samtheman

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How does class rank at your schools work?

At my school my understanding is that you get 1 point for high passes, 2 points for honors and no points for passing. The person with the most points wins. So a person who gets all 70's and 1 high pass would be ranked higher than a person who gets all 89's and no high passes. Any thoughts?
 

MilkmanAl

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That doesn't sound like a very efficient way of ranking people, considering that there are at most ~26 different scores you could have, depending on how your school breaks the classes up. I guess they like digging around for tie-breakers. UAMS ranks on GPA which isn't much better.
 

Aphtalyfe

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Our GPA is in a percentage. Classes with more credit hours are given more weight.

Highest class rank is the person with the highest overall cGPA percentage.
P is 70-89, H is 90+
 
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ChiDO

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We have A,B,C - 90,80,70. Your GPA is strictly based off your letter grade, 4.0, 3.0, ect. The precentage you received in teh class is used to determine class rank. Thus the 99% is higher rank then the 92%, even though both got 4.0s.

Thus, it is theoretically possible to have a 4.0 and be ranked lower then someone with a 3.98. The 4.0 person could be getting 92% in all this classes, while the 3.98 gets 96%, and then slips up in a 1 credit hour class and gets a B.
 

clinicallabguy

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If administrators at my school never talk about ranking, does that mean it doesn't happen at my school? Or is that naive?

No one really talks about it where I'm at.
 
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How does class rank at your schools work?

At my school my understanding is that you get 1 point for high passes, 2 points for honors and no points for passing. The person with the most points wins. So a person who gets all 70's and 1 high pass would be ranked higher than a person who gets all 89's and no high passes. Any thoughts?

I'm sure this is not how most schools rank their students. Otherwise there would be way too many ties!! My school uses actual percentages to rank the students and also clerkship grades are weighted more than pre-clinical ones. Are you asking this because of AOA membership? You school should have detailed info on the selection criteria for AOA.
 

mordounhas

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I go to a school that does not "rank" students, but it does categorize them. The top 10% get honors in a course, the next 15% get high pass and the rest are either pass or fail (depending on your score). They then group you in the dean's letter based largely on your third year grades (though first and second year combined equal one 3rd year rotation and distinctions are based on performance in the entire year).

We also get twice as many point for honors as for high pass and no points for just passing and categories are based on these point tallies at the end of 3rd year (4th year has no impact on our categorization).
 

ChiDO

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I go to a school that does not "rank" students, but it does categorize them. The top 10% get honors in a course, the next 15% get high pass and the rest are either pass or fail (depending on your score). They then group you in the dean's letter based largely on your third year grades (though first and second year combined equal one 3rd year rotation and distinctions are based on performance in the entire year).

We also get twice as many point for honors as for high pass and no points for just passing and categories are based on these point tallies at the end of 3rd year (4th year has no impact on our categorization).

I have friends that go to schools like that, can you say cut-throat...oh ya. The best grading system besides a true P/F, is one where w/e your score is that is the grade you get..90+ Honors/A no matter if 99% of the class gets it or only 1%.
 
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I have friends that go to schools like that, can you say cut-throat...oh ya. The best grading system besides a true P/F, is one where w/e your score is that is the grade you get..90+ Honors/A no matter if 99% of the class gets it or only 1%.

The P/F system is not necessarily the best system. While it seems to alleviate competition among students and thus promote a more cooperative learning environment, there tends to be less motivation for doing well in classes (although not always). Also, there's got be some way in addition to Step I to compare students in the same class objectively for the residency application purpose. This is where the traditional H/HP/P/F system comes in. Besides, if 90% of the class ends up getting an honors, most likely the test is way too easy and won't adequately prepare students for Step I. So, there are both pros and cons of the P/F system.
 

mordounhas

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There's an article on the University of Virginia's experience with changing the first two years from a graded system to pass/fail called A Change to Pass/Fail Grading in the First Two Years at One Medical School Results in Improved Psychological Well-Being. The data showed there was no significant difference in scores between classes graded on a traditional scale and pass/fail- but this is the experience of one school, and who knows how replicable it is.

I personally think I would prefer a P/F system (at least for the first two years), but it is what it is and I'm quite pleased with my school overall. Many of the institutions that I've heard use P/F tend to be quite respectable which probably assuages fears that residency directors would have about receiving inadequate residents. I'm not sure if most schools could make the change smoothly.
 

