Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

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yoft
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Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby yoft » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:10 am

Hi, I'm currently a freshman at college (Wash U) and I was wondering whether taking a normal 3 credit course as pass/fail would be looked down upon when applying to law school? I'm planning on taking 17 credits next semester and to relieve some of the stress, I was going to take Introduction to Cultural Anthropology as a pass/fail course (I'm a mechanical engineering major). Wash U offers the option of switching from pass/fail to letter grades up to roughly a month after starting class, so I was planning on switching it to letter grades if I could get an A in the course. I know that pass/fail courses don't count in your LSDAS GPA, but would the fact that I took a regular course as pass/fail to avoid a punishment on my GPA come off as "playing the system"? (Which, in fact, I am =/)

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MysticalWheel
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby MysticalWheel » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:24 am

As long as you don't have too many P/NP classes (as in no more than 2/3), you should be fine. The class in question is not part of your major, so this will probably be a plus.

MW

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soj
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby soj » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:42 am

If you're already taking the class (I know that's not the case here, but just for others' sake) and the choice is between a bad grade and a P (or a non-punitive W), TCR is always P or W.

yoft
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby yoft » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:33 pm

Thanks for the speedy responses!

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nealric
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby nealric » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:43 pm

As long as you don't have too many P/NP classes (as in no more than 2/3), you should be fine.


Frankly, I doubt that even matters. I would take as many P/NP classes as the school allows if it's strategically beneficial.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby whymeohgodno » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:42 pm

Won't matter unless you have like 15 P/F classes...that might raise a red flag.

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nealric
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby nealric » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:00 pm

Won't matter unless you have like 15 P/F classes...that might raise a red flag.



A few schools (i.e. Brown) allow students to opt-out of grading altogether. I've heard of people who have done that and nonetheless gotten into great schools. I imagine having few grades would just cause greater LSAT focus.

sergeantpzr
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby sergeantpzr » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:22 pm

I could have sworn when I was an undergrad I heard that taking a class pass fail would not affect my school's GPA, but LSAC would count the pass as something ridiculous, like a C or something. It looks like I may be sorely mistaken.

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Pleasye
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby Pleasye » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:26 pm

sergeantpzr wrote:I could have sworn when I was an undergrad I heard that taking a class pass fail would not affect my school's GPA, but LSAC would count the pass as something ridiculous, like a C or something. It looks like I may be sorely mistaken.

They count withdrawals (only ones that are considered withdraw-fails by your UG) as F's sometimes. Not pass/fail classes. Unless of course you fail the pass/fail class.

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MysticalWheel
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby MysticalWheel » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:59 pm

nealric wrote:
Won't matter unless you have like 15 P/F classes...that might raise a red flag.



A few schools (i.e. Brown) allow students to opt-out of grading altogether. I've heard of people who have done that and nonetheless gotten into great schools. I imagine having few grades would just cause greater LSAT focus.

Except that the OP is talking about applying to law school, and Brown has no law school. Anyway you cut it, too many P/NP= NOT A GOOD LOOK.

MW

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patrickd139
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:06 pm

Has anyone posted about the ridiculousness of a freshman in college planning his/her college courses around law school yet?

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nealric
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby nealric » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:18 pm

Except that the OP is talking about applying to law school, and Brown has no law school. Anyway you cut it, too many P/NP= NOT A GOOD LOOK.


Except the OP is talking about P/F classes in undergrad.

Has anyone posted about the ridiculousness of a freshman in college planning his/her college courses around law school yet?


Not at all ridiculous. I wish I had been more strategic about my undergrad course planning.

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patrickd139
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:23 pm

nealric wrote:
Has anyone posted about the ridiculousness of a freshman in college planning his/her college courses around law school yet?


Not at all ridiculous. I wish I had been more strategic about my undergrad course planning.

OP is an engineering student. With no LSAT. And potentially boundless career opportunities depending on where OP goes to school and a host of other unknowable factors. Planning your class schedule based on how it affects a graduate school OP might go to 4-5 years in the future is a little much, IMHO.

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MysticalWheel
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby MysticalWheel » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:37 pm

nealric wrote:
Except that the OP is talking about applying to law school, and Brown has no law school. Anyway you cut it, too many P/NP= NOT A GOOD LOOK.


