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 Post subject: seriously, what's a bad GPA??
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:16 am 
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Hi everybody, I am a first time poster and I did my best to see if my Q has already been answered... so sorry if this has already been discussed. I am really confused as to what a bad GPA is. I have three-point-something in a science major from a top 15 university and I don't have any idea where my GPA stands. I hear a lot of people say it's good, but then I look at the stats for getting into top law schools and it's all around 3.7. I am aiming to get into columbia, nyu, and chicago.

i suppose there is no good answer to "what is a bad GPA" and it all depends on the LSAT, but can anyone guide me as to whether I have a chance at the schools I mentioned? sorry. i am so naive and confused...


Last edited by tweekizme on Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: GPA is in the eye of the beholder
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:56 am 
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Like beauty, which is equally hard to define, it is impossible to precisely pinpoint what a good and bad GPA is. Clearly, a 2.5 is pretty awful and nearly precludes admission to law school unless this is matched with a very strong LSAT.

The good news for you is that the intangible factors go very much in your favor. Please remember, that all people are created equal. But some people are more equal than others. This is also true of GPAs.

A GPA that comes partially from a Junior College and then Mediocre State U. will not be viewed in the same light as that GPA from Stanford or Berkeley. Law schools do their own adjusting of GPA, factoring in the rigor of that college for admissions, and also how they dole out their grades. For you are judged by your peers, and your GPA will be ranked with how others did from your college. So if your entire college has grade inflation, your high GPA will not convert to as impressive of a percentage in ranking amongst your peers.

Law schools love science majors (who usually do pretty well on the LSAT), for they possess the analytical problem solving skills needed to be a successful lawyer. Law schools also know that GPAs in the sciences are not as inflated in other majors. Unlike subjective majors like English or Communications, where everyone expounds upon their personal theories, there is an objectively right answer in math and the sciences. Thus, you are either right or wrong and the notion that everyone is special and deserves A's has not fully permeated the sciences, the last bastion of real grades.

Thus, law schools will adjust your grades upward given the rigor of your major and college.

That being said, you do need to do very well on your LSAT to get in to the 3 top law schools you mentioned. Law schools love a good grade trend, so try hard to get a 3.5+ in your final semesters. Given your scientific background you should do well on the games section of the LSAT, but practice for the arguments and reading comprehension sections, sometimes the hardest part for scientist who read slowly because they need to with their scientific texts.

Thus, do not let your 3.3 GPA worry you too much, it is more akin to a 3.5 due to your background. While getting in to a top 20 law school should be relatively easy, serious study on the LSAT is required to get in to a top 5 law school.

As you can see from my answer, your question was not naive at all for there are many variables that go into determining the true value of a GPA and whether it is good or bad.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:10 pm 
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I think if you get a 170 you would have a decent chance of getting into one of the three schools you listed. If you score a 172 or higher I would think it likely you would get into one of your choices. Getting up toward 174 I think you would get into all three or at least two of the three. Ken is right it estimating you at about a 3.5 which is about the 25th percentile at your target schools. You will need to hit near or close to the 75th percentile LSAT score at your schools to compensate for your GPA.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:24 pm 
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thanks to both Ken and dtrossen for sharing your knowledge on law school admissions! you guys are both so thorough and specific. this is very helpful for someone like me with no clue on how law school admissions work. thanks once again...


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 Post subject: Science programs and lower GPAs
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:58 pm 
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[delete]


Last edited by historyminor on Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:16 pm 
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How the hell did you find this thread?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:17 pm 
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google


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:17 pm 
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:lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 1981 12:25 am
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Location: 41.89' N, 87.61' W
..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:55 pm 
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lol, I immediately thought of you when I saw that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:56 pm 
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How the hell did you find this thread?


He is minoring in history.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:27 am 
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ken your post is really helpful.. could you elaborate on one thing for me, i heard that with science majors, the adcoms add anywhere from .3-.5 on their gpa since it is mostly lower then say someone in a English major.. so would you consider this true? also how low do you think they go for science majors as in what do they allow?

:lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:26 am 
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Would the GPA for Accounting majors be adjusted up as well since it is math based?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:53 am 
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Nope. Of course you will probably have to take a business stats class and probably a Calc course, but the math you get in Accounting isn't even in the ballpark of the in depth stuff of Physics or Math majors.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:10 am 
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I guess I would have been better off as a Gen. Bus. major getting the easy A's.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:12 am 
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I love people who look down on other disciplines and say it's easy to get A's in them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:16 am 
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Quote:

Clearly, a 2.5 is pretty awful and nearly precludes admission to law school unless this is matched with a very strong LSAT.