MilkmanAl

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Just remember: P/F is only good if they don't rank for the first 2 years, and in that case, it's only good for the first 2 years. Everyone will be killing each other during clinicals to get those AOA spots and stay out of the bottom half. I'm not saying P/F is junk, but it's not all it's cracked up to be and certainly has some drawbacks - food for thought.
 

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P/F for the first two years is good for giving you time to pursue activities like research and volunteering instead of fighting for the last 5% on each test. In this aspect a student at a preclinical pass/fail school has an advantage over one at a graded school.

Schools that are pass fail through and through is another thing, because the best students won't be able to distinguish themselves from the average.
 
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P/F for the first two years is good for giving you time to pursue activities like research and volunteering instead of fighting for the last 5% on each test. In this aspect a student at a preclinical pass/fail school has an advantage over one at a graded school.

Schools that are pass fail through and through is another thing, because the best students won't be able to distinguish themselves from the average.

I'll respectfully disagree. There are so many ways to set students apart these days. Our school has NO trouble getting students into great residency positions. Of the students doing early match that I know, 3/4 got their first choice. The one that didn't had to settle with a program at a Top 25 school :laugh:
 
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Yes ... a true P/F is simply amazing!!!!!

At UChicago, It's more of a pass now/pass later system (similar to Yale's system). If you don't pass a test you can retake the test (instead of the whole class) Great thing about this is that you actually learn material if you happened to not pass a test. And at UChicago all the administration see's is P. There is nothing more, no rank, no percentage, no nothing. Made pre-clinical years soooo nice!! And once we got to clinical years, well you're not competing against each other - if everyone deserves Honors, then everyone gets it. At this point, my peers are amazing and it makes such a differnece not to have to compete with them. And also, I have never felt that I was not challenged or didn't do my best. Yes, there was a time in BioChem where I said screw it, not memorizing that random detail because it is P/F, but never did I just get by.

Bottom line: if you can find a P/F school to go to ..... GOOO!!
 

twilightdoc

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Bottom line: if you can find a P/F school to go to ..... GOOO!!
But if your P/F school or the P/F school in which you are interested has an AOA chapter, there is a very high chance that a "class rank" does exist, even if the med students aren't aware of it.
 

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Yes ... a true P/F is simply amazing!!!!!

At UChicago, It's more of a pass now/pass later system (similar to Yale's system). If you don't pass a test you can retake the test (instead of the whole class) Great thing about this is that you actually learn material if you happened to not pass a test. And at UChicago all the administration see's is P. There is nothing more, no rank, no percentage, no nothing. Made pre-clinical years soooo nice!! And once we got to clinical years, well you're not competing against each other - if everyone deserves Honors, then everyone gets it. At this point, my peers are amazing and it makes such a differnece not to have to compete with them. And also, I have never felt that I was not challenged or didn't do my best. Yes, there was a time in BioChem where I said screw it, not memorizing that random detail because it is P/F, but never did I just get by.

Bottom line: if you can find a P/F school to go to ..... GOOO!!

How true is what you're saying when they are writing evals? Instead of objective grading, what about subjective grading. Do you believe that people are inevitably pitted against one another when it comes down to it in the eyes of the resident/attending. Obviously is someone sucks and they F a rotation, that's very different from getting Honors but if someone obviously out-shines everyone on the team not to the fault of others, that is still...a sort of ranking no?
 

amph119

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But if your P/F school or the P/F school in which you are interested has an AOA chapter, there is a very high chance that a "class rank" does exist, even if the med students aren't aware of it.

At least at Pritzker, there are no secret rankings, nor secret secret rankings, nor secret secret rankings (and if there are secret secret secret secret rankings, they go through a hell of a lot to keep it secret).

AOA is based only off 3rd year grades (i.e. when P/F ends). I'm fairly sure that yes, this "true" pass/fail system is very rare, but it does exist.
 
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How much does class rank affect residency decision? I didn't do well my first year but I did pass all my classes. I know I have 2 years to improve my rank but with a low class rank, are my residency options limited to family med, psychiatry and not as competitive IM programs?

I was interested in neurology and anesthesiology but I'm only a second year student so I'm still exploring.

I know class rank isn't the most important factor and board exam scores, 3rd year clerkship grades and letters of rec are more important, but do pre-clinical grades/class rank still play a role?
 

