Why isn't GPA put in context?

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californiabeauar
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Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby californiabeauar » Sun May 22, 2011 11:07 pm

It's always struck me as odd that admission officers look at GPA at face value and don't analyze the transcript, along with the major, school, and especially workload in college...anyone else? Has the 'it's just a numbers game' been over-emphasized and do admissions officers in fact give a good amount attention to such contextual factors?

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prezidentv8
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby prezidentv8 » Sun May 22, 2011 11:09 pm

californiabeauar wrote:It's always struck me as odd that admission officers look at GPA at face value and don't analyze the transcript, along with the major, school, and especially workload in college...anyone else?

Yes.

californiabeauar wrote:Has the 'it's just a numbers game' been over-emphasized

Possibly.

californiabeauar wrote:and do admissions officers in fact give a good amount attention to such contextual factors?

No.


/most helpful post of the day

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rinkrat19
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun May 22, 2011 11:22 pm

As long as the USNWR ranking matters, and as long as USNWR includes the GPA of the incoming class in its calculations, GPA will be largely looked at without qualification or context.

Now, if the GPAs that USNWR counts towards a LS's medians had to include a X% bump for engineering/math/hard science/double majors, a Y% drop for useless liberal arts majors, and some sort of adjustment for grade inflation/deflation at the UG institution, context would be a lot more important to adcomms, and it would be less useful to game the system by majoring in Nose-Picking at an Ivy with huge grade inflation and A-pluses.

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WhatSarahSaid
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby WhatSarahSaid » Sun May 22, 2011 11:36 pm

It can be really, really hard to figure out contexts. Sure, engineering classes are harder than basket weaving classes, but there are plenty of situations that are less clear cut.

I've always wished that every college transcript included the average grade given in each of the person's classes. You could even construct some kind of secondary GPA that's based on the difference between your grades and the average grades offered in each of your classes.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun May 22, 2011 11:40 pm

WhatSarahSaid wrote:It can be really, really hard to figure out contexts. Sure, engineering classes are harder than basket weaving classes, but there are plenty of situations that are less clear cut.

I've always wished that every college transcript included the average grade given in each of the person's classes. You could even construct some kind of secondary GPA that's based on the difference between your grades and the average grades offered in each of your classes.


adding to that, what about the same major across different schools? or different majors across varying schools?! :O

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Corwin
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby Corwin » Mon May 23, 2011 12:55 am

It would be very cool if LSAC GPA was scaled by a factor related to the median GPA of the college/major the GPA is from. Unfortunately, not going to happen. :P Schools are already getting too many applications, and the candidates they select are qualified enough. Perhaps not as qualified as they could be, but there's no incentive to get the best qualified class. Simple one that is qualified enough and makes the numbers look good.

BlueDiamond
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby BlueDiamond » Mon May 23, 2011 1:08 am

It is already put into context by the LSAT score in my opinion

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Corwin
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby Corwin » Mon May 23, 2011 1:09 am

BlueDiamond wrote:It is already put into context by the LSAT score in my opinion

That doesn't make any sense, as many schools have clear GPA floors. Plenty of 178-180s rejections from top schools.

BlueDiamond
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby BlueDiamond » Mon May 23, 2011 1:12 am

Corwin wrote:
BlueDiamond wrote:It is already put into context by the LSAT score in my opinion

That doesn't make any sense, as many schools have clear GPA floors. Plenty of 178-180s rejections from top schools.


which then puts the GPA into context... smart person who isn't willing to work hard for their GPA

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Corwin
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby Corwin » Mon May 23, 2011 1:19 am

BlueDiamond wrote:
Corwin wrote:
BlueDiamond wrote:It is already put into context by the LSAT score in my opinion

That doesn't make any sense, as many schools have clear GPA floors. Plenty of 178-180s rejections from top schools.


which then puts the GPA into context... smart person who isn't willing to work hard for their GPA

You're still off-base unfortunately. Student A: Chemical Engineering at MIT who has a 3.2, and the median GPA is a 2.7. Student B: soft major from Podunk University with a GPA of 3.6, and the median GPA is a 3.0. LSAT provides no context. The shallowness of your thinking is disturbing if you are planing on going to or are already attending law school. :P

BlueDiamond
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby BlueDiamond » Mon May 23, 2011 1:25 am

Corwin wrote:
BlueDiamond wrote:
Corwin wrote:
BlueDiamond wrote:It is already put into context by the LSAT score in my opinion

That doesn't make any sense, as many schools have clear GPA floors. Plenty of 178-180s rejections from top schools.


which then puts the GPA into context... smart person who isn't willing to work hard for their GPA

You're still off-base unfortunately. Student A: Chemical Engineering at MIT who has a 3.2, and the median GPA is a 2.7. Student B: soft major from Podunk University with a GPA of 3.6, and the median GPA is a 3.0. LSAT provides no context. The shallowness of your thinking is disturbing if you are planing on going to or are already attending law school. :P


Are you saying the LSAT score of these two students doesn't provide context for their GPA? Surely, if the LSAT provided no context for this situation the MIT student would always score higher than the Podunk University student. Of course, that isn't true in reality.

