Do grade trends really mean anything?

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bport hopeful

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Do grade trends really mean anything?

Postby bport hopeful » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:31 pm

I'll use my own case for example.

I have a dismal 3.12.

This includes two C's from a high school spanish class for college credit and two freshman semesters of 2.7's. Since my freshman year, my lowest semester was a 3.2. I have two semesters that were about 3.5's and two that were about 3.4's. Does this actually give me any advantage over someone who just bounced between a 3.0 and a 3.2? Or worse, someone who started college off well, say with like 3.7's and then crashed at the end?

The impression that ive gotten here is that schools are number whores, and hence, this means nothing.


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Re: Do grade trends really mean anything?

Postby camelcrema » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:38 pm

I asked a similar question a while back, and from the answers I received, I get the impression that an upward GPA trend will not help too much. If someone starts with a 3.7 and tanks (without being able to provide a reason), that might be viewed negatively, but unfortunately trending upward doesn't matter much. Although, I'm sure it matters at some schools more than others.


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Re: Do grade trends really mean anything?

Postby minnbills » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:01 pm

There's probably an expectation that you improved somewhat over the course of your career.

I would guess that it matters only as a way to differentiate between similar candidates. I would be stunned if they took a 3.6 on a strong upward trend over a flatline or downward trend 3.7- if that's what you're asking.


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Re: Do grade trends really mean anything?

Postby EricBerry » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:54 pm

I went from 1.0 after three semesters to 3.4 cumulative (3.0 LSDAS). So far this cycle, I've achieved far greater than my numbers would suggest. Most of my acceptances have been median LSAT, -.3 or more from the 25th percentile GPA. Some of those acceptances have been with considerable scholarship money. My GPA addendum was mentioned in handwritten letters by three deans. I think upward trend plays more of a role than many think. I didn't have a valid excuse for my first three semesters, I just said something to the effect of: "I was immature, but look what I was able to accomplish over the past three years". Had my GPA been a consistent 3.0, I can almost assure you that I wouldn't have fared as well.

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