I don't think it will make much difference at all, yet taking 18 hours is significantly more miserable than just 15. I'd just take 15 hours, go for all A's in those, and leave it at that.

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vespertiliovir
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby vespertiliovir » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:54 pm

CastleRock wrote:depends on whether you are passing a mark at your target schools (ie. 25%, 50%, or 75%). Otherwise, since they report in percentiles and not averages, it won't make a difference.

Even then I don't think it would make a very big difference.

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OrdinarilySkilled
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:01 pm

fear&loathingintexas wrote:I've done some playing around with the LSAC GPA calculator and found that if i take an extra class this semester (18 hours instead of 15) I can raise my cumulative GPA by up to 0.02 points as opposed to without those additional hours. Is it worth the extra time/effort? And no, it will not be the difference between a 3.98 and a 4.00. Would 0.02 points make a difference in my competitiveness or am I just doing this for reasons of vanity?


No unless the class takes place at a bar.

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Dany
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby Dany » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:02 pm

The only way I could see it helping is if you went from, say, a 3.78 to a 3.80 (i.e. it crosses another tenth-of-a-point threshold) because I think psychologically it seems like he 3.8 is much higher. However, when you add in another three hours of class it can be harder to get A's in all your classes, so my vote still goes with 15 hours. Just thought I'd throw out that example, though.

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billyez
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby billyez » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:09 pm

I don't think it's worth the extra effort - it's especially not worth the effort if you're taking the September or December LSAT. If that's the case, then you'll have a rather heavy workload combined with studying for the LSAT. As the last poster mentioned as well, this depends on what effect this would have on your current GPA. Would it be the difference between a 3.60 and a 3.62 or a 3.88 and a 3.9?

acrossthelake
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:11 pm

Lol I'm going all out to try to bridge the 3.7x to 3.8x gap. It better help me out.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:11 pm

acrossthelake wrote:Lol I'm going all out to try to bridge the 3.7x to 3.8x gap. It better help me out.


I spent all of last year doing this, it was a bitch.

acrossthelake
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:13 pm

CastleRock wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Lol I'm going all out to try to bridge the 3.7x to 3.8x gap. It better help me out.


I spent all of last year doing this, it was a bitch.


Ugh I would've made it if I had managed to 4.0 both semesters, but I couldn't figure one class out.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:15 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
CastleRock wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Lol I'm going all out to try to bridge the 3.7x to 3.8x gap. It better help me out.


I spent all of last year doing this, it was a bitch.


Ugh I would've made it if I had managed to 4.0 both semesters, but I couldn't figure one class out.


Yea, I had one A- last year that I missed the A by half a percent. Oh well.

fear&loathingintexas
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby fear&loathingintexas » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:37 pm

billyez wrote:I don't think it's worth the extra effort - it's especially not worth the effort if you're taking the September or December LSAT. If that's the case, then you'll have a rather heavy workload combined with studying for the LSAT. As the last poster mentioned as well, this depends on what effect this would have on your current GPA. Would it be the difference between a 3.60 and a 3.62 or a 3.88 and a 3.9?


It would be like going from a 3.88 to a 3.9 (but not with those numbers). That's why I feel like part of me just wants to have the higher tenth-of-a-point on paper even if it doesn't help me that much.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:38 pm

fear&loathingintexas wrote:
billyez wrote:I don't think it's worth the extra effort - it's especially not worth the effort if you're taking the September or December LSAT. If that's the case, then you'll have a rather heavy workload combined with studying for the LSAT. As the last poster mentioned as well, this depends on what effect this would have on your current GPA. Would it be the difference between a 3.60 and a 3.62 or a 3.88 and a 3.9?


It would be like going from a 3.88 to a 3.9 (but not with those numbers). That's why I feel like part of me just wants to have the higher tenth-of-a-point on paper even if it doesn't help me that much.


But that's actually a big deal. 3.88 to 3.9 puts you at the medians of top 3 schools, whereas a 3.88 is below all their medians.

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billyez
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby billyez » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:44 pm

CastleRock is getting to the finer point at issue here. Look at the schools that are your targets and reaches and assess whether or not this extra .02 points would put you at or above median. If it would, then I think that's a big enough difference to warrant it. But the median of the schools your targeting could help to determine whether its wise to push for this or not.

