Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

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Voltaire_X
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Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby Voltaire_X » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:50 pm

Hello TLS,

I am currently a freshman in college. I am a mechanical engineering major BUT I am 99.99% positive that I will be attending law school. I was planning on just doing Mech. Eng. in undergrad as a backup plan to law school but now I realize that this is a terrible idea GPA-wise. This semester I will be getting around a 3.69 -3.75 LSAC GPA in Mech. Eng, but I will be switching majors for next semester.


My first question:
Right now I am looking at three possible majors to switch to: Classics, Economics, Political Science.

I have somewhat strong math skills. I used to consider myself a "math guy" until Calculus this past semester, which I am good at but will probably end up with a B+. All three of these majors interest me. Does anyone have any personal input as to which of these majors would be the easiest to get the highest GPA possible in? Evidence I have looked at shows that Classics majors have the highest average GPAs out of these. The undergraduate institution I am attending only requires about 9-10 courses in your major so I will still be able to take a number of classes that interest me outside my major. I really just want to know which of these majors you guys think is the easiest.

Second question:

Do you have any general tips for getting as high of a GPA as possible? I've looked at a few similar threads and the popular tips seem to be: Study hard, analyze the syllabus to see what essays/exams you should allocate the most time to, go over your essays with the professor outside of class, perfect attendance issues + high participation in class. Does anyone have any additional tips they'd like to share?

Thanks,
V

c3pO4
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby c3pO4 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:53 pm

If you want to do IP law don't change your major. Having skills in engineering isn't something you should throw away lightly. The job market for IP is much stronger, and your grades won't matter as much in law school. Most polysci majors I know, even the ones in law school, wish they were smart enough to major in engineering in undergrad.

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Montevillian
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby Montevillian » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:58 pm

What is a Classics major? I've never heard of that before. Political science is pretty amazingly easy to get a very good GPA in, but it's also terribly boring unless you really care about the material. You would probably be best off majoring in whichever of those three you are interested in the most, a slightly better GPA isn't necessarily worth being bored for the next four years.

I've found the best way to make good grades, at least on essays and out of class writing, which is what the majority of Political Science classes is, is to make sure you get someone to review over your writing before you turn it in. I know this sounds rather high school-ish, but it's amazing what all you'll miss if you review it yourself. Since I've gotten other people to read my papers, I haven't made below an A on an essay yet (except that one B because I turned in the essay a week and a half late :lol: ). Participation in class and perfect attendance aren't particularly important in undergrad, as long as you're there enough to understand the material and ask questions when you're confused, the professor probably doesn't care. Depending on the type of school you're at, they might not even know who you are, regardless of if you're there and participating.

Hope this helped.

indo
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby indo » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:14 pm

Montevillian wrote:What is a Classics major? I've never heard of that before. Political science is pretty amazingly easy to get a very good GPA in, but it's also terribly boring unless you really care about the material. You would probably be best off majoring in whichever of those three you are interested in the most, a slightly better GPA isn't necessarily worth being bored for the next four years.

I've found the best way to make good grades, at least on essays and out of class writing, which is what the majority of Political Science classes is, is to make sure you get someone to review over your writing before you turn it in. I know this sounds rather high school-ish, but it's amazing what all you'll miss if you review it yourself. Since I've gotten other people to read my papers, I haven't made below an A on an essay yet (except that one B because I turned in the essay a week and a half late :lol: ). Participation in class and perfect attendance aren't particularly important in undergrad, as long as you're there enough to understand the material and ask questions when you're confused, the professor probably doesn't care. Depending on the type of school you're at, they might not even know who you are, regardless of if you're there and participating.

Hope this helped.


Does your school Curve the grade ? what is the average class grade for lower and upper division class ?

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paul34
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby paul34 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:15 pm

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Last edited by paul34 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Ostrizr316
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby Ostrizr316 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:18 pm

Do Not Change Your Major!!!

A Mech Engineering major will give you fantastic options in law school and will open you up to numerous more firms than you could ever have as an english, poli sci, or "classics" major.

Your GPA for this semester is still VERY strong for LSAC, and most schools know that their science major applicants have lower GPAs.

If you feel like you need the GPA boost, double major in some fluff subject that you care about and ace it.

lsatcrazy
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby lsatcrazy » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:23 pm

Don't change your major, but take easy classes as electives outside your major (minor in business or such). Other than that, you are on the ball.

indo
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby indo » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:24 pm

paul34 wrote:Calculus 1? It only goes downhill from there. Calc 2 will most likely kick your ass - just a FYI. If you are going to change, I'd definitely suggest doing it now.