Except the OP is talking about P/F classes in undergrad.

Uh...yes? What does that change? Undergrad performance is what the adcoms see and what determines one's GPA...didn't you know that?

MW

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nealric
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby nealric » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:12 pm

Uh...yes? What does that change? Undergrad performance is what the adcoms see and what determines one's GPA...didn't you know that?


You were talking about Brown not having a law school. What does that have to do with the ability to opt out of grading at the undergrad level?


For the vast majority of applicants, the Adcomms see two things: Your final GPA number and your LSAT. They really don't care how you got that GPA.

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MysticalWheel
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby MysticalWheel » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:19 pm

nealric wrote:
Uh...yes? What does that change? Undergrad performance is what the adcoms see and what determines one's GPA...didn't you know that?


You were talking about Brown not having a law school. What does that have to do with the ability to opt out of grading at the undergrad level?


For the vast majority of applicants, the Adcomms see two things: Your final GPA number and your LSAT. They really don't care how you got that GPA.


You referenced Brown as a school that allows its students to "opt-out" of grading completely. The OP's original question was in regards to law school applications, not undergrad applications. Furthermore, schools that do not grade based on the conventional letter scale often do not have a "P/NP" equivalent, and if they do, it would still look BAD to have too many. It seems like you are prolonging this argument because you wish to convince yourself that having many P/NP marks is acceptable, when the fact of the matter is that it is NOT acceptable.

Your characterization of what the adcoms see is flawed: transcripts, grade trends, quality of undergraduate institutions, and a variety of other "soft" factors are considered. The bottom line is that having too many P/NP marks on one's transcript is a negative, and possibly a substantial one at that. Sorry to burst your bubble. Feel free to continue the argument- I'm not going anywhere :).

MW

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nealric
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby nealric » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:11 pm

You referenced Brown as a school that allows its students to "opt-out" of grading completely. The OP's original question was in regards to law school applications, not undergrad applications. Furthermore, schools that do not grade based on the conventional letter scale often do not have a "P/NP" equivalent, and if they do, it would still look BAD to have too many. It seems like you are prolonging this argument because you wish to convince yourself that having many P/NP marks is acceptable, when the fact of the matter is that it is NOT acceptable.

Your characterization of what the adcoms see is flawed: transcripts, grade trends, quality of undergraduate institutions, and a variety of other "soft" factors are considered. The bottom line is that having too many P/NP marks on one's transcript is a negative, and possibly a substantial one at that. Sorry to burst your bubble. Feel free to continue the argument- I'm not going anywhere .

MW


I really have no bubble to burst. I'm all done with law school. But empirical data from lawschoolnumbers.com suggests that, except for people right on the border (i.e. in waitlist zone), or URMs, it's all about the GPA and LSAT. They really don't care much about softs, grading trends, whether you took organic chemistry or underwater basketweaving. Anna Ivey also agrees.

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Pleasye
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby Pleasye » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:45 pm

MysticalWheel wrote:You referenced Brown as a school that allows its students to "opt-out" of grading completely. The OP's original question was in regards to law school applications, not undergrad applications. Furthermore, schools that do not grade based on the conventional letter scale often do not have a "P/NP" equivalent, and if they do, it would still look BAD to have too many. It seems like you are prolonging this argument because you wish to convince yourself that having many P/NP marks is acceptable, when the fact of the matter is that it is NOT acceptable.

Your characterization of what the adcoms see is flawed: transcripts, grade trends, quality of undergraduate institutions, and a variety of other "soft" factors are considered. The bottom line is that having too many P/NP marks on one's transcript is a negative, and possibly a substantial one at that. Sorry to burst your bubble. Feel free to continue the argument- I'm not going anywhere :).

MW

First of all, you've become QUITE annoying over the past few days. Good lord...

Second, Nealric just made a reference to a school that allows you not to get any grades at all. He wasn't telling the OP to go apply to that school for UG he was just pointing out that it is possible to not get any grades AT ALL in UG and still go to law school. Everyone knows Brown doesn't have a law school he never said they did. Furthermore, we are all aware that all of those things are considered when applying to law school but we are also aware that what it really comes down to is your GPA and LSAT. So yeah, maybe those Pass/fail classes will look unfavorable but if a high GPA comes along with it they could be easily overlooked by adcomms. No one is telling the OP to take 4 P/F classes and 1 normal class per semester for a 4.0 GPA that consists of 8 A's.

