JCElks1 wrote:Hi Everyone,
I'm a bit late on joining in on this threat, but better late than never. I'm a US citizen, but I did my undergrad and a postgrad degree (in law, incidentally) in the UK. I got a 2:1 for my undergrad from St Andrews and I was always told that it was equivalent to between a 3.3 and a 4.0 (my marks falling towards the 4.0 end of the scale). I was really upset upon receiving my CAS report from LSAC, which stated that my mark was 'above average', but that a 2.1 is equivalent to a 3.0 to a 3.3 GPA.
I spoke to a couple of people at LSAC who had no idea what they were talking about and I faxed a request to have it re-evaluated by AARCO (who is the external company who process foreign transcripts for LSAC) who also say that it was accurate. So, I contacted the admissions departments of a few schools I'm looking at (Georgetown, NYU, etc) and they all reassured me that they will look at the transcripts as a whole (including, hopefully, the official St Andrews credit transfer guidelines that will state a 2.1 is equivalent to between a 3.3 and a 4.0). They also reassured me that they are familiar with the UK system of grading and the reputations of various UK schools. So, I'm hoping that with a high LSAT score (which I hopefully achieved today!) that I will have some successful applications at T14 schools.
Has anyone else faced this same problem? Btw, it's so reassuring to finally be able to talk to other foreign applicants! Good luck to everyone applying!
LSAC and AACRAO do not give you a numerical GPA. The scale on the side is a general reference point which is, admittedly, low, but which will have a negligible effect on the way schools see your grades. It has nothing to do with your grades in particular -- its not any sort of evaluation, just their general scale. You can provide the St Andrews credit transfer guidelines if you like, but top schools are already familiar with UK grades.
Your 'above average' is all that matters. They only give 'below average', 'average', 'above average', and 'superior'. Maybe you misunderstood this and that's where the confusion is coming from. Of course AACRAO is not going to re-evaluate that. Your 2:1 is not superior, it's above average. And even a high 2:1 should not be considered near a 4.0. A high 2:1 is more like a 3.7. It's definitely better than a B+ average in the States, but let's not kid ourselves.