How to find out LSAC GPA?

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Burke21
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby Burke21 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:15 pm

Well being Canadian isn't all that bad. I know Americans like to put the jokes on Canadians, as I will admit Canadians will dish it back - there isn't that much of a difference between the two. I mean what I have seen, there is a bigger difference between the American South and North, than there is Canadian and American. But both countries have their perks, it just so happens in this case Canadians seem, it's not proven, but it seems to have an advantage in law school applications.

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krasivaya
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby krasivaya » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:17 pm

Being Canadian isn't going to help you at all with "diversity." And the conversion advantage only applies if your ug puts letter grades on your transcript.

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Burke21
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby Burke21 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:22 pm

krasivaya wrote:Being Canadian isn't going to help you at all with "diversity." And the conversion advantage only applies if your ug puts letter grades on your transcript.


Well you might be right about it not helping. Mind you I am not counting on that at all. I was just making a point that it may, because I am considered an international student, so that counts for something I would imagine, I dunno what, but it's there. Ah you're half right. Yes, your GPA will increase if they have only your letter. And I am not 100% sure what my UG does, but I do know if they put your % than what LSAC will do is look at your % and match it to your UG letter number then they will calculate your GPA that way, which keeps you roughly the same anyways. So I guess the point remands LSAC will just compare your letter grade with theirs and calculate it that way.

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memphisbelle
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby memphisbelle » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:58 am

So...what if you are an American looking to go to law school in Canada? My grades would be letter grades on the transcripts, so it would be difficult to discern where I stand academically in relation to Canadian candidates. My 'B+' that may correlate to a score of 89/90 from a US university would be an A in Canada. Of course, this is said with absolutely no idea of the scope or amount of academic challenge for Canadian classes in comparison to their American counterparts. It could be that they are much more challenging in which case the grading scale would make things more equal. How is this accounted for in admissions? I'm working on finding these answers through the Canadian version of TLS, but I would be most appreciative if anyone has any experience/advice on the matter.

Thanks,
MB

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Burke21
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby Burke21 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:14 am

You bring up some excellent questions, which I hope we get the answers to. I would think if an American student was applying to a Canadian law school their grades via transcript would be either transfered to the GPA scale used at that Canadian law school. Or, perhaps the Canadian law school would simply rank you through the standards from your school. I am not sure. I am sure every student regardless Canadian or American are transfered into that schools GPA scale. For example, U of T has that 4.33 scale, similar to my schools scope. So my GPA will not have to be changed into their ranking because it is already done. But for you, I am sure they will translate your grades into their system, which would probably improve your GPA, just like if I was to apply in the U.S...

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memphisbelle
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby memphisbelle » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:58 am

Well, that would be simply amazing. It seems entirely too good to be true though. If it was, every T14 hopeful with marginal grades from the US would be eyeing schools in Canada. Given that the 'Yale of Canada' McGill costs half of the average T14 tuition and is an internationally recognized institution. How would that not end up being an incredibly sweet deal?

FWIW, the Canadians are on to something with the schools being ranked by the placement of their graduates as well as other school/applicant traits that result in a more successful graduating class.

Either way, I'll keep you updated with what I find. This is looking better and better.

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Burke21
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby Burke21 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:03 pm

You're right! It does seem like a sweet deal. However, I believe McGill (#2) you need to know French to be accepted. Which, I'm Canadian and I am not fluent in French. U of T is where my eye is (#1). You don't need to know French, and their admission, although still tough is no where near the difficulty of say Stanford. 3.8 (85%) GPA is the median, and 168 is LSAT. Moreover the cost is like $33,000 for everything per year. So just over $100,000 for your JD. Which can land you in Wallstreet Big Law. Where do I sign up? *Note I believe U of T puts more emphsis on LSAT. They say it's equal but I know a guy who applied there 3.9 GPA, 158 LSAT and tons of political experince and great references and didn't get accepted. Just saying LSAT is the make or break.

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memphisbelle
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby memphisbelle » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:58 pm

I do speak French. I was previously a French/Spanish for education major. I've been out of it for about seven years though. I'm not delusional enough to think that it won't require a TON of review before I'm able to compete on that level again, but it is doable. For McGill, you don't have to take the LSAT. It seems that many people do though, because they are applying to other schools in Canada that require it. The reason for this is that they are requiring everyone to be 'passively bilingual' in both French and English, so the majority of applicants will have one preferred or dominant language. They don't want the applicants that primarily speak French to be at a lesser advantage since the LSAT is only offered in English. Considering it is challenging to native English speakers, I can't imagine what a nightmare it would be to those who aren't native speakers.

If you've taken the LSAT, you're required to report your score. If you haven't, then it is up to you to decide whether it would help your application or not. It seems from what I have read, it is only used as an additional way to evaluate your academic potential. If you're competitive enough GPA-wise, it doesn't seem that there is much reason to take it. I just need to figure out if I am competitive or not. Considering the grading scale issue, a 3.3 (B) average from the US wouldn't be that bad at all. From TLS I gather that in the US it is borderline tragic and nearly fatal for T14 admissions. :cry:

Mal
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby Mal » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:06 pm

memphisbelle wrote:So...what if you are an American looking to go to law school in Canada? My grades would be letter grades on the transcripts, so it would be difficult to discern where I stand academically in relation to Canadian candidates. My 'B+' that may correlate to a score of 89/90 from a US university would be an A in Canada. Of course, this is said with absolutely no idea of the scope or amount of academic challenge for Canadian classes in comparison to their American counterparts. It could be that they are much more challenging in which case the grading scale would make things more equal. How is this accounted for in admissions? I'm working on finding these answers through the Canadian version of TLS, but I would be most appreciative if anyone has any experience/advice on the matter.

