Is it possible to calculate an approximate class rank?

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phishskier41
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Is it possible to calculate an approximate class rank?

Postby phishskier41 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:38 pm

So, I am not the best at math. I was wondering if it was possible if you had the entire breakdown of first year classes with the number of each grade given out in each, in addition to the mean gpa of each class, if you could calculate an approximate class rank or approximate percentage?

Thanks.

Oblomov
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Re: Is it possible to calculate an approximate class rank?

Postby Oblomov » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:51 pm

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Last edited by Oblomov on Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Is it possible to calculate an approximate class rank?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:08 pm

Can you get last year's breakdown of GPA cutoffs for each rank? I found mine buried on my school's website, and after swearing I wouldn't, I went straight to TLS's resident mathoholic and asked him to tell me precisely where I stood. He should have refused to do it, but he was able to calculate precisely where I stacked up against last year's class. This isn't an exact science, because medians fluctuate slightly, but absent some gigantic change in your school's curve, your rank will be close to this number.

Renzo
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Re: Is it possible to calculate an approximate class rank?

Postby Renzo » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:03 am

I asked my OCS counselor very nicely. She gave me a speech about how the school doesn't rank, and no one was going to calculate it, but then she looked at last year's grades and told me where I would have been.

caoyun
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Re: Is it possible to calculate an approximate class rank?

Postby caoyun » Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:30 am

Renzo wrote:I asked my OCS counselor very nicely. She gave me a speech about how the school doesn't rank, and no one was going to calculate it, but then she looked at last year's grades and told me where I would have been.


Heck, my school tries to convince students that its impossible to calculate our GPA, let alone class rank. Apparently, some law school administrations are worse at math than others.

SlipperyPete
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Re: Is it possible to calculate an approximate class rank?

Postby SlipperyPete » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:25 am

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Last edited by SlipperyPete on Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

realworldescapee
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Re: Is it possible to calculate an approximate class rank?

Postby realworldescapee » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:37 am

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Last edited by realworldescapee on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Is it possible to calculate an approximate class rank?

Postby Aeroplane » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:09 am

Caution: you can't compare 3-year GPA cutoffs with 1L GPA's (or 1L fall GPA's). If your school, like Michigan, only provides GPA cutoffs & ranks for graduated students, those will look quite different from 1L GPA's. A lot of people who don't do great 1L year will pull their GPA's up with seminars and/or improved exam-taking, and a lot of people who do well 1L year will do worse in 2L if they take Fed Courts and other curved classes filled w/people with good 1L GPA's. I've heard there's a "regression to the mean" effect.

270910
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Re: Is it possible to calculate an approximate class rank?

Postby 270910 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:42 am

Aeroplane wrote:Caution: you can't compare 3-year GPA cutoffs with 1L GPA's (or 1L fall GPA's). If your school, like Michigan, only provides GPA cutoffs & ranks for graduated students, those will look quite different from 1L GPA's. A lot of people who don't do great 1L year will pull their GPA's up with seminars and/or improved exam-taking, and a lot of people who do well 1L year will do worse in 2L if they take Fed Courts and other curved classes filled w/people with good 1L GPA's. I've heard there's a "regression to the mean" effect.


Regression to the mean is MUCH less significant than the fact at many schools certain classes (notably seminars) have no curve after 1L, which has the effect of systematically raising everyone's GPA.

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Cavalier
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Re: Is it possible to calculate an approximate class rank?

Postby Cavalier » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:46 am

There's obviously not going to be a perfect bell curve in grade distributions, but you still get a fairly good idea of where you stand by determining how many standard deviations from the median you are. All you need are two data points. For instance, if your school reveals it's median GPA and it's tenth percentile GPA, you have the data you need to determine roughly where you stand.




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