How bad is having one "U" on transcript?

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bc2578
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am

How bad is having one "U" on transcript?

Postby bc2578 » Fri May 01, 2015 6:10 am

Hi everyone, I am a current junior at one of Ivy league schools. I transferred from Georgetown to my current school after my freshman year. I have a decent GPA +3.85 and I think I can boost up my GPA to ~3.93-4 until graduation. I plan to apply to law school after working for one or two years, so for now lets just assume that I have an okay LSAT score...

One thing that deeply worries me, however, is that I have one U, meaning Unsatisfactory, grade on my old school's (Georgetown) transcript. This course is 1 credit Pass/Fail class and it is not taken into cumulative GPA calculation. This course is called "the Map of the Modern World" and you are required to pass this exam before you graduate. In fact many students delay passing this exam until their junior/senior years. The grade is entirely decided by one single exam that takes place in early May. No class attendance nor homework, just one damn exam. And this exam was very hard too! (You basically have to memorize all countries' names and their capital cities, presidents in the world map). I was however very sick at the day, and I somehow messed up the exam, even if I tried hard. Therefore, the mark U was left on my transcript.

Unfortunately, I never had a chance to pass the exam, because I transferred to an Ivy school. I never thought this grade would haunt me, since it was not calculated into GPA anyway, but I noticed recently that those grades considered by a grading issuing school to be a non-punitative are still calculated as F in LSAC GPA. It affects my cumulative GPA by 0.02-3 or so. Not too bad, but my main concern is 1) whether this Unsatisfactory grade in my freshman, calculated as F in LSAC GPA, will be frowned upon by admission committee members. I am afraid that they will assume I failed the course due to my misconduct or academic dishonesty, which is certainly not the case. My eyes are pretty set on HYS and I wonder if this one grade in my freshman year will badly affect my chances... 2) If it is a case that this will hurt my chance, what would be the best action that I can take?

This is a very serious concern for me, and I would greatly appreciate your advice on this issue!!

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MikeSpivey
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Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:28 pm

Re: How bad is having one "U" on transcript?

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri May 01, 2015 8:29 am

It isn't bad. Just please don't write a 2 page GPA addendum about it or you will make it sound much worse (this happens all of the time)

GL!

bc2578
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am

Re: How bad is having one "U" on transcript?

Postby bc2578 » Fri May 01, 2015 11:04 am

so do you think I should send an addendum to the adcom? But thank you so much for the advice. That kinda relieves me a bit :)

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wonka
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Post removed.

Postby wonka » Fri May 01, 2015 11:27 am

Post removed.
Last edited by wonka on Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bretby
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:15 pm

Re: How bad is having one "U" on transcript?

Postby bretby » Fri May 01, 2015 11:43 am

bc2578 wrote:Hi everyone, I am a current junior at one of Ivy league schools. I transferred from Georgetown to my current school after my freshman year. I have a decent GPA +3.85 and I think I can boost up my GPA to ~3.93-4 until graduation. I plan to apply to law school after working for one or two years, so for now lets just assume that I have an okay LSAT score...

One thing that deeply worries me, however, is that I have one U, meaning Unsatisfactory, grade on my old school's (Georgetown) transcript. This course is 1 credit Pass/Fail class and it is not taken into cumulative GPA calculation. This course is called "the Map of the Modern World" and you are required to pass this exam before you graduate. In fact many students delay passing this exam until their junior/senior years. The grade is entirely decided by one single exam that takes place in early May. No class attendance nor homework, just one damn exam. And this exam was very hard too! (You basically have to memorize all countries' names and their capital cities, presidents in the world map). I was however very sick at the day, and I somehow messed up the exam, even if I tried hard. Therefore, the mark U was left on my transcript.

Unfortunately, I never had a chance to pass the exam, because I transferred to an Ivy school. I never thought this grade would haunt me, since it was not calculated into GPA anyway, but I noticed recently that those grades considered by a grading issuing school to be a non-punitative are still calculated as F in LSAC GPA. It affects my cumulative GPA by 0.02-3 or so. Not too bad, but my main concern is 1) whether this Unsatisfactory grade in my freshman, calculated as F in LSAC GPA, will be frowned upon by admission committee members. I am afraid that they will assume I failed the course due to my misconduct or academic dishonesty, which is certainly not the case. My eyes are pretty set on HYS and I wonder if this one grade in my freshman year will badly affect my chances... 2) If it is a case that this will hurt my chance, what would be the best action that I can take?

This is a very serious concern for me, and I would greatly appreciate your advice on this issue!!


I've never heard of that class. Sounds like an awesome idea, though.

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strugglebus
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:20 pm

Re: How bad is having one "U" on transcript?

Postby strugglebus » Fri May 01, 2015 2:16 pm

I wouldn't bother with an addendum at all. Your GPA already makes it clear that this is a 1-credit exception to your overall academic performance.

ticklemesilly
Posts: 411
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:53 pm

Re: How bad is having one "U" on transcript?

Postby ticklemesilly » Fri May 08, 2015 4:28 pm

Not at all. I had two. No one asked me about it, I got into 5 T-14s and I seriously doubted it hurt me.

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rpupkin
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Re: How bad is having one "U" on transcript?

Postby rpupkin » Fri May 08, 2015 4:50 pm

I doubt anyone will care about (or even notice) your "U" grade.

Definitely don't write an addendum, particularly if your explanation might involve this from your post: "The grade is entirely decided by one single exam that takes place in early May. No class attendance nor homework, just one damn exam. And this exam was very hard too!"

You've basically just described how almost all law school classes are graded.




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