Failed a course multiple times

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bp shinners
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Re: Failed a course multiple times

Postby bp shinners » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:18 pm

jordan15 wrote:
redsox wrote:How much does it matter anyway? He has, at best, a 2.65.


+1. Obviously a retroactive withdrawal would be nice but the difference between a 2.65 and a 2.4 is negligible. 2.65 is really low.


At that point, it's less of a GPA issue and more of an issue of an adcomm going:
"Wow, 2.X - I need to look at this transcript. Huh, okay, that's why it's low. But what's with these 3 Fs in a writing course? That doesn't give me much hope that he'll be a good writer..."

So it probably won't make much of a difference, but putting those 3 Fs for writing in context might alleviate fears about his writing skills. Of course, it then creates fears about his maturity/scholastic focus. So a bit of a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

It's a tough call. They'll be looking at your transcript anyway because of the low GPA, and they'll be accepting you based on your LSAT and in spite of your GPA. You have to ask yourself if you'd rather have them view you as short-sighted/immature, or as a poor writer. I'd probably try to convey maturity in a well-written addendum owning up to the dumb decision so you can alleviate fears on both levels, but that's going to be a Herculean task.

heatnationla
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Re: Failed a course multiple times

Postby heatnationla » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:18 am

ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) wrote:I had a sub-3.0 GPA, 170+ LSAT and ended up at a respectable T-20 with a decent scholarship. I had a few WFs and there were two courses in particular I had to take several times before passing. For me, this was because I screwed up my first semester and lost all access to financial aid and ended up working 60+ hours through most of my time in UG. I wrote an addendum explaining my reasons for having to work full time while going to school, and my cycle turned out pretty predictably save the school I actually ended up going to.

Unless your reasons really were pure laziness, do some thinking about the circumstances in your life at the time and how you could possibly spin it in a positive way. I had the good fortune to have actually gotten my life together and started applying myself to school the last two years of my undergrad, but the discrepancies between LSAC's policies and my undergrad's still led to my GPA taking a nosedive once I sent in all my transcripts. I think being really candid and open about the flaws in my academic record, being on top of everything during the admissions process, and, most importantly, applying myself to LSAT studying was enough to make up for the sins my stupid 20-year-old self committed.

Don't settle for a T3. I almost didn't bother applying to the school I ended up attending since they're not traditionally nice to splitters, but I'm happy I went out on a limb and did it. Crack a 170+ and put together a good, cohesive narrative. However, be okay with the idea that if you can't score well on the LSAT, or if your applications don't put you in a good school-to-debt ratio, you might need to find another path for your life.


Do you mind PM'ing me your e-mail or something? I really feel like our situations are similar and would really appreciate your help. Thanks.

RoaringMice
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Re: Failed a course multiple times

Postby RoaringMice » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:52 am

This is going to look like one of two things to any adcomm who bothers to look: either you were deliberately blowing this class off, or you cannot handle the writing. It would be more likely that they'll think you can't handle the writing, and that's not a good thing re: law school. I'd rather they think you blew the class off because you were an idiot and didn't know any better, but you have since reformed and are no longer an idiot. ;)

Write the addendum. In it, be honest. Tell them you were lazy and clueless, but have since both gotten focus and a clue. Then show them evidence of both - perhaps via your work history.

But all this aside, what is going to help you the most is improving your LSAT score. Make that your main focus. Retake, and shoot for a 170+.

magickware
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Re: Failed a course multiple times

Postby magickware » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:21 pm

heatnationla wrote:
It was a well known fact at my university, that you get three grades that you can replace with no penalty. The "F" is just disregarded. I always had this in the back of my mind. The class was upper division writing, first homework assignment was a 10 page research paper, I never got past page 1 and just stopped going to class after because I knew I had three chances to actually try.


Wait, so you gave up before the class even seriously began?

Who cares that the first assignment is a 10 page paper. No professor who isn't demented/cruel will give you a paper that you cannot complete within that time-span. And if you have a boat-load of work piled on you from other classes, so what? Have to learn to manage your time. It's not easy reading roughly 1.5k+ a week while studying for a midterm and writing a 7-8 page paper either.

You basically gamed the system and didn't try. That's pretty much what this says.

heatnationla
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Re: Failed a course multiple times

Postby heatnationla » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:17 am

What do you guys think of this addendum? Everything in it is 100% true. Rip me a new one if you have to. Thanks guys.

Addendum

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to you to explain the three glaring “F’s” on my transcript. Sheltered and misguided, I viewed college as a mere gateway to my father’s prosperous mortgage banking business, which I was promised if I graduated with a B.A. in business economics. Knowing that all I needed was a 2.5 GPA to graduate, my lackadaisical efforts throughout my undergraduate career were of complacency and shortsightedness. 