Thanks,
MB


Just to clear up the massive amount of misinformation in this thread: the grading scale is kinda irrelevant. Yes a 90 at most Canadian schools is an A, but that is irrelevant if they simply don't give that many 90's out.

Think about it for a second, do you think that because the University of Chicago is on that weird 170 point scale (or whatever it is) that everyone is getting an A+++++? No, that would be absurd. In reality the actual number assigned to a letter grade is arbitrary and meaningless.

When the Canadian schools convert your grades they will use your letter grades. Otherwise you are comparing apples and oranges.

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memphisbelle
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby memphisbelle » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:57 pm

The U of C grading scale wouldn't necessarily correlate to my point though. Just because they have a different way of expressing the grades doesn't equal everyone getting a grade of A+. There will likely be many people who don't get a 170. What that score relates to would be based on the grading scale.

You mention that a 90 in the US wouldn't be equivalent to a 90 in Canada because there aren't that many given out. If that is part of the determination, then there is something I am missing about the grades assigned in Canada. Everything that I have seen refers to a percentage. US schools have percentages as well, they are just assigned letter grades. My question pertained to the fact that the percentages assigned to letter grades there are lower than the percentages assigned here.

For example: Say the grading scale here is A=94-100 B=86-93 C=77-85
The grading scale in Canada is A=87-100 B=70-86 C=60-69

Someone receives a 93. Here, that would be a B (3.0) and would be notated as such on the transcript. In Canada, that would still be an A (4.0). Is there any type of consideration given to that discrepency? In theory, the same level of accomplishment has been reached, it just doesn't reflect the same way. That was my question. I realize that there is likely a very large misunderstanding on my part, but that is what I am trying to figure out.

Are Canadian classes really that much harder than the ones here? That's the only thing I can think of that might cause that much of a difference.

Thanks,
MB

Binnie
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby Binnie » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:31 pm

Good question, Memphis Belle. When comparing US and Canadian marks, comparing percentages is not that useful. Our average marks tend to be in the high 60's or low 70's, which is a B- or a B. Averages vary by institution and faculty, but that is a common breakdown. It is not that Canadian schools are harder or easier, just that the mean is arbitrarily set at a lower percentage score. This variation means that cross-country comparisons get complex. That complexity leads to the confusion and misinformation evident in this thread. I am less familiar with the American context, but would be happy to try and clarify some of the confusion about what I do know something about: Canada and Australia.
The standard Canadian mark breakdown looks like this:
A+: 90+
A: 85-89
A-: 80-84
B+: 75-79
B: 70-74 (average)
B-: 65-69 (average)
C: 55-64
D: 50-54
F: <50

With your example of someone getting a 93 in Canada, they would have an A+, almost definitely have the highest mark in the class, and have gotten a totally exceptional grade. That is truly a rare grade here. I think that what you should focus on is class-rank, not the nominal letter or percentage score. My Canadian alma mater includes course averages on the transcript, so it's clear that where I got- let's say- a 75 (B+), but the course average was 60 (not uncommon), it was actually a pretty decent grade. It's not easy to make exact comparisons and LSAC has its work cut out for it, but it's important to remember class averages and class rank when comparing international grades.

For one other data point- I spent some time studying in Australia, where the course averages are about 10% lower, again. There, it's rare to do better than 80%. I thought I had tanked when I got my grades back. It was only when I compared with my friends that I realized that what I thought were terrible grades were actually above average. Just goes to show that a number grade out of context is not worth a whole lot.

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dasani13
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby dasani13 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:16 pm

My post got boring again :(

Oooobviously no one knows the answer to the question regarding the discrepancy between the Canadian and US grading scale. Everyone's just guessing. Call LSAC and ask them directly-- it would have cost you significantly less time and effort and you would have received an accurate answer.

Nonetheless, I hope whichever response you get ends up benefiting you! Good luck.

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memphisbelle
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby memphisbelle » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:53 am

Thanks, Binnie. That's what I am gathering from looking into this. I am still intrigued by the fact that Canadian law school admissions seem to be much more holistic than those in the US. We'll see, I guess. I have an email in to McGill on this, so I'll let you know what they say.

bella07
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby bella07 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:38 pm

on another note, what about schools that don't give grades? or schools that don't give grades for certain classes (arts usually)? or only give grades like a, b, c (no pluses and minuses)? is the gpa calculated to leave out courses for credit that are mandatory pass/fail (no grade)?

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KevinP
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Re: How to find out LSAC GPA?

Postby KevinP » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:51 am

bella07 wrote:on another note, what about schools that don't give grades?

I'm not sure about this one, I didn't realize there are schools which don't give grades at all.

bella07 wrote:or schools that don't give grades for certain classes (arts usually)?

I'm assuming such a course would have some sort of a Pass/Fail status. A fail would be calculated as a 0.0 and a pass would not be included in the GPA calculation but they would be totaled and reported separately as unconverted credits.

bella07 wrote: or only give grades like a, b, c (no pluses and minuses)?

LSAC would only use the A = 4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0, F = 0.0 conversion chart to convert the grades.

bella07 wrote: is the gpa calculated to leave out courses for credit that are mandatory pass/fail (no grade)?


Depends. If it a fail, they calculate that as a 0.0. A pass is left out.




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