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OrdinarilySkilled
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:54 pm

You guys honestly think 0.02 would make a difference? I find this ridiculously hard to believe. It would be extremely unlikely that another applicant would fall between the two hypothetical applications of the person in question (the x gpa and the x+.02 gpa). And I highly doubt the medians business makes sense either because the median is based on that years class, so they would have to be constantly calculating it to see where it fell relative to each person's gpa. This all seems very speculative. Also, if you pick the wrong easy A class or get sick during a test, you may get worse than an A which could do some actual gpa damage. The extra class is almost definitely not worth the risk. Like i said above, spend the time at a bar and enjoy the fact that you are not yet in the real world.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:00 pm

OrdinarilySkilled wrote:You guys honestly think 0.02 would make a difference? I find this ridiculously hard to believe. It would be extremely unlikely that another applicant would fall between the two hypothetical applications of the person in question (the x gpa and the x+.02 gpa). And I highly doubt the medians business makes sense either because the median is based on that years class, so they would have to be constantly calculating it to see where it fell relative to each person's gpa. This all seems very speculative. Also, if you pick the wrong easy A class or get sick during a test, you may get worse than an A which could do some actual gpa damage. The extra class is almost definitely not worth the risk. Like i said above, spend the time at a bar and enjoy the fact that you are not yet in the real world.


Medians may be based on that years class, but schools determine where they want them based on the previous years class. They all want to boost their medians and work hard to do so. This is evident by the fact that medians have rose constantly over that past decade. Functionally 2 one hundredths of a gpa point don't matter, but in terms of law school acceptances, they can make a major difference. Many schools have floors that if you are below by even one one hundredth, your chances diminish significantly.

acrossthelake
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:04 pm

CastleRock wrote:
OrdinarilySkilled wrote:You guys honestly think 0.02 would make a difference? I find this ridiculously hard to believe. It would be extremely unlikely that another applicant would fall between the two hypothetical applications of the person in question (the x gpa and the x+.02 gpa). And I highly doubt the medians business makes sense either because the median is based on that years class, so they would have to be constantly calculating it to see where it fell relative to each person's gpa. This all seems very speculative. Also, if you pick the wrong easy A class or get sick during a test, you may get worse than an A which could do some actual gpa damage. The extra class is almost definitely not worth the risk. Like i said above, spend the time at a bar and enjoy the fact that you are not yet in the real world.


Medians may be based on that years class, but schools determine where they want them based on the previous years class. They all want to boost their medians and work hard to do so. This is evident by the fact that medians have rose constantly over that past decade. Functionally 2 one hundredths of a gpa point don't matter, but in terms of law school acceptances, they can make a major difference. Many schools have floors that if you are below by even one one hundredth, your chances diminish significantly.


Yeah, there's a pesky 3.8 floor I'm trying to get above.

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OrdinarilySkilled
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:20 pm

CastleRock wrote:
OrdinarilySkilled wrote:You guys honestly think 0.02 would make a difference? I find this ridiculously hard to believe. It would be extremely unlikely that another applicant would fall between the two hypothetical applications of the person in question (the x gpa and the x+.02 gpa). And I highly doubt the medians business makes sense either because the median is based on that years class, so they would have to be constantly calculating it to see where it fell relative to each person's gpa. This all seems very speculative. Also, if you pick the wrong easy A class or get sick during a test, you may get worse than an A which could do some actual gpa damage. The extra class is almost definitely not worth the risk. Like i said above, spend the time at a bar and enjoy the fact that you are not yet in the real world.


Medians may be based on that years class, but schools determine where they want them based on the previous years class. They all want to boost their medians and work hard to do so. This is evident by the fact that medians have rose constantly over that past decade. Functionally 2 one hundredths of a gpa point don't matter, but in terms of law school acceptances, they can make a major difference. Many schools have floors that if you are below by even one one hundredth, your chances diminish significantly.


One class cannot bump you .02 unless the gpa is ~3.0. This both helps and hurts my argument.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:30 pm

OrdinarilySkilled wrote:
CastleRock wrote:
OrdinarilySkilled wrote:You guys honestly think 0.02 would make a difference? I find this ridiculously hard to believe. It would be extremely unlikely that another applicant would fall between the two hypothetical applications of the person in question (the x gpa and the x+.02 gpa). And I highly doubt the medians business makes sense either because the median is based on that years class, so they would have to be constantly calculating it to see where it fell relative to each person's gpa. This all seems very speculative. Also, if you pick the wrong easy A class or get sick during a test, you may get worse than an A which could do some actual gpa damage. The extra class is almost definitely not worth the risk. Like i said above, spend the time at a bar and enjoy the fact that you are not yet in the real world.