Stop trying to start stupid arguments in the on-topic forums. Why don't you try actually being helpful for once?

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MysticalWheel
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby MysticalWheel » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:51 pm

nealric wrote:
You referenced Brown as a school that allows its students to "opt-out" of grading completely. The OP's original question was in regards to law school applications, not undergrad applications. Furthermore, schools that do not grade based on the conventional letter scale often do not have a "P/NP" equivalent, and if they do, it would still look BAD to have too many. It seems like you are prolonging this argument because you wish to convince yourself that having many P/NP marks is acceptable, when the fact of the matter is that it is NOT acceptable.

Your characterization of what the adcoms see is flawed: transcripts, grade trends, quality of undergraduate institutions, and a variety of other "soft" factors are considered. The bottom line is that having too many P/NP marks on one's transcript is a negative, and possibly a substantial one at that. Sorry to burst your bubble. Feel free to continue the argument- I'm not going anywhere .

MW


I really have no bubble to burst. I'm all done with law school. But empirical data from lawschoolnumbers.com suggests that, except for people right on the border (i.e. in waitlist zone), or URMs, it's all about the GPA and LSAT. They really don't care much about softs, grading trends, whether you took organic chemistry or underwater basketweaving. Anna Ivey also agrees.

Except Anna Ivey does not agree, and she wrote a book explaining all the nuances regarding the admissions process. Bottom line is that too many P/NP is not good- I was never arguing that it was fatal.

MW

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Pleasye
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby Pleasye » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:55 pm

MysticalWheel wrote:Except Anna Ivey does not agree, and she wrote a book explaining all the nuances regarding the admissions process. Bottom line is that too many P/NP is not good- I was never arguing that it was fatal.

MW

Yes and Anna Ivey is the god of law schools admissions :roll:

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nealric
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby nealric » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:01 pm

Except Anna Ivey does not agree, and she wrote a book explaining all the nuances regarding the admissions process. Bottom line is that too many P/NP is not good- I was never arguing that it was fatal.


The opening of her chapter on admissions basically says: "It's all GPA/LSAT, but for those on the bubble, here is everything else that could potentially matter"

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MysticalWheel
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby MysticalWheel » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:02 pm

LSpleaseee wrote:
MysticalWheel wrote:You referenced Brown as a school that allows its students to "opt-out" of grading completely. The OP's original question was in regards to law school applications, not undergrad applications. Furthermore, schools that do not grade based on the conventional letter scale often do not have a "P/NP" equivalent, and if they do, it would still look BAD to have too many. It seems like you are prolonging this argument because you wish to convince yourself that having many P/NP marks is acceptable, when the fact of the matter is that it is NOT acceptable.

Your characterization of what the adcoms see is flawed: transcripts, grade trends, quality of undergraduate institutions, and a variety of other "soft" factors are considered. The bottom line is that having too many P/NP marks on one's transcript is a negative, and possibly a substantial one at that. Sorry to burst your bubble. Feel free to continue the argument- I'm not going anywhere :).

MW

First of all, you've become QUITE annoying over the past few days. Good lord...

Second, Nealric just made a reference to a school that allows you not to get any grades at all. He wasn't telling the OP to go apply to that school for UG he was just pointing out that it is possible to not get any grades AT ALL in UG and still go to law school. Everyone knows Brown doesn't have a law school he never said they did. Furthermore, we are all aware that all of those things are considered when applying to law school but we are also aware that what it really comes down to is your GPA and LSAT. So yeah, maybe those Pass/fail classes will look unfavorable but if a high GPA comes along with it they could be easily overlooked by adcomms. No one is telling the OP to take 4 P/F classes and 1 normal class per semester for a 4.0 GPA that consists of 8 A's.

Stop trying to start stupid arguments in the on-topic forums. Why don't you try actually being helpful for once?

First of all, if you do not wish to receive rational responses, then it would be wise not to post provocative messages such as that above. I find it particularly amusing that you are calling me "annoying" when my actions have been no more than reasonable and justified responses to other comments.