I shouldn't have read this...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:35 am 
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I love people who look down on other disciplines and say it's easy to get A's in them.

While a business/psych/english/phys ed major at one school might be difficult, on average a student with a 3.8 in Chemistry would have also been able to earn a 3.8 in any of those other majors with less effort, while the reverse definitely is not true. Obviously a generalization, but I have not heard many people who could claim it isn't true.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:42 am 
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I didn't mean to put down anyone's major. At my university Accounting is considered the hardest major. (which I think is probably because of the professors who teach accounting) The other business courses are much easier at my school. I know not all schools are like that. Sorry.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:44 am 
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No worries. Everyone in college thinks their discipline is so difficult and they are so overworked and everyone has it easier.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:03 am 
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Quote:
I love people who look down on other disciplines and say it's easy to get A's in them.


^I too find this amusing.

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Law schools love science majors (who usually do pretty well on the LSAT), for they possess the analytical problem solving skills needed to be a successful lawyer.


And other majors don't possess analytical problem solving skills? Law schools don't "love" science majors more then any other major.

Don't believe for a second that a 3.3 in Biology is better than a 3.7 in English. A higher GPA accepted is a higher GPA that they can report to U.S. News and World Report. However, say if the disparity between the GPAs is lessoned and that new conditions are applied: The Biology major graduated from MIT with a 3.3 and the English Major graduated from Podunk University taking all 100 level courses, then this notion may be taken into consideration and the Biology major from MIT would likely get the upperhand.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:34 am 
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I didn't mean to put down anyone's major. At my university Accounting is considered the hardest major. (which I think is probably because of the professors who teach accounting) The other business courses are much easier at my school. I know not all schools are like that. Sorry.


This is why schools weight the LSAT more than GPA. There are so many variables in one's GPA that aren't standard accross the board, it would be impossible to weigh all those factors in LS admissions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:54 am 
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Don't believe for a second that a 3.3 in Biology is better than a 3.7 in English. A higher GPA accepted is a higher GPA that they can report to U.S. News and World Report. However, say if the disparity between the GPAs is lessoned and that new conditions are applied: The Biology major graduated from MIT with a 3.3 and the English Major graduated from Podunk University taking all 100 level courses, then this notion may be taken into consideration and the Biology major from MIT would likely get the upperhand.


Right. I always laugh when people assume non-Science majors lack analytical skills. As a music major, I honed my analytical skills in my counterpoint, analysis, and jazz theory courses. (Am I the only one in love with LSAT games? LOL)

And the GPA thing?? You're right about that, too. And, on a personal note, I find a 4.0 in English more impressive than a 4.0 in Biology. I took over a year's worth of Biology as a pre-med student, and those were some of the easiest A's I ever got! LOL :) Plus, most of the science majors I know don't write well.

You're right. A GPA is a GPA as long as it isn't in Celestial Silk Weaving from Podunk U.


Last edited by OperaAttorney on Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:58 am 
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I love people who look down on other disciplines and say it's easy to get A's in them.


I know, right?

I'm a poli-sci major, and I realize there are programs out there that have grade inflation. But can this really mean that a GPA in a such a major can never be indicative of excellence?

My first day of class the dean addressed us and explained that, though he was sorry, no one would be receiving a 4.0 in a class. To my knowledge, he was good on his word. Of the 200 people in my class--though I don't know every one of them--I know not a single one who had anything above a 3.7, and many of these people were among the top of the class.

[/quote]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:06 pm 
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I'm a poli-sci major, and I realize there are programs out there that have grade inflation. But can this really mean that a GPA in a such a major can never be indicative of excellence?


I think each major has its set of difficult courses. As a biology major, I knew it would take God for me to ace GENETICS. Fortunately, I switched very early.

As a music major, my upper-division theory classes became difficult, especially my FORM AND ANALYSIS course. In this class my professor expected us to reason like J.S. Bach!

My philosophy and poli sci classes have been different though. For some unknown reason, philosophy has been a good fit for me. (I just get it.) My exposure to poli sci is more limited. I just took a few poli sci classes to satisfy my breadth requirements, but I made sure they were comparative poli sci classes. Those poli sci theory classes sounded strange, and I didn't want the poli sci majors outshining me LOL. Guess what? My strategy worked.


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