Medians may be based on that years class, but schools determine where they want them based on the previous years class. They all want to boost their medians and work hard to do so. This is evident by the fact that medians have rose constantly over that past decade. Functionally 2 one hundredths of a gpa point don't matter, but in terms of law school acceptances, they can make a major difference. Many schools have floors that if you are below by even one one hundredth, your chances diminish significantly.


One class cannot bump you .02 unless the gpa is ~3.0. This both helps and hurts my argument.


Actually, one class can bump you up 0.02. Especially if you have the opportunity to get an A+. In fact, if I get an A+ in another class, my gpa will go up by 0.02 and I have 39 classes already or 117 credits.

r6_philly
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby r6_philly » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:41 pm

It better be worth it as I just went form a 3.88 to a 3.91 after like 21 credits of classes...

Would 3.91 or 3.92 be at, or above all the medians? what about 75%? Since my LSAT is not so impressive I am hoping my GPA can keep me slightly above water.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:52 pm

Above everyones median, below T3 75th, and above everyone elses 75th (except berkeley

trudat15
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby trudat15 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:10 am

fear&loathingintexas wrote:I've done some playing around with the LSAC GPA calculator and found that if i take an extra class this semester (18 hours instead of 15) I can raise my cumulative GPA by up to 0.02 points as opposed to without those additional hours. Is it worth the extra time/effort? And no, it will not be the difference between a 3.98 and a 4.00. Would 0.02 points make a difference in my competitiveness or am I just doing this for reasons of vanity?


If it brings you up a tenth, I would do it. I played around with my GPA on LSN and LSP and if I had just brought it up to th e nearest tenth, I'd be in much better shape.
Also as someone else said, look at the medians of the schools you want to apply to and figure out how your GPA would compare, with the bump up and without.

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im_blue
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby im_blue » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:26 am

OrdinarilySkilled wrote:You guys honestly think 0.02 would make a difference? I find this ridiculously hard to believe. It would be extremely unlikely that another applicant would fall between the two hypothetical applications of the person in question (the x gpa and the x+.02 gpa). And I highly doubt the medians business makes sense either because the median is based on that years class, so they would have to be constantly calculating it to see where it fell relative to each person's gpa. This all seems very speculative. Also, if you pick the wrong easy A class or get sick during a test, you may get worse than an A which could do some actual gpa damage. The extra class is almost definitely not worth the risk. Like i said above, spend the time at a bar and enjoy the fact that you are not yet in the real world.

It absolutely can make a difference near the median. There was a TLS poster who got rejected from UVA with a 3.84/upper-160s and was told it was due to her GPA dropping below the median of 3.85 after fall grades were updated.

As another example, Harvard's median and 75th are 3.89 and 3.96 for a class of 559 students, which means they have an average of at least 17 students for each of the 8 possible GPAs between 3.89 and 3.96. Every 0.01 GPA point moves you up above dozens of other applicants.
Last edited by im_blue on Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:31 am, edited 3 times in total.

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kazu
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Re: marginal benefit of additional GPA points

Postby kazu » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:31 am

im_blue wrote:
OrdinarilySkilled wrote:You guys honestly think 0.02 would make a difference? I find this ridiculously hard to believe. It would be extremely unlikely that another applicant would fall between the two hypothetical applications of the person in question (the x gpa and the x+.02 gpa). And I highly doubt the medians business makes sense either because the median is based on that years class, so they would have to be constantly calculating it to see where it fell relative to each person's gpa. This all seems very speculative. Also, if you pick the wrong easy A class or get sick during a test, you may get worse than an A which could do some actual gpa damage. The extra class is almost definitely not worth the risk. Like i said above, spend the time at a bar and enjoy the fact that you are not yet in the real world.

It absolutely can make a difference near the median. There was a TLS poster who got rejected from UVA with a 3.84/upper-160s and was told it was due to her GPA dropping below the median of 3.85 after fall grades were updated.

As another example, Harvard's median and 75th are 3.89 and 3.96 for a class of 559 students, which means they have an average of at least 17 students for each of the 8 possible GPAs between 3.89 and 3.96. Every 0.01 GPA point moves you up above dozens of other applicants.

Ouch.. that just made me really sad :(




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