Being out of school for nearly three years has given me tremendous insight and I now know the meaning of accountability. As a result, I took it upon myself to direct my focus towards post-graduate education and work. As compared to my undergraduate studies, I believe my 4.0 GPA in the specialized studies search engine optimization program at UC Irvine extension is much more indicative of my current work ethic. Combined with years of work experience in the real estate, mortgage, and digital media industry including being the founder of my very own website, I hope you can look past the immaturity I have displayed in the past and can judge my character based on my most recent body of work.

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sublime
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Re: Failed a course multiple times

Postby sublime » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:02 am

..

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Failed a course multiple times

Postby TheSpanishMain » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:40 am

heatnationla wrote: Knowing that all I needed was a 2.5 GPA to graduate, my lackadaisical efforts throughout my undergraduate career were of complacency and shortsightedness. 




Trying too hard and kind of pretentious. This sentence isn't even grammatically correct. "My efforts were of complacency?" Other than that, it's fine I suppose, but I'm not sure it'll help you all that much. If you have a really nice LSAT, go ahead and blast out the applications. Cast a wide net and hope somewhere decent takes a chance on you, but be prepared not to go at all.

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FKASunny
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Re: Failed a course multiple times

Postby FKASunny » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:22 pm

Scratch the "to whom it may concern" nonsense. You're not writing a letter, you're writing an addendum, so just dive into the good stuff. I really don't like the "I was unmotivated because I had a job in hand" stuff, either. To do well in academics, you generally need motivation and skill that isn't really relevant to having a job, and this just kind of makes you sound like a spoiled child who doesn't have much internal motivation. I would highlight your strengths while downplaying the bad stuff. Your rationale in getting bad grades needs to be more nuanced and less of a blatant excuse.

If you retook the classes and did well, highlight that. If your UG had grade forgiveness, mention that. Nothing you write will get over the fact that your LSAC GPA is atrocious, but if you can spin it in a positive way ("my institutional GPA was XX" and "I was able to succeed in an advance academic atmosphere after maturing") definitely do that.

ETA: You said you were taking the LSAT in December. How did you do? Also, I hope you're applying in the next cycle, because the splitter boat at most respectable schools has likely sailed by now.

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LET'S GET IT
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Re: Failed a course multiple times

Postby LET'S GET IT » Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:27 pm

Man I think I would skip the addendum. I think an addendum is supposed to be more for a situation where there was a legitimate reason for a grade. I fucked up probably isn't swaying anyone even though your sample is well written in my opinion. As others have mentioned, it's a complete numbers game, they will likely only care about your GPA and a 2.65 to a 2.4 isn't much different as far as applying for LS goes.

Don't give up though. Some of these people saying you have no chance at a good school are a little off base. I know a guy who had a 2.4X and a high 160's LSAT and is attending a T20 with a good size scholorship because he had been out a few years and had a really strong PS and good WE (not my opinion, he was told this by adcomms).

Study your a** off for the LSAT, and go to a T20 with $ or to a regional school in the area you want to work for free or close to it. Good luck.

heatnationla
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Re: Failed a course multiple times

Postby heatnationla » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:20 pm

Do you guys think this is a better addendum than my previous one?

GPA Addendum

I do not believe my undergraduate GPA of 2.63 is indicative of my current work ethic. Being out of school for nearly three years has given me tremendous insight and I now know the meaning of accountability. As a result, I took it upon myself to direct my focus towards post-graduate education and work. As compared to my undergraduate studies, I believe my 4.0 GPA in the specialized studies search engine optimization program at UC Irvine extension is much more indicative of my hard work and diligence. Combined with years of work experience in the real estate, mortgage, and digital media industry including being the founder of my very own website, I hope you can look past the immaturity I have displayed in the past and can judge my character based on my most recent body of work.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Failed a course multiple times

Postby Pneumonia » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:53 pm

heatnationla wrote:Do you guys think this is a better addendum than my previous one?

GPA Addendum

I do not believe my undergraduate GPA of 2.63 is indicative of my current work ethic. Being out of school for nearly three years has given me tremendous insight and I now know the meaning of accountability. As a result, I took it upon myself to direct my focus towards post-graduate education and work. As compared to my undergraduate studies, I believe my 4.0 GPA in the specialized studies search engine optimization program at UC Irvine extension is much more indicative of my hard work and diligence. Combined with years of work experience in the real estate, mortgage, and digital media industry including being the founder of my very own website, I hope you can look past the immaturity I have displayed in the past and can judge my character based on my most recent body of work.


"know the meaning of accountability" is too literal.
make sure your tenses agree. "now know" vs "took"
"very own website" sounds self patronizing (in a bad way)
"you" is a little informal. if you want that rhetoric then consider using "the committee" or similar instead.
"character" is weird as is "body of work"

You will find two schools of though on addenda:
1) only submit if you have really legitimate reasons
2) submit so as to not leave any unanswered questions

Yours falls into the second category, and there are plenty of people that argue that as such you should not submit anything. I'm of the second school of thought and so wouldn't advise you against submitting, but if you do I'd probably cut it in half




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