Second, your characterization of my discussion with Nealric is absurd; I never stated that it was impossible to get into law schools without conventional grades. My argument was that too many P/NP on one's transcript are BAD. As far as Brown is concerned, or any other school that does not follow conventional grading, there often does not exist a P/NP equivalent. And even if such an equivalent does exist, it would likely be viewed even more negatively than a P/NP from a conventional grading school, mostly because there is somewhat more margin of error in an unconventional system (due to grade demarcations being less pronounced).

Thirdly, I never discounted the critical nature of one's GPA and LSAT. Do you honestly have zero reading comprehension skills? Once again, my argument was in regards to the number of P/NP that one has on one's record, not whether this was more or less important than the LSAT or GPA numerical. It seems that you are arguing with a phantom here, because I have neither stated nor implied anything along the lines of what you are responding to.

So do me a favor: if you have nothing intelligent to contribute, try not to start an argument with someone you consider "annoying"; all you'll receive in return is a retort that exposes the absurdity of your contention. If you do a search of my posts, you'll see I am more than helpful, but I am not about to keep my mouth shut when insecure morons insult me or write something that is plain WRONG. I'll repeat my original position, just for you sweety: too many P/NP on one's record is BAD. Did you get it yet? Thanks for coming, bye.

MW

Edit: Correcting spelling and aesthetics.
Last edited by MysticalWheel on Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MysticalWheel
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby MysticalWheel » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:04 pm

nealric wrote:
Except Anna Ivey does not agree, and she wrote a book explaining all the nuances regarding the admissions process. Bottom line is that too many P/NP is not good- I was never arguing that it was fatal.


The opening of her chapter on admissions basically says: "It's all GPA/LSAT, but for those on the bubble, here is everything else that could potentially matter"


Except that's not really what it says. Go reread her "opening." Also, my main argument was in regards to the number of P/NP marks on one's transcript. You are wrong to say that it does not matter; if you have trouble admitting error, then I don't know if it is even worth arguing with you anymore.

MW

HowdyYall
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby HowdyYall » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:06 pm

MysticalWheel wrote:
LSpleaseee wrote:
MysticalWheel wrote:You referenced Brown as a school that allows its students to "opt-out" of grading completely. The OP's original question was in regards to law school applications, not undergrad applications. Furthermore, schools that do not grade based on the conventional letter scale often do not have a "P/NP" equivalent, and if they do, it would still look BAD to have too many. It seems like you are prolonging this argument because you wish to convince yourself that having many P/NP marks is acceptable, when the fact of the matter is that it is NOT acceptable.

Your characterization of what the adcoms see is flawed: transcripts, grade trends, quality of undergraduate institutions, and a variety of other "soft" factors are considered. The bottom line is that having too many P/NP marks on one's transcript is a negative, and possibly a substantial one at that. Sorry to burst your bubble. Feel free to continue the argument- I'm not going anywhere :).

MW

First of all, you've become QUITE annoying over the past few days. Good lord...

Second, Nealric just made a reference to a school that allows you not to get any grades at all. He wasn't telling the OP to go apply to that school for UG he was just pointing out that it is possible to not get any grades AT ALL in UG and still go to law school. Everyone knows Brown doesn't have a law school he never said they did. Furthermore, we are all aware that all of those things are considered when applying to law school but we are also aware that what it really comes down to is your GPA and LSAT. So yeah, maybe those Pass/fail classes will look unfavorable but if a high GPA comes along with it they could be easily overlooked by adcomms. No one is telling the OP to take 4 P/F classes and 1 normal class per semester for a 4.0 GPA that consists of 8 A's.

Stop trying to start stupid arguments in the on-topic forums. Why don't you try actually being helpful for once?

First of all, if you do not wish to receive rational responses, then it would be wise not to post provocative messages such as that above. I find it particularly amusing that you are calling me "annoying" when my actions have been no more than reasonable and justified responses to other comments.

Second, your characterization of my discussion with Nealric is absurd; I never stated that it was impossible to get into law schools without conventional grades. My argument was that too many P/NP on one's transcript are BAD. As far as Brown is concerned, or any other school that does not follow conventional grading, there often does not exist a P/NP equivalent. And even if such an equivalent does exist, it would likely be viewed even more negatively than a P/NP from a conventional grading school, mostly because there is somewhat more margin of error in an unconventional system (due to grade demarcations being less pronounced).