Regardless, the context doesn't matter as long as USNews doesn't allow for it to matter, as someone above our posts said. That is the real answer to OP's question.

BeaverHunter
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby BeaverHunter » Mon May 23, 2011 10:54 am

I believe it is put in context. The LSAT report shows your class rank as a percentile, and also shows average LSAT score of students from that school. Maybe schools ignore this data, but frankly I doubt it. Also the LSAT seems to be weighed much more heavily than GPA anyway.

Sandro
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby Sandro » Mon May 23, 2011 1:16 pm

There is a reason why the LSAT is weighted more than GPA at almost every school.

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Cupidity
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby Cupidity » Mon May 23, 2011 1:36 pm

I'm getting tired of people without knowledge providing wrong answers on the basis of wishful thinking. Law schools care about their admissions statistics and little else. Will the context matter if say, a 3.3 MIT Chem Eng. is against a 3.3 Podunk Liberal Arts student....certainly, but aside from the a 3.4>3.3 every day.

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glitter178
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby glitter178 » Mon May 23, 2011 1:39 pm

why ask the why question?
if you want to go to law school, you should know that you should do nothing short of step on your own grandmother to get the highest possible GPA and LSAT score, regardless of extenuating circumstances.

flcath
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby flcath » Mon May 23, 2011 1:42 pm

They definitely don't contextualize, but as to why, I'll throw out 3 possible reasons which probably all operate to some extent:

(1) USNews. Obviously.

(2) Class size. This isn't med school where they're sorting through 700 applications to offer 108 acceptances to fill 90 seats.

(3) Lack of pre-reqs. Again, this isn't med school where everyone takes 2 semesters each of bio, gen chem, orgo, and physics, and, even among the other classes, the BCPM (science course) gpa is sifted out automatically from the shit classes gpa by the application program itself. It's just very hard to make so many qualitative judgments, especially in light of (2).

xcountryjunkie
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby xcountryjunkie » Mon May 23, 2011 1:50 pm

WhatSarahSaid wrote:It can be really, really hard to figure out contexts. Sure, engineering classes are harder than basket weaving classes, but there are plenty of situations that are less clear cut.


Have you ever tried basket weaving? I consider myself pretty good with numbers and not very dexterous, so the difference is difficulty might not be quite so clear cut.

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AreJay711
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby AreJay711 » Mon May 23, 2011 1:57 pm

Hell, going to podunk U can be hard. At my school I got criticized for only going out 3 nights a week on average. It is hard to go to class and study with a constant hangover.

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cinephile
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby cinephile » Mon May 23, 2011 2:41 pm

xcountryjunkie wrote:
WhatSarahSaid wrote:It can be really, really hard to figure out contexts. Sure, engineering classes are harder than basket weaving classes, but there are plenty of situations that are less clear cut.


Have you ever tried basket weaving? I consider myself pretty good with numbers and not very dexterous, so the difference is difficulty might not be quite so clear cut.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

09042014
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby 09042014 » Mon May 23, 2011 2:57 pm

AreJay711 wrote:Hell, going to podunk U can be hard. At my school I got criticized for only going out 3 nights a week on average. It is hard to go to class and study with a constant hangover.


Podunks also aren't as forgiving with grades. They give out plenty of C's, and less A's.

Trying to contextualize GPA's is hard. Every school has a different grade distribution. 4.0 at Harvard is damn hard, but I wouldn't be surprised if 3.0 at harvard is easier than 3.0 at lower public schools.

Also the competition at schools probably isn't that different. Taking uncurved classes in undergrad is mostly about effort. Any dip in intelligence can be easily made up with effort. Especially when you are taking courses that aren't difficult to understand.

Law school is a bit different because of rigid curves and a very competitive student body. In undergrad A's are achieved by hard work. That isn't always the case in law school. Plenty of people put in above A level effort. And even in law school the difference between Harvard and a solid regional like Wisconsin isn't huge. And Law schools use standardized tests much more than undergrad does.

californiabeauar
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby californiabeauar » Mon May 23, 2011 9:48 pm

What if one completed the bare minimum number of units each and every semester vs. someone who a full-courseload and a crap ton of extra classes each and every semester, assuming the former had a slightly higher gpa than the latter--say 3.6 to a 3.7?

#devilsadvocate

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Verity
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby Verity » Mon May 23, 2011 10:03 pm

Where's taxguy when you need him?

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Corwin
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Re: Why isn't GPA put in context?

Postby Corwin » Mon May 23, 2011 10:37 pm

californiabeauar wrote:What if one completed the bare minimum number of units each and every semester vs. someone who a full-courseload and a crap ton of extra classes each and every semester, assuming the former had a slightly higher gpa than the latter--say 3.6 to a 3.7?

#devilsadvocate

This is really splitting hairs. No one on this forum is going to really be able to say how such a situation will play out. What is known for sure though is that the overriding concern of schools is numbers and numbers alone.




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