GPA Addendum - Good Idea?

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GPA Addendum - Good Idea?

Postby mcs268 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:15 pm

I'm actually a sophomore in college still, but I'm 100% intent on law school (just started studying for the LSATS for feb or june of junior year). I've been researching admissions for awhile and it looks like I'll need an addendum, but I'm not sure. My GPA at a lower ivy was a solid 3.5 before this semester, which unfortunately did not go so well due to a death in the family (not sudden, literally they were very sick/dying over a period of 2 1/2 months from the beginning of the semester).

Basically, my GPA this semester ended up being a 3.19 (I know this doesn't sound bad, but read on). My lowest grade was a B- in my easiest class, and at worst part of my major. I got a B+ in a class i expected to get an A considering my grades, and finally B is just a generally hard major class which I have no problem with. Luckily I got an A in another class, which salvaged my GPA above a 3. Thing is I emailed my professors for the B- and B+, and this is what upsets me. Participation counts 50% in the b- course, which i got a C-, so I earned an A- on tests/papers which to me is ridiculous. In the B+ course, I was above average on all aspects except the final (where i was below by a meager 3 points), but I also got a low participation grade.

I know I'm thinking ahead, but would it be a good idea to explain this semester? Like I would say (this is also true) that I went into an introverted stage where I concentrated on my studies but wasn't really social or talked to anyone. However, knowing particpation counted, I made sure to talk at least twice per class. For a class with 50% participation, this probably wasn't enough, but I did the best I could. I would mention my actual test grades would have to be an A- (would I have to attach the email from my professor?), so this shows I dedicated time to my studies still just to escape from the situation of my relative, but I was still in a phase where it was difficult for me to go to class or even participate.


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Re: GPA Addendum - Good Idea?

Postby pwyoung » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:02 pm

It's really hard to say at this point, because as a Sophomore your GPA this semester is only 1/3, for all we know you could hit rough patches again and this won't even be significant.

As far as GPA's go, if you do indeed maintain 3.5's the rest of the time, I'm not entirely sure if a 3.19 is a significant enough drop to warrant an addendum, although death in the family is a compelling reason.

Finally, on the matter of why exactly you got the grades you did, I'm fairly certain admissions won't give a damn based on that, and most or TLS won't either. At this point it comes across as whining, because quite frankly, that's how a lot of courses work and you should have known that.

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Re: GPA Addendum - Good Idea?

Postby acadec » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:10 pm

My advice would be to chill out and just do better in the future. Seriously, I can't imagine law schools want to hear your excuses for minute details like a participation grade in a single class. Also, this is just one semester with a GPA of .3 lower than your average. in two years, no one will care.

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Re: GPA Addendum - Good Idea?

Postby kitmitzi » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:46 pm

Wait until you're a senior. If you say you got good test grades but bad participation, adcomms will not like that because you'll sound like an inactive student. Also, you knew from the start of the semester that participation counted so much so it really is your fault regardless of the personal problems (I was in a similar situation this term where I was going through something hard and got lower grades because of participation). If you mention what happened in your eventual personal statement that's better than an addendum.

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Re: GPA Addendum - Good Idea?

Postby kkklick » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:29 pm

NO EXCUSES, can't stress this enough, do you even have an LSAT yet?

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