Thirdly, I never discounted the critical nature of one's GPA and LSAT. Do you honestly have zero reading comprehension skills? Once again, my argument was in regards to the number of P/NP that one has on one's record, not whether this was more or less important than the LSAT or GPA numerical. It seems that you are arguing with a phantom here, because I have neither stated nor implied anything along the lines of what you are responding to.

So do me a favor: if you have nothing intelligent to contribute, try not to start an argument with someone you consider "annoying"; all you'll receive in return is a retort that exposes the absurdity of your contention. If you do a search of my posts, you'll see I am more than helpful, but I am not about to keep my mouth shut when insecure morons insult me or write something that is plain WRONG. I'll repeat my original position, just for you sweety: too many P/NP on one's record is BAD. Did you get it yet? Thanks for coming, bye.

MW


who cares

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MysticalWheel
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Re: Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

Postby MysticalWheel » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:08 pm

HowdyYall wrote:
MysticalWheel wrote:
LSpleaseee wrote:
MysticalWheel wrote:You referenced Brown as a school that allows its students to "opt-out" of grading completely. The OP's original question was in regards to law school applications, not undergrad applications. Furthermore, schools that do not grade based on the conventional letter scale often do not have a "P/NP" equivalent, and if they do, it would still look BAD to have too many. It seems like you are prolonging this argument because you wish to convince yourself that having many P/NP marks is acceptable, when the fact of the matter is that it is NOT acceptable.

Your characterization of what the adcoms see is flawed: transcripts, grade trends, quality of undergraduate institutions, and a variety of other "soft" factors are considered. The bottom line is that having too many P/NP marks on one's transcript is a negative, and possibly a substantial one at that. Sorry to burst your bubble. Feel free to continue the argument- I'm not going anywhere :).

MW

First of all, you've become QUITE annoying over the past few days. Good lord...

Second, Nealric just made a reference to a school that allows you not to get any grades at all. He wasn't telling the OP to go apply to that school for UG he was just pointing out that it is possible to not get any grades AT ALL in UG and still go to law school. Everyone knows Brown doesn't have a law school he never said they did. Furthermore, we are all aware that all of those things are considered when applying to law school but we are also aware that what it really comes down to is your GPA and LSAT. So yeah, maybe those Pass/fail classes will look unfavorable but if a high GPA comes along with it they could be easily overlooked by adcomms. No one is telling the OP to take 4 P/F classes and 1 normal class per semester for a 4.0 GPA that consists of 8 A's.

Stop trying to start stupid arguments in the on-topic forums. Why don't you try actually being helpful for once?

First of all, if you do not wish to receive rational responses, then it would be wise not to post provocative messages such as that above. I find it particularly amusing that you are calling me "annoying" when my actions have been no more than reasonable and justified responses to other comments.

Second, your characterization of my discussion with Nealric is absurd; I never stated that it was impossible to get into law schools without conventional grades. My argument was that too many P/NP on one's transcript are BAD. As far as Brown is concerned, or any other school that does not follow conventional grading, there often does not exist a P/NP equivalent. And even if such an equivalent does exist, it would likely be viewed even more negatively than a P/NP from a conventional grading school, mostly because there is somewhat more margin of error in an unconventional system (due to grade demarcations being less pronounced).

Thirdly, I never discounted the critical nature of one's GPA and LSAT. Do you honestly have zero reading comprehension skills? Once again, my argument was in regards to the number of P/NP that one has on one's record, not whether this was more or less important than the LSAT or GPA numerical. It seems that you are arguing with a phantom here, because I have neither stated nor implied anything along the lines of what you are responding to.

So do me a favor: if you have nothing intelligent to contribute, try not to start an argument with someone you consider "annoying"; all you'll receive in return is a retort that exposes the absurdity of your contention. If you do a search of my posts, you'll see I am more than helpful, but I am not about to keep my mouth shut when insecure morons insult me or write something that is plain WRONG. I'll repeat my original position, just for you sweety: too many P/NP on one's record is BAD. Did you get it yet? Thanks for coming, bye.

MW


who cares

Lol...obviously someone.

MW




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