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I sincerely hope it doesn't matter much. Even though I'm at a P/F school, I'm pretty much bringing up the rear of the class haha.
 

sylvanthus

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How much does class rank affect residency decision? I didn't do well my first year but I did pass all my classes. I know I have 2 years to improve my rank but with a low class rank, are my residency options limited to family med, psychiatry and not as competitive IM programs?

I was interested in neurology and anesthesiology but I'm only a second year student so I'm still exploring.

I know class rank isn't the most important factor and board exam scores, 3rd year clerkship grades and letters of rec are more important, but do pre-clinical grades/class rank still play a role?

Yes, preclinical grades and class rank do still play a role. Not much of one, but yes they are a factor. Other things you listed like board scores, clinical grades, LOR, etc are more important however.
 
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So can a person with a low class rank and C's and a few B's who does above average to well on boards and better 3rd year still match to competitive residencies?

I guess what I'm asking is what programs will not consider me based on my low rank/bad preclinical grades?
 
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BABSstudent

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How does class rank at your schools work?

At my school my understanding is that you get 1 point for high passes, 2 points for honors and no points for passing. The person with the most points wins. So a person who gets all 70's and 1 high pass would be ranked higher than a person who gets all 89's and no high passes. Any thoughts?

My school has absolutely no ranking of students. It is a true pass/fail and I am thankful for that. There is a ton of help between the students.
 

yehhhboiii

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My school has absolutely no ranking of students. It is a true pass/fail and I am thankful for that. There is a ton of help between the students.

props to your school
university of washington and yale know how to do it properly
 
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My school has absolutely no ranking of students. It is a true pass/fail and I am thankful for that. There is a ton of help between the students.

well at uwsom they sort of rank you in the MSPE i.e deans letter based on your third year grades. THey have descriptive words like "outstanding" "excellent" etc that are assigned based on where you ranked based on clinical grades something like top 15 then next 25 so forth and at the end of your deans letter theres like a "legend/key" that explains what each of those descriptors mean.
 

evilbooyaa

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So can a person with a low class rank and C's and a few B's who does above average to well on boards and better 3rd year still match to competitive residencies?

I guess what I'm asking is what programs will not consider me based on my low rank/bad preclinical grades?

Might be different as a DO, but preclinical grades/class rank are considered significantly less than everything you do including and after step 1.
 

mdeast

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Stanford is also true P/F with no internal ranking of students. I've heard of the "secret code" words (Excellent, Outstanding, etc.) being used on Dean's Letter (and I've seen some of these words on clerkship evaluations), but I'm not sure if this is true.

We recently transitioned to "Honors" during core rotations on third year (electives, sub-I's, non-core are P/F), but they don't include histograms/class rank/percentile etc. on the Dean's Letter, so I'm not even sure if residency programs know how to interpret our system. There's been debate about adding this, but it's been shot down so far by the Advising Deans and student body.
 
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well it's good to know class rank/poor pre-clinical grades don't have as much importance as other factors....still feel dumb when I get C's while other students in the class are getting A's....
 

username456789

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well at uwsom they sort of rank you in the MSPE i.e deans letter based on your third year grades. THey have descriptive words like "outstanding" "excellent" etc that are assigned based on where you ranked based on clinical grades something like top 15 then next 25 so forth and at the end of your deans letter theres like a "legend/key" that explains what each of those descriptors mean.

Yeah I'm always surprised at how many students at these types of schools fail to realize this.

There was a thread not too long ago about a student who was mad/worried when he or she learned during 4th year that their "no rank, true P/F" school did indeed keep track of scores and stratified students accordingly in the MSPE.
 

notbobtrustme

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Class rank is the most important of the peripheral things.

Nail the big three. Step I, clinicals, LORs. That's where the meat really is.

At least that's what our Deans have been telling us.
 

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Class rank is the most important of the peripheral things.

Nail the big three. Step I, clinicals, LORs. That's where the meat really is.

At least that's what our Deans have been telling us.

LORs? Don't they all say the same thing? or is it who you get them from?
 

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In small specialties like ent, urology, derm, etc., letter writer names are very important.
 
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Class rank at my school was based off of honors, high pass , pass, fail and that being turned into a point system where honors=3, etc.. This then is used to calculate AOA.

In regards to what is most important, at least for a competitive sub surgical specialty, I would say letter writer, AOA, step one. Step one being third assuming you broke the minimum cut off. Ex: 240
 
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