One potential upside of polisci is that you could maybe graduate early. Or maybe not? Granted, my sample size is one, but I did have a buddy who did political science. He graduated in three years, I believe.

Also, another positive change from your ME courses is that you'll see what are called "females."

The obvious downside is that by doing polisci, you are definitely burning your bridges.


Calculus 2 is easy if you are good in math. You have to understand the concept period. I got A+ in calculus 2.

My major is political science. i will be graduating next winter after 8 quarters. To get straight A is not easy in any major.

You have to know what is your strength and cultivate it.

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paul34
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby paul34 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:25 pm

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Last edited by paul34 on Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Voltaire_X
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby Voltaire_X » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:28 pm

I am sure I don't want to stick with engineering. As of right now I'm leaning towards Political Science as politics is definitely a passion of mine. But at the same time I also think I would find majoring in Classics almost as interesting, and I would still be able to take a number of political science courses due to the open nature of my school's curriculum. If they are about the same difficulty I'll probably end up going with Poli Sci, but if choosing Classics would be substantially easier I'd rather go with that. It's not that I want to make things "as easy as possible" for myself, I just want to maximize the odds of getting into a top school.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:29 pm

Another tip -- If you have the opportunity to while interning/working/volunteering, take summer school classes (usually in something you find interesting) and get A's. It'll bump your LSAC gpa.

Best of luck.

Seneca
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby Seneca » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:06 pm

Voltaire, I agree you should do whatever you can to stay in engineering, especially since your GPA is fairly strong. This is a pretty strong start for a freshman, and if you really only need to take around 6-8 more courses to get the major, I say stick with it and take as many easy classes as possible outside your major.

That said, it's fairly easy to skate through university with a very strong GPA. Check to see if your UG has a database with student reviews of courses and instructors before you register for classes. Find out what courses your athletic department recommends. Ask around to others in majors that interest you. Most importantly, play to your strengths. If you're not a strong writer, you could have an easier time in engineering after all. Beyond that, there is no "magic bullet" to school. You put in the work and effort you need to get the grades. Develop a rapport with professors - if you can, take two classes from at least one of them - in order to line up LORs.

c3pO4
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby c3pO4 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:14 pm

Well, OP is "sure" they don't want to do engineering. Another lemming. You raise your odds of striking out during OCI by switching your major. You might regret this decision in 5 years. GL.

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sunynp
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby sunynp » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:19 pm

You asked for advice and the consensus is stick out engineering. To improve your GPA you can even take classes at a local community college in the summer. It doesn't matter if your undergrad won't count the credits- it will still count for your LSDAS GPA.

Voltaire_X
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby Voltaire_X » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:34 pm

The reason I don't want to stick it out with mech eng is because I have no passion for it. I thought I did coming into college, but I didn't actually realize what mech eng was really like and what I'd be studying.Theoretically if I had to stay an engineer major I would switch over to computer science/computer engineering. I have a passion for computers. Would one of those degrees give me as much of an advantage as mech eng during OCI?

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:50 pm

"passion" is for your minor or for your elective credits... ;)

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cinephile
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby cinephile » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:58 pm

If this is just first semester of your first year, spend next semester taking a wide array of classes and trying to figure what's easiest for you. A group of strangers on the internet who don't know the rigor of different majors at your school or your aptitude can't tell you what'll be easiest for you.

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby DaftAndDirect » Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:05 pm

Use your math skills in Finance. Become an investment banker. Never look back.

Seneca
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby Seneca » Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:12 pm

Voltaire_X wrote:The reason I don't want to stick it out with mech eng is because I have no passion for it. I thought I did coming into college, but I didn't actually realize what mech eng was really like and what I'd be studying.Theoretically if I had to stay an engineer major I would switch over to computer science/computer engineering. I have a passion for computers. Would one of those degrees give me as much of an advantage as mech eng during OCI?


Any of those would be better than something like Classics, I would imagine, and obviously would be even better with WE attached. You need to balance having a marketable major with getting the best grades possible. In some cases, if someone just isn't capable of math/science, this means picking up a comm major or something. You seem to be capable of getting strong grades in engineering - you just seem unwilling to do so/daunted by the prospect, in which case, I think general advice would be to stick with engineering and deal with it.

And +1 to BlakcMajikc. Passion is for your minor/elective credits/summer before 1L year.

c3pO4
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Re: Tips for getting a high GPA in undergrad/major change advice

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:53 am

Yes dude switch to CS if you want. Do not do a humanities major, unless you are into things like unemployment and ruining your life. Do a little research on IP law if you are interested in law school. Computer science degrees are among the most marketable.




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